Connect with us

Pool News

Pool Supply Shortages Are Real

Ongoing shortages continue to beleaguer the pool construction and pool service industry



Pool Supply Shortages continue to hurt the pool industry. Valves, pipe fittings, PVC pipe are in short supply these days.

Pool supply shortages continue to create real problems for the industry as we move further along into the 2021 pool season. One unexpected side effect to the Covid-19 pandemic last year was a renewed interest in swimming pools. For the first time ever, the pool industry has had less competition for discretionary dollars than any time in it’s history.

The Pool Industry Grew 24% in 2020

Pool & Hot Tub Alliance said the industry grew by 24% last year. That kind of growth however, has not come without some noticeable consequences that are beginning to affect the industry in a number of ways.

While popularity for swimming pools has dramatically increased, manufacturing and production has had trouble keeping up with demand. A widening gap between available labor to build swimming pools has created delays in production. The pool construction and pool service industries also continue to struggle with rising costs for essential materials such as PVC pipe, valves, tile, heaters, concrete, the list goes on and on.

Jandy Valves getting are to come by say contractors
Contractors say it’s become increasingly difficult to get essential components like valves after the Texas Freeze.

Every conceivable component or sector that is involved in the construction, manufacturing, or installation of inground pools has been impacted this year to some degree. Some companies are beginning to notice the impact faster than others. Already large volume builders have begun to find themselves in serious hot water as they seem to be directly effected the most by shortages in labor and materials.

Widening Gap in Labor Force & Manufacturing

The disparity in available bodies to build and service pools is creating a widening gap. The bubble only continues to grow as Americans still find themselves largely still under home quarantine. Despite assertions from the White House that we’d all be vaccinated by May 1st, a large portion of the country still remains unvaccinated. Travel has not yet begun to resume to it’s normal pace. Currently only 32.8% of the population is fully vaccinated. This certainly means that as we rapidly approach the height of the summer months that we can expect a repeat of 2020 in terms of demand.

Coping With Pool Shortages & Price Increases in 2021

How does this bode for pool companies who already have signed contracts with customers based on estimated prices and deadlines? Many builders and service companies we’ve spoken to stated the situation is creating increasing stress on customer relationships. They are concerned that ongoing delays and scarcity can lead to more and more angry customers.

Experts predict with the rising costs on materials and equipment, the average price of a swimming pool will continue to increase from last year. Pool service companies are also impacted. With the rising cost of chlorine tablets and other essential components, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find able bodies to build and service pools.

A 50lb bucket of Chlorine Tablets now costs $40 more than it it did only 6 months ago.
A 50lb bucket of Chlorine Tablets now costs $40 more than it it did only 6 months ago.

The Perspective In The Trenches

We spoke with Stephen Little, CEO of Claro Pool in Palm Desert. Little runs a large pool service company which maintains and services roughly 10,000 pools a month. He is also a contractor on the front lines of the issue that has experienced shortages first-hand. From his viewpoint the delays in manufacturing are a large part of the problem. “Manufacturers have shut down due to shelter in place orders.” said Little “They aren’t producing, when they are producing, they’re short labor. With the shelter in place orders folks are required to stay at home.”

Little suggested that recent changes in legislature may also be contributing to the lack of available labor. “The last 12-15 months it’s become so tough to get the products we are accustomed to getting easily.” said Little. “I’m used to placing an order with distribution and getting it within 60 minutes. That is not the case anymore. We have to be much more strategic when we place an order.”

PVC Shortage Looms On The Horizon

Rising costs of PVC are also creating a serious problem. Last years Hurricane impacted production for Petrochemical plants in Texas and Louisiana. The ramifications of that shut down are coming to light this pool season. “PVC has been a problem.” said Little “We’ve seen price increases across the board in fittings, filters and pumps and anything made of PVC.”

Shock & Awe at Soaring Prices

“It has been shock and awe” continued Little “because we’ve had double and triple digit increases in the products and pieces we buy. From labor, to PVC, to dry chlorine products, to parts and equipment.”

Although prices are increasing, swimming pools still need to be properly maintained. Regardless of how chlorine prices may fluctuate this season, experts say – not adhering to proper maintenance guidelines can create a serious health hazard.

A 35lb bucket of tabs is going for $250 in New Jersey on Facebook Marketplace
A 35lb bucket of tabs is going for $250 in New Jersey on Facebook Marketplace

The reality is pool service companies are struggling to honor pricing commitments to customers with the increases they’ve seen from distributors. As costs for chemicals continue to rise, Little suggested that now is not the time for consumers to start being penny wise and dollar foolish when it comes to proper maintenance

“Think about the absolute catastrophe if people stop maintaining their pools” said Little “Let’s throw 8 or 10 million pools with algae into the mix and you will have a nuclear pandemic.”

