Chlorine is a must chemical to keep your pool water crystal clear. It also helps to kill the algae and bacteria to sanitize your pool for a restorative swim.
The traditional method of chlorinating the pool requires a lot of elbow grease, and it’s not viable to spread chlorine throughout the entire pool. That’s why manufacturers bring automatic pool chlorinators in the market to automate and distribute the chemical optimally. A good quality pool chlorinator makes pool maintenance very handy.
But the problem is- you can find several types of pool chlorinators, and all of them are not made equally. In other words, you can’t expect all the chlorine feeders to dispense chlorine properly.
Fortunately, we enlisted some of the best pool chlorinators in the market. Every chlorinator has a good distribution rate and can sanitize any size or type of pool you have.
Types of Pool Chlorinator
Chlorinating a pool is a must to disinfect water for a healthy swim. But the mom method of spreading the chlorine granule is not effective and poses some harmful effects. To chlorinate your pool, you can find several types of pool chlorinators in the market to automate the process.
Floating Chlorinator, Tablet Chlorinator, and Salt Chlorinator are some examples of chlorinators. Below, we will discuss them thoroughly.
A Floating Pool Chlorinator or auto chlorine dispense is the basic and most affordable chlorinator type. It’s a plastic holder that can hold 1″ or 3″ chlorine tablets into its canister. Just remove the cap from the top and drop three pounds of chlorine tablets. Now, put the cap back on the top and toss the chlorinator in your pool. It uses the wave of your swimming pool to travel around your pool. When water passes through it, the chlorine tablets start dissolving slowly and disinfect the water as it goes.
The advantage of a floating chlorinator is- it’s affordable. Plus, you can replace it or use it with ease. But the downside is- you can’t get better or have no control over the chlorine distribution rate.
You should go for it if you look for an easy-to-use chlorinator with no technology.
Tablet Chlorinator is the second type of chlorinator you can find in the market. It’s also known as an automatic pool chlorinator. Like the floating chlorinator, it also has a plastic chlorine holder and can hold 1″ or 3″ chlorine or bromine tablets. And you need to attach the chlorine feed to your pool plumbing. You need to position the chlorinator after the pool filter or the pool heater.
The advantage of a tablet or automatic pool chlorinator is- it has a dial control valve. With it, you can adjust and control the chlorine feed rate. But the minor side is- it’s a bit more pricey than floating chlorinators.
Two types of tablet chlorinators are available in the market- inline and offline. We discuss them thoroughly at the bottom of this article.
It’s a type of chlorine generator that creates chlorine to sanitize saltwater pools. You don’t need to add chlorine to it, but you need to put the salt cell on this type of chlorinator, often called salt chlorine generator. Then, using electrolysis, the salt chlorine generator turns chloride from NaCl into chlorine gas. It uses electrolysis to produce chlorine to disinfect your pool. To learn more about Chlorine, Ozone, or Saltwater pool, you can check out this article.
Top 5 Inline Pool Chlorinators
After conducting thorough research, our editorial team makes up their mind to these inline pool chlorinators. So, take a look at them. Most of the models are suitable for aboveground or inground pools, some of them are also compatible with spas and hot tubs.
#01: Hayward CL2002S In-line Automatic Chemical Feeder (Best Multi-Purpose Chlorinator)
We go with the Hayward CL20002S In-Line Automatic Chlorinator for a few reasons- automatic chemical feeder, dial control valve, and simple installation.
Firstly, its chemical feeder automatically releases chemicals throughout your pool. Just fill the feeder with 3-inch diameter Tricolor S tablets and walk away. This feeder will automatically discharge chemicals evenly around the pool for you to sanitize the water.
Secondly, we love its dial control valve system the most. With the help of this, you can control and adjust the rate of feed according to your need. For example, you can set the dial below 5 to spread chemicals slowly if you use your pool lightly.
Hayward chlorinator has a standpipe that draws in chlorinated water for further cleaning in case of clogging resulting from residue collection.
And simple pool chlorinator installation is what makes this Hayward in-line pool chlorinator apart from other brands. It features every attachment like chlorinator cover, cap assembly, and pipe for easy installation. You don’t need to hire a professional as you can DIY it.
