What Caused the Chlorine Shortage of 2021?

Chlorine into the pool

Throughout 2021, there’s been a chlorine shortage. This has hit hot tub owners, pool owners, and even pool supply stores. It can be quite problematic when you’re trying to maintain your hot tub or pool only to find out that you can’t get your hands on any chlorine.

There’s some good news, though. There are ways to reduce the amount of chlorine that you need. Further, it’s important to know what is causing the chlorine shortage.

Reasons Why There’s a Chlorine Shortage

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a significant demand for pools…and with that, comes the need for pool chemicals. As theatres, theme parks, and more closed, people began using their pools with greater frequency. And those who didn’t have pools were having them built.

With greater usage and more pools that need chlorine, a shortage was inevitable.

Usage wasn’t the only reason for the shortage, however.

A fire occurred at a chemical plant (BioLab) in Lake Charles, Louisiana in August of 2020. This facility was one of the largest producers of chlorine tablets in the nation. This was due to Hurricane Laura bringing in high winds and falling power lines that led to the fire. Approximately 835 tons of product were consumed in the fire. It also led authorities to tell residents to stay indoors and close their windows so that they didn’t inhale the toxic fumes that were being emitted from the burning plant.

With the inability to produce more chlorine, it led to many pool suppliers suffering a shortage. Many exhausted all of their supplies and found that there was no more to be had regardless of what company they called.

In a U.S News & World Report article, the president of Dover Pools, Chris Anderson explained that there were so many new requests for pools that they have orders scheduled all the way through 2022. “People rediscovered their backyard and got creative, and (pool companies) became No. 1 on their conscience.”

With the amount of chlorine still in high demand, it’s also resulting in a price surge – and the cost has jumped approximately 58% in 2021 over 2020 prices.

How to Deal with the Chlorine Shortage

First, it’s important to know that the chlorine shortage is temporary. You should only buy what you actually need to get you through the season. For the average spa or pool owner, that would be a single bucket of 3-inch chlorine tablets. Especially as the prices have skyrocketed, there simply is no reason to stockpile the chlorine.

Understand that there are solutions.

Chlorine is just one of the ways to sanitize your water. You can also explore algaecide, though it tends to be more expensive and less effective.

Some homeowners have turned to using bleach – and this is a bad idea for a number of reasons. The strength of chlorine is minimal – and there are often other dangerous additives that you don’t want to breathe or swallow as you play inside of a pool or soak inside of a hot tub.

One of the main reasons chlorine is used is to sanitize. The good news, particularly with hot tubs, is that there is a new technology that will help you to sanitize the water without any chemicals. This is known as “shocking” the water, which can be done with a UV sterilizer or an Ozonator.

Additionally, if you don’t want to mess with the chemicals and pay the extra costs for chlorine (when you can find it), there’s an alternative. Convert your pool or hot tub to a saltwater system. This reduces the need for a number of chemicals and chlorine is generated on its own within the system.

Get Help with Maintaining Your Hot Tub or Pool in Aspen

At Ajax Pool & Spa, we offer the service and maintenance support that you need. This includes providing repairs and helping you manage your chemicals. We deliver the chemicals you need right to your door – and when there’s a shortage of one chemical (such as chlorine), we can show you how to manage your pool or spa in other ways.

Call us now to schedule a member of our service team out to your home in the Aspen area.