If you're like most pool owners, you may have had trouble finding chlorine tablets in the last several months. The industry-wide shortage began in August 2020, when one of the largest suppliers, Biolab, burned down. This tragedy had disastrous impacts on the pool industry, which was still trying to solve ongoing issues surrounding the COVID-19 supply train delays during the largest increase in pool sales in recent history.
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES SOURCED HERE.
Disaster for Pool Owners
As more public pools started closing and vacations were canceled among worldwide travel bands, we welcomed a much higher percentage of NEW pool owners. What does this mean? Even more demand for limited chlorine tablets.
The shortage of products and the decreasing ability to for new production caused a quick increase in prices, sometimes up to 60% more costly than pre-pandemic price points. Before the world of COVID-19, a 50lbs bucket of chlorine tabs typically cost you between $70-$75. Now that same bucket can be found for upwards of $200-$280, assuming it's even available and in stock. This is a major cause of the price increase you may have had from your pool service company in the last year.
Between low/no stock, and new inventory taking months to come in, many folks started to stock up early on the tablets they could find. However, no one wants to stockpile overpriced chlorine tablets. So while there isn't a true alternative to chlorine, there are other options to help you use much less chlorine, allowing what you have to last longer and still maintain the proper water chemistry.
How To Lower Your Need for Chlorine
The easiest things you can do to combat the need for more chlorine for your pool are items that should already be a priority:
- Maintaining balanced water chemistry
- Keeping pool equipment in good condition
- Using preventative algacides
These three preventative procedures will reduce the pool’s need for additional chlorine. The chlorine itself is meant to tackle the three main things it takes to keep your pool clean:
- Sanitation (killing bacteria)
- Oxidization (controlling natural debris caused by body oils and perspiration)
- Deterring algae.
Chlorine has been traditionally popular for handling these dirty jobs on top of being one of the cheapest options out there (even though it may not hold the title for being the most cost-effective choice in many areas anymore). Essentially, you're looking for options that take the weight of those three tasks off of having to be met solely by chlorine. But make sure to do some homework as many of these have setbacks outside of the cost difference.
Alternative Options to Use Less Chlorine
- UV Light Systems and Corona Discharge (how appropriate) are the two types of ozonator machines that attach to your filtration line. These can reduce up to 90% of your chlorine usage but you'll have to run your pump 24/7 to keep the water circulating
- Good as an algaecide and sanitizer, but still misses the oxidizer component. Ionizers will not be able to properly sanitize a high-traffic pool or one with heavy debris. Due to the high metal in ionizers, frequent swimmers can expect to see green hair and/or nail beds. Your pump would also need to run continuously as this sanitation depends on moving water.
- This is a good choice for higher-temperature areas and spas. It's a good sanitizer, but just an okay oxidizer. For this reason, pure bromine can leave your pool a bit green and foamy. You could use a hybrid BCDMH which is essentially a chlorine tablet made up of 66% bromine instead of 100% chlorine.
- While you will be able to go completely chlorine-free, PHMB does not oxidize meaning you'll still need to use other products like hydrogen peroxide and an algaecide. Additionally, no matter what kind of filter you have, it will need to be cleaned every 4-6 weeks.
- Salt Chlorinator Systems
- These are electronic chlorine generators that essentially turn table salt into chlorine. While you wouldn't incorporate tablets into your regular maintenance, you would still need to use chlorine to shock your pool occasionally (unless using EZ POOL or PEPPER). Besides the higher upfront costs, the downside of salt is that it's is very corrosive and could rust your panels, equipment, etc. Salt System owners need sacrificial anodes to reduce these risks.
I'm sure if you're like most pool owners you're thinking, "Yeah, I want to reduce my chlorine usage but all of these options seem like a lot more work and I still won't necessarily be saving any money."
The Solution: Completely Remove The Need for Tablets
The good news-There is another solution outside of stockpiling overpriced chlorine tablets or switching to pairing your chlorine with several other chemicals. You pair two trusted names in the pool industry to get one unrivaled sanitation system: EZPool and the Frog System with BacPacs.
Let's break it down.
Frog Mineral System
The Frog Mineral Systems and the utilization of the BacPac provide that lower chlorine environment we're all searching for right now. But additional Frog System benefits, as stated by King Technologies are;
- Fresh Mineral Water System for Pools 10,000 to 25,000 gallons
- Pre-filled cartridges for no mess, no guess, and no stress pool care
- Kills bacteria with up to 50% less chlorine*
- The Mineral Reservoir lasts all summer or 6 months whichever is shorter in your area
- The 2 lb. Bac Pac® of chlorine last 2-3 weeks depending on pool usage
- Use with FROG BAM® for a 90 Day No Algae Guarantee!
- Easy to use with weeks of consistent and effective water sanitization
- Bac Pacs and FROG BAM containers are recyclable when empty
API, the manufacturer of EZ-POOL, EZ SPA, REVIVE and PEPPER has been the leader in nonchlorine solutions for over 25 years. It's only natural that many pool owners have turned to them during this time of chlorine shortage. Like other chlorine alternatives, E-Z POOL still requires the use of some chlorine which is represented in the above image as the "sanitizer" however unlike the other options out there, you don't need to add additional products or chemicals to the mix and you'll still be using less chlorine.
- EZ Pool cuts chlorine consumption by 50%, lowering chlorine demand and saving money
- EZ Pool utilizes a proactive oxygen-based system to oxidize contaminants (the main missing ingredient in most other chlorine alternatives)
- EZ Pool helps maintain pool balance and lowers the need for ancillary chemicals
- EZ Pool inhibits scale and promotes crystal clear balanced water
- One scoop per 10,000 gallons weekly replaces traditional chlorine shocking
FROG MINERAL SYSTEM + EZ-POOL = NO CHLORINE TABLETS
- Increases efficacy of both getting more sanitation benefits all while using less product
- Makes pool maintenance the easiest option available
- No Chlorine byproducts- say goodbye to burning eyes and smelly water
- MOST IMPORTANTLY: The chlorine in the Frog System Bacpacs act as the Sanitizer solution needed to complete EZ POOL, meaning you do not need to buy ANY chlorine tablets to have the safest, easiest, and cleanest pool maintenance program available.
Here are additional benefits to this solution:
- No more transporting, storing, spilling, or splashing dangerous chlorine products
- No more major chemistry shifts – saves frustration, time, and additional costs
- Pools are stain-free, scale-free, algae-free, smell-free, crystal clear, balanced, and shocked without having to add anything else to your maintenance routine
- Less than 5 minutes a week can be spent treating your pool because no one wants to work a lot just to relax
- Frog and EZ POOL represent the easiest and safest way to keep pools ‘swim ready’
- Using EZ POOL with Frog should extend the life of the sanitizing BacPac up to a true 3-weeks instead of the ‘2-3 weeks’ traditional timeline
- Minerals (Frog) and Active Oxygen (EZPool) work together to significantly lower the need for chlorine resulting in no need for traditional tablets.
Additional resources for your pool maintaining journey: