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Thread: Switched from BBB to Bromine in Spa

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Switched from BBB to Bromine in Spa

    This weekend I switched from BBB in spa to Bromine. 3-step. Using Borax also. Put in proper amounts using Pool Calculator and then threw in the floater with Bromine tabs. MAJOR big mistake that I didn't realize until next day. The feeder can't be adjusted down fine enough. Took feeder out (still out) and will put in only one tab till can get one that can be fine tuned. Bromine so way off the scale I can't measure pH. I drained close to 1/2 and refilled. Bromine came down a little. So stopped by Leslie's yesterday and picked up a bottle of Chlorine and Bromine neutralizer, "Chlor Neutralizer", and Taylor reagent R-0007. 7 is the buffer for testing isn't it?

    Have to run this morning but will add neutralizer when I get back at noon. I'm going to take it down slowly. I just want to get it down enough to do accurate testing.

    I thought my spa was 350 gallons but found on the makers site that it is 550 so the 2 oz of Sodium Bromide I added was pretty right on. I did a really long soak the first night and added 2 tbs of MPS after. After soak I reported to DH that I didn't remember Bromine smelling so much when we used it way back. With BBB didn't need any fragrances but used some with the first Bromine soak. Next day is when I discovered the off-the-scale reading of Bromine. As the pH test is dark purple I have no idea what the pH is right now. I may just empty the it and start over but want to play with the neutralizer some.

    BTW... have ozonator.

    Will report back later.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Switched from BBB to Bromine in Spa

    Taylor R-0007 is sodium thiosulfate which is a chlorine/bromine neutralizer used in the TA test to neutralize the sanitizer before the test proceeds further.

    You could have also just used standard inexpensive 3% hydrogen peroxide to neutralize the chlorine/bromine. Roughly speaking, a given volume of 3% hydrogen peroxide neutralizes the same volume of 6% bleach. [EDIT] This may be wrong -- it works for bromine, but may not work for bromide. See my post below. [END-EDIT]

    Are you switching from BBB to Bromine for the convenience because you don't use the spa every day so want consistent sanitation without having to add chlorine every few days?
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Switched from BBB to Bromine in Spa

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    Taylor R-0007 is sodium thiosulfate which is a chlorine/bromine neutralizer used in the TA test to neutralize the sanitizer before the test proceeds further.

    You could have also just used standard inexpensive 3% hydrogen peroxide to neutralize the chlorine/bromine. Roughly speaking, a given volume of 3% hydrogen peroxide neutralizes the same volume of 6% bleach.

    Thanks.... good to know.

    Are you switching from BBB to Bromine for the convenience because you don't use the spa every day so want consistent sanitation without having to add chlorine every few days?
    Actually our spa gets minimum of 2 wo-man hours a day.

    Because of the intense sun spa covers don't last as long here. And I replaced my old one this summer; 7 years old and at least a year beyond it's comfortable use. It has had little half circle slices in the top portion for a year now. I was beginning to worry about longevity of top due to all the chlorine I have to use. I usually propped open the top, for a couple of hours a day, about 12 inches, to off gas the chlorine and then bugs get in and now leaves blow in. When I switched to BBB, a few months ago, from ionization/ozone/chlorine, I unplugged the ozonator which I really love and wanted that back too.

    Chlorine was not too much trouble.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Switched from BBB to Bromine in Spa

    I don't think you are going to see that much of a difference in cover longevity between Dichlor-then-bleach vs. bromine. With the chlorine, the CYA moderated its strength while bromine will be at its full strength. It's a weaker oxidizer, so may be a wash between these two effects. If cover life is the main factor, then a combination of Nature2 using MPS would give the longest life since the MPS isn't volatile and you'd still have a sanitary tub, but this approach is more expensive.

    Ozone from the ozonator is probably more harmful to the cover than the chlorine, but this depends on how much persists into the water to then outgas. What is it about the ozonator that you love?

