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Thread: I use bromine

  1. Back To Top    #1

    I use bromine

    I need some help. I've been using bromine instead of chlorine since I had the pool put in. First two years I had no problems. The last couple of years I'm having a hard time keeping it clear. It is petty foggy now after I swept the alge and cleaned the pool. Having a hard time keeping my bromine leaves up.
    Do I still follow the abc's eventhough I'm using bromine?

    Ph: 7.6
    Alky 90
    Bromine: barely registers
    20x40', vinyl, Jandy sand filter, bromine off line feeder, 2.5 hp jandy pump.
    Near Cleveland

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: I use bromine

    Huh. To tell you the truth so few use bromine in their pool (most in spas) that we've not had that question that I've ever seen?

    Let me bump this to see if others have ideas.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
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    Re: I use bromine

    Bromine tabs use dmh, which serves the same purpose as cyanuric acid in trichlor tabs. Most likely your dmh is too high.

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: I use bromine

    I checked and Pool Expert BoDarville said this:

    "Chlorine added to a bromine pool reactivates the bromine. If you stop adding bromine, eventually a long time later (could be as long as a couple of years) you will run out of bromine to be reactivated. At that point, you would then have a chlorine pool. The only other way to rid the pool of bromine is a complete drain & refill.

    Bromine can be in two states, active sanitizing bromine, and inactive "banked" bromide. As long as you have enough bromide "in the bank" you can use chlorine to reactivate it. Bromide is lost very slowly in normal usage, although activities like high levels of water splash-out and frequent filter backwashes will hasten the process."
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: I use bromine

    Thanks for you help. So how should I proceed? Keep the bromine feeder and buy a chlorine floater?
    I still don't understand why my bromine levels are low. I know the bromine is dissolving in the feeder - it has to be going in the water.
    20x40', vinyl, Jandy sand filter, bromine off line feeder, 2.5 hp jandy pump.
    Near Cleveland

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: I use bromine

    Have you been adding chlorine to re-establish the bromine bank?
    Here are some links concerning other members' bromine pools. Perhaps one of them will have some useful information for you.
    New Bromine User
    Green water in Bromine pool
    Change bromine pool to chlorine?
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: I use bromine

    Probably going to need to dilute to reduce dmh. Do you have a fasdpd test kit?

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    Re: I use bromine

    I use brom for my pool. I use bromine tablets when I am not at summer house and sodium hypochlorite (bleach) to bring up the active brom to 10ppm from time to time. It is possible to use sodium monopersulfate (oxischock) as well. If you have used only tablets until now I strongly recommend to you to stop using them for some time and use only bleach. You will still have a bromine pool, but you will spend less on chemicals. For every 1ppm of chlorine you will get more than 2ppm of bromine. It is easy to protect the bromine from the solar UV by covering the pool when it is not in use since bromine is not so volatile (comp. to chlorine).
    South of France inground rectangular 17k pool - ruber membrane. Sliding dome, black thermal blanket covering 75% of the pool surface. Aqualux 3/4Hp pump, glass media sand filter, Zodillac robot, 110W UV-c lamp, Hayward brominator, Caliente 12kW heat pump.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: I use bromine

    Jeffwantstoswim,

    JamesW has given you the best advice, you likely need to partially drain and refill your pool. If you have been exclusively using brominating tablets in your pool, then your water is in a similar situation to people who use chlorinating tablets exclusively - namely, you're water is over stabilized with too much dimethylhydantoin (DHM). Bromine tablets are typically a mixture of 1-Bromo-3-chloro-5,5-dimethylhydantoin (BCDMH) and some acid buffers. The DMH part of the compound acts like a bromine buffer in that it lowers the active bromine (hypobromous acid) levels down to reasonable concentrations. Like too much CYA in a chlorine swimming pool, too much DMH in a bromine swimming pool will lower the active bromine levels too low and allow pathogens to flourish. This then leads to same phenomenon where you can't seem to register any bromine no matter what you add (because it is all being used up by algae). One normally adds an oxidizer to a bromine pool (such as chlorine or MPS) to convert the inactive bromide back into bromine.

    The problem with bromine pools (and there are many), is that there is NO WAY to practically test your DMH levels unlike chlorine pools where you can test for CYA. Since you have no idea how much DMH is in your water, it's hard to know how much you will need to drain. Normally, in a bromine swimming pool, you want to build up your bromide bank using a combination of sodium bromide and brominating tablets and then, once you add enough DMH to the water (determined by simple record keeping), you stop adding anymore tablets and you simply use an oxidizer to keep the bromine levels up. Unlike a chlorine pool where CYA protects chlorine from UV, DMH has little or no UV protective properties and so bromine pools tend to suffer form higher rates of bromine to bromide UV photolysis than a similarly sanitized chlorine pool. SO this makes it important to use a solar cover on a bromine pool. Add to this the much higher costs associated with bromine and you have the reasons why bromine is no longer used much in swimming pools. Spas are a different story because they are much smaller bodies of water with different characteristics than a swimming pool.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: I use bromine

    Thanks for your replies. Joyfulnoise, I send you a message; please read it if you have chance.
    Now I have more questions than I can type...I'm on a well so it's not so easy to change water. I can make up about 350 gal per day then I have to let a iron filter regen.
    I have not used chlorine, but just shocked for the second time this year.
    Why can't I live out bromine this year, run the bromine levels down at the end of year - then when I open the pool next season just switch to chlorine - I figure after 11 months of winter in Cleveland, any bromine is long gone - right?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Btw - I' m sick and tired of cleaning the pool every time I want to use it so I'm planning on buying a dolphin triton.
    Any comments?
    I measure Summer's by how many times I clean vs. how many times I swim.
    So far it's seven to two. Not good.
    20x40', vinyl, Jandy sand filter, bromine off line feeder, 2.5 hp jandy pump.
    Near Cleveland