Besides, you can easily access the chemical feed due to its Easy-Lok threaded cover.
The only downside is- unscrewing and screwing the top back on is more than a challenge.
#02: Hayward CL200 In-line Automatic Chemical Feeder (Best Overall)
Hayward’s equipment is specially engineered to work smart at keeping your pool sparkling clean and trouble-free. And the Hayward CL200 In-line Chlorinator perfectly resembles the brand’s goal. We ranked this automatic pool chlorinator as best-overall for its durability, optimum chlorine distribution, and simple installation.
When it comes to longevity, the Hayward CL200 just beats every chlorinator in the market. It uses a long-lasting ABS body and a high-quality Viton seal. As a result, it resists corrosion and outside wear & tear, which extends the life of the chlorinator.
Optimum chemical distribution is the best feature we spot out of this pool chlorinator. Its automatic feature evenly dispenses and distributes the right amount of chlorine throughout your swimming pool.
Just push the Easy-Lok threaded cover to access the chemical feeder safely and conveniently. Then, add 3-inch diameter Tricolor S tablets to the feeder. Now, set the dial control valve to dispense & spread the right amount of chlorine into your pool to sanitize the pool optimally.
Nonetheless, it is simple to install. The Hayward Automatic Pool Chlorinator comes with a mounting base. And the best part is- the base is removable. It takes only 30 minutes to install if you use the right tools.
Despite having these benefits, it also has some downsides. Screwing and unscrewing the lid is a bit typical.
#03: Pentair Rainbow 320 Inline Chlorine/Bromine Feeder (Best for Larger Pools)
‘The easy way to sanitize large pools.’ This sentence perfectly describes the Pentair Rainbow 320 In-line Pool chlorinator. Its chemical feeder can hold 11 large or 98 small bromine or slow dissolving chlorine tablets. As a result, you can easily treat 6500-27000 gallons of pools with this Pentair In-line pool chlorinator. Indeed, it is the best in-line automatic pool chlorinator for larger swimming pools.
We go with the Pentair Automatic Chlorinator for these reasons- maximum clean water output, simple installation, and maintenance is easy & less frequent.
Pentair’s chemical feeder comes with a built-in flow-through circulation system. It dissolves and dispenses an optimum amount of chlorine or chemicals into your pool to clean the water.
Secondly, its simple installation & operation system melts our hearts to include this chlorinator on our list. It comes with an enclosed design that prevents gas from escaping and requires no venting to install & operate.
Just use the safety lock ring to remove the lid. Then, drop slow-dissolving chlorine tablets into the feeder. Now, adjust the feed rate by using the external dial control and walk away. The feeder itself distributes sanitizer throughout your pool automatically to sanitize the water.
And lastly, it’s easy to maintain. You can effortlessly access its feeder by using the safety lock ring. It features a drain valve to recharge or discharge the feed with ease. So, you don’t need to hassle to take care of the unit.
The only con of this unit is its valves, which are useless. We recommend you get PVC shut-off valves to overcome this issue.
#04: Rx Clear Automatic Chlorinator (Best Inline Chlorinator for Inground Pools)
If you are looking for an easy-to-install in-line automatic pool chlorinator for your inground pool, this chlorinator from Rx Clear will be your go-to option. You can easily tap it into the existing filter system to install the chlorinator. Ensure you have PVC plumbing as the in-line chlorinator requires to assemble with the filter system. Indeed, RX Clear Automatic In-line Chlorinator is specially designed for your in-ground pools.
This in-line chlorinator can hold up to 9 lbs of chlorine tablets into its feeder. Just remove the cover from the feeder and drop the tablets. And then, use the dial adjustment valve to adjust & control the flow rate and leave the chlorinator. It automatically distributes chemicals throughout your pool evenly to disinfect your pool.
We recommend you use non-petroleum-based lubricants on the cover O-ring to keep the lid lubricated. As a result, you don’t need to hassle to open the cover and effortlessly access the feeder to add tablets.
Our only complaint about this chlorinator is- the screw-down mounting lugs are a bit weak. The plastic is a bit thinner there.
