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Thread: Waterbears bromine method - Couple unanswered q's

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    Waterbears bromine method - Couple unanswered q's

    Hi there,

    I'm a newbie, and have been following waterbears bromine method, I have successfully got my spa up and running, and have a couple of questions and maybe some learning points for other new spa users trying bromine.

    Firstly, what I learned that may have been obvious to others but not to a newb like me!
    1. Don't start with TA much over 80, I started at 110, and had to work my way all the way down to 50-60! That was a lot of acid
    2. When you add "borates" make sure you know what you're adding, i.e. Borax involves adding even more acid. vs. a "balanced" product
    3. Read and reread the section on TA and how to get the pH down, and how the TA acts as a buffer, I found I was adding WAY too little acid, and it took a long time to get the pH correct. Add enough acid to get you down around pH 7, and then aerate to get back up and see where it lands, give it some time...
    4. Also Adding borates really spikes up the pH, I almost think it is better add borates when adding Baking Soda, so that you can measure the total alkalinity before having to add acid, otherwise you have to rebalance twice.

    Now for the questions:
    1. I think one mistake I made was not waiting for the water to come to temperature, I started balancing the water right away at 75 degrees, does it make a difference or am I just imagining things, my pH was off the chartsr (Taylor 2106 test kit) judging by the amount of acid I had too add, it was probably over 8.4
    2. I am using http://www.spadepot.com/shop/Floating-B ... 609C1.aspx as a bromine feeder, and am having trouble maintaining proper bromine levels, either they shoot up high around 5, or really low around .5ppm, this is without adding any shock (chlorine bleach), any suggestions?
    3. Am I just supposed to put 3 tablets in the feeder, or can I put more in if there is space (so it will last longer between changes), also, if the tablets haven't dissolved after 1 week, so I just let them stay in there, or chanqe them? The instructions say to add tablets every week, but do I need to add if there is still 3 (partially dissolved) tablets in there?

    Thanks so much for all your help so far!

    My spa numbers after 1 week.
    CH 150
    TA ~55
    pH 7.8
    Bromine ppm ~0.5 depending on how I set the feeder
    Temp is 99 degrees
    Tetra Borate 10ppm (250g)
    Freeflow Passport 280 gallon spa with Ozonator
    24' AG Pool, 52" Walls, Hayward Filter with Zeobrite media, 1.5 HP Pump

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Waterbears bromine method - Couple unanswered q's

    Quote Originally Posted by fmanji
    1. I think one mistake I made was not waiting for the water to come to temperature, I started balancing the water right away at 75 degrees, does it make a difference or am I just imagining things, my pH was off the chartsr (Taylor 2106 test kit) judging by the amount of acid I had too add, it was probably over 8.4
    2. I am using http://www.spadepot.com/shop/Floating-B ... 609C1.aspx as a bromine feeder, and am having trouble maintaining proper bromine levels, either they shoot up high around 5, or really low around .5ppm, this is without adding any shock (chlorine bleach), any suggestions?
    3. Am I just supposed to put 3 tablets in the feeder, or can I put more in if there is space (so it will last longer between changes), also, if the tablets haven't dissolved after 1 week, so I just let them stay in there, or chanqe them? The instructions say to add tablets every week, but do I need to add if there is still 3 (partially dissolved) tablets in there?
    1. pH changes with temp, so wait for it to get up to temperature before balancing.
    2-3. Fill the brominator with as many tabs as it will take in the main housing, then adjust the outer tube to change the feed rate. Let them erode away and add more as needed. There's no set time frame. You'll find the right spot eventually, just make small adjustments.

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    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Boise Idaho
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    Re: Waterbears bromine method - Couple unanswered q's

    I have the same one and can maintain the correct bromine with 3 open. I have a cal spa with approx. 450 gals. When I refill, I fill it all the way.....
    __________________________________________
    18x36 inground, sand filter, sta-rite sr400 ng heater

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    Guest

    Re: Waterbears bromine method - Couple unanswered q's

    Why are you adding borates? If you are doing it for ph control then you need 50 ppm and not 10 ppm and the correct way to do so is found in this thread:
    so-you-want-to-add-borates-to-your-pool-why-and-how-t4921.html


    Also, it's not MY method for running a bromine system but, rather, the correct way to do a 3 step bromine and you can find basically the same instructions from such companies as HTH and Robarb.

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    Re: Waterbears bromine method - Couple unanswered q's

    I wasn't doing it for pH control, I was doing it because it was recommended.

    The reason I didn't get to 50ppm is because it takes a lot of Borax and Dry Acid, and I was running out, will continue adding...

    I thought a nice side benefit was the TA pH buffering capability, and so I thought it might be better next time to add it instead of Baking Soda, and then just add the baking soda to get the TA around 50ppm, and then adjust pH to get to ~7.6, would that be wrong?
    24' AG Pool, 52" Walls, Hayward Filter with Zeobrite media, 1.5 HP Pump

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    Join Date
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    San Rafael, CA USA
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    Re: Waterbears bromine method - Couple unanswered q's

    Quote Originally Posted by fmanji
    I thought a nice side benefit was the TA pH buffering capability, and so I thought it might be better next time to add it instead of Baking Soda, and then just add the baking soda to get the TA around 50ppm, and then adjust pH to get to ~7.6, would that be wrong?
    It's not wrong. You can certainly use 50 ppm Borates if you want to and then keep a lower TA IF you find that the pH would otherwise tend to rise. However, note that you want to adjust the TA to get to a stable pH. If the pH tends to rise, then lower the TA; if the pH tends to fall, then raise the TA. There is usually some TA level where the pH tends to be reasonably stable over time, assuming your tub usage (including running the jets) is fairly consistent.

    In a bromine system, then pH may tend to fall if you use an acidic oxidizer such as some non-chlorine shock (potassium monopersulfate, MPS) products. Some are more pH balanced than others. So if you use them for shocking, then the pH may drop. If you use chlorine for shocking (which is far cheaper), then usually the pH will not drop over time and instead it will tend to rise unless the TA is kept low.

    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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