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Swimming Pool Maintenance with Enzymes

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Swimming Pool Maintenance with Enzymes

At this moment in time, pool owners use enzymes to keep their pools clean. Particularly, residential pool and spa owners are the best people to use enzymes for pool sanitization. Today, pool experts highly advocate for this technique since it is a chemical-free alternative. Over time, the experts have improvised this technique to incorporate certain aspects that fulfill homeowners’ needs when it comes to pool maintenance.

Swimming Pool Maintenance with Enzymes

Today, the primary classification of enzymes in pool and spa products are blended and broad-spectrum. The two products are available in the market and lead to productive outcomes. But these enzyme products do not function alike due to their distinct manufacturing processes. So first, let’s understand the difference between these two enzyme products.

Blended enzymes

Pool experts design these types of enzymes to decrease quantities of fats and oils. As a result, they save on the time and effort required to maintain a clean and oil-free waterline in the pool.

Broad-spectrum enzymes

The procedure of manufacturing this product is different from the one of the blended enzymes. Like the manufacturing of alcohol, these enzymes are chemically broken down through effervescence. They speed up chemical reactions in pools and spas. Also, they effortlessly disintegrate microbes like sunscreen, oils, among other bather waste contained in pools. They do this continually until no pollutant, or harmful substance remains in the pool except water and air. Thus, note that the broad-spectrum enzyme is more powerful and useful in disinfecting the pool.

How Do They Work?

When pool owners add enzyme products into the pool, they integrate with a specific molecule known as a substrate. After the reaction takes place, the molecule disintegrates into tinier particles, which perpetually degenerates. The enzyme product does this to every substrate until the disintegration process is over.

Which Enzymes Should You Use?

How should you know the enzyme product to use? Before choosing an enzyme product, check the pool’s capacity and the purpose of the pool construction. For instance, swimming pool requirements are dissimilar to spa requirements. Spas encounter different microorganisms coming from the user’s hair products, make-up, sunscreen, and other cosmetic products. So, the enzyme product used in spas accumulates inorganic waste in the spa water. Additionally, spas are hot water bodies. Thus, pool professionals design these enzymes to survive and function in warmer conditions, and also help with pool maintenance. 

Even so, inorganic waste is also present in swimming pools, particularly in commercial pools. But they are also exposed to other harmful environmental microbes. Examples include bird waste, jet fuel, and large amounts of pollen, particularly in springtime. It is, therefore, essential to use enzymes suitable for the respective water vessels. Also, note that as a pool owner, you should not exchange enzyme products made for swimming pools should with those designed for spas. In most cases, enzyme products used for spas often function under warmer conditions. If you use these products interchangeably, they may not lead to desired outcomes and exacerbate the problem.

Additionally, note that enzyme products react specifically with certain elements. Thus, it essential to use enzymes designed for a wide range of reactions and purposes. An illustration is that enzymes used to break down pollen cannot disintegrate cosmetic products. Thus, conduct thorough research before purchasing an enzyme product.

Moreover, enzyme products offering a wide range of functions enable you to make the most out of them. They destroy a broad spectrum of inorganic waste in swimming pools.

When to Add Enzymes

According to statistics, every swimmer leaves approximately 455 grams of inorganic matter after using a pool for about one hour. Thus, ensure regular sanitization and disinfection for your pool. Besides your regular primary and subsidiary sanitization agents, you can use enzymes as a pool maintenance agent. Most enzyme products need a weekly application in specific doses. Ensure you identify the correct amounts to use upon buying the product. Sometimes, pool experts use these products every time the pool undergoes servicing. Since enzymes disintegrate the inorganic matter, filtration systems do not get overworked.

Pool experts prefer adding specific quantities of enzyme products daily instead of a weekly basis. This technique is efficient for commercial pools where there is frequent pollution. The products can function even when the pool is in use. The non-living matter is continually broken down immediately; it gets into the water. Through this, problems on filtration systems, greasy waterlines, and water clarity are all resolved. Furthermore, if an accident occurs close to the swimming pools, enzyme products can break down grease particles.

