How Pool Chlorinators Work


Pool Chlorinator

Swimming pools provide endless hours of fun and relaxation, but maintaining their water quality can be a challenging task. One essential aspect of pool maintenance is ensuring proper disinfection to keep the water clean and safe for swimmers. Chlorine is commonly used as a disinfectant in pools, and pool chlorinators play a crucial role in efficiently delivering and regulating chlorine levels. In this article, we will explore the inner workings of pool chlorinators and how they effectively sanitize swimming pool water.

Understanding Chlorine’s Role In Pool Disinfection

Chlorine is a powerful chemical that effectively kills harmful bacteria, viruses, algae, and other microorganisms that can thrive in pool water. It acts as a disinfectant by oxidizing organic contaminants and destroying pathogens. While chlorine can be manually added to a pool, using a pool chlorinator automates the process, ensuring a consistent and controlled level of chlorine.

Types Of Pool Chlorinators

There are three main types of pool chlorinators commonly used in residential and commercial pools:

Floating Chlorinators: These are simple devices that float on the pool’s surface and release chlorine slowly. Floating chlorinators often come in the form of a plastic container or a floating dispenser. They are cost-effective and easy to use but may require frequent refilling.

Inline Chlorinators: Inline chlorinators are installed in the pool’s plumbing system, usually after the pump and filter. Water passes through the chlorinator, where chlorine tablets or sticks are dissolved and introduced into the water flow. This type of chlorinator offers convenience and continuous chlorine distribution.

Saltwater Chlorinators: Saltwater chlorinators are gaining popularity due to their ability to produce chlorine on-site. These systems utilize a salt cell, which converts salt into chlorine through electrolysis. This eliminates the need to handle and store chlorine products, resulting in a milder and more natural swimming experience.

Working Mechanism Of Pool Chlorinators

Regardless of the type, pool chlorinators function by gradually releasing chlorine into the water to achieve and maintain the desired disinfection level. Here’s a breakdown of how each type of chlorinator works:

Floating Chlorinators: Floating chlorinators usually consist of a plastic container with an adjustable vent or holes for chlorine release. Inside the container, chlorine tablets or sticks are placed. As the chlorinator floats on the pool’s surface, water slowly dissolves the chlorine, which is then dispersed into the pool. The rate of chlorine release can be adjusted by modifying the vent or the number of tablets.

Inline Chlorinators: Inline chlorinators are plumbed into the pool’s circulation system. They have a chamber where chlorine tablets or sticks are placed. When water flows through the chamber, it dissolves the chlorine, which mixes with the pool water and sanitizes it. Some inline chlorinators have adjustable flow control valves to regulate the chlorine output.

Saltwater Chlorinators: Saltwater chlorinators require the installation of a salt cell, which is connected to the pool’s plumbing system. The salt cell contains a series of electrodes that generate a low-voltage electrical current when pool water passes through it. This current triggers electrolysis, breaking down salt molecules (NaCl) into chlorine gas (Cl2), which then dissolves in the water, forming hypochlorous acid (HOCl). Hypochlorous acid is an active sanitizer that kills bacteria and other contaminants. The saltwater chlorinator continuously monitors and maintains the chlorine levels based on the pool’s requirements.

Advantages Of Using Pool Chlorinators

Pool chlorinators offer several advantages over traditional manual chlorine dosing:

Consistent Chlorine Levels: Chlorinators ensure a steady and controlled release of chlorine, resulting in a consistent disinfection level. This helps prevent fluctuations in chlorine concentration, reducing the risk of bacteria or algae growth.

Time and Effort Savings: Automated chlorinators save time and effort compared to manually adding chlorine. Once set up, they require minimal maintenance, allowing pool owners to focus on enjoying their pool rather than constantly monitoring and adjusting chlorine levels.

Enhanced Safety: Chlorinators provide a safer and more user-friendly method of chlorination. They eliminate the need for handling concentrated chlorine products, reducing the risk of chemical accidents or skin and eye irritation.

Cost-Effective: While the initial investment for a chlorinator may be higher than buying chlorine products individually, over time, chlorinators can be cost-effective. They optimize chlorine usage by ensuring efficient distribution, preventing waste and over-chlorination.


Pool chlorinators are vital components in maintaining a clean and healthy swimming environment. By automating the process of chlorine distribution, they ensure consistent disinfection levels and simplify pool maintenance. Whether it’s a floating, inline, or saltwater chlorinator, each type has its own benefits and mechanisms to deliver chlorine effectively. Investing in a pool chlorinator provides convenience, saves time and effort, enhances safety, and ultimately promotes an enjoyable swimming experience for all.


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