    [EDIT] Note that I've corrected my earlier post about using hydrogen peroxide. Though that definitely can be used as a dechlorinator, it may not work with bromine since it could instead oxidize bromide to bromine -- hydrogen peroxide is both an oxidizer and a reducing agent. You are better off using thiosulfate or some other pure reducing agent to reduce bromine levels. [END-EDIT]
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Switched from BBB to Bromine in Spa

    For what it's worth, Here's a n00bs 2¢ maybe one of the smarties can comment on my process...

    I first filled my first spa about 3 weeks ago and I have gone from 3 step to 2 step as well as I find the floater even when totally closed pushes the bromine level up into the 12 to 13 PPM range. My ozinator keeps the bromine level at about 5.5 which is slightly high but gives the wife more soaking time.

    I have been shocking with lithium hypo but may switch to MPS as I find the lithium hypo exacerbates the already high pH after the tub has been used and then I need to fight off the pH increase from aeration as well as from the lithium hypo. This effect does seem much less pronounced when my TA is lower however so I'm not sure what that's all about. I shocked with MPS last time and it actually brought the pH down to where I wanted it anyway so I didn't have to add any acid.

    So basically, I shock the tub to over 10PPM after wifey exits and after about 24 to 36 hours, we've settled back to 5.5 without putting in the floater. Then we repeat the process. Occasionally, I'll put the floater in about half open in lieu of shocking when she's done to add to the bromide bank and remove it after a day or so. I don't have some huge body of experience to work from but I'm settling into a routine. I ran myself out of 0004 and 0872 being an over-checking dummy the first little while.

    I'm pretty confident in my ability to keep the water balanced and to keep the sanitizer level pretty constant now. My only problem is foaming which I suspect has a little to do with this being the first fill but a shot of defoamer a few minutes before I start the jets seems to have it under control. I've raised my CH to near 200 and I use the enzyme stuff but It's still kinda foamy in there.

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Switched from BBB to Bromine in Spa

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    I don't think you are going to see that much of a difference in cover longevity between Dichlor-then-bleach vs. bromine. With the chlorine, the CYA moderated its strength while bromine will be at its full strength. It's a weaker oxidizer, so may be a wash between these two effects. If cover life is the main factor, then a combination of Nature2 using MPS would give the longest life since the MPS isn't volatile and you'd still have a sanitary tub, but this approach is more expensive.

    Thanks. I used the Nature 2, ozone, MPS for many years but but didn't use chlorine until I started reading TFP. And my spa was probably not even near balanced in other ways as I didn't think I needed to care about that. Remember this is pre TFP. I would occasionally get some cloudy water but it was, for the most part, pristine looking. I also used SpaPerfect and enzymes. When we soaked we always had to use a water softener to keep from drying out too much and then a bunch of MPS after soaking. After getting the major biofilm this year, two flushes with SpaFlush, and then a major decontamination I switched to BBB. Liked it and the ease, the feel and smell of the water (no longer needed the water softener or fragrances) but missed the ozone.

    Ozone from the ozonator is probably more harmful to the cover than the chlorine, but this depends on how much persists into the water to then outgas. What is it about the ozonator that you love?

    I love the smell of the ozone. I use virtually no hair products. I could get in the spa and massage my scalp and hair in the ozone bubbles with the result of clean hair but with a little more texture, so reduced hair washings. Using the spa almost everyday gave me fresh hair almost daily. Besides that I replaced my old ozonator in 2008 and hated the heck not using it. We also use the venturis most of the time we are in the spa. We have loads of jets (two 5hp pumps for jets) so we do major aeration for one or two hours a day.

    [EDIT] Note that I've corrected my earlier post about using hydrogen peroxide. Though that definitely can be used as a dechlorinator, it may not work with bromine since it could instead oxidize bromide to bromine -- hydrogen peroxide is both an oxidizer and a reducing agent. You are better off using thiosulfate or some other pure reducing agent to reduce bromine levels. [END-EDIT]

    I used the neutralizer from Leslie's and it worked great. It got the level down so that I could take accurate readings. Had to play with the pH somewhat and up the CH and Alkalinity, and increase the Borax. It's just going to take some time to get used to maintaining the Bromine.
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Switched from BBB to Bromine in Spa

    Quote Originally Posted by BCHWB
    For what it's worth, Here's a n00bs 2¢ maybe one of the smarties can comment on my process...

