The year has been difficult for pool owners and buyers. Pool owners and buyers have had a difficult year.

We recently discussed supply chain issues that affect the pool-building industry in a blog post. Click the link to learn more. We discussed the accessories and materials required to make and install fibreglass pools in that blog post. Since its publication, we’ve been aware of supply chain issues that affect some essential components pool owners need to maintain existing fibreglass pools (and others).

Chlorine can be used as one example.

Many pool owners use chlorine tablets or granules to keep their pool water clear of unwanted pathogens like bacteria and algae. Chlorine, a proven method to kill microorganisms in your pool water, is also a very popular water treatment technique.

It is supply and demand.

Everything with a price tag is affected by supply and demand. If you have a lot of something but not enough people to buy it, the sellers will need to continue lowering prices until they get interested. Buyers may need to offer more money if the item is in limited supply.

You can buy chlorine during normal times at pool supply shops, home improvement outlets and any number of online retailers from Amazon and Walmart to speciality shopfronts. Prices are affordable because of the steady supply.

There aren’t many companies that make chlorine tablets for pool chlorine. It’s a highly competitive industry with only a handful of major players.

A perfect storm of problems with chlorine

Last summer, KIK, the largest chlorine manufacturer, went up in flames. This company owns or licenses many popular chlorine-based brands across the U.S. Hurricane Laura struck a Louisiana facility owned by the BioLab chemical subsidiary. It caused a massive fire that lasted nearly three days before it was put out.

The fire and hurricane destroyed the BioLab plant. The rebuilding process began only a month ago, and it is expected that it will take another year before BioLab’s chlorophyll plant is fully operational.

The remaining chlorine producers have struggled to keep up with the demand without BioLab producing chlorine for pool owners. We’ve seen reports that indicate a 40% increase in chlorine prices since last spring. Some industry analysts anticipate chlorine prices to rise 60% during the summer pool season in 2021 than in 2020.

This price rise does not fully understand the problem. This year, you’ll be paying more for chlorine… if it can be found at all. You might not be able to get chlorine tablets at any cost because many pool supply stores have prepared for shortages.

You can do a few things to deal with chlorine shortages as a pool owner.

If you have enough chlorine and are willing and able to stockpile it now, you could buy enough chlorine to last the summer.

You might be interested in other options.

Alternatives to chlorine pools

Bromine

Bromine and chlorine are chemically identical to be used in the same manner. There are some differences in how bromine and chlorine affect the human body. 

Bromine is usually made from brine (saltwater). This industry has four major manufacturers: two U.S. bromine producers in Arkansas and two international bromine producers in the Middle East near the Dead Sea. These areas are less susceptible to extreme weather, and bromine production continues at full capacity.

Salt chlorine generators (saltwater pool systems)

Many fibreglass pool owners use salt chlorine generators to convert pool salt ( There are three types of salt we recommend) into chlorine. Saltwater pool is easier on the skin, eyes and hair than the oceans or the Dead Sea.

It is not as easy as adding salt to the pool water. A salt chlorine generator is a device that converts salt water into chlorine using electricity.

Saltwater pools require salt-compatible fittings and accessories, and you might not be able to switch to a salt system if the equipment isn’t available. Before switching to salt from chlorine, we recommend consulting a trusted pool professional. They should be able to tell you if the existing systems are salt-compatible.

Fibreglass pools are the best for saltwater systems. However, this doesn’t mean you can set it and forget about it. While salt systems can be relatively easy to maintain, it is important to test the water for proper chemistry regularly.

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