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Thread: Bromine or Chlorine...which is less hassle?

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    ChiknNutz's Avatar
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    Bromine or Chlorine...which is less hassle?

    So I am using BBB for my pool with great success. I am also using it with our new-to-us hot tub. However, I am finding the 385 gallon spa to be more work than my 36,000 gallon pool. I understand that this is likely largely due to the fact that the significant volume difference of a pool precludes large swings in chemistry, all things considered. Since the spa doesn't have any chlorine feeder, I of course have to add it all the time manually. We do use the spa pretty frequently, so we are there to do it. Still, I would like to get away from having to constantly add bleach if I can get away with it. It just seems like I am using a lot of bleach or at least frequently adding (comparatively speaking).

    Here's my normal routine:
    1) Check FC level when I get home around 6PM. Since FC is usually 0-1, add 4-5 ounces of 6% bleach to bring FC up.
    2) Use hot tub, usually 2 of us for 30 mins to 1 hour (maybe not every day, but close to it).
    3) Add another 4-5 oz. of bleach post-soak.
    4) Repeat

    Is this how it usually goes for most folks too?
    BTW, when we first got the spa, I didn't do a full decontamination, but have since done so using Swirl Away and the whole shmoo.
    So as my thread title states, which method is easier to go? My spa has a bromine tablet holder in the filter door, but I've never used it since I use straight bleach. What are the pros/cons of using Bromine? Thanks much!
    Chris A.
    20x40 36k gal IG vinyl pool w/diving board & slide | 1.25HP Pentair Challenger motor & pump | 30" Triton TR100 sand filter | Pentair SM-20-3 multiport | Stenner 45MHP2 Peristaltic Pump & 13 gallon carboy (BBB) | Hayward CL200 Tablet Chlorinator (used on pool startup) | TF-100 | 2003 Sundance 850 Altamar hot tub

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    Re: Bromine or Chlorine...which is less hassle?

    I assume you have read Using Chlorine in a Spa and started out using some Dichlor initially to build up around 30 ppm CYA. Otherwise, the chlorine will be too strong and will dissipate too quickly as well. I also assume you read Using Bromine in a Spa as well for comparison.

    If you don't want to regularly add chlorine, then bromine would be easier for you since you can use bromine tabs in a floating feeder to maintain a background bromine level. However, if you aren't using the spa frequently, then this only saves you having to add sanitizer in between your soaks, but you still need to add it after your soak to oxidize the bather load.
    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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    ChiknNutz's Avatar
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    Re: Bromine or Chlorine...which is less hassle?

    Thanks. Yes, read them both and have used Dichlor until what I calculated to be 28 ppm CYA (see my other post in this section). Partly just wanting to ensure this as "par for the course" so to speak.
    Chris A.
    20x40 36k gal IG vinyl pool w/diving board & slide | 1.25HP Pentair Challenger motor & pump | 30" Triton TR100 sand filter | Pentair SM-20-3 multiport | Stenner 45MHP2 Peristaltic Pump & 13 gallon carboy (BBB) | Hayward CL200 Tablet Chlorinator (used on pool startup) | TF-100 | 2003 Sundance 850 Altamar hot tub

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    Re: Bromine or Chlorine...which is less hassle?

    Yes, adding chlorine after every soak if you soak regularly (and adding in between soaks if you don't) is par for the course. Roughly speaking, the amount of oxidizer needed to handle bather waste for every person-hour of soaking at hot (104ºF) spa temps is 3-1/2 teaspoons of Dichlor or 5 fluid ounces of 6% bleach or 7 teaspoons of non-chlorine shock (43% MPS).
    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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    ChiknNutz's Avatar
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    Re: Bromine or Chlorine...which is less hassle?

    If you are not in the hot tub, how often should you have to add chlorine? I've been very active in monitoring it, just about every day and every other day at most. What do you do when going on vacation? Without use, shouldn't the chlorine stay just about where you left it (assuming no contamination issues)? Do the higher than pool-temp temps make the chlorine go away faster?
    Chris A.
    20x40 36k gal IG vinyl pool w/diving board & slide | 1.25HP Pentair Challenger motor & pump | 30" Triton TR100 sand filter | Pentair SM-20-3 multiport | Stenner 45MHP2 Peristaltic Pump & 13 gallon carboy (BBB) | Hayward CL200 Tablet Chlorinator (used on pool startup) | TF-100 | 2003 Sundance 850 Altamar hot tub

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    Re: Bromine or Chlorine...which is less hassle?

    The typical daily chlorine demand in a hot tub in between uses (i.e. after bather waste is oxidized) is around 25% per day though this increases as the water ages towards 50% per day when one usually changes the water (it increases due to a buildup of slow-to-oxidize organics). This is also temperature dependent, but most people keep their spas at least fairly warm so it doesn't take long to heat up. With such loss and having the FC start off at, say, 4 ppm, it will drop to 3 ppm then 2.2 then 1.7 then 1.3. So while you can usually go 1-2 days or perhaps 3, you usually can't go a whole week unless you were to shock to a higher level such as 10 ppm and even then usually only during the first-half of water age between water changes.
    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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    ChiknNutz's Avatar
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    Re: Bromine or Chlorine...which is less hassle?

    Great info, somehow I must have missed this whole part of it. Really appreciate the input.
    Chris A.
    20x40 36k gal IG vinyl pool w/diving board & slide | 1.25HP Pentair Challenger motor & pump | 30" Triton TR100 sand filter | Pentair SM-20-3 multiport | Stenner 45MHP2 Peristaltic Pump & 13 gallon carboy (BBB) | Hayward CL200 Tablet Chlorinator (used on pool startup) | TF-100 | 2003 Sundance 850 Altamar hot tub

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    Re: Bromine or Chlorine...which is less hassle?

    For vacation, you can lower the spa temperature as far as it will go while still circulating the water and shock before you go. With the cover on and no bather load this should last almost a week. If you can have someone shock again midweek, this should take care of the tub. If you are gone longer or don't have someone to come over to check, you can put in a spa floater with some trichlor in it, openned just slightly. Do not put trichlor in a floater that has had anything else in it.

    This has worked for me.
    chris
    19,000 vinyl pool, solar heat, .75 hp tristar, 48 sq ft de filter

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    Re: Bromine or Chlorine...which is less hassle?

    I know this is an old thread but I thought I'd respond since I've done both chlorine and bromine. With chlorine, I would add bleach daily, even if not using the tub. When I went away for holidays, I had someone come every two days to add chlorine even though no one was using the tub. Since I was getting tired of the daily maintenance, I tried bromine. I use a floater with pucks(after adding a bromide reserve on start up) If I keep the floater almost wide open, I may not add anything over 3-4 days of daily use (two bathers for 30 minutes a day). After 3-4 days, I will have to add 2-5 one inch pucks in the floater. I can go on holidays for a week without anyone checking on the spa. Before I go, I shock it with a cup of bleach, fill the floater right full and there is still a solid residual when I come back. I only add chlorine after a party and it's surprisingly not as much as I had to when just using chlorine. So, overall bromine has been much easier. I think I did notice that in the first 3-4 weeks of use after a water change, the chlorine only water was clearer. The bromine water is still clear but not as sparkling as the chlorine. After about a month the water looked the same to me using both methods. I'd say to try both and judge for yourself. I'm not sure I'll ever go back to straight chlorine.
    450 gallon Alaskan Arctic Spa. 3 pumps.

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