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Thread: Using bromine tabs

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    Using bromine tabs

    I put a couple bromine tabs in filter and because floater takes forever (no erosion) got about 6ppm reading(all other chem is good per pool school here) I took a dip and the next couple days the water was really cloudy brownish. And the clean filter run time is 12 hours yes 12 hours for 800gal wood hot tub.
    Did another test and has 0 bromine. Is below quote saying that there is actually bromine in water but only until I add the activator will the bromine show a reading again???

    Ps does having the heater on 12 hours evaporate water and waste chemicals because I just have to add more?

    pps instead of putting tabs infilter, have you guys ever seen a hottub bromine inline tab feeder on the return side ofcourse right?

    Quote Originally Posted by ;7128
    The bromide reserve or bromine bank, as it is sometimes called, is created by adding the sodium bromide on filling the tub. This puts bromide ions in the water. This is your reserve or bank. When you shock (oxidize) you convert them to active bromine santizer, hypobromous acid. This is what you are measuring when you test your bromine levels, not the sodium bromide. If you did not have the bromide ions in the water you would not be able to create hypobromous acid. If you do not do this and rely on bromine tabs only you will have a chlorine system until you get enough tabs dissolved to create the bank, which can take several weeks.

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    Re: Using bromine tabs

    You should not rely on bromine tabs in a floater to provide enough bromine if you soak regularly. It's usually fine for maintaining a bromine level in between soaks, but you need to add an oxidizer after your soak to handle your bather waste. An oxidizer will convert bromide into bromine. So you usually start after a fresh fill by adding sodium bromide to the water to create that bromide bank.

    If you have a cover for the hot tub, the heater should not be causing it to evaporate -- most spas are heated and kept warm to hot.

    I don't know of inline tab feeders for spas -- for pools, yes. Again, the floater should work so you apparently didn't use enough oxidizer to handle your bather waste. Also, if you've never decontaminated your spa, you might consider using Ahh-Some before you dump your water for the next water change.
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    Re: Using bromine tabs

    Chem geek, you da man. So if there is no leak or evaporation, I should get bromine up to 10 ppm with tabs in filter (the store doesn't have the granular stuff) there should always be 10 ppm reading
    forever but when spa is used the waste makes the bromine go to "sleep" and you wake it up with activator or %12chlorine?

    So... with a bromine bank of say 10 ppm, if I install bromine "inline tab feeder" I wouldn't put tabs in there but I would put 100% chlorine tabs(without cya) or liquid chlorine?
    this would run with filter run time maybe 6 hours or so. Using spa maybe 1-3 times a week with heater on whenever filter is on.

    ps
    whats the difference between using pool store bromine granular activator(shock)they sell spa size 1.5 pound and using liquid chlorine?

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    Re: Using bromine tabs

    When you use the spa, you use up much more bromine. Used up bromine gets converted to bromide. You convert it back to bromine by adding an oxidizer to the water, such as chlorine or non-chlorine shock (MPS). There are also granulated bromine products, but they are mostly Dichlor (chlorine) with some bromide in them.

    If you initially create a bromide bank by adding sodium bromide per the instructions on such products, they usually get you to 30 ppm bromide. You want some extra so you don't run out and so the bromide gets converted to bromine quickly enough. You won't get 30 ppm bromine unless you add that much oxidizer and normally you don't need that much bromine.

    As for the bromine level in between soaks, it need not be 10 ppm. 4 ppm should be a reasonable minimum. You probably don't want much more than that when you start your soak or else you may smell too much bromamine, but you definitely need to add an oxidizer right after your soak.

    For a bromine spa, you use bromine tabs in the feeder. Chlorine tabs (Trichlor) dissolve too quickly and are very acidic. Bromine tabs are what are normally used in a bromine spa.