Using Tried & True Alternative Products

Little who holds a masters degree in organic chemistry, says his company has not been impacted as hard by the recent chlorine tablet shortage as the rest of the country. He suggested that pool service companies begin switching to liquid chlorine.

Borates which decrease the amount of chlorine needed are also part of his regimen. “Hydrogen borate is part of our value proposition when servicing pools. It reduces chlorine demand,” said Little “when you buffer alkalinity and you keep the pH stable, we can keep healthier pools with less chlorine consumption.”

Labor Force Can Make More Staying Home

One of the major catalysts for rising prices has undeniably been a shortage of available skilled labor. The Covid-19 relief bill may have had one major unexpected side effect. Much of the skilled labor pool is still at home this pool season.

Little indicated that a large percentage of the workers that build, service and maintains pools would simply rather collect unemployment right now. “It is possible to protect your employees and your clients in the workplace.” said Little “When an employee can make $25 an hour to stay home in perpetuity or can go to work and make $20 bucks an hour, they won’t even come in for an application.

It it a hot button topic for many in the pool industry. Pool company owners say that while demand has skyrocketed, the available pool of skilled labor has not kept up. This disparity seems to have created the perfect conditions for rising prices and the shortages the pool industry is now facing.

Shortages Seem Real Enough To Those On The Front Lines

Steve Goodale, also known as Swimming Pool Steve, is one of the most popular bloggers in the pool industry. We asked him to weigh in on the issue when we contacted him Saturday afternoon about the shortages. “In my 30 years in the pool industry I have never seen the supply chain so dried up at this time of year. No pipe available, no valves, pumps and heaters in very short supply” Goodale continued “I definitely believe that chlorine is going to run short this year, along with a great many other things.”

PVC SHORTAGE: Experts say PVC Pipe is the next major shortage looming on the horizon for the pool industry.
Experts say PVC Pipe is the next major shortage looming on the horizon for the pool industry.

Goodale explained some of the issues he felt were the underlying precursor to the shortages. “There has been unprecedented activity and interest from home owners in their pools. Record numbers of pools being used, built, fixed… and the supply chains have all been hobbled by Covid for over a year now.”

Comparing This Year’s Shortages To Last Year’s Toilet Paper

Many in the industry have drawn an analogy between the announcements of this year’s shortages and last year’s toilet paper craze. Goodale replied “I definitely do not want to be an alarmist and cause a shortage where there is none, but in my experience this is going to be a very hard year for pool owners and pool industry workers alike.”

Walmart is flat out telling consumers there is a Chlorine shortage and is limiting the quantity that shoppers can purchase.
Walmart is flat out telling consumers there is a Chlorine shortage and is limiting the quantity that shoppers can purchase.

All over America, supplies are skyrocketing in cost and retailers are explaining it’s because of dwindling supplies, yet the industry itself is sending out mixed messages. Some manufacturers say that there is no shortage and some say there is. Stuck in the middle are consumers who don’t know what to make of the situation. All they know is a bucket of tabs costs substantially much more than it did last year and are in limited supply when they can find them. Most consumers aren’t even aware of the issues with PVC and other supplies yet because Chlorine shortages are currently monopolizing the media’s attention.

The industry can't seem to make up their mind if there is a Trichlor tab shortage or there isn't one.
The industry can’t seem to make up their mind if there is a Trichlor tab shortage or there isn’t one. Consumers are getting conflicting messages.
Hayward says there IS a Trichlor Shortage, Poolcorp says there isn't one.
People comparing the recent chlorine shortages to last year’s toilet paper craze are in for a rude awakening.

We reached out to pool companies on social media and asked what kind of shortages they are experiencing. They weren’t shy about sounding off:

One Reddit user ‘just_tryin_2_make_it‘ said “We have a shortage of pipe fittings down in Texas. People are hoarding and creating a shortage for profit due to the disaster and those in need are without.”

As the pool season progresses, one thing is certain – a lack of available manpower and supplies are real problems that pool service and pool construction firms alike both have to contend with this summer. Listen to our entire interview with Stephen Little, CEO of Claro Pool on the Pool Magazine podcast.

