How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

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chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
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San Rafael, CA USA
No, there isn't a simple test for bromide; the chloride test will measure both and the chlorine test will also measure bromine. There is a complicated way of measuring smaller levels, but it's not standard.
 

TIMMAH

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2009
56
i'm trying to use the 2 step but want to make use i understand this right.
after i do step one and shock it to get bromine.

daily maintance would be adding a oxidizer to up the bromine levels right?

how often would i have to add sodium bromide? this has me confused since with the 3 step the tablets i looked at are around 45% sodium bromide and 55% dichlor. so with the 3 step way you are always adding sodium bromide. but i didn't see anything about adding sodium bromide in the 2 step after you setup the bromide bank.
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
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San Rafael, CA USA
You've got the process described correctly. You just add an oxidizer (bleach, Dichlor, MPS) to convert bromide to bromine. When the bromine gets used up, it converts back to bromide.

As for how often you need to add more bromide, it's not very often. The bromide only goes away through splash-out or carry-out so basic dilution of the water and some leaves from bromine outgassing and some leaves from combined bromine attached to organics that may get stuck in the filter so removed when the filter gets cleaned. The initial bromide bank of 30 ppm (in ppm Br2 units) added with 1/2 ounce of sodium bromide per 100 gallons might need 10% replacement (pretty much a guess on my part) once a month unless you use the spa heavily in which case it might be every couple of weeks. That would be 0.05 ounces per 100 gallons so maybe 1/3rd teaspoon per 100 gallons or thereabouts. And again, this is just a guess on my part and might be too conservative. Having too much sodium bromide in the water, however, doesn't cause any problems.
 

yog27

Member
Dec 5, 2012
7
Thanks a lot to take time to respond.

Very clear, and useful.

Since i have found your site and i buy a Taylor kit my Spa is perfect!

At a fraction of the money that i spend before. :)
 

TIMMAH

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2009
56
my tub went cloudy about 8 day after i got it and i was using the chlorine system. i switched over to bromine 2 stage because i was having a hard time keeping the chlorine levels up. my guess was the tub was funky when i got it. so then i had a hard time keeping the bromide levels up. bromine was gone about 8 hours after shocking with chlorine or mps. so i switched over to the 3 step system, i shocked with a little over a cup of 8% bleach and threw 2 tabs in the floater and almost had no bromine after 8 hours. so i added twice the amount of mps to shock and added 2 more tabs to the floater. after 24 hours bromine is still over 10 that my test reads up too. color looks the same as it did 24 hours ago. water has been clear for a few days

so here is where i'm a little lost. i know with a chlorine system you just keep the chlorine high until you are good. but with a bromine system do i keep the bromine levels high with extra tabs in the floater? or is it the chlorine or mps that cleans up the spa? if it's the chlorine or mps i need to clean it up with, i should run 1 tablet and keep shocking until the brmine holds?
 

yog27

Member
Dec 5, 2012
7
3 questions:

1-What do You use to test your water?
2-have You had sodium bromiDE at the start up of brome setup
3-what are the other parameter of your water? (TA, CH, PH)?
 

TIMMAH

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2009
56
1- taylor k-1004 i needed something fast and they had it at the pool store.
2- yes 2 oz
yesterday before i added ph up
ph- 7.2
TA- 60
ch- my guess 180
i've had it tested at 2 different pool stores twice- 1 gave me a reading of 225 then 175. the other gave me a reading of 180 and 160. needless to say i don't trust there numbers. one store said my TA was 120 and the other 80 when it was 60.
i have the taylor numbers for the refill bottles for CH. i'm going to see if anyone has them or order them

i added some ph up lastnight and
ph is still reading 7.2 but TA is like 75 or 80, i just started the jets to see if i can get the ph to rise.

so right now
ph 7.2
ta 75-80 i had a good color shift on the 7th drop and 8th was full red.
ch my guess 180


i'd guess bromine level was around 15-20 and with the jets running for 20 minutes it dropped down to 6. then i shocked it with mps and ran the jets for 20 minutes and bromine was down to 10.
is that what should happen or are my pipes that nasty?
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
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Mar 28, 2007
12,083
San Rafael, CA USA
When you add an oxidizer, it will convert bromide to bromine. However, this doesn't happen instantly so adding chlorine or MPS could react with something in the water if bromine didn't get to it first. Mostly though, adding an oxidizer to a bromine tub to shock it mostly elevates bromine and it is these higher levels that oxidizes things faster.
 

GuinnessPhish

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2012
435
Herndon, VA
chem geek said:
Just see how the pH is holding. If it is dropping over time, then increase the TA. If it's stable, just leave it as is. If it's rising over time, also leave it but consider using 50 ppm Borates if you aren't doing so already.

pH has been holding relatively steady. pH did lower over time due to using bromine tabs in the floater.


