Types of Pool Chlorine


Chlorine was discovered in the 16th Century and has become one of the most widely used disinfecting agents in the United States. In addition to its uses as a bleaching agent for laundry and as a purifying agent in municipal drinking water, chlorine is widely used to keep home and municipal swimming pools clean and clear of harmful micro-organisms. Chlorine comes in different forms and in different strengths. The type used frequently depends on the type of pool to be treated.


  • Trichloro-s-triazinetrione, or Tri-chlor, is a stabilized form of chlorine in tablet form. This popular form of chlorine pool treatment is stabilized by the addition of cyanuric acid salt which binds with chlorine gas to form a solid tablet that is 90 percent chlorine. Tri-chlor tablets have a relatively low pH of 3. They dissolve slowly and are effective at controlling algae, although they can be corrosive to metal parts. Tri-chlor tablets can etch plaster and deteriorate vinyl so they should not be thrown directly into the water. Application is typically by in-line erosion feeders or floaters.


  • Sodium Dichloro-s-triazinetrione, or Di-chlor, has a more neutral pH value of 7. It typically comes in granular form which allows it to dissolve quickly in water and go to work almost immediately. Di-chlor is considerably lower in available chlorine than Tri-chlor at just 62 percent, but it is stabilized with cyanuric acid giving it a long-lasting quality. Di-chlor is one of the most expensive forms of swimming pool treatment.


  • Calcium Hypochlorite, or Cal-hypo, is an un-stabilized form of chlorine. It comes in both granule and tablet form and is a popular chemical additive for shocking swimming pools. Cal-hypo has a pH value of around 12, contains 65 percent available chlorine and is effective at killing algae quickly. Much of its popularity is attributed to its low price.

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  • Photo Credit Swimming pool and pool house image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com
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