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4 Best Auto Chlorinators for Pool of 2023

Swimming pools are a great addition to any home. But if left untreated, water can be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, worry not though, the best auto chlorinators for pools are here

Best Auto Chlorinators For Pool

That’s why it’s essential to ensure that your pool continues to be chlorinated timely and consistent. However, manually adding chlorine sticks to the water can be a hassle. Enter the auto-chlorinators, which can help to get the job done efficiently.

Yet, there remains a problem: that of choosing the right one. With so many options on the market, which one is the best for your needs? That’s why today we’ve gone ahead and made the selection for you. What’s more, we’ve even added a buyers’ guide to further simplify the process of selecting the best one.

So, let’s dive in and take a look!

Listed below are the 5 best auto chlorinators for pools from our list:

  • Pentair R171096 Rainbow 320 Automatic Chlorine Feeder: This top pick automatically dispenses tablets and impresses with its large water treatment capacities; it includes impressive operating features for easy installation and use, despite lacking durability and the ability to dissolve 3-inch chlorine tablets.
  • Hayward CL220 Offline Automatic Chemical Feeder: This low-maintenance, corrosion-proof unit allows for convenient feed rate adjustments and is constructed from robust ABS materials; however, its performance is somewhat marred by operational noise and lackluster customer service.
  • Swimline HydroTools Super Premium In-line Automatic Pool Chlorine Feeder: A versatile design for above and in-ground pools, this lightweight unit ensures slow and extended release of chemicals, is built from high-quality, corrosion-resistant material, but suffers from a slight leaking issue.
  • Swimline HydroTools 87502 Automatic Chlorine Feeder: With a durable build that ensures longevity, this model provides consistent chlorination levels, a large capacity, and an adjustable knob for customization; however, it presents signs of minimal leakage in the knob area.

  1. Pentair R171096 Rainbow 320 Automatic Chlorine Feeder

Up first is the best pick from our list, the Rainbow 320 Automatic Chlorine/Bromine feeder by Pentair. Perfect for pools as well as spas, it’s an easy-to-use device and comes with the promise of a clean and bacteria-free pool.

Simple to install, reliable in operation, and perfectly usable with both pools and spas, the Rainbow 320 is a straightforward device that gets the job done. It can hold 11 large or 98 small trichlor or bromine tablets that are automatically dispensed.

We were also impressed by the water treatment capacities of this product. It can effectively treat 6500 to 27000 gallons (bottom feed), or 18000 to 27000 gallons (top feed). This makes it one of the most spacious chlorine dispensers on the market.

What’s more, with this unit, you don’t have to worry about the usual venting problems as it is designed to be an enclosed system. This means there’s no question of escaped gases and associated issues.

Further, as it’s an inline feeder, it can be effortlessly installed in the pool return line. The device uses ¼ feeder hoses and quality control valves and fittings that ensure continued long-term operation.

As it’s built with a fully flowable circulation system, the unit is extremely effective at providing quality water for any pool. Requiring very little maintenance, this is a product that you can easily install and use.

Despite the great operating features, the device doesn’t seem very durable, and we’re worried about it getting clogged easily. Further, it can’t dissolve 3-inch chlorine tablets, which we were hoping for.

  1. Hayward CL220 Offline Automatic Chemical Feeder

Simple, economical, and professional, the Hayward CL220 offline pool chlorinator overcomes the deficiencies of most chemical feeders on the market. Low on maintenance and high on performance, this is a corrosion-proof unit that is sure to impress all pool owners.

We realize that product durability is one of the major concerns of any pool equipment purchaser. With this unit, however, there’s no question of worry as it’s made of robust ABS materials that ensure a long life. Plus, the Viton seal promises extended duty cycles.

Another aspect that must be mentioned about this product is that it works equally well with large and small chlorine or bromine tablets. This means users don’t have to worry about sticking to a specific size and can use any tablets that are available locally.

One of the significant problems with any automatic pool chlorinator is the feed rate, which must be adequately adjusted for accurate operation. Thankfully, the dial control valve that this product comes with ensures convenient rate adjustments.

The device manufacturers have also taken care of user safety by means of an Easy-Lok threaded cover, which affords safe and secure access to the tablet holder. This means you can easily add new tablets to it. For extra security, there’s also a unique finger-release catch.

For such an excellent offline pool chlorinator, we found it to be a bit noisy. Also, the manufacturer’s customer service leaves something to be desired. However, if you don’t mind a small amount of noise and can take care of the unit yourself, we think you’re good to go for the purchase.

  1. Swimline HydroTools Super Premium In-line Automatic Pool Chlorine Feeder

Swimline is a well-known brand in the swimming pool accessories space, and the HydroTools brand is its premium offering of pool products. Their automatic chlorine feeder is just perfect for above-ground pools. Easy to connect and use, this is a product that promises to keep your pool clean for years to come.

Although this unit was primarily designed for above-ground pools, it’s equally usable for in-ground pools. This makes it a versatile device that can help pool owners keep their pools spick and span.

Coming to the design, the entire unit weighs merely 3 pounds, which makes it easy to handle, install, and put into operation. The device works with small and large bromine or trichlor tablets and ensures the chemicals’ slow and extended-release.

It even comes with a dial valve control that allows you to adjust the feed rate easily. This not only means that your pool’s pH levels are continuously maintained but also guarantees that swimmers don’t have to face itchy skin and red eyes.  

As regards construction, the automatic pool chlorinator is made from high-quality, industry-grade resin that resists corrosion and offers long life. Overall, this is one of those products that make you go ‘wow!’, and for good reason.

The only problem that we found with it was the O-ring on the lid, which makes the connections leak slightly. However, we quickly remedied the problem by replacing it with a tighter seal, so that’s no reason to forgo buying such a well-manufactured product.

