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Home Pools Pool Accessories 4 Best Chlorinators for Pools | Saltwater, Automatic, Floaters

4 Best Chlorinators for Pools | Saltwater, Automatic, Floaters

Learn about the differences between pool chlorinators and explore the best models on the market with our detailed reviews in this article.
4 Best Chlorinators for Pools

Buying and installing a pool is one thing, but taking care of it is an entirely different matter. Pool owners often find themselves unprepared for the constant routine of pool cleaning, chemicals, etc. We can’t rid you of this work, but we can make it a lot easier — that’s where pool chlorinators come into play. 

Today, we’ll look at not only all types of chlorinators, but also cover the most worthy models in each category in detail. You may ask, where do we get such confidence in our choices? The answer is simple: we did our research based on detailed feedback from real users (good and bad) to identify truly quality models that will last you more than a year. So stay with us to make the right choice and simplify the care of your pool.

Comparison Table

We understand that many of you are not fans of long and extensive reading, but want to get information quickly and to the point. That’s why you’ll find a squeeze of our research with the best models of pool chlorinators in the table below. 

We’ve studied over 400 reviews and over 20 models on the market to pick the best ones. We excluded models with low ratings, few reviews, outdated models, those that are not available now, and even models with good ratings but significant drawbacks that many users have encountered. 

Saltwater Chlorinators
Intex Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System
Intex Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System
Winner category: The best chlorinator for small above-ground pools

✓ The best saltwater system for small pools up to 8,500 gallons (ca. 32 m³)
✓ 9/10 owners confirm that their water is always crystal clear with it
✓ Saves you hundreds of dollars on chemicals

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Hayward Goldline AquaTrol Salt Chlorination System
Hayward Goldline AquaTrol Salt Chlorination System
Winner category: The best chlorinator for big above-ground pools

✓ The best saltwater system for large pools up to 18,000 gallons (ca. 68 m³)
✓ Easy installation and maximum ease of use
✓ The water feels much softer and more pleasant than before

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Feeders
Cclear Pool Chlorine Floater
Cclear Pool Chlorine Floater
Winner category: The most durable & sturdiest chlorine floater

✓ Withstands almost any challenge due to the thick walls and will last from 2 to 20 years
✓ Holds up to five 3-inch chlorine tablets and does not sink

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Pentair Inline Chlorine/Bromine Feeder
Pentair Inline Chlorine/Bromine Feeder
Winner category: The best automatic chlorinator

✓ The top-quality automatic chlorinator on the market
✓ 80% of customers re-purchase the same model after 10-20 years
✓ Simple and clear instructions and installation

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Types of Chlorinators

Pool chlorinators are designed to make the routine of adding chlorine to the pool easier. In short, you will have to add chlorine yourself much less often because it will be partially automated. 

There are three main types of pool chlorinators: saltwater chlorination systems, dispensers, and automatic feeders. You’ll ask: what is the difference? Well, it is not as complicated as you might think. 

Saltwater chlorination systems

Saltwater systems allow you to clean pool water of organic substances without adding chemicals. It is enough to dissolve salt (sodium chloride) in the pool water at the rate of 3 kg per cubic meter of water. Under the influence of the chlorine generator, salt is divided into two constituent elements: chlorine and soda. The salted water passes through the electrolytic cell of the chlorine generator and chlorine is produced, which dissolves instantly in the water. It kills bacteria and algae, as well as neutralizes other organic matter.

Chlorine generators help the environment by reducing the use of pool chemicals and making the water safe, clean, and clear. The chlorine produced by such a generator does not cause dry hair, skin irritation, or burning eyes, unlike tablets, pellets, or liquid chlorine. This generator will significantly increase the pleasure of bathing in clean and safe water.

Chlorinator for pool

Feeders

A pool dispenser is a special piece of equipment whose main purpose is to feed disinfectants into the water tank evenly.

There are 2 main types of pool dispensers on the market: floater and automatic feeder.

