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Thread: What does Bromine smell like, and other questions

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    What does Bromine smell like, and other questions

    We are finally getting around to getting our hot tub repaired. In the meantime, I'm trying to decide between bromine vs. chlorine. I used bleach with great success in our pool all summer long, thanks to you guys.

    Question 1. Can anyone describe the bromine smell? I see a lot of people saying it smells like chemicals, or caustic, but can someone be more specific? What kind of chemicals (formaldehyde? household cleaner?)

    Question 2. I think that using bromine I can test and "maintain" a little less? From what I'm reading, using chlorine in the hot tub is similar to using it in your pool, you need to test and maintain levels almost every day. We would probably only use the hot tub 2-3x a week and I honestly don't know if I'm up to testing nearly every day.

    Question 3. The pool (oops -hot tub) has been sitting stagnant for nearly the last 6 months. I plan on draining and scrubbing it out with a bleach solution, then I need to fill it up and run some kind of biofilm remover, correct? Then for good measure I'd like to drain that, fill with water, and super shock it, then maybe drain that. Is this a sound plan?

    Thanks so much!

    edit - if it matters, it's a free standing Sundance hot tub, 420 gallons
    10,000 gallon inground, gunite, 500lb sand filter. Brand new to this pool thing.

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: What does Bromine smell like, and other questions

    Quote Originally Posted by pool mum
    Question 1. Can anyone describe the bromine smell? I see a lot of people saying it smells like chemicals, or caustic, but can someone be more specific? What kind of chemicals (formaldehyde? household cleaner?)
    Hard for me to describe it other than "it smells more than chlorine" and I don't particularly care for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by pool mum
    Question 2. I think that using bromine I can test and "maintain" a little less? From what I'm reading, using chlorine in the hot tub is similar to using it in your pool, you need to test and maintain levels almost every day. We would probably only use the hot tub 2-3x a week and I honestly don't know if I'm up to testing nearly every day.
    You can get by with dosing less often using Bromine. With chlorine (I use the "dichlor then bleach" approach), you need to dose at least every other day (or overdose slightly every third day if you have no plans to soak the following 2 days) in my experience. For testing , I only test using the OTO total chlorine test and ph test, usually 1-2X week once I figured out my tub.

    Quote Originally Posted by pool mum
    3. The pool has been sitting stagnant for nearly the last 6 months. I plan on draining and scrubbing it out with a bleach solution, then I need to fill it up and run some kind of biofilm remover, correct? Then for good measure I'd like to drain that, fill with water, and super shock it, then maybe drain that. Is this a sound plan?
    By pool here, I assume you actually mean your hot tub? Follow the decontamination link in the this post on the "dichlor then bleach" method: http://www.troublefreepool.com/how-d...95.html#p80503

    Does you tub have an ozonator?
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: What does Bromine smell like, and other questions

    Oops, sorry, meant hot tub. Thanks for the link. No, no ozonator.

    So, besides cost, a major drawback of bromine is the smell?
    10,000 gallon inground, gunite, 500lb sand filter. Brand new to this pool thing.

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: What does Bromine smell like, and other questions

    Quote Originally Posted by pool mum
    So, besides cost, a major drawback of bromine is the smell?
    I wouldn't call it major since a number of people on here have used Bromine successfully and are not bothered by it. That's about it for drawbacks as far I can think of.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: What does Bromine smell like, and other questions

    Ok, thanks. I suppose I can try it and then switch to chlorine if I can't stand the smell. I don't even know the cost of bromine, but I assume it's higher than chlorine.
    10,000 gallon inground, gunite, 500lb sand filter. Brand new to this pool thing.

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    Re: What does Bromine smell like, and other questions

    It's good that you don't have an ozonator, at least for using chlorine, because ozone reacts with chlorine. Without an ozonator, the chlorine may drop by 25% of the FC per day or perhaps less (depends on temperature) in between soaks (doesn't count drop from dosing after a soak). So you might be able to dose just once mid-week if you don't keep your spa hot in between soaks (i.e. let it get down to 90F or below).

    You can switch from chlorine to bromine easily, but going from bromine to chlorine will require a water change. And yes, bromine costs more than chlorine, especially once you switch from Dichlor to using bleach.
    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: What does Bromine smell like, and other questions

    I switched from chlorine to bromine in a floater and I'm very happy. the bromine level stays more consistent and it's an adjustable floater set almost on it's lowest level.
    -Kevin
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    22,000 gal / 16' x 32' / Vinyl / Hayward s244t /Pentair SuperFlo 1 hp

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    Re: What does Bromine smell like, and other questions

    Thanks again guys. Good to know about a water change if I change my mind. Fortunately, water is pretty cheap here, I calculated the cost of a hot tub refill and it came out to roughly $5.
    10,000 gallon inground, gunite, 500lb sand filter. Brand new to this pool thing.

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