Adding Chlorine Tablets To Your Skimmer? Don’t Do It!

A hand with blue gloves holding a 3 inch chlorine tablet in a skimmer.

One of the biggest questions I hear people ask is if they can add chlorine tablets to sanitize there swimming pool in the skimmer. This seems like an easy and convenient way to add them and while it is definitely easy, it should be avoided.

You should never add chlorine tablets directly to your skimmer. Purchase an inexpensive floating chlorinator and add your tablets to it. Then allow the chlorine floater to drift around the pool water.

If you wish you can use a string to keep it in a particular place as long as it is in the main part of the swimming pool that has a decent depth of water around the chlorine floater.

Why It’s A Bad Idea To Add Chlroine Tabs To Your Skimmer

Your skimmer is designed to catch debris that is floating in your pool to keep the water clean. The way that your skimmer performs this important task is by having suction from your pool pump siphon water through the hoses connected to skimmer, routed through your filter catching all debris, then returning the clean water back into the return jet of the pool.

Now it sounds like the skimmer should be the perfect place for your chlorine sticks as it will allow the chlorine to be circulated heavily through the pools pipes and flow directly into the body of your pool water.

The issue however is not as much about the circulation as it is the idle time of your pool pump.

Pool Pump Is Not Always On

The majority of swimming pool owners only have the pump running for a set period of time based on the size of pool, pump and how active swimmers are in the water.

When the pool pump quits running, the chlorine tablets are still sitting in the skimmer of your pool. They will begin to slowly dissolve and while doing so create an extremely rich and highly acidic amount of chlorine that will not be able to exit the skimmer until the pump is turned back on.

The strong chlorine water will begin to eat at the skimmer walls and basket and it will continue to do so heavily the entire time the pump is off, but once it turns back on other parts of your pool will be exposed to this overdosed chlorine water as well.

As the pump turns back on the highly acidic water will be pushed straight into your pool pump where it is then sent to your filter. If you have a cartridge filter the chlorine will eat at it, and if your pump is off twice a day every time it is turned on the cartridge is getting a beating, two times each day.

The top of a swimming pool sand filter.

Other parts in your filter and pump such as o-rings, pistons, gears and gaskets will be exposed to these high chemicals every time the pool pump is off for an extended time and then turned back on.

It is safe to say when you place chlorine tablets in your skimmer on a regular basis, you will be required to replace filters and other parts at a quicker pace and ultimately can cause damage that otherwise would not be endured if the tablets were added to the pool properly.

Add Tablets To A Chlorinator Instead

You can get an inexpensive floating chlorinator that will be more than sufficient for even the biggest pools at sanitizing your pool water. When the pool pump is turned off the floater is diluted in thousands of gallons of water and will not put your swimming pools parts at risk of being damaged.

There is also the option of an automatic chlorinator that can be installed near your pool return. The water feeds through the chlorinator prior to the return jet and adds chlorine directly into the water.

You may wonder why you would use an automatic chlorinator since the chlorine will also be sitting in it creating extremely acidic water just as that of the skimmer when the pump isn’t running. The difference is that the chlorinator is installed past the pool pump and filter, therefore once the pump is turned back on the strong amounts of chlorine is sent straight through the return jet avoiding all pool pump and filter parts.

You can check out one of my previous posts where I go over some of the differences of an automatic chlorinator and floater chlorinator by clicking here.

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