PEP Tech

The Liquid Solution to a Solid Problem

The Sky is Falling and There's No Chlorine

It hit the newswire and the airwaves like a Tsunami. The weekend of May 1st my phone, e-mail and text lit up with inquiries about the news reports stating there was a "Pooldemic" and the whole world was on the verge of running out of chlorine. Ok that's a little exaggerated but it did seem like chlorine was going to be hard to find. Naturally, as when anything finally gets put out on the media it caused a lot of panic and reaction. So, what is the real story?

Here's the Good News

The real story is that there is some good news. The real shortage of chlorine is primarily trichlor tablets. Everyone is aware that trichlor tabs have been harder to get and the price has been moving higher. This is mostly due to the fire at BioLab last August that took out 40% of the U.S. supply of trichlor tablets. While BioLab is the largest trichlor tab maker there are two others still producing tablets. Also, there are supplies coming in from offshore. The fact remains that there is a shortage mainly of trichlor tabs and the price has increased considerably. So, where is the really good news? Here it is-There is more than one way to chlorinate a pool. There is liquid and Cal hypo. Also, there are numerous devices that can be used to minimize chlorine consumption and maintain water quality. These are devices such as ozone, UV, AOP and ionizers. Saltwater generators are another option however there is an upfront expense and an annual cost for replacing cells etc.

The Preferred Choice

So, the good news of other choices leads to a paradox of what's the right choice. Consider liquid for the following reasons: First, because it is a liquid it is the fastest acting form of chlorine compound. It does not need to dissolve to begin working. Secondly, because it is an inorganic hypochlorite liquid contains NO cyanuric acid CYA. Recent reports express that high levels of CYA hinder the killing power of chlorine and can lead to increased algae problems. Next liquid also does not contain any calcium so there is no concern about scale build up on surfaces. Here is another huge benefit to liquid chlorine-It provides the purest chlorine and the highest amount of free available chlorine FAC comparing a gallon of liquid to a pound of dry. Of the 3 top types of chlorine liquid provides the highest FAC.

  • One pound of 65% Cal hypo = 7.7 ppm FAC in 10,000 gallons
  • One pound of 90% trichlor = 11 ppm FAC in 10,000 gallons
  • One gallon of 12.5% liquid= 12.5 ppm FAC in 10,000 gallons

Liquid is measured in volume and not dry weight. So, while it may look like it has less % available chlorine the liquid is actually a stronger form than the dry products. And liquid is widely available. There is no shortage of liquid chlorine. One last statement is that in comparison to the other types of chlorine liquid gives the best cost per use value.

So, be calm. Don't panic. There may be a shortage of dry trichlor tablets, but there are alternatives and there is plenty of liquid.

Terry Arko