    I first filled my first spa about 3 weeks ago and I have gone from 3 step to 2 step as well as I find the floater even when totally closed pushes the bromine level up into the 12 to 13 PPM range. My ozinator keeps the bromine level at about 5.5 which is slightly high but gives the wife more soaking time.

    I have been shocking with lithium hypo but may switch to MPS as I find the lithium hypo exacerbates the already high pH after the tub has been used and then I need to fight off the pH increase from aeration as well as from the lithium hypo. This effect does seem much less pronounced when my TA is lower however so I'm not sure what that's all about. I shocked with MPS last time and it actually brought the pH down to where I wanted it anyway so I didn't have to add any acid.

    So basically, I shock the tub to over 10PPM after wifey exits and after about 24 to 36 hours, we've settled back to 5.5 without putting in the floater. Then we repeat the process. Occasionally, I'll put the floater in about half open in lieu of shocking when she's done to add to the bromide bank and remove it after a day or so. I don't have some huge body of experience to work from but I'm settling into a routine. I ran myself out of 0004 and 0872 being an over-checking dummy the first little while.

    I'm pretty confident in my ability to keep the water balanced and to keep the sanitizer level pretty constant now. My only problem is foaming which I suspect has a little to do with this being the first fill but a shot of defoamer a few minutes before I start the jets seems to have it under control. I've raised my CH to near 200 and I use the enzyme stuff but It's still kinda foamy in there.
    Thanks so much for your valuable 2 cents. It is worth much more than that. As I just got everything somewhat balanced today I haven't gotten in so don't know about foaming. We skinny dip (no one to see us) so we don't have any detergents that sometimes come off of bathing suits. We, also, use very few other personal products so hoping the foaming won't be an issue.

    My bromine reading was way over 20 but I don't know exactly how much. It took a surprisingly small amount of the neutralizer to bring it down. I have MPS and I've been using it for years. From what you said I think I'll stick with that for a while as we have so much aeration in addition to the ozone that feeds 24/7. The main return, 24/7 puts out a good quantity of bubbles too. When we use the spa we always have at least half the veturies open on jets so even more chance for pH rise. Good to hear that your MPS helps to keep the pH more stable.

    It's going to take a week or more to see what what does to what. I did put the feeder in today with one partially dissolved tab to see what it does over night. There are some feeders that can be adjusted down to tiny feed. Just need to do a week or so playing with different approaches.

    I'm hoping to not have to use any enzymes, metal outs, etc. Time will tell.

    We use loofah to exfoliate in spa so I change out the filter 2-3 times a week. With BBB 2 times a week was more than enough. We'll see how often with bromine.

    Thanks, gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Switched from BBB to Bromine in Spa

    Quote Originally Posted by BCHWB
    I have been shocking with lithium hypo but may switch to MPS as I find the lithium hypo exacerbates the already high pH after the tub has been used and then I need to fight off the pH increase from aeration as well as from the lithium hypo. This effect does seem much less pronounced when my TA is lower however so I'm not sure what that's all about. I shocked with MPS last time and it actually brought the pH down to where I wanted it anyway so I didn't have to add any acid.
    :
    :
    I'm pretty confident in my ability to keep the water balanced and to keep the sanitizer level pretty constant now. My only problem is foaming which I suspect has a little to do with this being the first fill but a shot of defoamer a few minutes before I start the jets seems to have it under control. I've raised my CH to near 200 and I use the enzyme stuff but It's still kinda foamy in there.
    When your spa tends to rise in pH over time, a lower TA will lead to greater pH stability. This is because the carbonate buffer that is mostly what TA is measuring is not only a pH buffer, but is also a SOURCE of rising pH itself. A higher TA has more carbon dioxide outgas from the water and that causes the pH to rise. So you can minimize the pH rise by lowering the TA, even to 50 ppm if necessary. If the TA is kept low, then one can use 50 ppm Borates in the spa as an additional pH buffer that doesn't cause the pH to rise. And yes, MPS is net acidic.

