Updated February 8, 2021 - 10:59 am
If you have not heard, we now have one more problem to add to our swimming pool and spas operations during the COVID-19 months, the shortage of chlorine tablets.
The trichlor and dichlor shortage actually began last year. The plant that manufactures the chemicals and is one of the largest domestic producers in the United States burned down because of a huge fire from damage sustained from Hurricane Laura. Prices of chlorine tablet and granular increased by approximately 50 percent since September, 2020. In October 2020, chlorine tablets were not available in the valley. The shortage could have been worse if all of the swimming pools and spas had been opened. Even today, there are still many associations that have not opened their pools and spas and may not open them come the summer months because of the COVID-19 liability issues and operational expenses.
Over the past couple of years, more and more associations have converted to the chemical automation with liquid chlorine, so these associations will not be affected by the tablet shortages. Prices for the automatic chemical feeder have decreased since they first were introduced in Nevada. I have seen quotes of $ 8,700 for just one pool.
As you know, your community pool can be shut down by the Southern Nevada Health District if inspectors find the acidity (cyanuric level) in your pool is too high. The cost of continual draining of the pool to rid the acid and the refilling of water during the summer months may just make it worth converting to the automated system. Contact your reserve specialist as to whether you will be able to use your reserve funds to purchase these units.
If your association is still using the tablets, you should contact your swimming pool vendor, as they should be increasing their inventory. You also will need to know the financial impact, as your costs will probably increase this year, either with your contract price increasing or a chlorine surcharge fee.
Some swimming pool vendors may suggest converting to the salt systems, but be cautioned, as I have been informed that salt systems usually cannot keep up with the usage that our swimming pools and spas have during our longer summer months.
Barbara Holland is a certified property manager and holds the supervisory community manager certificate with the state of Nevada. She is an author and educator on real estate management. Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.