The further we go into the Pandemic, the more the supply chain issues continue to change. With some products, the supplies are getting better and we’re seeing signs of real progress. While with others things are getting worse. In some cases, much worse. Thank goodness we went on a “Buy American” program decades ago, or we all would be sitting in a far worst condition right now.
Here is a quick update per the different product categories, along with some quick tips on how to best navigate this mess.
- Chemistry Controllers: (Made in the USA, thank goodness) All parts and accessories are readily available, as with the complete chemistry controller packages. This is huge as some control systems have wait times of several months for things as simple as sensors and have a cloudy future due to chip shortages. We are currently experiencing some minor delays in production and shipping, but there is little effect from chip shortages due to great preparation from the factory.
- Filtration Systems: (Made in the USA) Poltank filtration systems are available, but the lead times have been extended due to supply chain issues and terrific demand, so we need to count on 10-12 weeks in most situations. This is still better than most similar systems. Smaller AMF filters from 24-36” in diameter, have a much shorter lead time, normally less than 1-3 weeks, with some models in stock.
- Cartridge Filters: More residential-grade cartridge systems, used in some specialty projects like water walls and high end residential pool projects, have longer lead times depending on the manufacturer, some extending for months.
- Stenner Feeders: (Made in USA) We have a large supply in stock and otherwise are readily available with few delays. Thank-you Stenner.
- SpinTouch Test Kits: The factory reports that no test kits will be available until October-November. CES is fortunate to have a very good stock of 25+ testers at the current time, but we can’t find any other stock available anywhere, so the sooner and better if you’re looking to jump on the SpinTouch bandwagon. Reagents are in short supply nationally, but our stock is solid. There are no 3-test (#502-combined chlorine) tests anywhere until Oct-Nov, so you can use the #701 test temporarily until the factory catches up.
- Tablet Chlorine: We had a few minor delays a few weeks ago due to… no kidding… the absence of truck drivers. We are fully stocked and shipments ordered before 1:00 PM are leaving same day. There is a potential threat of major price increases in granular and tablet chlorine in October if some supply chain issues aren’t resolved in the short term, and we’ll keep you in the loop as to the situation.
- Sodium Hypochorite (liquid) Chlorine:There have been some significant increases and minor delays, but no shortages locally yet despite huge issues on a national level. We will keep you in the loop on this situation as time goes on.
- Muriatic Acid: This has regressed. Made from 96+% Chlorine, we’ve seen 3 increases in the last few months almost doubling the cost. We’ve experienced no shortages yet from our suppliers, but other suppliers have announced considerable shortages.
- Saline Systems: (Made in USA, and readily available) Expect some minor delays as demand is very high as more people opt to “make their own” given the chlorine situation.
- UV systems: (Made in USA, and readily available) Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery, as demand is very high.
- Smaller Plastic Pumps: This has not improved significantly. In fact deliveries on smaller 1-5 HP single phase(220-240V) pumps is very spotty considering the new DOE Pool Pump Rule went into effect in late July, and manufacturers can no longer build or import these models.
- Lochinvar Heaters: These are holding up remarkably well, but still expect 3-4 week lead times for new orders. Pricing has increased due to increased prices in raw materials, and will increase again shortly… but this is affecting all heater manufacturers.
Suppliers and Customers have offered some insight into ways to better navigate these turbulent times… here are a few:
- Think ahead: It is very tough to supply anything other than what is listed above on an ASAP basis. It is best to watch inventories carefully and order well in advance of when you need it… as even shipping lines are strained.
- Loyal is better: We have seen some owners switch suppliers for a few dollars, and then were not able to get products on a timely basis, and were not able to be taken back to their original supplier, and many are not taking any “new customers”.
- Maintain what you have: This is not a great time to have things break unexpectedly. Check the operation of your heaters, filters, pumps, etc. carefully and schedule preventative maintenance as needed to get your full life span out of your equipment.
- Think long term: If a piece of equipment breaks, many are conducting a quick review to see if it makes sense to upgrade. Many new technologies pay their own way out of savings, and come with convenient pay as you go programs.
We’re all in this together, and please let us know how we can assist you. Our team stands ready to help in any way possible.
Contact your CES rep for any information, or to schedule a site evaluation on any technology in your pool operations. Stay Safe.