Featured Photo Credit: Alan Smith Pools

5/5 - (31 votes)

Editor in Chief of Pool Magazine - Joe Trusty is also CEO of, the leading digital agency for the pool industry. An internet entrepreneur, software developer, author, and marketing professional with a long history in the pool industry. Joe oversees the writing and creative staff at Pool Magazine. To contact Joe Trusty email [email protected] or call (916) 467-9118 during normal business hours. For submissions, please send your message to [email protected]

Continue Reading
Click to comment
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Pool News

Pool & Hot Tub Alliance Celebrates National Apprenticeship Week

One year into its national apprenticeship program, the association shares successes



Pool & Hot Tub Alliance Celebrates National Apprenticeship Week

The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, November 14-20. National Apprenticeship Week showcases the value of Registered Apprenticeship programs and how they provide a critical talent pipeline to help our nation’s economy. During this week, PHTA is sharing updates on the PHTA Registered Pool Maintenance and Service Technician Apprenticeship Program™, which launched in August 2021.

The PHTA Apprenticeship Program is the only nationwide program registered with the U.S. Department of Labor for the pool, spa, and hot tub industry. It allows the pool profession to be more competitive with other industries that are also struggling for entry-level talent. This program is free for PHTA members and combines on-the-job training with classroom instruction and skills-based education.

Having a registered apprenticeship program means that pool maintenance and service is now considered a skilled trade, opening the doors with high school guidance counselors, veterans, and community workforce boards.

PHTA is pleased to announce that there are currently 23 companies across 15 states enrolled in the apprenticeship program, and nearly 30 apprentices have begun their on-the-job training. Apprentices receive 182 hours of online education through the PHTA online education portal.

The companies currently enrolled are:

  • Anderson Poolworks, Wilsonville, OR
  • Aquatic Dynamics Inc, Mt. Sinai, NY
  • Atlantic Solutions, Chapel Hill, NC
  • B&B Pool and Spa Center, Chestnut Ridge, NY
  • Gold Medal Pools, Lewisville, TX
  • Goodall Pools & Spas, Camp Hill, PA
  • Gorlin Pools, Lakehurst, NJ
  • Great Valley Pool Service, Frazer, PA
  • Idaho Pool Remodeling, Meridian, ID
  • Lehmann Pools and Spas, Mahwah, NJ
  • Luke Pool Service, Inc, Cumming, GA
  • NW Arkansas Pool & Spa, Rogers, AR
  • Penguin Pools, Waukesha, WI
  • Pool Doctor NM, LLC, Traverse City, MI
  • Poolwerx – Forest Lane, Dallas, TX
  • Preserve Pools, Summerville, SC
  • Pure Swim, Van Nuys, CA
  • Rin Robyn Pools, Hackettstown, NJ
  • Strong Refuge Pools, Wilsonville, OR
  • Swimming Pool Services, Waukesha, WI
  • The Better Pool Guy and Home Solutions, Inc, Clemont, FL
  • The Pool People, Inc, Eldersburg, MD
  • Vue Custom Pools, Greensboro, NC

“We consistently hear from PHTA members that workforce development and employee recruitment and retention are top business concerns,” says Sabeena Hickman, CAE, President & CEO of PHTA. “The pool and hot tub industry has so many wonderful career opportunities. We’re focused on not only delivering that message, but actively developing these apprentices into skilled, qualified workers who will become valued industry professionals. We are proud to be able to offer the PHTA Registered Pool Maintenance and Service Technician Apprenticeship Program and hope that more members take advantage of this opportunity in the coming year.”

In addition, PHTA and its Apprenticeship Task Force are currently developing a second apprenticeship program for pool construction laborers. PHTA is looking forward to launching this new program in early 2023.

To learn more about the PHTA Apprenticeship Program, visit or contact Seth Ewing, PHTA Senior Director of Member Programs and Services, at [email protected] or 703-838-0083, ext. 159.


About the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), a non-profit organization with over 3,600 members from around the world, was established in 1956 to support, promote, and protect the common interests of the $36.5B pool, hot tub, and spa industry. PHTA provides education, advocacy, standards development, research, and market growth to increase our members’ professionalism, knowledge, and profitability. Additionally, PHTA facilitates the expansion of swimming, water safety, and related research and outreach activities aimed at introducing more people to swimming, making swimming environments safer, and keeping pools open to serve communities. For more information, visit

Rate this post

Continue Reading

Pool News

Pool Industry Standing Shoulder to Shoulder After Hurricanes



Pool Industry Stands Shoulder to Shoulder After Hurricanes

After two brutal back to back hurricanes, pool professionals in Florida continue to struggle while facing massive cleanup efforts. These past few weeks have tested the pool industry in Florida in ways like never before. Hurricane Ian caused a level of damage and devastation unseen in decades. Just as the industry was catching a breath, a second storm, Nicole made landfall and reminded us all that hurricane season isn’t quite over yet.