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Pool News coverage brought to you by Pool Magazine's own Marcus Packer. Marcus Packer is a 20 year pool industry veteran pool builder and pool service technician. In addition to being a swimming pool professional, Marcus has been a writer and long time contributor for Newsweek Magazine's home improvement section and more recently for Florida Travel + Life. Have a story idea or tip you'd like to share with Pool Magazine? Email [email protected] your story idea.

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Cleaning and Service Equipment and Supplies

BioLab Plant Reopening Will Impact Chlorine Prices for 2023

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BioLab Plant in Westlake, LA - Reopening Will Impact Chlorine Prices for 2023

The news of BioLab’s plant burning to the ground during Hurricane Laura in 2020 had a ripple effect on chlorine prices that has lasted for the past two years. We first reported that BioLab was rebuilding the plant back in July of 2021. A recent announcement that construction is completed and in time for summer production has pool industry analysts optimistic. “We are delighted to reopen our BioLab facility in time to support the 2023 pool season,” said Michael Sload, CEO of KIK Consumer Products.

BioLab is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of dry chlorine products. An announcement that the Westlake, Louisiana facility is fully operational means that one of the driving factors for the initial spike we saw on the price of chlorine has been removed. Prices for dry chlorine products soared in 2021 due to concerns about shortages and remained high through the summer of 2022.

Understanding The Correlation Between BioLab & Price Increases

The conditions for a sudden surge in the price for chlorine stemmed partly from the fact that BioLab was out of commission. The main factor that was driving prices to explode during the past two years was largely due to the pandemic in general.

A large percentage of the population was quarantined, which meant more people than ever before, were at home and using their swimming pool. This put a much higher glut on demand than anticipated. With the pandemic shutting many plants down, and logistical delays plaguing distributors throughout most of 2021, these conditions as well as rising inflation in 2022 kept prices high through the summer.

The reopening of the BioLab facility will certainly impact the supply chain in a positive way. “BioLab will be actively supplying the pool market for the 2023 season which should provide some relief,” said plant manager Donald Brunette.

BioLab ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the reopening of the Westlake, LA facility.

Prices are predicted to begin dropping a bit in light of that fact but will certainly not sink lower than they were prior to the pandemic. As the population starts to adjust to a post-Covid world, the surge we saw for swimming pools has already begun to recalibrate to pre-pandemic levels. The only remaining catalyst for keeping chlorine prices from truly resetting back to 2020 is the cumulative rate of inflation is roughly 14.7% higher than in 2020.

While this should certainly factor into the equation, most experts agree that with this news, the chlorine shortage is finally over and a bucket of chlorine tablets should cost substantially less next summer than it has in previous years. This comes as welcome news for both consumers and pool professionals.

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Ultimate Water Taps Jeff Jones for Sales of Chlorine Genie

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Jeff Jones

Ultimate Water, whose flagship product is the Chlorine Genie, is pleased to announce the addition of industry veteran Jeff Jones as the new Regional Sales Manager and Buying Group Liaison for the company’s residential and commercial divisions.  Based out of Texas, Jones has been in the swimming pool industry for over 40 years spanning a broad range of roles including the VP of Sales for DEL Ozone, National Sales Manager for Letro Products, as well as work in construction management and sales for Blue Haven and Riverbend Pools.  Most recently Jones managed buying group sales for Florida Water Products. 

“We are very pleased to have Jeff join our team,” says Thomas Vessiere, National Sales Director for Ultimate Water.  “Jeff brings deep experience, industry knowledge, and strong relationships that will be especially helpful as the demand for the Chlorine Genie grows exponentially in our industry.” 

Having sold and designed pool water sanitation systems for many years, Jones is very enthusiastic about being a part of the growing success of the Chlorine Genie.  “The design and functionality of the Chlorine Genie makes it an ideal product for our industry and is especially welcome right now as builders, retailers and service professionals grapple with the most efficient way to continuously produce chlorine safely, cost effectively and immediately for their customers,” explains Jones. 

