The shortage is due to increased demand for pool supplies during the pandemic and a chemical fire at a BioLab facility in Louisiana after Hurricane Laura that knocked out one of the country's three main chlorine manufacturers.
The factors of COVID-19 isolation, an increased demand for backyard pools and the Louisiana fire have combined to create the worst chlorine shortage the country has ever seen.
A year after many public pools across the country shuttered due to the pandemic, some of them are being forced to close again thanks to the ongoing shortage of chlorine. Those that aren't closing are warily keeping an eye on the rising cost of chlorine, which has nearly doubled in some places.
Rising Costs of Chlorine in 2022
Between high demand and material availability, we have seen multiple price increases across every channel in our industry. Does this mean that the cost of chlorine is going to keep rising? Unfortunately, yes. We expect chlorine costs to continue to rise next year.
Still, no one is predicting a salt shortage this summer, and saltwater pools make their own chlorine via a chemical reaction. These pools work by salting the water and then using a generator to turn the salt into chlorine at a very slow rate.
That boom, experts say, created even more demand for chlorine. Then a manufacturing facility of one of the country's major suppliers of chlorine tablets, BioLab, burned down last August, right after Hurricane Laura. The plant, located near Lake Charles, Louisiana, expects to resume operations by spring 2022.
Chlorine prices have nearly doubled since last summer, and pool owners are now wondering why. “One of the main reasons is that there was a fire in a Louisiana plant. This plant produced 35% of America's chlorine tablets,” said Paul Healy, owner of Splash Pool Supply in South Windsor.
Between the pandemic and a catastrophic fire, the U.S. is currently experiencing a major shortage of chlorine tablets. But it doesn't have to end your summer swimming fun. The COVID-19 pandemic caused waves in the world of shipping and manufacturing, leading to shortages of appliances, lumber, electronics, and more.
Short answer: yes. Longer answer: it depends on the formulation. The label on every bleach bottle should tell you the ratio of sodium hypochlorite (and available chlorine) in the bottle to everything else. A higher percentage is generally better, as you'll need to use less bleach to treat your pool.
You do need to use both tabs and shock. Without tabs, the chlorine shock will dissipate quickly out of the water; without shock, the chlorine level will not get high enough to fully sanitize the water.
The reason why trichlor tablets are so expensive and why they are sold out at many pool supply stores is because of the national trichlor supply shortage.
The chlorine shortage has already shuttered public pools and cancelled swim lessons across the country, including many in sunny Los Angeles. Less than a month after they were cleared to reopen by the Department of Public Health, the majority of city-run pools in L.A. have had to close down for want of the chemical.
While it's being rebuilt, the plant isn't expected to reopen until 2022. That's left homeowners and pool-maintenance companies to scurry for supplies this year, and those who can find the tablets are paying higher prices.
Raising pool chlorine can be much easier than trying to lower chlorine levels. Simply adding chlorine in the form of chlorine tablets, granular chlorine, liquid shock or powder shock will increase the total amount of chlorine within the pool.
Liquid chlorine and granular shock have the same active chemical that sanitizes your pool, what changes is the strength and the way you use it. Liquid chlorine is less costly, unstabilized and comes in liquid form. Granular shock is stabilized and comes in a solid form that dissolves in your pool.
What can happen if you go into a pool too soon after it's been shocked? There are a few potential issues. "Chlorine will react with water to produce an acid," Alan says. "The effects will be different depending on whether chlorine is inhaled or whether there is skin or eye contact."
Chlorine is much stronger than bleach. To get your pools chlorine level to the point it needs to be to keep the pool looking clean and bright; you will need to use more bleach than you will chlorine. Bleach is also going to come in a liquid form only, and chlorine is most commonly sold in tablets.
Cloudy or milky swimming pool water is caused by seven main issues: improper levels of chlorine, imbalanced pH and alkalinity, very high calcium hardness (CH) levels, faulty or clogged filter, early stages of algae, ammonia, and debris.
It may be cheaper to run the pump at night, but honestly you should run it 1 hour a day per 10 degrees of temperature at least, and it should be during the day. Running the pump at night should only be when you are doing a major chemical treatment such as algae clean-up.
The simple answer is No. Baking soda cannot be used to clear up a cloudy pool because it is a base. Bases raise PH levels, which causes the water to turn cloudy. Some people suggest using baking soda as a quick fix to high alkalinity levels, but it's not reliable as a pool chemical.
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate is naturally alkaline, with a pH of 8. When you add baking soda to your pool water, you will raise both the pH and the alkalinity, improving stability and clarity. Many commercial pool products for raising alkalinity utilize baking soda as their main active ingredient.
*1 gallon of chlorinating liquid delivers the same amount of chlorine as 2 chlorinating tablets.
Green discoloration in a swimming pool is caused by the growth of algae, a type of green aquatic plant that floats on the surface of water. Algae usually flourishes in warm water but can still take over your pool in winter if given half a chance.