The 2021 swim season is upon us and builders and service suppliers are seeing shortages at practically ever level in the supply chain. The pool industry was rocked last year by the Covid-19 pandemic. An unexpected surge in demand led to a renewed emphasis and attention in backyard swimming pools. Consequently, many of the factories producing the equipment that go into these pools have been struggling to keep up with demand and here’s why.
- Rising costs in raw materials such as concrete, pvc resin, wood, fuel, you name it. All across the board, nearly every aspect of construction and service has gone up in the past year.
- Shortages on essentials used to build and service pools such as valves, chlorine tablets, and many other parts and components.
- Factory shutdowns due to Covid-19 have slowed production of these essential components to a crawl.
Customers are not privy to all the information, and quite often are not very sympathetic to the problems plaguing the pool industry. Most are simply unaware of why pools are taking longer to build, and why the prices have gone up considerably over the last year.
Shortages Continue to Impact Pool Companies at Every Level
Lonestar Pool Services out of Cypress,TX gave us some insight as to what has been going on. “It’s been really tough to get valves. We run the best pool cleaning company in Cypress and if we tell you there’s shortages and prices have gone up you can believe it. There is simply way too much demand for the amount of product available on the market”.
It’s not just chemical shortages that companies like Lonestar are facing. Pumps, filters, salt generators, and parts for all of those components are in short supply. The surge was so incredible that even adding more shifts at factories can not keep up with the current demand. We have seen this severely impact pool parts this winter, common items like valves and pumps have been hard to come by. This has forced many pool repair companies in the industry to begin buying components in bulk where they can find them, at significantly increased prices. Almost every major manufacturer and distributor has raised prices this year.
If Covid-19 wasn’t already a major factor for putting stress on supply chains, a fire at one of the largest chlorine manufacturing plants last year certainly didn’t help matters. Nor did an unexpected deep freeze which took many parts off the market as repair calls on existing pools required replacement components. Texas being one of the top 3 markets in the country, absorbed many of that available equipment from local distributors. Stock has not been replenished to levels that can stabilize pricing yet.
What does this mean for pool owners in Texas?
Begin planning now so that you and your family will experience a stress-free summer in 2021. The last thing you want is your pool to break down in the middle of a hot July weekend and to be without a replacement part. Homeowners want to make sure that they don’t run out of chlorine tabs in the middle of the season as well when there will be less supplies and prices are predicted to increase up to 60%.
After the freezing weather Texas saw this winter homeowners need to do an assessment of their pool equipment. A quick check of your pool equipment should tell you everything you need to know.
- Is your pool pump making a lot of noise?
- Is your filter generating too much pressure too quickly?
- Is your backwash valve difficult to switch or leaking?
If you notice any of these issues mentioned or your pump was noisy last year, this could mean your bearings are on the verge of failing and seizing the pump motor. We advise homeowners to get ahead of costly repair issues. The best advice – fix it before it fails; if you delay, you may be unable to find a replacement pump. Shortages and prices continue to climb, waiting is NOT the best option right now.
Ways to Consume Less Chlorine
Installing a salt chlorine generator might be a smarter bet than a traditional chlorinator. There are lots of benefits in going with a salt water pool. The biggest benefit being that the system creates the chlorine for you, negating the need to purchase expensive tablets and shock.
Adding Borates to your pool can also help you consume less chlorine. Borates buffer PH levels and are an excellent algae inhibitor. The presence of Borates in the water chemistry makes it increasingly difficult for algae to form.
Another option is to look into chlorine alternatives like UV systems, AOP systems, and Ozone systems. All of which help reduce the amount of chlorine needed to sanitize your swimming pool. Virginia Pool Builders – Crystal Blue Aquatics recommend adding a monitoring system like Sutro to the pool which constantly monitor the PH and OR levels to tell you whether you are using too much chlorine or not enough.