Save the Skimmer Baskets
A pool skimmer draws in any materials floating on the pool surface and traps them in the skimmer basket. Skimmer baskets keep those materials — natural debris, trash, bugs, and even small animals — from clogging the pipes that lead to your pool filtration system. Cracked or broken skimmer baskets will allow leaves and other debris to get through and potentially clog your pool’s pipes, pump, or filter. This could lead to broken parts and even the need to replace your entire filtration system.
Baskets blow out from pressure if you do not service them regularly and clean out debris. Please check and empty your skimmer baskets often — at least once a week — to help them stay sturdy and intact and prevent breakage and the need for a replacement.
Nationwide Pool Parts Shortage
Skimmer baskets, however, are not the only pool-related product currently in short supply. There is a nationwide shortage of pool parts right now, mainly anything made of plastic, due to a perfect storm of global events. According to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, global supply chain disruptions are severely affecting all industries reliant on plastic products.
During 2020, COVID-19-related lockdowns caused inventory levels of numerous items to decline and workforces to shrink dramatically; while pandemic safety precautions slowed production at workplaces and caused trucking shortages; also, multiple weather disasters across the Gulf Coast forced petrochemical factories there to shut down, causing a massive shortage of plastic production.
“Constraints on the supplies of their raw materials — especially polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and monoethylene (MEG) — are leading to factory shutdowns, sharp price increases, and production delays across a range of industries,” according to the Harvard Business Review article.
For example, the cost of plastic construction products is up 8%, while the cost of plastic resin and materials is up 13.1%, according to recent numbers from the Producer Price Index.
Protect Your "White Goods"
So far in 2021, the rising costs of certain pool industry-related plastics, particularly in what are called “white goods” — skimmers, main drains, valves, fittings, outlets, and feeders — are leading to shortages, with skimmers and main drains being the biggest problem area.
Due to all of this, we — and everyone in the pool industry — are finding it difficult to get replacement parts for skimmer baskets, main drains, and other white goods. While we are working on finding alternative sources, the best solution is to keep your baskets in good shape.
This plastic shortage should not prevent anyone from building a new pool. We are still doing new builds year-round, and are looking at alternatives to plastic products as we move forward.
Remember, your new pool will be your back yard oasis — whether it’s above- or below-ground, for lounging or doing laps, with or without a waterfall, or attached to a comforting spa, Precision Pool & Spa can make your dreams come true!