    The foaming should be reduced on your next water change. Some of it is likely due to being a first fill, especially if you didn't use Spa System Flush or similar product to remove initial contaminants and biofilms in a new tub.

    Richard
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Switched from BBB to Bromine in Spa

    Ok then, so It's OK to keep my TA about 50 then because that has been making me nervous. Things seem to settle down around 50 which coincdentally is where I am right now. I haven't touched the tub in a couple of days except to test and everything is staying nice and balanced. I did add borax to the tub to the tune of about forty something PPM so your post is making me feel more comfortable about a 50 TA.

    The thing is, with my TA at 50, a Saturation index of 0 is at a pH of about 7.8 and that seems a little high. With borax in the tub, is it OK to run the pH lower than that, say 7.6? I know 7.6 doesn't put me under -.5 so maybe that's OK in an acrylic tub...

    Thanks Richard.

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    Re: Switched from BBB to Bromine in Spa

    When my bromine was way off the scale so, of course, all the readings were messed up but the TA appeared so high I stopped putting in drops when I got to 900. It really wasn't that of course. Just shows how things can appear out of whack. I did add borax to bring up to 50 from 30 and and baking soda to bring TA to 100 so I might just have to lower the TA some which will probably happen anyway with aeration but I'll watch that closely today keeping close watch on pH. Yesterday when I finished and tested the pH was 7.2. It will be interesting to see what it is when I get home at noon.

    BBB, was easier already but I want to continue the Bromine for a while to see how we like it. I'm not totally ruling out switching back to BBB but want to give Bromine a chance.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Switched from BBB to Bromine in Spa

    Quote Originally Posted by BCHWB
    The thing is, with my TA at 50, a Saturation index of 0 is at a pH of about 7.8 and that seems a little high. With borax in the tub, is it OK to run the pH lower than that, say 7.6? I know 7.6 doesn't put me under -.5 so maybe that's OK in an acrylic tub...
    With pH 7.8, TA 50, CH 200, CYA 20, Borate 40, temp 104, I get CSI of exactly zero from the Pool Calculator. Dropping pH to 7.5 gives me -.24, this should not be a problem.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: Switched from BBB to Bromine in Spa

    After I got partially into this something dawned on me. I left what I had written, though, prior to the lightbulbs coming on.

    I've still been see sawing with pH. I didn't check numbers yesterday. Today I'm adjusting my TA up as it was nearly gone from day before yesterday addition of MA and aeration. TA was 50 the other day; now close to 0 with pH 6.8. I just added 2.2 oz of baking soda and pH has shot out of range up after circulation and jets for 30 minutes. I'll test in another 30 minutes.

    I think the main problem is not so much the ozone as it is the ozone in addition to the huge amounts of bubbles that come out of the return. The air feed line that attaches to the return, right near where the return fitting is, going into spa, was mostly stopped up for years so bubbles didn't come out of it. The button in the spa, above the water line, was still drawing some air but not enough to get bubbles into the return. When I had the Spa Tech out this spring to replace a two pumps, circulation and bubbler, and some jets, and deliver my new cover he must have cleaned it out some as that's when the bubbles started coming out of return. I had completely forgotten about that feature (which is not a good one because of TA/pH problems). After I did the two flushes and then the major decontamination, including cleaning that air line, the bubbles coming out are MAJOR. They are continuous as the air hose is connected to the return coming from the circulation pump and heater, 24/7.

    The ozonator is connected via a much smaller line attached to another small line to a much smaller return that is also 24/7.

    So I really need to stop those bubbles from the main return. The only function I can see for the air button is, I think, a safety function for the pump and filter. The system does, and is supposed to, clear out the air in system without much user intervention, when the filter is taken out for cleaning. Of course there is a screw tap, on the top of filter, to relieve the air in the filter/system but I don't have to release much air when I do my 2-3 times a week cartridge change out. Before the tech cleaned out the button and/or air line there was much more air to release from the filter than after he cleaned it. After my flushes and decontamination I don't even have to mess with that. So I think it is doing its job. But these bubbles are ridiculous for keeping values in line.