    There is no difference between pool and spa versions of the same chemicals except for size and pricing.
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    Re: Using bromine tabs

    So Chem Geek, I drained again and here is what I did... (water is cloudy again)



    Monday 28th
    Fresh water 800 gal wood spa separate pump/filter/heater with cover
    Added 5 crushed bromine tabs.

    took a dip on thur 1st (water still clear)
    took sample TH-250 -TB15- TA80 PH 7.3 temp 100
    after I added 8oz of shock potassium peroxy monosulfate 32% and I bought that sodium bromide 99% by leisure time added 16oz

    Yesterday Saturday 3rd I opened cover and the water is real cloudy. (I have clean filter on for 12 hours a day with good flow.)
    The reading for bromine is zero 0- im testing both with taylor 1&2 regents and a new bottle of strips <------ I don't get it should I be using liquid chlorine instead of that shock powder?

    So when I see a zero reading I add shock/clorine or I add more sodium bromide?

    Thanks you so much for your help!

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    Re: Using bromine tabs

    You can use bleach instead of Dichlor if you want to make more bromine from your bromide bank. I'm not sure why you are crushing bromine tabs, however. You can buy sodium bromide directly. Bromine tabs also contain DMH so while that's nice to be able to have a slow-dissolving tablet, it's something extra you don't need for just getting bromide initially.

    So you had 15 ppm Bromine after your dip on Thursday and by Saturday it was gone and the water cloudy, correct? That is very strange given the size of your spa since 15 ppm bromine is a decent amount in that size and should have handled your bather load. 15 ppm would handle around 2 bather-hours, though with almost nothing left over.

    When you see a too low a bromine reading, you add an oxidizer such as MPS non-chlorine shock or chlorine bleach or Dichlor. Since the water is cloudy, I'd go with the bleach or Dichlor since chlorine may work better for it. It sounds like this spa does not have an ozonator. I wonder if you've got biofilms consuming all the disinfectant. Did you ever decontaminate this spa before starting to use it such as using the Ahh-Some I suggested before changing your water?
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    Re: Using bromine tabs

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    15 ppm would handle around 2 bather-hours, though with almost nothing left over.
    15ppm with nothing left over, when you say this do you mean that the bromine is dormant or hiding? and when I put chlorine it'll be active at sanitizing again at 15ppm
    Or do I add more Sodium bromide 99%?

    The store didn't have that ahhsome just some other spa cleaner so im going to order online.

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    Re: Using bromine tabs

    If you added the recommended amount of 1/2 ounce per 100 gallons of sodium bromide then you should have enough. And yes, when the bromine gets used up it becomes bromide back again. So when you add chlorine you re-activate the bromide to become bromine.
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    Re: Using bromine tabs

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    If you added the recommended amount of 1/2 ounce per 100 gallons of sodium bromide then you should have enough. And yes, when the bromine gets used up it becomes bromide back again. So when you add chlorine you re-activate the bromide to become bromine.
    uh-oh the store told me to put whole bottle in 16oz with your formula I was supposed to add only 4 oz! at 800 gal could this be why it is cloudy? could I get chem burned?

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    Re: Using bromine tabs

    Putting in too much sodium bromide won't cause any chemical burns or side effects of that type. It's just a salt. Just keep the filter running and add chlorine until you get a bromine reading.
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    Re: Using bromine tabs

    Ok so since sat I haven't used hot tub had filter on 12 hours a day. I check right now and water. Has like a little cloudy but iridescent look to it , weird. TB was bright pink so above 5ppm with drop test. should i wash filter again? I forgot to lewve cover off. Should I run filter 247?

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    Re: Using bromine tabs

    I'm confused. What sort of test kit do you have that has a maximum of 5 ppm? That is usually a maximum for a DPD chlorine test, not a bromine test. The bromine test usually goes to 10 ppm or if it's a dual tube then one side says 5 ppm for chlorine and the other side says 10 ppm from bromine.