  1. Swimline HydroTools 87502 Automatic Chlorine Feeder

The final item that we have for you is also from the house of Swimline, just like the third item on the list. Like its predecessor, this one also provides ample chlorination capabilities for above-ground pools, with a single caveat.

The very first reason: is the durable build. Built from heavy-duty resinous materials, this is a product that’s been manufactured with longevity in mind. Once you install the unit, you can relax for years to come.

Next up, the consistent chlorination levels, ensure that your pool remains free from all bacteria and unwanted algal growth. This not only preserves the proper pH balance of the pool but also ensures that you don’t compromise the swimmer’s health.

Apart from the capacity to tackle chlorine tablets within the range of 1-3 inches, this automatic pool chlorinator also comes with an adjustable knob that allows you to alter your filtration preferences. Add to that the 9-pound capacity, and you’ve got a product that’s well worth the price. 

The durable build notwithstanding, the adjustable knob area did show signs of minimal leakages. While this is something to be expected, what remains to be seen is if it develops into a significant problem later on.

Buying Guide for the Best Auto Pool Chlorinators

Now that we’ve covered the list of the five best automatic pool chlorinators right now, you must be all geared up to go out and get one. But we suggest you take a breather, for the battle’s not over yet.

Knowing the names of the best chlorinators is only one side of the coin. To make a wise decision, you must also keep in mind several other factors. Otherwise, you might just end up with a product that’s just not fit for your needs.

To make sure you don’t fall into that old trap, we’ve gone ahead and put together this helpful buyers’ guide. Here you’ll find all the considerations regarding pool chlorinators covered in detail. Once you’ve gone through the following guide, we daresay you’ll be an expert at selecting pool chlorinators.

Age Of Present Chlorinator

The first thing you need to consider when thinking about buying a pool chlorinator is whether you even need one. A pool chlorinator is designed to give you anywhere between 3 to 7 years of service.

This means if your chlorinator is older than that, then you should consider replacing it. Other signs that your chlorinator needs replacing are a smelly or discolored pool surface, bacterial growth, and algal blooms.

Pool Capacity

Once you’ve ascertained that your pool chlorinator really needs replacing, the next thing that needs to be looked at is the pool capacity. Based on the pool capacity, you can settle on the size of the chlorinator you need.

In case you have a large pool and go for a low-capacity device, then the pool water is not going to get effectively chlorinated. On the other hand, a small pool and large chlorinator combination can disturb the pool’s pH balance. Therefore, be sure to match the pool and chlorinator capacities and ensure they are compatible.

Type Of Pool

This is another crucial aspect to consider; not all pool chlorinators are fit for every pool type. While some are best for in-ground pools, yet others are made for above-ground options. What’s more, there are even chlorinators that are specifically meant for spas. Based on the type of pool that you have, you need to select the right chlorinator model.

Chlorinator Type

Considering the type of pool isn’t enough though; you also need to pay special attention to the kind of chlorinator you’re settling on. Automatic pool chlorinators can be classified as inline or offline chlorinators.

Inline chlorine dispensers are attached to the return pipe, usually near the ground level. This is done to prevent chlorine gas buildup. Offline feeders are typically drilled into the water supply line.

Chlorinator Material

The type of material that your chlorinator is made of decides the longevity of the device. The more durable the material, the greater the operational lifetime. In general, you should go for a resinous construction as these provide the greatest life and don’t corrode easily.

Ease Of Installation

When choosing an automatic pool chlorinator, always go for one that’s easy to install. Take careful note of the product design and ensure that it’ll fit the area you plan to install it in. 

Also important is to take stock of the accessories that you’ll get with the unit. The shape, size, and accessories all determine the amount of space the device will need. This is essential to ensuring that you don’t have any severe problems later on. Also, remember to pay special attention to the plumbing.


Finally, do remember the pocket pinch. While we never recommend you to go for the most expensive piece, at the same time we also don’t want you to go for a cheap model, just to save a few bucks. That’s why always take brand quality, build material, and your own needs into account while making the decision.

How does an auto chlorinator work?

An auto chlorinator operates by allowing pool water to flow through the device where chlorine or bromine tablets are stored. As water interacts with these chemicals, it dissolves a controlled amount and carries it into the pool, ensuring consistent and effective sanitizing.

What are the benefits of using an auto chlorinator?

The benefits of using an auto chlorinator include ease of use, consistent chlorine levels, and time-saving. It automates the chlorination process, providing a constant level of chlorine to prevent bacteria and algae growth, and ultimately saving pool owners time on pool maintenance.

Can an auto chlorinator be used with any type of pool?

Yes, an auto chlorinator can be used with any type of pool. Whether your pool is in-ground or above-ground, auto chlorinators can be installed to efficiently manage the chlorination process. Guided by the particular installation instructions, they can be incorporated into any existing pool system.

How often do I need to check my auto chlorinator?

It's advisable to check your auto chlorinator at least once a week. This allows you to monitor the level of chemicals remaining and replenish them as necessary. It's also an opportunity to inspect for any potential issues or maintenance needs.

Is it safe to use an auto chlorinator?

Yes, using an auto chlorinator is safe. The contained system reduces the direct handling of chemicals, making pool maintenance a safer task. However, as with all equipment involving chemicals, following the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines is crucial.

How to install an auto chlorinator?

To install an auto chlorinator, you need to connect it to your pool's existing pump and filter system. It's usually installed after the filter and heater, if present, in the return line to the pool. Detailed instructions should accompany your specific model, and professional installation may be advised.

What is the lifespan of an auto chlorinator?

The lifespan of an auto chlorinator can vary based on the quality of its construction material, maintenance routine, and proper usage. Generally, with regular maintenance and care, it can last several years. Always refer to your specific model's manual for more precise information.