To find out how the pool industry in Florida is coping with the damage from the hurricanes during this timeframe, we recently spoke with Elizabeth McMurray, Executive Director of the FSPA, Nicki Pressley-Rice of WEK & Associates and Virge Jones from PoolCorp on the Pool Magazine podcast.

PM (Pool Magazine: “What are you seeing in terms of how pool contractors are recovering from hurricanes Ian and Nicole?”

EM (Elizabeth McMurray): “It’s definitely a complicated situation because people are personally affected but their businesses are additionally impacted. We’ve got some member businesses who have lost their operating structures and so they basically have lost their physical presence due to the hurricanes. Others are still able to work and have boots on the ground as far as servicing their customers or providing our distributors are able to provide materials and still have their storefronts open and their doors open to serve their customers. There are more people on the road, there are more contractors coming in from out of state. So there are a lot of other challenges that are going on just as far as the organizing of resources and actually physically getting around and being able to get to those pools that are potentially damaged or need to be serviced.”

NPR (Nicki Pressley-Rice): “There are so many people here. I’m on the road almost every single day in sales and it is extremely difficult to get around anywhere right now, regardless if you’re cleaning pools, building a pool, or subcontractor. To be honest with you, it is very challenging. Everybody down this way is dealing with the personal side of it too, which you do think about even when you’re working. You try to kind of balance it all out, but cleanup is going to take months, maybe years.”

“It’s emotional more than anything, but we are coming together. I really appreciate what FSPA has done. Shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand, we help each other as a family in the pool industry. That makes me extremely proud.”

VJ (Virge Jones): “Most pool professionals are dealing with the situation as best they can. They’re not in panic mode and are taking care of things best they can, one pool at a time. Some are being proactive and taking advantage of opportunities to do more business; cleaning up cages and things like that. Some are just managing their pools and leaving that kind of clean up to more professional people.”

Pool Enclosure destroyed in one of the recent hurricanes.

“A lot of people are asking for warranty. I’m telling them that right now, the way things are with some of the manufacturers, I’ve actually got to put the warranty on hold for a little bit. They are not going to cover the warranties knowing that some of those pool pumps have been submerged for a certain amount of time. They’re like, forget the warranty. I’m just going to put a new pump. So we’ve been selling a lot of pumps, not even motors, but mostly pumps. A lot of electronics being asked for, stuff like that, a lot of cartridges. We sold twice as many in eleven days in October that we normally do in a month.”

PM: “From the very beginning, FSPA was trying to inform folks about how serious these hurricanes were going to get and how to prepare for them. What are some of the challenges in getting that kind of information out to the general public before an event such as this happens?

EM: “Everyone is dealing with the personal impacts and their own personal preparation, but then you’ve also got the business preparation as well. People are trying to prepare their personal homes and their families and figure out, are they staying? Are they going? Those are the same people that need to help their customers during the hurricanes, so they’re trying to take care of their families and their customers at the same time.”

“Consumers are sometimes misinformed or need better information. The FSPA is working really diligently with our members to ensure that consumers get the right information. We want to be that resource for what to do to prepare your pool if bad weather is coming; ensuring that they follow the right procedures to prepare their pools in those types of scenarios.”

PM: “Virge, let me ask you a question. We saw that storm that hit Texas a couple of years back. Do you think the extent of damage that occurred in Florida is possibly going to take a lot of that equipment out of circulation?”

VJ: “Definitely going to. My branch has been suffering because unfortunately of the way we are being replenished, but that’s an internal issue, so we’ve been struggling down here. With that said, I think we’re in much better shape than we were two years ago. I think the manufacturers are finally getting back on track, compared to what it was.”

PM: “So just to clarify things, we’re not going to see the same kind of glut that we saw in the demand for equipment we saw in the ice storm that happened two years ago?”

VJ: “I don’t think so. I think manufacturers are a little more proactive right now. They’re preparing for the early buyers and all that for next year.”

PM: “No need to go out and start panic buying, right?”

VJ: “Yes, that’s correct.”

PM: “Elizabeth, what we saw during the hurricane was a lot of folks throwing furniture in their pool. In one unfortunate incident, an elderly man died while trying to drain his pool during the height of the storm. I mean, how do we keep pool owners from following that bad information that’s out there that can damage their pool and potentially even cost lives?”

EM: “That’s a great question. I mean, I really believe that the FSPA is here to service our members as well as the consumers at large. We did a huge digital media push prior to the storm arriving in regards to what to do with your pool from a consumer perspective. We also have resource pages on our website for both industry professionals and for consumers. We definitely want to be that resource and help educate pool owners about what you should do and not to drain your pool. A lot of consumers aren’t aware what pool popping is and what happens when you remove the weight of the water out of your pool. We want to help ensure that consumers are educated. We hope that our partners, like yourselves, will assist us in that by pointing consumers to our pages, to our resources, to ensure that they do the right things and follow the right processes when there’s bad weather coming their way.”

