closeup shot of a pool cleaner in a hand

Chlorine Tablets in Short Supply!!

If you currently use chlorine tablets (aka TriChlor) as the primary sanitizer for your pool, you may have noticed that the prices no doubt shot up dramatically at the end of last summer. If not, then be prepared for it to happen during the spring/summer of 2021! The reason why trichlor tablets are so expensive and why they are sold out in many pool supply stores is because of the national trichlor supply shortage. 

When Hurricane Laura swept through the Gulf Coast in August of 2020, one of the largest manufacturers of chlorine products (Bio Lab in Westlake, Louisiana) caught fire and burned for three days.  This fire destroyed the plant and a huge amount of dry chemical ingredients used by the pool services industry, including a significant supply of trichlor. In fact, the domestic supply of trichlor was reduced by about 35-40% due to this Bio-Lab plant fire, putting a squeeze on an already high-demand product. Currently, chemical distributors are rationing trichlor, and prices for the dry chemicals in certain cases have nearly doubled.

The impact of this fire is magnified by the fact that US trichlor producers successfully lobbied to have significant tariffs levied on imported trichlor. Existing supplies of imported trichlor were exhausted in 2020, and even prior to the fire, the only three domestic producers (Bio-Lab, Occidental and Clearon) struggled to keep up with the demand in 2020.

Coronavirus has also played a factor.  The increased demand for household disinfectant wipes has diverted resources from other manufacturers who make the trichlor tablets. The supply issues arguably could not have come at a worse time.  Because of various travel restrictions due to the pandemic, more people stayed home last year.  While this led to one of the best years in pool sales, there are now fewer of the tablets than ever and a higher demand for the product.

The end result is that there simply will not be enough trichlor for the 2021 pool season to supply all current users, a shortage which may continue through to 2022.

If you as a residential pool consumer are currently using trichlor as your main pool sanitation chemical, now is a good time to consider switching to an alternate product (Ask us for recommendations for your pool!)

A popular trend in residential pool sanitation in recent years is that of installation of a chlorine generator onto the pool system.  The ever widening use of this type of automatic chlorinator is due to its convenience. Simply stated, with a chlorine generator system, salt is added to the pool water and then, through an electrolytic process, the salt is transformed molecularly into chlorine. No more trips to the pool store to buy chlorine! 

See Hayward Aquarite© System 

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