A nation-wide chlorine tablet shortage has made itself known this year, but pool experts in Florida have discovered ways around this problem, so you can continue to enjoy the water in the summer heat.
In 2020, Hurricane Laura unfortunately committed some lasting damage for us pool go-ers, as a chemical fire destroyed one of the largest chlorine plants, leading to a chlorine tablet shortage across the United States. This problem has been seldom seen, and with the COVID pandemic leading to a large increase in the construction of pools, chlorine prices have nearly doubled. So, how can you avoid this shortage without breaking the bank? Luckily there’s a variety of options that’ll get you back to swimming in no time.
Why Do Pools Need Chlorine?
Many pool owners in this predicament may ask: why do pools need chlorine? The simple answer is that it kills bacteria like salmonella and E. coli, and neutralizes other germs that can cause viruses like swimmer’s ear. Chlorine is an important component in creating a safe swimming environment for everyone and must be used if you wish to have the best possible experience.
This chemical does come with some downsides, as it can cause irritation to the skin and eyes, but the pros outweigh the cons, and pools are safer for using some form of chlorine than nothing at all. However, if the pool’s chlorine levels are balanced correctly by a professional, then you shouldn’t feel any kind of irritation, or physical discomfort.
Chlorine Tablet Alternatives
A number of alternatives exist to clean your pool without the need for chlorine tablets. Some owners may find that liquid chlorine can be just as useful, but as tablet prices increase, so do liquid chlorine prices. Other chemicals such as bleach and bromine may also serve useful, but these are more expensive from the get-go, and handling chemicals is always a difficult procedure if not done correctly. Instead, many have switched to a different method: salt water chlorinators.
Salt Water Pool Versus Chlorine Pool
Salt water chlorinators have become an effective alternative to chlorine tablets and other chemicals, and they can be installed in any pool. What’s important to note is that salt chlorinators aren’t an alternative to rid entirely of chlorine. Instead, these devices use salt as a way to produce chlorine, but still give you the ability to control the amount–which is far less than a pool that exclusively uses tablets or liquid chemicals. Some basic pros and cons of salt water pools versus chlorine pools include:
- Easier on the skin – while there still is chlorine in salt chlorinated pools, the amount is far less and provides healthier, softer water that is easier on the hair, eyes and skin
- Less harsh chemicals and easier maintenance – salt water chlorinators prevent you from handling harmful chemicals, and lessens the odor from chlorine pools. They are more environmentally friendly, and require less maintenance, as they usually clean themselves.
- Salt doesn’t evaporate – you do not need to add more salt whenever you refill the pool due to evaporation or water loss
- More cost-effective – the initial investment may be daunting, but the money saved in the long run is worth it, since salt prices are much lower than chlorine, and less of it is required.