  11. Back To Top    #11
    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: I use bromine

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffwantstoswim View Post
    Thanks for your replies. Joyfulnoise, I send you a message; please read it if you have chance.
    Now I have more questions than I can type...I'm on a well so it's not so easy to change water. I can make up about 350 gal per day then I have to let a iron filter regen.
    I have not used chlorine, but just shocked for the second time this year.
    Why can't I live out bromine this year, run the bromine levels down at the end of year - then when I open the pool next season just switch to chlorine - I figure after 11 months of winter in Cleveland, any bromine is long gone - right?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Btw - I' m sick and tired of cleaning the pool every time I want to use it so I'm planning on buying a dolphin triton.
    Any comments?
    I measure Summer's by how many times I clean vs. how many times I swim.
    So far it's seven to two. Not good.

    Jeff,

    PM'd you back.

    I have to say, you're in a pickle with this pool. Honestly speaking, you'd be better off draining the pool (if you could) and start over with chlorine. Bromine does not go away with time except through fresh water exchange. It does not evaporate and it does not leave the pool by any chemical means. Once you add chlorine to a bromine pool, the chlorine oxidizes the bromide and creates bromine. So all of the chlorine gets used up. Unfortunately there's no way to distinguish between chlorine and bromine with the test available to residential pool owners. So even if you add chlorine to your pool, the test can not tell you how much of the color change you see is due to bromine and how much is due to chlorine; it's just a total sanitizer level.

    You say you're on well water. Is getting fill water by truck even a possibility? You could drain your pool down to the point where you leave one foot of water in the shallow end and then refill with fresh water (assuming your liner is in good enough shape to handle the drain and your water table is low). You repeat that process until you get enough dilution to get rid of most of the bromine.

    The only other non-draining possibility (and it's kind of remote in your area of the country) is reverse-osmosis (RO) filtration. RO removes everything from the water and typically has a waste fraction of about 85% or so. That means you'd need to make up about 15% of your water volume from your well. RO is typically the most expensive option available but it gets rid of everything in the water (bromide, calcium, DMH, dissolved salts, etc, etc).

    You can certainly limp along this year by trying to shock your pool with chlorine to get the bromine sanitizer level to hold, but it's going to be a constant fight. That's what's basically happening now - you fight to get your pool clear of algae by hitting it with bromine (and vacuuming, brushing, etc) and then the water has some sanitizer in it and clears. The sanitizer levels drop to zero quickly, you go off to do other things and, next thing you know, the algae is back. It's always a constant fight with bromine in pools and this is why so few pools choose to use it and why chlorine is a much better choice.

    Let us know what kind of options you have for water exchange.

    Oh, and Welcome to TFP....

    Matt
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: I use bromine

    Thanks for your replies.
    I'm probably going to have some water trucked in. What kind of time does this buy me?
    I'm going to buy a robot cleaner - does that help my problem?
    I thought there was something wrong with my dispenser - when I place bromine pucks in my filter basket, the water looks clearer.
    20x40', vinyl, Jandy sand filter, bromine off line feeder, 2.5 hp jandy pump.
    Near Cleveland

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: I use bromine

    here image.jpgis a pic of my stuff if it helps.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    20x40', vinyl, Jandy sand filter, bromine off line feeder, 2.5 hp jandy pump.
    Near Cleveland

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: I use bromine

    I vacuumed the pool yesterday and added 3 lbs of quick dissolving shock which has 55.5% available chlorine. 24 hrs later, water still cloudy - when I tested for bromine, it is off the scale high.
    I'm still really confused. Can I test for dmh?
    20x40', vinyl, Jandy sand filter, bromine off line feeder, 2.5 hp jandy pump.
    Near Cleveland

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: I use bromine

    No easy test for dmh. If you know how many pounds of tabs you have used since the pool was filled, you can estimate. In any case, the level is almost definitely too high. Dilution is the only real solution. Only drain as much as you can safely do. There are many risks with draining a pool.

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: I use bromine

    Done a lot of home work on this. Dmh is the binder to make "solid" bromine. Was going to drain the pool and restart, but saw that if you drain the pool, the liner will shrink back to its original size and after a few years it's looses its elasticity so you have to replace the liner.
    I'm still confused on what would be the proper shock; should I use my chlorine based shock or should I use bleach?
    20x40', vinyl, Jandy sand filter, bromine off line feeder, 2.5 hp jandy pump.
    Near Cleveland

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: I use bromine

    Youíre in a difficult situation. Your pool might not be manageable in its current condition. You can try using only liquid chlorine to maintain the bromine level.

    Without knowing the equilibrium constants for bromine and dmh, you donít know where to keep the bromine level.

    You can try various bromine levels to see if anything will work. Perhaps with excellent maintenance, filtration and consistent bromine levels, you might be able to maintain a good water quality.

    The first thing you need is a good FAS-DPD test kit. Then I would suggest doing daily Overnight Chlorine Loss Tests to see how bad the bromine demand is.

    Increase bromine levels until you pass the OCLT. Essentially, itís a Slam, but with a trial period to find the Slam level.

    Once you pass the Slam, lower bromine levels until you begin to not pass the OCLT. Basically, youíre trying to find your optimum bromine level.

    Once you find your optimum bromine level, maintain it very regularly. Perhaps going SWG would help.

    Do regular OCLTs to catch any problems.

    Other suggestions: Check to make sure that the sand filter has enough sand. The pump is too big and you might have lost a significant amount of sand during backwashing. Also, lower the flow rate by getting a smaller pump, a two speed pump or a variable speed pump. Run slower, but longer. Also try adding filter fiber to the filter. Just put a few handfuls in the skimmer after every backwash.

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