Not only are we dealing with 5.9% inflation but there is an extreme shortage of everything in the Pool Industry this season. Looking for chlorine, yeah everyone is. How about a heater? Or a particular VS pump. You are out of luck.
What is causing the issue? It all started with the Bio Lab fire last year in which the largest Tri-Chlor factory went up in smoke. This factory-produced an amazing 2 million pounds of Tri-Chlor each year. Of course with 3” tablets in short supply pool pros started grabbing liquid chlorine, cal hypo, and dichlor to sanitize their pools. And the supply chain could not keep up. Why there is also a shortage of Muriatic Acid is anyone’s guess. In this “Not Enough” economy it could be as simple as there are no boxes to put them in.
Some of the solutions are obvious. Switch chlorine types to the one that is readily available even though it will be inconvenient. For example, liquid chlorine might be available in your area and 3” tablets may be in short supply. In that case, you need to know that each day a pool loses at least 1 ppm of chlorine if there is a party even more (at 50 ppm CYA). If you arrive on a Tuesday and the pool is at 2 ppm and you add chlorine to bring it to 5 ppm by Friday it will be down to 2 ppm and Zero by Sunday. You can leave a gallon or a 1lbs bag of Cal Hypo and have the customer add it to the pool on Friday morning. Not the best solution but the only one besides installing a liquid chlorine feeder (which are currently out of stock).
Can’t find a Pentair Master Temp heater? Try a Jandy or Hayward one. Raypak makes great heaters but they are huge and take up more space. Make sure the other brand will fit which is not a problem for a Jandy or Hayward heater that is the same size or smaller than a Pentair Master Temp. I would not go from a 400 BTU heater to a 266 BTU heater unless your client doesn’t mind 2x the heating time. If their spa took 20 minutes to heat up figure with the smaller BTU heater for 40 minutes. If their pool took 6 hours then it will take 10-12 hours. Not a good idea.
Almost all VS pumps are now compatible with the other brand’s automated systems. So if you can’t find an Intellifo VS you can go with a Jandy Flo Pro VS. You would just need an open relay on the panel. Some of the off brands may not be automated ready so be sure to check. For example, the Pentair SuperFlo VS cannot be connected to an automated system. Some VS pumps are easy to connect like an Intellifflo to a Jandy iAqualink: https://www.poolspecialists.com/articles/How%20to%20Connect%20an%20Intelliflo%20Pump%20to%20Jandy%20RS%20Wiring%20Diangram.pdf
You can also connect different heaters and lights to different automated systems. For example, Fluidra states:
iAquaLink supports color lights manufactured by Jandy®, Pentair®, and Hayward®.
There are options available if you can’t find the brand of equipment you need.
A note about Leslie’s Jacuzzi line-up of equipment. Note that the VS pump is made by Hayward so it is automation-ready for all of the systems and that their heaters are made by Raypak. If you can’t find any equipment the Jacuzzi branded line-up is a good option. And their filters are made by Waterway.
The bottom line in this not enough economy is to be flexible and maybe look at brands and products that were not on your radar even a year ago. If it is in stock that is half the battle.
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