    You know, I'm just wondering if there is maybe a tiny one way valve that prevents air being sucked into the button, putting all the bubbles into the return water, but only allows air to go out the button for air relief from system. I may have never had air coming out of the main return at all. I just can't remember. And it does seem highly unlikely that the manufacturer would have designed it to put bubbles into the return especially as we have gazillions jets, with controllable venturies (BTW... what is the correct spelling for those and the plural spelling? ), and two huge 5 hp jet pumps in addition to the bubbler pump. I guess I'm going to have to give the manufacturer a call.

    In the meantime, what do you guys think about me temporarily removing the air intake button and putting a small cork, not too tightly wedged, it the hole? That way if air needs to be released from system it should just pop out. It will be too large to go through the skimmer and just float until I have to redo it. As I tend to the filter 2-3 times a week, check some values, normally, at least once daily, and use the spa almost daily, I can keep close check on it.

    What do ya think

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Switched from BBB to Bromine in Spa

    I put a cork in. I had to wedge it pretty tight. There are still a few tiny bubbles coming out so I think it will serve its purpose if needed. It will be a couple of days before I can get a good comparison in values.
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Switched from BBB to Bromine in Spa

    I'll tell you what. Since I posted last, my pH has been steady as a rock at 7.6-7.7 with a TA of 40, 40! I would have thought that was way too low but I guess the borax is helping. She hasn't used the tub in a few days and I haven't touched the acid or baking soda and it's solid as a rock with the ozinator on. I might bring the calcium up a bit to make the balance better in this condition (TA40 pH 7.6) but it's still close enough. Today she went for a soak and after, the pH was still 7.6-7.7. I shocked with lithium hypo and the pH rose to 7.8 which is nicely balanced. Her sisters are coming on friday and I'll shock it with a half dose MPS to drop the pH slightly and get the bromine up so I have maximum bromine before they get in so they can have some soaking time. I want it as close to 10 as possible I think. Even if it's a little high, 4 women in the tub will lower it pretty quickly I presume. I'll have to boost the TA soon but I won't go over 60 or so.

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    Re: Switched from BBB to Bromine in Spa

    Quote Originally Posted by BCHWB
    I'll tell you what. Since I posted last, my pH has been steady as a rock at 7.6-7.7 with a TA of 40, 40! I would have thought that was way too low but I guess the borax is helping. She hasn't used the tub in a few days and I haven't touched the acid or baking soda and it's solid as a rock with the ozinator on. I might bring the calcium up a bit to make the balance better in this condition (TA40 pH 7.6) but it's still close enough. Today she went for a soak and after, the pH was still 7.6-7.7. I shocked with lithium hypo and the pH rose to 7.8 which is nicely balanced. Her sisters are coming on friday and I'll shock it with a half dose MPS to drop the pH slightly and get the bromine up so I have maximum bromine before they get in so they can have some soaking time. I want it as close to 10 as possible I think. Even if it's a little high, 4 women in the tub will lower it pretty quickly I presume. I'll have to boost the TA soon but I won't go over 60 or so.
    That's good to hear. I appreciate your reports. Really helps. Before I put the cork in TA would drop amazingly fast. I put some baking soda, again, today, to take it to 50 and a bit of acid. I'm hoping I can get it to a point where I don't have to add basking soda daily. I'll bet the TA will reduce some by tomorrow but not as much as before the cork. The pH did go up some from yesterday but probably not much over 8.2; at least not so way off the scale. My bromine is decreasing at a rate I would expect so I just plunked the floater in for a few hours. I'm finding putting the floater in with a couple of bromine tabs for a few hours is enough. I haven't been in the tub for a few days as I'd prefer to get the TA/pH thing more stable first. I just don't want to add another factor in while working this out. BBB was much easier than this! And much more stable even with the ozone and pre-cork bubbles.