    You probably don't need to wash the filter again. A dirty filter will still filter and may even filter a bit better (though with a cartridge filter, it's not as noticeable an improvement as with a sand filter). It's OK not to leave the cover off. You normally do that after a soak to let the chemicals outgas after your soak. If you run the filter longer then the water should clear faster.
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    Re: Using bromine tabs

    Sorry its 5CL 10TB.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Here is a video to get a better idea. Just took this test, last night TB was over 10PPM today its light pink at around 1.5PPM! used hot tub once, I showered before.
    I got that foam even after the total drain....

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    Re: Using bromine tabs

    I couldn't tell, but did the test strips test for water hardness? You've got an awful lot of foaming. And yes, you have a large oxidizer demand. And with the cloudy water it does seem as if you've got something growing in your spa but bacteria would normally be killed unless they were in biofilms.

    I hate to say it, but I think that when you get the Ahh-Some you should use it, then superchlorinate to 50 or 100 ppm FC using bleach, then dump the water and start over.

    You never answered if you have an ozonator or not. It seems like you might not. Is there a reason you are using bromine instead of chlorine? Are you not soaking frequently? Chlorine works well if you maintain its level every day or two so that's easy if you are soaking many times a week. It's not so good if you only soak on weekends.

    Also, are you using this different test kit instead of the K-2006 just for convenience? The FAS-DPD of the K-2006 can still be used with bromine. You just multiply your Free Chlorine (FC) reading by 2.25 to get the Total Bromine (TB) reading.
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    Re: Using bromine tabs

    Total Hardness was at 200ppm, out of the tap its like 10ppm, I added CH up to get to 200. Foam comes even after draining...


    Chem Geek, this hot tub is at a property I own that I have my one cottage and 2 others that is rented out. Im there 1-2 week, That and I have the heater on all the time is the reason I use bromine.
    They tell me they use maybe 1-2 week but who knows! Hate to be this guy but maybe I should off limits tub.

    I will use ahhsome but when I super chlor wont 100 eat my heater insides up?


    I do not have an ozonator... should I get one, are they easy to install?


    I bought that FAS-DPD just didn't have in case, (the reagent and powder with tiny scoop right?)



    Would metals in water cause cloudiness like this?

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    Re: Using bromine tabs

    A short-term superchlorination is not damaging. The active chlorine level doesn't get that high. If you used 100 ppm from bleach, the pH rises to around 8.4 (if there is no CYA in the water) and the active chlorine level is equivalent to 20 ppm. If CYA is present, the pH is higher and the active chlorine lower. A washing machine with bleach added is around 160-220 ppm FC. The key is that the exposure is a relatively short period of time. If you feel more comfortable using 50 ppm, then do that instead of 100 ppm.

    An ozonator will be helpful to generate more bromine automatically from a bromide bank (sodium bromide added initially) and it can help oxidize bather waste rather than relying on people using the spa always adding oxidizer after their soak.

    With the kind of foaming you have in spite of a CH of 200 ppm, I'm perplexed by it. The cloudiness might be that your TA and CH and pH are all too high. Normally the CH is at around 120-150 ppm to prevent foaming -- you usually don't go higher. And your TA shouldn't normally be much above 80 ppm though with bromine tabs if you find the pH is dropping then you could have the TA around 100 ppm instead.

    If you are using ONLY bromine tabs, then they may be building up DMH from the tabs and at extremes that can act like CYA to chlorine and make the bromine less effective.

    Metals should not cause cloudiness, though overuse of some metal sequestrants can cause such cloudiness.

    Since you aren't actually out using the spa and others are using it instead, I suspect that the bather load is high and that people have soap in their swimsuits. So the water just isn't getting enough oxidizer added to it to handle the bather waste so the water gets cloudy. The soap causes the foaming. That's my best guess. By not being there, an ozonator sounds like your best option for something fairly automatic to help handle the bather load. With a properly sized ozonator, you may not need bromine tabs as the ozonator could produce enough bromine for you. The trick though is that if the bather load varies a lot, you can get fairly wide swings in bromine level. The "right" way is to dose after each soak but people using the spa in a rented out cottage may not be willing to do that.
    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
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