I just added a few gallons to top off the hot tub. Now I have TA 40, 7.4 pH.

Should I bring TA up to 80 or so?
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
12,083
San Rafael, CA USA
Sure, if your pH was still stable at a TA of 80 ppm you can raise your TA. The key to the TA level is to not get it so high as to cause the pH to rise.
 

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GuinnessPhish

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2012
435
Herndon, VA
chem geek said:
Sure, if your pH was still stable at a TA of 80 ppm you can raise your TA. The key to the TA level is to not get it so high as to cause the pH to rise.


TA is 60 now, CH 200.


My pH seems to keep drifting upwards, requiring me to add muriatic acid every few days. I just added enough acid to bring pH down to 7.2.


Is there anything I can do to make the pH remain more stable?
 

UnderWaterVanya

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 14, 2012
2,589
Mint Hill, NC
GuinnessPhish said:
chem geek said:
Sure, if your pH was still stable at a TA of 80 ppm you can raise your TA. The key to the TA level is to not get it so high as to cause the pH to rise.


TA is 60 now, CH 200.


My pH seems to keep drifting upwards, requiring me to add muriatic acid every few days. I just added enough acid to bring pH down to 7.2.


Is there anything I can do to make the pH remain more stable?

50ppm Borates as Richard mentioned before. Borates add more "pH Inertia" helping hold the pH more steady.
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
12,083
San Rafael, CA USA
Also, don't try and get the pH to 7.2 since it outgases faster at lower pH. Let it rise to 7.8, then lower to 7.5 instead. The rise from 7.5 to 7.8 should be slower, IF the source of the rise is carbon dioxide outgassing.
 

GuinnessPhish

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2012
435
Herndon, VA
UnderWaterVanya said:
50ppm Borates as Richard mentioned before. Borates add more "pH Inertia" helping hold the pH more steady.


So, since I haven't added borax before, my borates would be zero?

According to the pool calculator, to get from zero to 50 ppm of borates, I need to add 29 oz by weight or 28 oz by volume of borax, as well as 14 oz of 31.45% muriatic acid to compensate for the pH increase.


Seems like a lot of both to add to a 500 gallon hot tub....is this right? How do I go about doing this?
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,083
San Rafael, CA USA
Those are correct amounts. With the circulation pump running, add half the borax, then half the acid, then the other half of the borax, then the other half of the acid. Or you can use boric acid instead which is closer to pH neutral (slightly lowers the pH). See the Borate section of Recommended Pool Chemicals in the Pool School for some sources for boric acid. It's also in Proteam Gentle Spa, but we've had reports that this raises the pH so isn't quite neutral and will require some acid (it's some mixture of boric acid with borax).
 

yog27

Member
Dec 5, 2012
7
Precision please:

-when i oxidize the bromide with chlorine or ozone or tab this will make the bromine (hypobromous acid), the sanitizer.

- When we shock (super oxydize) this will destroy organics in the water.

What does the sanitizer if it not destroy organic?
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,083
San Rafael, CA USA
Bromine isn't quite as thorough an oxidizer as chlorine. So bromine does disinfect and keep the spa from growing bacteria and it does oxidize some bather waste, but not all of it. Chlorine does a better job so shocking with chlorine every now and then helps to keep the water clear. The chlorine will first attempt to oxidize some of the chemicals that bromine hasn't handled and then it will oxidize bromide to bromine since that takes somewhat longer (depending on what's in the tub).
 

yog27

Member
Dec 5, 2012
7
If my hot tub is balance (CSI =0), do i need to had weekly stuff like "Stain and Scale Control "?
 

Sandib210

Active member
I use chlorine bleach as a sanitizer in my hot tub currently, but I am considering switching to bromine simply for the fact that I want the ease of not going to my tub everyday in the cold winter and adding bleach and testing. Somedays it's just too cold to hot tub around here. I'm interested in using a floater with bromine tabs. I may occasionally be able to skip a day if I had sanitizer in a floater. I currently have a taylor K-2006 test kit.

Here are my questions, If I want to switch to bromine:
1.i just drained and balanced 1 mont ago,do I have to drain the water and start over? (more questions to follow if I can use my existing water)

2. What do I need to buy so that I can test bromine? (I'm assuming I don't need another new kit but rather just the appropriate reagents)

3. I currently use pool calculator to balance my water, since I understand the relationship between CYA and chlorine. Are there particulars like this for bromine to be congnizant of or just maintain 4-6ppm bromine and go?

Thank you,
Sandi
 
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