What does the Salt Shortage Mean for Australian Pool Owners?

Written By Timothy Te

31st March 2022

With an industry estimate of over 1.2 million residential pools in Australia, it doesn’t come as a shock to find out that many pool owners are still reeling from the effects of the floods and heavy rains last month. With an estimated 70% of the users using salt water chlorinators to chlorinate their pool, it doesn’t come as a surprise that we’re facing a pool salt shortage that makes the shortages back in 2011 look like a minor supply glitch!

All across the east coast of Australia, especially QLD and NSW, swimming pools have been turning into nasty shades of green as suppliers struggle to keep up with the pool salt demand. While many salt producers are ramping up production to keep up with the heightened demand, pool industry insiders are predicting that it will take another two to three months for the supply to normalise itself.

For a more complete coverage of the Salt Shortage, check out ABC News right here.

What do we do if we can’t find pool salt?

We obviously can’t leave our salt water chlorinators running when our salt levels have been diluted by the rains. Forcing a salt water chlorinator to run with low salt levels can damage the salt cells and can cause you hundreds of dollars for the replacement cell! The best way to deal with this is to roll up your sleeves and maintain the pool the old-fashioned way while you wait for the new supply of pool salt to come in.

First Step: Clearing up your pool water

Depending on the condition of your pool water, there are different approaches to clearing up your pool water. Let’s go through the different pool water conditions and how to deal with each one.

Dark-Green, Murky, and Swampy Pool Water

This is the absolute worse condition for your pool when left for weeks without proper chlorination. When your pool no longer looks recognizable and instead of a crystal clear blue slice of paradise, you have a swamp in the back yard in where the Swamp Thing may or may not be considering to be his next summer home.

Draining the pool and starting from scratch may sound like the easiest way to do it but if you ask any pool professional, the water tables may have not gone down yet, and draining your pool at this point may cause your pool to pop out from the ground! In fact, there are already reports of many home pools popping out of the ground due to improper draining!

Does this mean that we have to just wait it out? Absolutely not! Some elbow grease and the right tools can turn that green pool back to the crystal clear slice of paradise that it was meant to be!

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  • Scoop out all of the debris - The first thing you’ll need to do is to scoop out all of the visible debris inside your pool. Either with a leaf skimmer, leaf rake, or lead shovel, scoop out any leaves, bugs, and other things that may have fallen into the pool.  

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  • Scrub all of the surfaces - With a heavy-duty brush, scrub down all of the surfaces to loosen up any and all algae and dirt that may have attached themselves to your pool surfaces.

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  • Use a flocculant - Flocculants draw together any tiny bits of debris and algae that may be too small to be caught by your pool filters and clumps them together so that they can be filtered out easily. Once this is done, move on to the next step where your pool will be…

Slightly greenish, with a little bit of cloudiness

This pool state can easily be fixed with the use of a couple of specialised pool chemicals from Mr Pool Man!

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  • Water TechniX Tri-Shock - Our most powerful shock product ever, the tri-shock is made with 90% Tri-Chlor stabilised shock treatment that’s ultra-concentrated and kills any and all bacteria, algae, and other unmentionables that may have settled in your pool from the lack of chlorination.
  • Water TechniX Crystal Clarifying Cubes - This should already be in your arsenal, if not then it should be! Just pop one of these into your pool’s skimmer baskets and enjoy crystal-clear water for a whole month!
  • This should be more than enough to get your pool into a workable state, which brings us to the next step…

Test and Balance your Pool Water

If you’ve relied on your salt water chlorinator for the longest time (or you started with one) and you’ve forgotten about manually chlorinating your pool then here’s a quick refresher. Use some test strips to determine the amount of chlorine you need to add to get your water back to a safe swimming level. We know that this may sound like a chore if you’re coming from the almost hands-free chlorination with a salt water chlorinator, but if you want to use your pool while salt is still in low supply then this is the way to do it.

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Remember to check and balance your pool water and pool chlorine at least twice a week to maintain a free chlorine level of 1-3!

Try out magnesium minerals

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If you have a chlorinator like the Water TechniX Atomic Salt and Mineral Chlorinator then you may want to give magnesium minerals a try! The supply of magnesium minerals haven’t been affected as much as the pool salt supply so there’s a whole lot of them available. Don’t know what the fuss is about magnesium pools? Check out this article where we do a deep dive on magnesium pools.

Do you have any questions about this topic or the featured products? No worries, we're here to help! Drop us a question down below and we'll get back to you ASAP.

Happy swimming :)

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Written By

Timothy Te

Pool Guru at Mr Pool Man

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