The news is out and it’s true, there’s going to be a national chlorine shortage this summer. There are two main reasons for the chlorine shortage. The first is that one of the major U.S.-based chlorine tablet producers burned down last August, causing a significant drop in manufacturing (there are only two other manufacturers in the country). They are rebuilding, but won’t resume operations until 2022. The second reason is that the pandemic spurred more people to purchase pools and hot tubs than ever before, so there’s more demand for chlorine this year than previous years.
The good news is there are things you can do to make your chlorine supply go further. This is important to understand, as experts are predicting suppliers will run out of all types of chlorine before this summer’s pool season ends. So you’ll want to make the most of the chlorine you do have and still safely enjoy your pool.
How to Use Less Chlorine
Just like with other aspects of your life, you want chlorine to work smarter, not harder. That means using other chemicals to do some of the work of cleaning and maintaining your pool water, so the chlorine is free to sanitize it.
So how does that translate to pool care? Let us break it down step by step for you.
Continue Basic Maintenance
You’ve probably heard it before and we’ll say it again — the three step process is an excellent way to reduce chlorine usage. If you do not maintain your pool with these three steps, you could find yourself playing catch up with your chlorine.
Step 1: Sanitize
Sanitize as needed to maintain free/available chlorine at 1-4 ppm. We recommend BioGuard SilkGuard Complete. This special formula is not like your typical bucket of white pucks, they actually dissolve slower when your pump is turned off due to SmartGuard® technology. They also boast algae killing crystals and SunShield Technology that protects the chlorine from sunlight (UV rays break down chlorine).
Step 2: Shock
Shock your pool at least weekly. Also shock after heavy use (i.e. a pool party), rain storms, or when pets have been in the pool. BioGuard Smart Shock will get the job done. Smart Shock is a favorite because it oxidizes, buffers, and clarifies pool water. Most importantly, you can go swimming within 15 minutes of its application!
Step 3: Algaecide
Use an algaecide, like BioGuard Back Up 2, weekly. This product is stable in sunlight and can work it’s way into cracks and crevices where algae typically starts. Algae prevention means less chlorine is needed.
Use Water Enhancers
We highly recommend water enhancers because they are specifically designed to make your basic maintenance chemicals work more effectively.
- BioGuard Optimizer not only makes water feel smoother, but it also optimizes the pH and improves water clarity, so your chlorine performs more effectively. Apply once per season. This is a MUST-HAVE to maximize your chlorine.
- BioGuard Pool Juice Phosphate Remover helps maintain clearer water, and breaks down and filters out water build up caused by oils, lotions, greases, and other similar contaminants. It removes phosphates from your pool, which are the food source for algae, allowing the chlorine to sanitize without working as hard. We recommend a weekly application.
- BioGuard Smart Shield is a liquid solar cover for your pool. How does this help with chlorine retention? By reducing the amount of water (and chlorine) that evaporates from your pool. A single application lasts up to 30 days.
Balance Your Water
It is always important to balance your pool water and ensure that pH levels, total alkalinity and calcium hardness are in the proper range. Pay close attention this season if your water test shows that you need stabilizer. BioGuard Stabilizer 100 is super important because it helps your pool water retain chlorine through UV protection. Just another easy way to make your chlorine last longer.
However you choose to navigate the chlorine shortage, we want you to know that Zagers is here to help. Whether it’s recommending chlorine optimization techniques or testing your water for free, we’ll do what we can to help you keep your pool safe and clear.