  • Floater. A floating device is the most basic device. It is not connected to any pool structures but is simply lowered into the tank with water. Preliminarily, it is necessary to put tablets in it, which will gradually dissolve and be washed out of the device by water. As for the cost, the floater is considered a budget option.
  • An electronic device (also called an automatic chlorinator). The principle of operation of the automatic dispenser is different from the floater. To begin with, it is connected to the circulation circuit of the tank. The device can independently determine the level of concentration of chemical additives in the water and its composition. Based on these data, the automatic chlorinator determines the required amount of disinfectant.
📌 Note:
There are two types of automatic chlorinators: inline and offline. They work the same way, the only difference is that the inline chlorinator is installed during the construction or renovation of the pool, and the offline can be installed at any time without much difficulty.

Detailed reviews

Saltwater Chlorination Systems

Intex Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System — best chlorinator for small above-ground pools

Pros

  • The best at keeping water crystal clear at all times
  • Perfect fit for above-ground pools up to 8,500 gallons (ca. 32 m³)
  • It’s cost-effective and saves you money on chemicals
  • Great value for the price
  • Two-year warranty

Cons

  • A few users complained that the item stopped working after 1-2 seasons, but the two-year warranty will help with it

If you are looking for a permanent solution for a pool that is not too large and keeps it clean and tidy with minimal maintenance, the Intex Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System is right for you. 

This chlorinator is powerful enough to handle a tank of up to 8,500 gallons (ca. 32 m³) of water. It will be easy to install as long as you read the instructions carefully. In addition, the pump here has as many as six functions. They include filtration, backwashing, rinsing, re-circulate, draining, and closing system.

If you doubt because of the cost of the device, our two main arguments in favor of it are as follows: first, it will help you save on the usual chemicals (and you can count the cost of the same chlorine as a minimum of two years). Secondly, you will save the time you spend on adding chemicals because all you will have to do is test the water.

Hayward Goldline AquaTrol Salt Chlorination System — best chlorinator for big above-ground pools

Pros

  • The best choice for big pools up to 18 000 gallons
  • The most convenient to use on our list
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Makes the water much softer & skin feels amazing
  • Does a decent job making the water crystal clear

Cons

  • It’s pricey
  • Customer service is not very helpful in case of some issues/questions

If you are looking for a decent saltwater chlorinator to fit a big pool of up to 18 000 gallons, take a look at Hayward Goldline AquaTrol Salt Chlorination System

This system is quite expensive, but you’ll feel what you’re paying for after a few months of use. Your care of the system is that once a week you will run the vacuum to the bottom of the pool and backwash the filter. At most, you’ll add a little salt after heavy downpours. At other times, you’ll be maintenance-free, and the price of the cell will pay off over 1-2 seasons by saving on chemicals.

One of the most convenient features this device has is the ability to adjust the cell power using the knob on the front panel. Depending on the result of your water test, you’ll be able to adjust the perfect level of chlorine production for you and enjoy crystal-clear water.

What’s important about salt generators (this includes the Intex Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System (review)) is that when you use them, the water will not irritate your eyes or skin. According to many users, it even becomes softer and feels more pleasant on the skin.

Feeders

Cclear Pool Chlorine Floater — the most durable & sturdiest chlorine feeder

Pros

  • The sturdiest floater on the market
  • It will last you as long as you wish (up to 20 years)
  • The most affordable option among all chlorinators
  • Spacious enough to fit up to five 3″ chlorine tablets
  • Keeps chlorine levels ideal

Cons

  • The lid can be a little tricky to use

A simple and affordable solution for years to come — that’s exactly what Cclear Pool Chlorine Floater means. 

You don’t have to spend money on saltwater systems if you’re happy with chlorine as a chemical. And you can still make your life easier with a decent floater, for example. So, we researched five of the best models on the market before choosing this one. What makes it better than the others? 

