Should I buy a Chemical Feeder? What is a chemical feeder? Benefits vs. Drawbacks Recommended Brands

Should I buy a Chemical Feeder?

Swimming pools are an awesome source of entertainment and exercise. They’re fun for the whole family, and a backyard pool is a great place for hanging out, unwinding, and getting away from the stress of daily life.

Of course, there’s more to pool ownership than cookouts and Marco Polo: Pools do require a bit of work to keep them healthy and looking their best. Is it worth it? Totally. At the same time, though, there’s nothing wrong with using a few tools to make your pool maintenance routine faster and easier -- after all, that means you have more time to swim, splash, and lounge!

If you’re looking for a few quick and easy hacks for your pool care routine, consider a pool chemical feeder, which will help you keep your swimming pool water balanced and healthy with almost no effort.

What is a chemical feeder?

There are several types of chemical feeders to choose from, and the options range from simple floating pool chlorinators to more advanced chemical feeders that tie in to your pool’s plumbing or filtration system.

At the end of the day, though, all chemical feeders do basically the same thing: They automatically add chemicals like bromine or chlorine to your swimming pool water, ensuring that your water is chemically balanced.

swimming pool chemical feeder

Here are the most common pool chemical feeders:

  • Floating pool chlorinators. Affordable and popular, floating chlorinators work well in any type of pool, from inground pools to above ground pools to spas or hot tubs. They’re super-easy to use: All you have to do is pop in a chlorine tablet or two and toss the chlorinator into the water. As the chlorinator floats around in the water, the chlorine tablets slowly dissolve, providing a steady source of one of your pool’s most important chemicals.
  • Off-line chemical feeders. These automatic chemical feeders work with your existing pump and filtration system, and make it easy to add chlorine or bromine to your pool. They’re easy to install and fairly low-maintenance, and because they don’t require plumbing lines, they’re a great choice for above-ground pools.
  • In-line chemical feeders. In-line pool chlorinators are designed primarily for in-ground pools: They tie directly into your pool’s plumbing system via a special “feeder line” that pumps chlorine directly into the water. In-line chlorine dispensers are more expensive than floating pool chlorinators and off-line chemical feeders -- and because they require plumbing work, installation can be challenging (you might want to call in the pros).

Bromine vs. chlorine: what’s the difference?

Although chlorine might be the better-known pool sanitizer, bromine is equally effective when it comes to killing bacteria. The main difference: Bromine has a lower pH, which means it’ll help keep your water chemistry stable. It also performs better in high temperatures. Chlorine, on the other hand, delivers faster results and is slightly more affordable than bromine.

What are the benefits of a chemical feeder? What are the drawbacks?

Chemical feeders are reliable, convenient, and they’re truly a “set it and forget it” option ideally suited for busy pool owners. They also take the guesswork out of adding chlorine or bromine to your pool, and they help limit the amount of time you have to spend handling pool chemicals.

chemical feeder

To be honest, there aren’t many true drawbacks to automated chemical pool feeders. If you opt for a feeder that ties into your plumbing or filtration system, you’ll need to perform some basic maintenance to prevent it from clogging over time. And, as we already mentioned, price and installation can be a “con” with in-line chemical feeders.

In general, though, the benefits of pool chlorine dispensers far outweigh any potential drawbacks: By taking the guesswork out of chlorine, these automated feeders will ensure that your pool is clean and healthy -- and that means you can spend more time swimming and less time worrying about your pool water!

Testing, testing…

An automated chemical feeder can take some of the work out of pool maintenance, but there’s no substitute for testing your pool regularly. Even if you have a chlorine dispenser or an automatic chemical feeder, you should have a good test kit or test strips for checking the pH, calcium hardness, total alkalinity, and chlorine levels of your pool water.

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