    Sure hope the gals have a great time. Great that they can get together at the same time.
    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Switched from BBB to Bromine in Spa

    That's good to hear. I appreciate your reports. Really helps. Before I put the cork in TA would drop amazingly fast. I put some baking soda, again, today, to take it to 50 and a bit of acid. I'm hoping I can get it to a point where I don't have to add basking soda daily. I'll bet the TA will reduce some by tomorrow but not as much as before the cork. The pH did go up some from yesterday but probably not much over 8.2; at least not so way off the scale. My bromine is decreasing at a rate I would expect so I just plunked the floater in for a few hours. I'm finding putting the floater in with a couple of bromine tabs for a few hours is enough. I haven't been in the tub for a few days as I'd prefer to get the TA/pH thing more stable first. I just don't want to add another factor in while working this out. BBB was much easier than this! And much more stable even with the ozone and pre-cork bubbles.
    After reading this thread, I agree that BBB method is much easier to maintain a spa and produces greater stability with the key factors. I guess using Bromine is advantageous because one doesn't have to be so dilligent with regular monitoring and adjusting sanitizer levels, buy after reading this thread, it seems to create higher maintenance of the other factors to keep the CSI values under control.
    Barry
    Sundance Hot Tub 365 gal, acrylic
    (2) 2.5 hp pumps
    ozonator
    Northwest Ohio resident

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Join Date
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    Re: Switched from BBB to Bromine in Spa

    Quote Originally Posted by BC
    That's good to hear. I appreciate your reports. Really helps. Before I put the cork in TA would drop amazingly fast. I put some baking soda, again, today, to take it to 50 and a bit of acid. I'm hoping I can get it to a point where I don't have to add basking soda daily. I'll bet the TA will reduce some by tomorrow but not as much as before the cork. The pH did go up some from yesterday but probably not much over 8.2; at least not so way off the scale. My bromine is decreasing at a rate I would expect so I just plunked the floater in for a few hours. I'm finding putting the floater in with a couple of bromine tabs for a few hours is enough. I haven't been in the tub for a few days as I'd prefer to get the TA/pH thing more stable first. I just don't want to add another factor in while working this out. BBB was much easier than this! And much more stable even with the ozone and pre-cork bubbles.
    After reading this thread, I agree that BBB method is much easier to maintain a spa and produces greater stability with the key factors. I guess using Bromine is advantageous because one doesn't have to be so diligent with regular monitoring and adjusting sanitizer levels, buy after reading this thread, it seems to create higher maintenance of the other factors to keep the CSI values under control.
    Barry
    I had been using Nature 2, ozone, MPS for years with other products like enzymes, [correction] Spa Perfect, etc. Water always looked and smelled OK but it wasn't okay. I switched to BBB late summer 2009 after the spa developed a biofilm that gave me a horrendous bladder infection. It took two flushes with a store bought product, and then a major decontamination with bleach for over a day to finally get the "bad bugs" out of the system (the spa system ).

    BBB was a breeze even with the major bubbles coming out of return compared to what I'm battling now (I did unplug the ozonator when using BBB). I'm hoping that corking the air to the return will help to stabilize especially TA and pH. With BBB the water was virtually odorless, crystal clear, and we didn't need to use any water softeners or as much or any skin lotion after soaking.

    BCHWB appears to have his Bromine system under control and stabilized. They are having guest so it's going to be helpful to see what he has to do to help maintain the balance.

    I don't think my situation is fair to Bromine Systems. I doubt that anyone has the aeration that I had prior to corking the air feed to the return. I'm going to continue Bromine for a few more weeks.

    When we moved in to our house 23 yrs ago the pool had a chlorine tab feeder at pumping station. The first summer we were here DH didn't like the chlorine smell in the water. Also, my dogs, some show dogs, were losing some color in their coats. Of course all water was way out of whack. And at the time our water was adding to the issues. pH was very difficult to control. I took out the chlorine feeder and had a Bromine feed installed. After that the dog coats stopped bleaching, the chlorine smell was gone, and the bromine actually ended up costing less than chlorine over time. AND the pH swings stabilized. So I thought switching to Bromine in my spa was going to be a breeze.
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Re: Switched from BBB to Bromine in Spa

    I'm still battling today. Is there a problem with having borates at 60. I just added enough borax and MA (both in stages) to bring borax from 50 to 60 after getting pH down first but I didn't fiddle with TA at this point. It was ~45. So it didn't drop too drastically over night. pH was off the scale though, first test. I got it down to 7.2 prior to adding the borax.

