Do Above Ground Pools Need Chlorine?

Do Above Ground Pools Need Chlorine?

The simple, one worded answer to the question of “Do above ground pools need chlorine?” is “Yes.” Even if you have a saltwater pool or are using bromine to keep your pool water free of bacteria, algae and other microorganisms you’re still going to be using chlorine to some level. In this article, we’ll go over the basics of chlorine use in pools and explain why bromine sanitizers and saltwater pools do not allow you to get away from chlorine.


Chlorine is the most commonly used sanitizer in swimming pools. It can be used to cleanse the water when opening the pool at the beginning of the season, throughout the swimming season to keep the water fresh and clear and when closing the pool at the end of the swimming season.

There are many types of chlorine available to the consumer, but the main difference seems to be the active ingredient concentration. It’s typically available in three-inch pucks, one-inch sticks, one-inch tablets, and a granular form.

The large pucks are the most economical and therefore most common. They can be placed in a float and allowed to slowly dissolve.

The sticks are larger and take even more time to dissolve meaning less maintenance for the owner.

Chlorine tablets are usually used in smaller pools and hot tubs or when a quick application of chlorine is necessary.

Granular chlorine needs to be dissolved in water before being applied. It also requires almost daily application and testing which can be a lot of work for the pool owner. However, it allows for more precise control of the application.


The reason why bromine-based sanitizers don’t allow you to completely get away from chlorine is that the end products of the chemical reactions are chlorine based. Using bromine will not provide relief for someone allergic to chlorine.

Some people prefer to use bromine as a sanitizer because it’s more stable in warm temperatures, works at higher pH levels and doesn’t create as much of an odor as chlorine.

However, bromine is more expensive than chlorine and it’s not stable when exposed to the UV radiation of the sun. This means that it breaks down more easily and needs to be replaced more often. It’s also more expensive than chlorine.


Saltwater pools are sanitized by electrolyzing saltwater by passing it over a metal cell that has an electric current running through it. The result of this process is chlorine which acts to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. This is why saltwater pool systems are known as chlorine generators.

That said, when you use a saltwater system you no longer have to handle chlorine with all its attendant dangers. You also don’t have to worry about chemical burns, bleached clothing or potential eye injuries.

Now that you know about above ground pool water requirements, download a brochure to learn more about our models.

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