The swimming pool industry is grappling with a chlorine shortage that has caused prices of the chemical to soar 45% to 70%, forcing pool owners to consider alternatives. Supplies of chlorine tablets used to treat pools and hot tubs have been drying up due to a perfect storm of factors. (see article links below)
- Fire at the BioLab facility in Louisiana after Hurricane Laura in August 2020. (This Plant supplied 1/3 of the nations chlorine)
- Covid 19 plant outbreaks and shutdowns in 2020
- 2020-2021 pandemic-related pool building boom
- Ongoing Trucking delays
- Ongoing Shipping delays
Pool supply companies have been sounding the alarm about the chlorine shortage, which is beginning to show up in the marketplace. As a pool service company, this will be a challenge this summer and we recommending these two alternative methods to assist with the sanitation of your pool.
- Salt Chlorine Generator (converting to a salt pool)
- PoolRX (up to a 6-month mineral treatment that helps prevent algae growth)
HASA Liquid Chlorine Feeder
Pool heater shortage – 2020 saw runs on stock for almost every brand, model, and size of pool heater on the market, sometimes lasting months on end. It is very likely that spring 2021 will be similar. If you plan to buy a pool heater this spring you should be very proactive in sourcing out a supplier and communicating to them that you want to guarantee the availability of your heater in the spring. If this means you need to pay in advance or put down a deposit then I would not hesitate to do this. If getting a heater for your pool is important to you then you had better get started early.
Pool parts shortage – In addition to heaters, there will very likely be delays and backorders for various pool equipment parts and pieces in 2021. The volume of equipment sales and orders in 2020 was larger than any other pool season on record. This puts strain on the supply side and continuing global shipping container shortages is very likely to be a contributing factor in 2021 supply delays. Expect to see stock runs on pool pumps, filters, salt systems, and various integral components like steel kits (vinyl pool walls). Steel has experienced two major 10% price increases in late 2020 and early 2021 due to increases in manufacturing costs. You can expect to see these price increases reflected in new pool construction costs in 2021 and onwards.
Chlorine shortage – Of everything in this article that may be short or back-ordered for the 2021 swimming pool season, it is the announcement from major manufacturers and suppliers that chlorine will be in short demand this year that has many people worried. Without chlorine, you simply can not maintain a safe and swimmable pool, at least without considerable knowledge and effort. If chlorine supplies dry up mid-season this will leave pool owners scrambling for a new solution. One of the first items that will sell out is saltwater systems since these have the ability to generate their own chlorine. AOP, UV, and ozone systems would probably sell out next followed by mineral-based copper and silver systems as these are all forms of keeping pool water clean. If chlorine supplies run out this is going to be a huge problem for pool owners, and very likely to cause a lot of secondary problems with illness and chemical reactions from people trying to find a different solution.
Below are a few news stories from around the country talking about the chlorine shortage.