Shortage of chlorine tablets causing headaches for pool owners


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Memorial Day is just a week away and many people are getting ready to open their pools, but there’s a chlorine shortage, making the job a little more difficult.

The main problem is a shortage of chlorine tablets after an explosion at a plant last year halted production. Plus more people have decided to get their own pools because of the pandemic. Meaning prices have skyrocketed too.

It’s the time of year to clean out the pool, getting it ready for the summer season. This year, it’s not cheap.

“So far, everything’s being rationed now. The prices what I sold them for last year, I’m paying more for this year,” said Dan Walter Jr., field manager and vice president of Dan-Dan the Pool Man.

Walter is talking about chlorine prices that are up 40%, affecting both backyard and commercial pools.

“10 buckets (of liquid chlorine) came in from one vendor so I hurried up and made another purchase order for 10 more. I was told they’ll send me five and that’s it,” Walter said.

The three-inch chlorine tablets that many people use to keep the water clean are hard to come by, but Dan-Dan the Pool Man says you can still find one-inch tablets or look at other options.

“You can open your pool with liquid chlorine. That’s what we use for opening pools and then you can also use it for maintaining, but there’s also granular chlorine, like calcium hypochlorite which is a shock but it burns off pretty quick,” Walter said.

Mineral systems can also cut down on chlorine usage.

He says products you’re used to using may be hard to get and more expensive, but most pools are opening on schedule this year.

As for new pools being built, that’s another issue.

“Most everything is in short supply, parts, whole goods. We don’t know when they’re going to manufacture them and get them in because of the pandemic,” Walter said.

The Louisiana factory that makes those chlorine tablets says it will be up and running in 2022.

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