#05: Swimline Economy By HydroTools Automatic Chlorine Feeder (Best for Above-ground Pool)
Are you struggling to get a reliable chlorine feeder for sanitizing your above-ground pool? Then, Swimline Economy In-Line Above-Ground Pool Automatic Chlorine Feeder is what you look for. It is specially designed to chlorinate your above-ground pool economically.
The feeder capacity of this chlorinator is 4 lbs. You can drop both 1″ and 3″ chlorine tablets into the chemical feeder. Indeed, you don’t need to worry about what size of tablets you should add.
Like other chlorinators on this list, it also comes with an easy-to-use dial. Using the dial, you can control the flow of chlorine drops in your pool to sanitize the water.
Therefore, this pool chlorinator is durable. It uses heavy-duty resin materials as its construction, which will last for years to come and serve the purpose.
However, some users complain that the plastic screws will leak if you don’t put Teflon tape on the threads.
Top 5 Best Offline Pool Chlorinator
From the above chapter, you learned about inline pool chlorinators. Now, it’s time to take your eyes off these best offline chlorinators.
#01: Hayward CL220 Off-line Automatic Chemical Feeder (Best Off-line Chlorinator)
Hayward CL220 Off-line Automatic Chemical Feeder is the best off-line chlorinator on this list. From superior durability to optimum pool chlorinating, you can hardly find a chlorinator that can beat this one from Hayward.
We get this off-line pool chlorinator for a few reasons- long-lasting, simple operation & installation, and able to sanitize large pools.
First off, let’s move on to its durability. The entire body of this chlorinator uses ABS construction and utilizes a high-quality Viton seal. Due to this, rust and corrosion can’t damage it easily, which adds longevity.
Now, it’s time to talk about how simple it’s to install. As it’s an off-line feeder, it requires no cutting into the plumbing. As a result, you can tap chlorine/bromine feeder directly into your existing plumbing. Indeed, you can DIY install this chlorinator without hiring a professional.
Easy operation is one of the best features of this Hayward off-line pool chlorinator. Its Easy-Lok threaded cover lets you access the feeder with ease to add tablets. Then, drop chlorine or bromine tablets into the chemical feeder. The feeder can hold up to 9 pounds of chemicals. Next, use the control dial to adjust the chemical distribution rate and walk away. Now, the feeder dispenses the chlorine automatically throughout your pool to disinfect water.
And lastly, we are surprised by observing its ability to clean large pools. With the chlorine tablets, you can disinfect up to 40,000-gallon pools. On the other hand, it can sanitize up to 20000 gallons of water by adding bromine tablets.
However, some users claim it is a bit difficult to remove the lid after several months of use.
#02: Pentair R171016 Rainbow 300 Off-Line Pool and Spa Feeder (Best Premium)
If you are ready to spend a hundred dollars and want to get a premium quality off-line chlorinator, go for the pool chlorinator from Pentair. This premium chlorinator is durable, easy to install, and can sanitize large residential or commercial pools.
This pool chemical feeder features a fully enclosed system and requires no venting. And the best part is- you can tap it directly into your existing filter system. On top of this, this Pentair Off-line Chlorinator comes with every hardware- 1/4 inch feeder hoses, control valve, and fittings. So, you can install it without hassle.
Unlike other chlorinators in the market, it can hold up to 11 large or 98 small tablets. As a result, you can treat 12000-48000 gallons of water evenly.
One of the biggest problems with some chlorinator is to set the chlorine level right, even though, most the feeder has automatic adjustment settings. But, Pentair is able to set your chlorine level perfectly.
The only negative side of this pool chlorinator is- it has no window or gauge to monitor how much chlorine is in the chamber.
#03: Rx Clear Automatic Off-line Chlorinator (Best Budget)
Budget will never be a barrier to chlorinating & sanitizing your swimming pool optimally. This Rx Clear Automatic Off-line Chlorinator doesn’t take up to $55 bucks to get but assures you to disinfect your pool evenly.
Like other chlorinators, it can also dispense chlorine in your pool thoroughly to sanitize the water. This chlorinator can hold up to 9 lbs of chlorine tablets. So, add chlorine to the chemical feeder. Then, use the dial adjustment valve to control the feed rate. Now, leave the chlorinator to do its task for you. It automatically distributes sanitizer to sterilize your pool water.