PM: “A lot of pools damaged during the hurricanes, and lots of folks are still trying to get back on their feet. How is the FSPA helping to coordinate efforts to help members in this time of need?”

EM: “We have a lot of different initiatives going on. Consumers and industry professionals can find those resources on our website, We have tips dedicated to hurricane recovery for both pool professionals as well as pool owners on what to do with their pools now that the storm has come and passed. Additionally, we are trying to coordinate donation efforts towards our industry members that were impacted. Basically, if you are able to donate labor, time, supplies, any type of inventory or materials that might help a fellow industry member, there is a form that you can complete on our website. And then if you’re one of those members who need those supplies, who needs labor, who needs someone to come and help them with clean up after the hurricanes, you can also let us know that you are in need and we will help connect you to those who are donating.”

“Finally, the other big thing, we have is a list of different personal and business resources such as the US Small Business Administration has a disaster loan. There are different disaster contractor networks that they can get engaged with. We have resources on how to file commercial insurance claims. Above and beyond that, we’ve engaged our Florida Swims Foundation and are fundraising for grant money that goes directly to our members. Member businesses can apply for recovery grants. The purpose of the grant is for them to utilize the funds that they receive in the form of a forgivable grant. This is to pay for their business insurance deductibles, to make payroll. It’s for employees who can’t currently work due to impacts of the storm. It’s also to help pay for physical losses to their building or to their inventory that perhaps is not covered by insurance. Things of that nature. So we’re kind of trying to be holistic in our approach and help people to help themselves while continuing to be that resource for both the consumers and the professionals in the industry.”

Listen to our entire conversation on the Pool Magazine podcast.

4.7/5 - (23 votes)

Continue Reading


Hurricane Nicole Unleashes a Second Round of Devastation on Florida



Hurricane Nicole Unleashes a Second Round of Devastation on Florida

November hurricanes are rare so to say that Hurricane Nicole was unexpected would be an understatement. While most Florida residents were still recuperating from the damage caused by Hurricane Ian, Mother Nature let us know that hurricane season isn’t quite over yet. Hurricane Nicole was quickly downgraded to a tropical storm after making landfall in Florida yesterday, but not before killing two people from a downed powerline and causing a fresh round of destruction

More than 335,000 homes and businesses in Florida were without power as of early Thursday morning. Governor De Santis extended a state of emergency to all 67 counties with recommended and voluntary evacuation orders for Brevard, Clay, Seminole, St. John’s, Putnam and Franklin counties and mandatory evacuation orders for Flagler and Volusia counties. Along the west coast of Florida and from Sebastian Inlet to the South Santee River in South Carolina, a tropical storm warning has been issued.

“Given the uncertainty of the storm’s strength and path as it approaches South Carolina, residents need to have their personal emergency plans ready to go just in case we need to take safety precautions later in the week,” advised Kim Stenson, director of the state emergency management division.

Through Saturday, parts of eastern, central, and northern Florida could receive up to 8 inches of rain. Also, the hurricane center predicts rainfall totals of 2–6 inches from the southeastern United States through the southern and central Appalachians and western mid-Atlantic.

This hurricane season has been an especially destructive one for residents of Florida.
This hurricane season has been an especially destructive one for residents of Florida.

The one-two punch of Hurricane Nicole coming directly on the heels of Ian was unexpected. Nicole was the first hurricane to make landfall in the United States during November in almost 40 years. Florida is no stranger to hurricanes, but only two hurricanes, the 1935 Yankee Hurricane and the 1985 Hurricane Kate, made landfall in November since official record-keeping began.

Hurricane Nicole Causing Tremendous Damage For Pool Owners

While certainly not as destructive in terms of loss of life and property damage as Ian was, a quick glance around social media this morning shows every indication that Nicole did her fair share of damage during the storm. One homeowner posted footage of her swimming pool popping out from the ground during the coastal surge.


The beginning of it popping 😳

♬ original sound – East Coast DIY

The Pool Pops up in this video 😳😭

♬ original sound – East Coast DIY

Video Footage: @eastcoastdiy

5/5 - (1 vote)

Continue Reading
Follow us on Google News
Become a Member of the Pool & Hot Tub AllianceSponsored Advertisement
Pool Magazine App on Google PlayPool Magazine App on Apple Store

Download the NEW Pool Magazine App

Recent Pool News


Pool News

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x