Chlorine shortage driving up prices; some alternatives to consider

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — If you’re getting your pool ready for the summertime, here’s a heads-up: There’s a chlorine shortage happening nationwide.

Experts say if you can get what you need to get you through the summer, you will be fine; but there are some cost-effective options to buying chlorine you can consider.

One option is to switch to a salt system, which uses a salt chlorine generator to convert salt to chlorine gas and sanitize your pool waterway.

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If you clean your pool with chlorine, you’re going to notice prices going up, and less of it in stock.

The reasons for this shortage are that there are more pools being built, and a factory supplying a lot of this chlorine caught fire; but that’s just part of the problem.

“It seems like a perfect storm, the pandemic hit of course decreasing manufacturing and production,” said Nick Mcabee, franchise owner of Poolwerx.

A four-pound bucket of liquid chlorine used to be $24.99. Now, it’s $36.99.

To compare, a 40-pound bag of salt for a salt system would cost you $10.

We talked to Jerry Karon, a customer who is considering making the switch to salt.

“It seems like it’s softer on your skin, you don’t get itchy,” Karon said.

He says the chlorine shortage didn’t have much to do with it, however.

“I don’t know if that would make me switch per se, because I know if there’s a chlorine shortage, eventually that would get caught up and the prices would come back down,” Karon explained. “But the benefit that I was finding out is I wouldn’t have to use near as many chemicals, so my cost monthly overall would go way down.”

If you use liquid chlorine, Mcabee says you will be fine as long as you plan ahead and get what you need to get you through summer.

“Just be patient with [your supplier], because supply is really scarce,” he pointed out. “They’re not neglecting you. They’re really wanting to work with you. So definitely work with them and come up with some different solutions.”

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He only cautions that you don’t skip maintenance, and test your water every seven days.

“The weather is getting very, very hot, very warm, and we get those pop-up showers every evening, so you can turn green very quick,” Mcabee explained. “Make sure your water is healthy and balanced.”

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