Turns out, you don’t need to hassle to install the unit. Just tap the off-line feeder directly into the PVC plumbing to install the chlorinator.
To remove the lid every time with ease, you should lubricate the O-ring on the cover regularly. Regarding this, ensure you use non-petroleum-based lubricants.
The only concern is the mounting lugs are a bit weak. The plastic is thin there.
#04: Hayward CL110 Off-line Automatic Chemical Feeder (Best For Security)
Hayward CL110 Off-line Automatic Chemical Feeder is the best secure chlorinator to use. It has an Easy-Lok threaded cover and a unique finger-release catch. Due to these features, you can pull off the lid with ease without smelling the chlorine when opening the cover.
This Hayward Pool Chlorinator can hold only 3-inch diameter Tricolor S tablets. So, get this size of sanitizer and use the Easy-Lok system to remove the cover and add the tablets to it.
Next, use the dial control valve to limit what amount of chemicals you want to feed into your pool. Like other automatic pool chlorinators, this one also distributes chlorine throughout the swimming pool.
Every Hayward chlorinator on this list is simple to install. And the Hayward CL110 is not an exception to that. It comes with every piece of hardware. So, follow the installation guide and install it yourself.
Though it has a couple of benefits, the chlorinator also has some downsides. For example, it spins on the base.
#05: Hayward CL110ABG Off-line Chemical Feeder (Honorable Recommendation)
Hayward is a reliable name to every pool owner, which provides a wide range of equipment for pool care. And the Hayward CL110ABG Automatic Pool Chlorinator is one of them. It helps to sanitize your pool water by dispensing chlorine throughout your swimming pool.
Like other Hayward Pool Chlorinators, it has an Easy-Lok threaded cover for effortless access to add tablets. Just remove the lid and drop 3-Inch diameter Tricolor S tablets into the feeder.
What you need to do next is- adjust the flow of chlorine dispense rate with the help of the dial control valve. Now, this automatic chemical feed starts distributing sanitizer in your pool to disinfect water.
Effortless installation is a remarkable feature of this chlorinator. As it’s an offline chemical feeder, you don’t need to cut pipe, and it fits your existing plumbing.
What Should You Check before Buying a In-line and Offline Pool Chlorinator
The marketplace is flooded with a ton of pool chlorinators. Not all of them come with the same specifications. Plus, all of them do not function equally. So, it’s a bit typical to get the best pool chlorinator. Fortunately, considering the following criteria before going for a chlorinator will help you to pick the right one.
Take the Size & Type Of Pool Into Account
Before going for a chlorinator, consider the type and size of your pool. Some chlorinators are specially designed for above-ground or in-ground pools. And some of them work with both types of pools.
Next, take the pool size into account. It will help you to determine what size of chlorinator you need to sanitize your pool. If you have a large pool, you can go for the Pentair Rainbow 320 Inline Chlorine Feeder. It can disinfect up to 12000-46000 gallons of water.
Consider the Chlorinator Type
From the beginning of this guide, you learned about the type of chlorinator. There are three types of pool chlorinators available in the market. They are floating, tablet or automatic, and salt chlorinator.
We recommend you go for neither the floating nor the salt chlorinators. The first one is cheap, and you will not get control over the chlorine dispense rate. And the second one is expensive.
Indeed, you should go for the automatic pool chlorinators.
Require Any Additional Equipment Or Not
Not every chlorinator in the market is designed equally. Some chlorinators come with every accessory, while others require you to get additional equipment to buy. Another criterion you should take into account is the size of your plumbing. If you are not interested in re-plumbing your pool, get a chlorinator that fits your existing plumbing. In this case, an off-line chlorinator will be your best trait.
It’s important if you have an allergy to clean your pool. When you are too lazy to clean the pool, how can you remove the residue from the feeder? So, a self-cleaning feature is a must as you don’t need to clean the chemical feeder.
What Size Tablet It Can Hold
Most chlorinators in the market can hold either 1″ or 3″ chlorine tablets. Some chlorinators can hold 1″ chlorine tablet, and others can only catch 3″ chlorine tablets. Fortunately, you can find both sizes of chlorine or bromine tablets in the chemical store. So, you don’t need to worry about it.
