CHOICE membership

Price of Pool Chemicals

It’s that time of year (for me anyway) to balance up the swimming pool chemicals. One of the chemicals usually added is sodium bicarbonate and the supermarket is usually the stand out place for price on that. Looked at prices online to check this year and I see Bunnings carrying a generic looking brand that rival the supermarket price.
https://www.bunnings.com.au/pts-2kg-alkalinity-increaser_p0124946.
I purchased a bag and I see it is made by HYCHLOR NSW, the same people I expect that put this on Bunnings shelf next to it.
https://www.bunnings.com.au/hy-clor-2kg-alkalinity-increaser-ph-buffer-soft-pack_p3090201
Both are 1000g/kg sodium bicarbonate.

Similar with these two lines, though note the mass is not the same but $/Kilo for same product is noticeably different.
https://www.bunnings.com.au/pts-1-5kg-stabiliser_p0124948 ($4.67/kg)
https://www.bunnings.com.au/hy-clor-2kg-soft-pack-stabiliser_p3090208 ($8.50/kg)

Looks like a gouge for the coloured packaging, as they are chemically the same one could not even argue longer life or better quality.

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Bunnings are very efficient at being deceptive in regard to pool salt.

They stock grossly over-priced 15kg bags of Hy-Clor pool salt in the pool section near the Outdoor Section near the Garden Department at our local store priced at a mere $26.00.

At the other end of the store in the drive-through Trades section. they stock 25kg bags of Sunray Pool Salt.at $8.98.

They obviously intentionally prey on consumers who visit the lifestyle end of the store and who fail to check prices or who do not now any better.

But I guess in their defence,if there are idiots who are gullible enough to pay upwards of $10 per litre for bottled water, then they pale into insignifance compared to the other rip-offs.

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I buy my pool salt from our local Rural supplier (not marketed as Pool salt), but you need to check the purity. My local pool shop was trying to push “quick dissolving” salt for about $50/25kg. I suspect it was only finer grains.

My local hardware has Pool Clarifier $16 for 1kg, which is just Alum, which I buy for $2.95 at the Rural supplies. The Clarifier does have some useful instructions though. I also buy Bi-carb at a “warehouse” supermarket which is way cheaper than the same thing in the Pool section. The pool products don’t list their chemical, except in fine print, so people don’t know they are simply buying Soda Ash, Bi-Carb, Alum, Chlorine etc. Or don’t know enough to compare.

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We’ve had three pools, and found exactly the same with salt prices. It was worth comparative shopping and buying up ahead at the best price.

Sometimes Kmart, BigW etc had pool salt locally at the best price, down in the garden section.

Sunray brand in the larger bags always seemed to be one of the best buys. Hyclor marketing reminds me of Castrol, GTX adverts. (oils ain’t oils) Over priced to pay for the marketing and brand image, of a very average product?

But pool salt is pool salt!

I know too many who simply contract out their pool routine. If you can afford it, it helps with employment, however the profits through consumer ignorance usually go elsewhere. Typically through the inflated prices the contracted company charges for it’s own chemicals!

It really pays to shop around, and learn the basics, as @Fred123 and @zackarii suggest. It saved us several thousands a year in pool ownership costs.

We now only have a small pond, (well Olympic pool sized). Nature seems to do quite well on it’s own, and no pool fence or childproof gates to manage. And yes, rural dams are a hazard, along with all the other native critters found nearby that depend on access.

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