Well, it’s a champion in several categories at once. First, the durability of this simple device is admirable — most owners have used it many times longer than the two-year warranty period. Second, it has the best Amazon rating-to-review ratio (4.8 based on nearly 4,000 satisfied customers). 

Finally, it’s roomy and can hold up to five 3″ chlorine tablets (although users usually put two or three). By the way, it is also suitable for small 1″ tablets. About once a week, you’ll refresh the pills in the float, and that’s the end of the hassle.

Automatic Feeder

Pentair Inline Chlorine/Bromine Feeder — the best automatic chlorinator

Pros

  • The most quality automatic chlorinator
  • The device is almost maintenance-free
  • One of the easiest to install and use
  • It holds 11 large or 98 small bromine or chlorine tablets
  • Instructions are clear and helpful
  • It will last you more than a decade

Cons

  • It is not advisable for small pools or hot tubs as it can add too much chlorine to it
  • Customer support is not always helpful (probably depends on who’s on shift)

If floaters annoy you, or you want an even more autonomous device for your pool, your option is the Pentair Inline Chlorine/Bromine Feeder

How can you tell if you can trust Pentair? 80% of current customers started using this chlorinator back in the last century, and after 10-15-20 years it’s finally time to buy a new one to replace it. Not only is it durable and well-made, but it also makes you want to buy the same model again — and that’s saying something. 

With clear and easy-to-follow instructions, you can easily install your chlorinator or replace an old one in about half an hour. Next, you fill it with chlorine tablets, and the rest of the work is done by the device itself. 

In what case would you rather choose an automatic chlorinator than a floater like Cclear Pool Chlorine Floater (review)? Do it if you are willing to spend a little more money for more comfort. This device will be reliably installed (unlike the floater) in your pool, and it holds many more chlorine tablets (up to 11 3” pieces), so you will have to add new ones less often.

Chlorinators for above-ground VS in-ground pools

Chlorinator for pool

Usually, you and I talk about above-ground pools, but what about in-ground ones? Is there a big difference in choosing chlorinators for different types of pools?

I can reassure you a little: while above-ground and underground pools differ in many ways, this is virtually irrelevant to chlorinators. The trend here is that for in-ground pools, automatic chlorinators such as Pentair Inline Chlorine/Bromine Feeder (review) are the most common. And for above-ground pools, all the types of chlorinators we’ve looked at today are used equally. It all depends on your taste and budget.

Summary

So now you know not only the difference between types of pool chlorinators but also worthy models in each category. Picking the type of chlorinator may still not seem obvious to you, but here is our final piece of advice. 

First, think about how sensitive your (and your loved ones’) skin is to chlorine to see if you can use one or if you should go with a saltwater system. If you are fine with chlorine, ask yourself how comfortable you’d be with a floater and if you’d be willing to pay more for an automatic chlorinator and maximum comfort. Now you should know the answer.

Finally, we just remind you once again about which models are worth your attention:

Saltwater Chlorinators

Intex Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater
System

The best chlorinator for small above-ground pools

Hayward Goldline AquaTrol Salt Chlorination Syste
The best chlorinator for big above-ground
pools
Feeders

Cclear Pool Chlorine Floater
The most durable & sturdiest chlorine floater

Pentair Inline Chlorine/Bromine Feeder
The best automatic chlorinator

FAQ

🔎 What does a pool chlorinator do?

Pool chlorinators are designed to make the routine of adding chlorine to the pool easier. In short, you will have to add chlorine yourself much less often because it will be partially automated.

🤔 Is a pool chlorinator worth it?

Yes, pool chlorinators make pool maintenance much easier and also help reduce chemical costs.

👀 What is the difference between chlorine and chlorinator?

A chlorinator is a device that either stores chlorine tablets or generates chlorine with salt (saltwater systems).

💰 How much does it cost to replace a chlorinator?

Well, it depends at least on the type of chlorinator you have, as they vary significantly in price. A salt cell replacement can cost $200-2000, a dispenser will cost $15-40, and an automatic feeder will cost $100-500.

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