All About 3″ Tri-Chlor Tablets

The use of Tri-Chlor Tablets is pretty widespread and you will see them referred to in different names such as “Tablets,” “3-inch Pucks,” “Tabs,” but everyone knows you are referring to the bucket of 3” Tablets. They appear very simple to use but there is a lot of things you should know about the use of them and of course some safety guidelines.

Tri-Chlor or Trichloroisocyanuric Acid comes in three forms. The familiar 3” tablets that slowly dissolve in your pool, a very fine powder shock and a granular form. About 50% of the Tri-Chlor by weight is Conditioner (Cyanuric Acid). So, a 50 lbs. bucket of tablets is about 25 lbs. of Conditioner. If you overuse tablets your pool’s CYA level can go up rapidly. Trichlor tablets are usually 90% to 99% active chlorine. Tri-Chlor tablets have a very low pH of 2-3 so they will lower the pH in your pool. The tablets contain acid in the form of Cyanuric Acid so if one falls into the pool it is likely to stain the surface by burning it.

Tri-Chlor granular is very powerful stuff. It is basically the Tri-Chlor Tablet grounded up in granular form and is 99% active chlorine. Use with extreme caution as the Conditioner in the granular can stain the plaster. The CYA in the tablet is basically acid and if you let it pile up on the pool surface it will stain the plaster as if you dropped a 3” Tablet into the pool. Never add this to the skimmer and if you do use it for Black or Mustard algae make sure it is evenly dispersed on the pool surface. Not for use in Vinyl, Fiberglass or color plaster pools.

The 3” Tri-Chlor tablets must be used and handled in a safe manner to avoid chemical burns and possible breathing issues. If a bucket of tablets were to get water in it, the vapors or gas from these tablets can be extremely overpowering. Make sure to only use a watertight bucket of tablets like these from In The Swim (the brand that appears in the video). Make sure you store the tablets in a safe and dry place and since it is an Oxidizer I don’t recommend storing it in your garage or inside your house.

When you go to put the tablet in on in-line or off-line chlorinator, be aware that any undissolved tablets in the chlorinator can also give off a strong smell as there is water in the chlorinator chamber. I always open the chlorinator with my head off to the side and not directly over it, you can also wear a mask as protection. The floater in your pool is relatively safe from fumes as it is in the open air and not a closed chamber like a chlorinator. Just use caution with the 3” Tri-Chlor tablets when you use them in a chlorinator attached to your pool equipment.

You also do not want to put a 3” Tri-Chlor tablet directly into your pool skimmer. Since the tablets contain acid in the form on Cyanuric Acid when the pool turns off all of that acid will be sitting in the skimmer and building up. When you turn the pool back on, a large amount of acid will travel into the pool equipment and then out the return lines. This acid can ruin the metal parts in your heater and also stain the pool plaster at the return lines. Use the tablets in only a chlorine floater in your pool or in a chlorinator attached to your equipment.

A very strong form of chlorine
Slow dissolving in tablet form so it releases chlorine all week long
Easy to use and affordable
Keeps a good residual chlorine level in your pool all week
Very long shelf life

Can stain the pool surface
Contains 50% CYA by weight
Be careful of toxic fumes

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