    We'll see in a little while. This is amazingly "A HASSLE".

    aa=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Switched from BBB to Bromine in Spa

    I don't get what's happening to your alkalinity Alice. My TA never moves unless I add acid to the tub. I tested today and it was still at fourty something because I haven't added acid in a while.

    I don't think the bromine particularly makes the water balance harder because unless I'm missing something, using the tub, or running the ozinator will always push up your pH and you'll have to periodically add acid to lower it therby lowering your TA.

    For me, until now, it's been the same routine. Use the tub, shock with lithium, add acid to get the pH down to 7.6 or so and check the TA. When the TA hits <50, add baking soda to bring it up to 100 and start over. With the TA at between 50 and 100 I'd have to add acid every other day or so even if the tub hadn't been used because the ozinator would slowly push the pH up.

    The thing that's different for me now is I've let the TA get lower than 50 and everything's somehow stabilized. I like it because I'm not always throwing stuff into the tub. I'll ride this particular wave as long as I can and then push the TA back up a bit. Like I said, the only adjustment I could make at this point is maybe raising the CH so I'm more balanced at 7.6 with a low TA like I have.

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Join Date
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    Location
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    Posts
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    Re: Switched from BBB to Bromine in Spa

    Quote Originally Posted by BCHWB
    I don't get what's happening to your alkalinity Alice. My TA never moves unless I add acid to the tub. I tested today and it was still at fourty something because I haven't added acid in a while.

    I don't think the bromine particularly makes the water balance harder because unless I'm missing something, using the tub, or running the ozinator will always push up your pH and you'll have to periodically add acid to lower it therby lowering your TA.

    For me, until now, it's been the same routine. Use the tub, shock with lithium, add acid to get the pH down to 7.6 or so and check the TA. When the TA hits <50, add baking soda to bring it up to 100 and start over. With the TA at between 50 and 100 I'd have to add acid every other day or so even if the tub hadn't been used because the ozinator would slowly push the pH up.

    The thing that's different for me now is I've let the TA get lower than 50 and everything's somehow stabilized. I like it because I'm not always throwing stuff into the tub. I'll ride this particular wave as long as I can and then push the TA back up a bit. Like I said, the only adjustment I could make at this point is maybe raising the CH so I'm more balanced at 7.6 with a low TA like I have.
    Well......... I know the major amounts of air bubbles coming out of return was messing major with the TA and pH. Before I corked the air button, the bubbles were far greater than what comes out jets with venturies on.

    So that's been corked two days now. TA didn't fall as much with todays testing as it did when I had so many bubbles.

    Today, while testing, and adding I didn't want to touch TA so just ignored that during the day.

    I had to put about an inch of fill water in a couple of hours ago and just now tested. I haven't run the jets for a few hours (circulation 24/7 though). Had them on while adding stuff but without venturi.

    Bromine= ~5
    pH=6.8
    TA=10
    Borax at least 60

    I'm going to let it be until tomorrow. I've been using the Pool calculator since I joined TFP and have a strong scientific/mathmatic background.

    Until a couple of weeks ago I had remembered from materials that came with spa, that its volume is 350 so I've always added chems using that value. I was on manufactures site and saw that my spa is listed in the group with volume 550. So I've been using that value. This may be one of the factors that could explain.

    Any sane person would drain, refill, readjust but I've got this bull by the snout and want to tame it. I really want to get to the bottom of this. The answer could be there's just too much risidual "stuff" (of what I don't have a clue) in there that it will never balance. So I'm giving us two more days. At the very least it will be a learning process.

    Tomorrow, I'm going to unplug the ozonator after doing first test. Will adjust and then see what Saturday brings.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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