Tips to navigating a Chlorine shortage

We are ready to open our backyard pools for a second summer of the covid19 pandemic.  Last year saw more new pools built than the last decade of construction. Families are trading their vacations for staycations and using their backyards as playgrounds to burn off energy. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that with the increase in backyard pool use, there will also be shortages of pool parts and chemicals.  Everyone needs chlorine and the supply is having trouble keeping up with the demand.

Consider upgrading your sanitation system

If you’ve been contemplating upgrading your sanitation system this may be the final push that makes you commit.   Perhaps the cost has been one of the factors keeping you on the fence. Consider the price of chlorine is likely to increase sharply to reflect the demand on the now strained supply. If you are building a new pool, these new state of the art systems – salt generators, UV, and Ozone sanitizers – require less chlorine that a chemical feeder system does. 

Install a salt generator system

Salt generators reduce your chlorine demand by nearly 50% and they produce clean water that is gentle on the skin and eyes.  Instead of the chemical chlorine, salt (NaCl) is added to the pool water and as it passes through an electrically charged cell the sodium (Na) and the chlorine (Cl) is separated. The naturally produced chlorine is used to kill off any harmful bacteria and keep your pool water clean and clear. 

Don’t shy away from UV and Ozone systems

UV and Ozone systems have been around just as long, but have often been regarded as complex, expensive and even unstable.  These systems have undergone major advances in the last 2 decades, now built as single vessel systems that makes it easy to install and replace as needed. These systems can reduce your demand for chlorine by up to 50% on their own as well. 

How an Ionizer can help

Adding an Ionizer to any existing sanitation system will also help reduce your chlorine demand – by up to 90%! Ionizers help stabilize the pH of your water, which is one of the most common issues that backyard pool owners encounter with salt water sanitation systems. By keeping your pH well balanced, the chlorine is able to do its job more effectively.

Invest in a variable speed pump

Whether you decided to upgrade to any of these systems or not, a variable speed pump will also reduce your chlorine demand.  Salt generators, UV and Ozone all require continuous circulation, making it necessary to use a variable speed pump.  But a chemical feeder will also run much more efficiently with a VSP because the water will never be stagnant. Stagnant water permits bacteria growth almost immediately. Running a single or dual speed pump for 8-12 hours a day means there are 12-16 hours of downtime in which these harmful bacteria start to grow and build up. 

Plan ahead and order early, don’t get caught in the chlorine shortage of 2021.  If you can, consider purchasing a larger supply that you typically do and store it in a dark dry place.  Taking care of your pool water – ph, total alkalinity, chlorine and algae – to ensure that it runs as efficiently as possible will save you money and lost swimming time.  Reach out to your pool professionals today to make your plan for the 2021 backyard pool season.

Get ready for opening day

Spring seems to be here to stay and that means opening day is now in sight. It’s time to take inventory and make your spring cleaning list. You want to have adequate time to get everything you need. More people are staying close to home this year, and many are starting to see the benefits of having a backyard swimming pool.  If this is your first summer operating a pool there is still a lot to do before you dive in.  If you are a seasoned pool operator let’s review some important steps that can save you time and money in the long run. 

Order your pool chemicals

This year it’s extremely important to place your orders early.  With the increase in pool and spa owners and the global shipping delays, it’s time to consider placing those orders a few weeks earlier than you normally do.  Check your inventory, if you have expired or improperly stored chemicals then make a plan to dispose of them safely.  Not sure what you need to get your water ready? There’s more than just chlorine needed to balance your pool, you’ll need to treat your waters ph, alkalinity and calcium hardness as well.  If you’d prefer to have a professional get your pool ready, check out this list of options in your area.

Clean up outdoors

Spring cleaning isn’t just for inside the house. Cleaning up the yard and dusting off the deck will help keep a lot of unnecessary debris out of your swimming pool.  Its best to do yard and deck work while the cover is still on.  Safety is paramount, this is a great time to inspect. To keep your family safe, check on the condition of your ladders, handrails, diving board and waterslide anchors. 

Remove your pool cover

Don’t get ahead of yourself with this task, there are few steps to take before you roll back the cover.  Clean all of the debris and excess water off of the top and let it thoroughly dry out.  The more debris you can keep out of your pool the less work your filters will need to do once they are up and running. Ensuring your cover is dry before you store it away will increase the lifespan of your cover. 

Clean your basin and fill your pool

These two tasks can be done simultaneously.  Using a garden hose, start to fill your pool to operating level. At the same time, use a leaf skimmer and get any surface debris you can. Once leaves and twigs get into the water there will be some breakdown that will contaminate your water before the large pieces get to the bottom. Give the sides a good brushing and vacuum the debris that has settled on the bottom. Your filters will take care of the rest but it’s best to remove anything you can to increase the lifespan of your filter media and the units themselves.

Start filtration

Let the filters run for a day or so to mix all of the new water in with the old and then you’ll want to perform a test to see what needs adjusting.  Before you add chlorine it’s important to balance your waters alkalinity and ph and calcium hardness.  Once these levels are within range its time to shock your pool and wait for the chlorine level to fall.  Once within range, you are good to take the plunge.  


Enjoy your backyard pool this summer, but keep a close on your water quality every couple of days.  If you are able to catch things before they get out of the safe range, then you can likely maintain your water without having to close your pool for long.