The next thing you should consider is the feeder capacity of the pool chlorinator. A chlorinator with a large chemical feeder capacity will hold more chlorine tablets. If you fill the feeder with chlorine tablets, you don’t need to add the tablet for the next three-four days. In other words, it will keep your pool crystal clear for the next 3-4 days.
As a pool owner, you should research several brands that offer pool caring equipment. Considering the brand is better than going for unknown products. It will help to get the replacement parts with ease. Hayward, Polaris, Speck, Pentair, and Swimline are some reliable brands every pool owner trusts.
Inline vs Offline Pool Chlorinator
Above, we mentioned the 10 best inline and offline chlorinators in the market. Though they function or chlorinate your pool in the same way, they have some key fundamentals. And these basic fundamental features make them separate from each other.
An inline chlorinator is a type of chlorinator that requires installation in line with your swimming pool. Indeed, you need to cut the main pipe. Then, set it beside the filter of your pool.
The advantage of inline pool chlorinators is you don’t need to get extra hoses & attachments as you set them into the return water piping. Therefore, it’s easy to install and looks aesthetically beautiful.
But the downside is- it has low water flow, which dissolves the chlorine tablet slowly.
Offline chlorinators, as the name suggests, are basically installed outside the inline or plumbing system. In simple words, you need to connect the offline chlorinator through a bypass line offline from the rest of the plumbing system.
The benefit of an offline chlorinator is- water flow reaches the chlorinator. As a result, it dissolves the chlorine tablet optimally and chlorinates the pool better than the inline chlorinator.
The shortcoming of this chlorinator is- it’s a bit typical to install.
Now, it’s time to discover what the difference lies between the inline and offline chlorinator.
The main difference between inline and offline chlorinators is where you plumb them.
You should plumb the inline chlorinator inline of your existing pool plumbing system. Though, it requires you to cut the main pipe and assemble the inline chlorinator between the pool filter and the pool system.
Furthermore, you need to install the offline chlorinator outside of the existing plumbing system. In this case, you need to connect the chlorinator with the plumbing system through a tube.
When it comes to easy installation, we go with the inline chlorinator. Though you need to cut the main pipe, it requires no additional equipment like hoses, clamps, and others.
On the other hand, installing the offline chlorinator is also fairly easy. But the heck is- you should purchase accessories like hoses, clamps, and more. If you are not mechanically inclined, consider the inline chlorinator.
The water flow rate determines how optimally the chlorinator dissolves the chlorine tablets.
In terms of water flow, an offline chlorinator will be your best trait. It installs in a way water flow reaches the chlorinator and melts the chlorine perfectly.
On the other hand, the inline chlorinator fails to dissolve the sanitizer optimally due to the low water flow rate.
Ease of Maintenance
Inline chlorinators are simple to maintain. They have no additional accessories like clamps, hoses, and more. So, you don’t need to hassle to clean the inline chlorinators.
In contrast, offline chlorinators have a lot of attachments like hoses and clamps. So, it takes time to clean the offline chemical feeders.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should a pool chlorinator last?
It depends on the type of pool chlorinators you have. Generally, a pool chlorinator, whether online or offline, will last for at least three years if you maintain it properly. On the other hand, saltwater will last for 3-7 years.
Is a pool chlorinator worth it?
Yes, a pool chlorinator is worth it. It helps to dissolve and dispense chlorine throughout your pool and kill bacteria and algae. Indeed, a pool chlorinator helps to keep your pool crystal clear by sanitizing the water.
Is it better to use chlorine tablets or granules?
It is better to use chlorine tablets than granules. The tablets will dissolve slowly and the chlorine will enter your pool over a period to disinfect the water optimally.
We reviewed and recommended the top 10 best pool chlorinators on this round-up guide.
Among them, we love the Hayward CL200 In-line Automatic Chemical Feeder most if you are looking for an inline chlorinator. It features a dial control valve to adjust the flow rate of chlorine to disinfect the water. Plus, it automatically distributes chlorine into your pool.
On the other hand, Hayward CL2002S In-line Automatic Chemical Feeder will be your best trait that works on both in-ground and above-ground pools.
Lastly, go for the Rx Clear Automatic Off-line Chlorinator if you are looking for a budget-friendly offline chlorinator.