Swimming Pool Blog
by Mark Garcia March 20, 2018
Where's the Lithium Hypochlorite? Discontinued, due to an increase in the demand for lithium, an element used in the production of lithium ion batteries, and in everything from electric cars to off-the-grid homes. Lithium is also is used as a lubricant and an additive for metal and glass. The amount of lithium required to make lithium hypochlorite is small, but price increases have had the effect of making an already expensive shock oxidizer, even much more expensive.
Will Lithium Hypo ever return to market? Perhaps, if mining operations can discover a faster and easier way to produce quantities needed. The popular method now is brine extraction - pulling lithium out of dried salt ponds - which takes 18-24 months per batch. The price of lithium has grown steadily since 2002, and with high demand for EV car batteries, the price has doubled since 2016. We finally had to stop selling Lithium Hypochlorite.
Who Cares About Lithium Hypochlorite Anyway? People that use lithium hypochlorite do so because of it's many features - dissolves quickly, leaves very little residue, swim immediately and safe to use with vinyl liners without pre-dissolving. Plus, it contains no calcium and no cyanuric acid (stabilizer), which is best avoided by those with high calcium levels or high stabilizer levels. It was not our biggest-selling pool oxidizer, but one with a very loyal following.
What is the Best Substitute for Lithium Hypochlorite? If you are looking for the same benefits but for a much cheaper cost - try our non-chlorine pool shock: dissolves instantly, safe for vinyl pools, no pre-dissolving and you can swim immediately. Chlorine-free pool shock is just as strong as chlorine pool shock for most applications. It kills bacteria, destroys chloramines, bather waste and organics. The only thing is won't do as well as chlorine shock is kill algae and remove organic pool stains, but for other uses, non-chlorine shock is just as potent, as well as being safer to use and store.
Can Calcium Hypochlorite be Used instead of Lithium? Absolutely! A close cousin of lithium hypochlorite, cal hypo is nearly twice as strong as lithium shock, although the granules are not as fine and powdery. For vinyl pools, calcium hypochlorite should be dissolved by pouring into a clean 5-gal bucket full of pool water before adding into the pool. For pools with hard water, or high levels of Calcium Hardness (over 400 ppm), keep in mind that Cal Hypo shock will add a small amount of additional calcium to the pool.
Can Dichlor Shock be Used instead of Lithium Shock? Another type of pool shock, dichloro-s-triazinetrione, or di-chlor for short, is a stabilized form of granular pool shock. Contains no calcium, but will add a small amount of stabilizer to the water each time it is used. For most pools that is a good thing, but for some pools with heavy use of stabilized tablets, the additional stabilizer may not be needed.
So long, Lithium Hypochlorite! The current supply is dwindling and trying to find out where to buy Lithium pool shock will become difficult in a few months, at an affordable price anyway.
Thanks for Reading!