Jones will be at the AQUALive Show booth # 416 and can be reached directly at [email protected] or by calling 214-415-2510.

More information about the Chlorine Genie can be found at:

www.chlorinegenie.com

San Diego, CA

(800) 970-7616

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A Borates Shortage is Looming on The Horizon

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A Borates Shortage is Looming on The Horizon

One of the specialty chemicals being talked about a lot in light of the chlorine shortages and rising prices are borates. As strong proponents of borates, it troubles us to say that our go-to sanitzer supplement may soon be facing the same shortages and rising costs that we’ve been seeing on the trichlor side.

What The Boron Shortage Means For The Pool Industry

If you’re in the pool business you already know, borates are becoming increasingly difficult to find. What inventory is available is vastly more expensive than in previous years. We’re already knee-deep into the dog days of summer and prices for chlorine have skyrocketed well past analysts’ projections.

A lot of pool service professionals have been turning to borates as the savior during this time of inflation and rising prices. Many technicians already use borates as a buffer against upwards shifting pH. When your pH level rises above what is deemed “normal” (about 7.8), using borates achieves optimum results.

Pool service professionals have been turning to borates in a time of rising prices for sanitizers like trichlor.

Why Pool Professionals Are Turning To Borates

Bacteria can thrive in water with a high pH level. When this happens it makes chlorine less effective. Pool professionals use borates to alleviate the issue, because it works to keep pH from drifting upward. In addition, there are other positive aspects to using borates in your pool. For one, it keeps the pool clear of algae and calcium scaling. Pool equipment repair specialists will be the first ones to recommend borates. When it comes to maintaining ideal water chemistry for your pool equipment, borates does an amazing job.

For the past few years, the adoption of borates by pool pros has steadily increased season after season. The concern now is that we may have hit maximum capacity as demand has increased well beyond available inventory.

Dwindling Boron Supplies Driving Prices Higher

The global boron market shortage is driving prices higher this season. For those who’ve been thinking of switching to using borates, this definitely is something to consider. When it comes to getting trichlor at affordable rates, it already feels that pool pros are a lower priority as far as it goes to maintaining pricing structures. Now, it appears the same thing has begun happening with borates.

Although borates and boric acid are near synonymous with pools, the swimming pool industry itself is actually a lower priority in terms of its consumption of boron. The industrial glass industry is the largest consumer of boron, roughly 48%, followed by the ceramics industry (15%) and agricultural industry (15%); the cleaning industry of which the pool industry represents a fraction consumes roughly 2% of the world’s boron.

Boron is in high demand. There are a myriad of applications for it aside from pool cleaning.

You’ll find boron in everything from industrial fertilizers to high-end ceramics and solar panels. Boron also has medical applications which improve wound healing and boosts the body’s usage of estrogen, testosterone, and vitamin D. It improves magnesium absorption, reduces inflammation, increases antioxidants, and boosts brain electrical activity in both cognitive performance as well as short-term memory.

What is absolutely certain is that we (the pool industry) didn’t cause a borates shortage. Clearly, demand is higher in these other industries which are causing prices to surge. Right now the boron supply chain is very weak. Over 60% of the material comes from mines located in Turkey which is the top producer, followed by Russia, South America and the United States.

For the time being, production is gradually declining. As existing boron reserves deplete, we’re seeing demand far exceed supplies, resulting in higher prices such as $1,250 per ton, far exceeding analysts’ predictions for $739 per ton.

While the demand in the U.S. by pool professionals may be high, the top consumer of boron is China, followed by India and Japan. Boron is produced domestically only in the State of California and it appears very little of it is earmarked towards maintaining supply chains for borates.

Final Thoughts

The story isn’t all doom and gloom for pool professionals who want to switch to borates. Fortunately, folks like Natural Chemistry, Brenntag, and others are still intent on keeping inventory on the shelves so you should still be able to find their products through distribution. If they don’t have borates available, demand that they replenish their stock. This may be the only way to guarantee the pool industry remains a priority at all.

Listen to our entire discussion on the Talking Pools podcast.

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