Swimming is the best way to cool down during a hot summer. With chlorine tablets, it’s guaranteed that you’re safe from bacteria and other waterborne germs.
But with chlorine tablets at an all-time low, it’s hard to keep your pool clean and algae-free! The shortage of chlorine pills is very unusual in most swimming pool seasons. In reality, it has never happened until the beginning of the 2021 swimming season. But fret not; there are many ways you can sanitize your pool.
Today’s article will discuss different chlorine tablet alternatives available in the market to keep your swimming pool healthy and clean.
What Causes Chlorine Tablet Shortage in 2021?
The chlorine demand jumped in 2020 as people spend more time at home and in their backyards enjoying themselves. In fact, according to a study from Goldman Sachs, 96,000 pools are constructed in the United States in 2020, representing a 23 percent rise over the number of pools installed in the previous year.
But, in addition to the increasing demand for chlorine, one of the US’s largest chlorine manufacturers was hit by an unanticipated problem that sent shock waves through the whole industry.
What Should You Do About Chlorine Tablets Scarcity?
Chlorine tablets are used in swimming pools for multiple purposes. It kills bacteria since it is chemically identical to bleach—albeit at a much lower concentration. Additionally, it helps to maintain your pool water clean, which helps to make your pool safe. Yes, chlorine is quite beneficial, but it is not the only alternative to keep a healthy pool.
Pool Chlorine Tablets Alternatives
Chlorine Tablet Alternative: Liquid Bleach
Alternatively, you can also use liquid chlorine bleach to chlorinate your pool. This is done by adding a ratio of 3 oz per gallon of water into the pool’s filter. As chlorine tablets are becoming harder to find, this alternative will provide the necessary protection from bacteria and other waterborne illnesses.
The intensity of pool chlorine is approximately ten times greater than that of bleach, but liquid bleach can be just as effective in some situations.
When using bleach to disinfect a swimming pool, make sure you do not use any colored, special, or any other brand that contains extra chemicals to avoid contamination. Instead, look for it in higher concentrations, such as at least 6 percent rather than 3 percent, so that you won’t have to use as much when adding it to the pool water to boost the chlorine levels in your pool.
Tips When Administering Bleach
- Make sure to use regular bleach with no special additives and coloring.
- Purchase the more powerful jugs containing at least 6 percent. However, even though some inexpensive products may only contain 3 percent, if you have to pour twice as much bleach to achieve the desired chlorine level, it may end up costing you more in the long run.
- Check your chlorine levels regularly and add bleach as needed to keep your chlorine levels between 1 and 3 parts per million at all times. Your target concentration should be 3 parts per million (ppm).
Chlorine Tablet Alternative: Bromine
Bromine is a chemical that, when applied to water, reacts with the chlorine in the water to create bromine chloride. Brominated chemicals have been shown to eliminate bacteria and algae from swimming pools effectively. So you can use this chemical as an alternative to chlorine tablets in your pool for cleanliness and health.
Because it does not generate the same chlorine odors that you get when using regular chlorine, many indoor and enclosed pool owners prefer to use Bromine instead of the more traditional chlorine. Bromine is a more pleasant choice because of the less bleach-smelling experience.
Tips When Administering Bromine:
- In most situations, Bromine dissolves more slowly than chlorine.
- Bromine is more potent than chlorine
- Bromine is a quite more expensive alternative for pool sterilization.
- While Bromine is an effective sterilizer, you still need to do routine shocking.
- Ideally, your swimming pool’s bromine concentration should be maintained at a constant level between 3 and 5 parts per million. The target range is 5 parts per million (ppm) all the time.
Chlorine Tablet Alternative: Saltwater
Saltwater is an effective alternative to chlorine tablets and can be used to sanitize swimming pools effectively. However, it is important to know that saltwater pools are not appropriate for all pool owners because they can be expensive and require much upkeep.
