Blog

Jul
17
Trichlor shortage may open new doors

If you’ve been following the trade news over the last few months, you’ve probably seen one topic in particular flooding every outlet’s feed: Trichlor.

But beyond understanding that there's a shortage of this common sanitizing agent, you may not know a lot about the situation as a whole. So let’s discuss what it is, why it’s so hard to find, its common substitutes and (most importantly) what you can do to make sure that a Trichlor shortage doesn’t leave your business coming up short.

What is Trichlor?

First things first: let’s make sure we’re on the same page about Trichlor and how chlorination actually works. Yes, by now you’re probably an expert on chlorine’s practical effects, but understandi...


Jul
05
Trichlor shortage is real, chlorine supply ok

All the pool trades and social media have been buzzing with blogs and articles on the current chlorine shortage. Some of these articles make it look as if every pool in the U.S. is threatened to become an algae cesspool—and the service trade is due to dry up and blow away like a tumbleweed. I have news for the pool service trade to offset the gloom prophecies. The fact is that there IS NOT a shortage of chlorine. What!? Because the shortage is primarily just ONE type of chlorine and that is trichlor tablets. And here is some really good news: There is more than ONE way to chlorinate a pool and there are options besides trichlor tablets.

While there is good news, there is also some bad news. I...


Jun
30
Summer gas prices expected to increase

A trucker shortage and a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline are expected to impact the availability and price of gasoline.

According to AAA, during the first week of May, the National average of gasoline jumped by 6 cents per gallon, averaging $2.96 a gallon. If this trend continues, it would make the national gas average the most expensive since November, 2014.

Until the closure of the Colonial Pipeline, the problem was a delivery problem, rather than a supply problem. There simply aren’t enough truck drivers to move the fuel.

And experts say that without drivers available, gas supplies could become tight in some areas.

Ryan Streblow, the executive vice president for the National Tank Truck C...


Jun
25
Alternative sanitizers offer options to chlorine

Ask not what your chlorine can do for you but what you can do for your chlorine.

There is a silver lining to the nationwide trichlor shortage; it is forcing pool and spa service techs to consider the alternatives.

For many service technicians, chlorine tabs are the go-to when it comes to pool care. Using trichlor tabs is a simple and easy way to maintain a chlorine residual. Furthermore, using tabs doesn’t require extensive storage space and it weighs less than liquid, causing less wear and tear on the truck.

But we have to use what we can, so how do we get more out of the chlorine options that remain available?

Now is a great time to test cyanuric acid and get it down to reasonable levels. Whil...


Jun
07
Trichlor shortage fuels price increases

‘Poolmageddon’ — Panic buying reported after media coverage of pool chemical availability

Pool and spa retail stores were taken by storm when the trichlor shortage made national news this April and early May.

News of the Biolab fire last August and the attendant loss of a third of the country’s trichlor supply finally reached the mainstream media; in response, the pool owning public surged to their nearest swimming pool supply store.

OnApril 30, 2021, CNBC reported the chlorine shortage and the continuing and projected price increases.

According to the network, “chlorine prices are set to soar 70% this summer. In some parts of the country, prices have already doubled over last year and experts s...


May
24
Expect higher prices with Trichlor shortage

Trichlor is in short supply following the massive chemical fire at the Biolab facility in Westlake, Louisiana. The manufacturing plant produced roughly one third of the nation’s supply of trichlor, which was lost in the wake of Hurricane Laura.

How serious is the situation?

A short conversation with Robert Rankin, Vice President of Pool Corp, indicates that the situation is real, and it is serious. Rankin said Biolab was one of three major producers of the country’s trichlor, the others being Clearon Corporation and Occidental Chemical Corporation.

It is difficult to overstate the impact that this will have on pool service companies and Rankin doesn’t mince words. A few brief questions and answ...


May
11
Trichlor shortage — Service techs seek options

The trichlor shortage has numerous service techs scrambling. It has been estimated that about one third of the nation’s trichlor supply was taken out of circulation by the August 27, 2020, fire at the Biolab manufacturing plant in Wesltake, Louisiana.

Prices are going up, distributors are rationing, scarcity is real.

For those service techs that rely on trichlor (and there are many) the future is probably going to require making significant changes in how they maintain proper disinfection levels at the pools they service. Perhaps the vast array of specialty chemicals may provide some solace during these trying times.

Fortunately, the swim season has come to an end in most regions of the U.S. an...


Apr
23
California pushes ban on natural gas

CPSA: Bills prohibit gas swimming pool heaters despite no reasonable alternative

California Senator Dave Cortese (D-San Jose) is tackling the climate change issue with a package of bills focused on decarbonization.

These new introductions present yet another challenge for CPSA/PHTA and other organizations pushing back against state and local bans on natural gas.

Introduced December 2020, the package includes three decarbonization bills: SB 30, SB 31 and SB 32.

SB 30, the State Buildings and Assets Decarbonization Act of 2021, would, beginning January 1, 2022, prohibit a state agency from designing or constructing a state facility that is connected to the natural gas grid and effectively require ...


Apr
07
A pool once lost has now been found

When John Reynolds purchased a rundown Texas home two years ago, his intention was to renovate it and sell it for a profit, but now that he’s discovered a fully intact vintage pool in the backyard, he says he will never let it go.

He discovered the pool three months after buying the property when heavy rainfall revealed that the backyard might contain a hidden gem buried under a mountain of junk and debris.

According to Reynolds, the previous owner had been a hoarder, and he said that the property was in total chaos.

“There was crap from one end of the property to the next,” Reynolds said.

He’d purchased the Mineral Wells property from the county for back taxes, just weeks before it had been sch...


Mar
21
Cowboy pools & hillbilly hot tubs

With stay-at-home orders in effect and entertainment venues closed, the world has turned to backyards for relief during stressful times. This year, that meant installing a pool or spa, an idea that occurred to everyone in the world at about the same time, and led to another of the shortages that has marked 2020.

Some consumers got to the table early enough to get their wish.

In Florida, Megan McGee started looking for an above-ground pool during spring break. Even still, it took traveling to five or six stores before she got lucky, and that was in March.

According to a recent article appearing in the New York Times, based on permit numbers, 94,000 new in- ground residential pools will have been...


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