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Can You Put Chlorine Tablets in the Pool Skimmer?

From replacing pricey equipment, to staying on top of weekly chemical checks, there’s no denying that swimming pools are an expensive and time-consuming commitment. So it’s no wonder why many pool owners search for ways to reduce how much time and money they spend on their pool maintenance. One common time and money-saving practice is placing chlorine tablets into the pool skimmer. While this method might seem like a quick and easy way to maintain your pool’s sanitization level, you might be causing more harm than good.

In this article, we explore the main problems caused by putting chlorine tablets in the pool skimmer, and the impact it can have on the pool and its users, including:

Equipment Damage

Uneven Chlorine Distribution

Imbalanced Water Chemistry

pool filter pump

chlorine tablets in the skimmer can effecr water balance

1. Corrosion and Damage to Pool Equipment

Chlorine tablets have a low pH level, making them highly-acidic, especially in concentrated doses. As the tablets dissolve and the chlorine builds up in the skimmer, so does the acidity level. When the acidic water travels through the pump and filter, it will start to corrode the metal components of your equipment. Over time, the corrosion will cause serious damage to your pool equipment, resulting in costly repairs and replacements.

2. Uneven Chlorine Distribution

When the pool pump is off, the water in the skimmer sits stagnant until the next pump cycle begins. As the tablets dissolve in the skimmer, the heavily-chlorinated water stays localized to one spot and isn't evenly distributed throughout the pool. Over-chlorinated water can cause equipment damage and skin irritation, eye redness, and respiratory problems for swimmers. While under-chlorinated areas of the pool can be a breeding ground for bacteria and other harmful microorganisms, like algae.

3. Imbalanced pH Levels

Because chlorine tablets have a low pH, they can decrease your pool's overall pH level. A low pH level makes the water too acidic and can cause skin and eye irritation for swimmers. It can also lead to the deterioration of pool surfaces, equipment, and plumbing. Imbalanced pH levels can also affect the effectiveness of chlorine in killing bacteria and other harmful microorganisms in the pool water.

4. Skimmer Basket Damage

Residue left behind by chlorine tablets can develop a buildup in the skimmer and cause it to malfunction. This can prevent the skimmer from effectively filtering the pool water, resulting in cloudy water. The buildup can also make it challenging to clean the skimmer basket, leading to further maintenance issues.

How to Safely Use Chlorine Tablets

Putting chlorine tablets directly in the pool skimmer can cause several problems that can impact your pool's health and the health of those who use it. Thankfully, there are two simple ways to avoid the problems above! Using a floating chlorinator or automatic chemical feeder is the safest and easiest way to ensure your pool receives the right amount of chlorine.


In The Swim makes every effort to provide accurate recommendations based upon current ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 (R2022) standards, but codes and regulations change, and In The Swim assumes no liability for any omissions or errors in this article or the outcome of any project. You must always exercise reasonable caution, carefully read the label on all products, follow all product directions, follow any current codes and regulations that may apply, and consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. In The Swim assumes no legal responsibility for your reliance or interpretation of the data contained herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the quality, safety, or suitability of the information, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.