Saline pools need to use more chemicals than a regular pool, so the cost of upkeep will depend on the extent of your pool and how often you clean it.
In addition, as saltwater is heavier than tap water, if you have a light-weighted top-drain ball valve, this will make it harder for the water level in your pool. For transparency, a powerful electric pump would be required for drainage, reducing the overall cost savings and effectiveness of using saltwater over chlorine tablets as an alternative.
Chlorine Tablet Alternative: Ozone
Ozone is used as an option for chlorine tablets alternatives because it does not produce toxic byproducts like chlorine. It also does not have the hazardous materials often found in common pool chemicals, making them far less expensive to use. This means that ozone is a good alternative because it is more environmentally friendly than regular chlorinated or brominated pools.
Ozone generators are put outside and within the pool’s circulation system. They function by constantly passing the water through a supply of ozone gas, where ozone molecules bind themselves with pollutants and remove them from the water.
Because of the additional equipment, the initial expenditure is more costly. Still, experts believe that ozone pools are safer in many respects and are less expensive to operate in the long run.
Chlorine Tablet Alternative: Copper and Silver
Copper and silver are two alternative chemicals that can be used in chlorinated pools. They work by binding with the hydrogen ions that react with chlorine to form hypochlorous acid, killing bacteria and algae.
When applied to a pool water system, copper removes any chlorine generated by the sun because it will regularly take up any of the hydrogen ions where they would otherwise make contact with chlorine atoms. Silver has also been shown to kill bacteria and algae without the need for additional chemical additives.
The downside is that both copper and silver are expensive options for pool owners as they may not have an urgent effect on your pool’s water quality. In other words, you might have to stand by a few weeks before seeing any improvement in your pool’s clarity and sanitization.
Chlorine Tablet Alternative: Catalytic Oxidation
Catalytic oxidation is a good alternative for chlorine tablets. The system works by breaking down contaminants in the pool water into two components, namely copper and silver ions, that are more easily removed from the water.
Copper ions accumulate near your pool’s equipment and form a layer of copper on top of any chlorinated water droplet that tries to enter your pool. Silver ions collect at the bottom of your pool and form thin layers on top of any unwanted contaminants in the swimming area or on filter materials.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are chlorine tablet alternatives for pool disinfection?
Chlorine tablet alternatives are alternative methods of disinfecting pool water without using traditional chlorine tablets. These alternatives include non-chlorine chemicals and systems that use different disinfection processes to keep pool water safe and clean.
What are the advantages of using chlorine tablet alternatives?
Advantages of using chlorine tablet alternatives include:
1. Reduced skin and eye irritation: Some alternatives are less harsh on the skin and eyes.
2. Minimal chlorine odor: Many alternatives produce less chlorine odor compared to traditional tablets.
3. Different feel of water: Some alternatives can provide a softer, more natural feel to the water.
4. Alternative options for sensitivities: Alternatives are beneficial for those with chlorine sensitivities or allergies.
Are chlorine tablet alternatives as effective as traditional chlorine tablets?
Chlorine tablet alternatives can be effective at disinfecting pool water when used correctly and in the appropriate conditions. However, their effectiveness can vary based on factors like pool size, usage, and environmental conditions. It’s important to carefully follow manufacturer guidelines and monitor water quality regularly.
Do chlorine tablet alternatives require less maintenance?
Chlorine tablet alternatives might require less frequent maintenance in terms of adding chemicals, but they may still require regular monitoring and adjustments to maintain water balance and ensure proper disinfection. Some alternatives, like UV and ozone systems, can reduce the need for certain chemicals, but it’s important to perform regular water testing and maintenance to ensure pool water remains safe and clean.
For those searching for an alternative to chlorine pills in general or those experiencing a chlorine shortage at their local pool retailers, there are several solutions available to ensure that you and your family can continue to enjoy the swimming season throughout the year.
Check out these interesting articles to keep your pool clean and safe. Happy swimming!