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Thread: Bromide Balance Questions

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    Bromide Balance Questions

    Ok i'm new to the Spa Chemistry world but I have been reading up quite a bit and have been trying to balance my Spa but i'm having some issues. I'm trying to follow waterbear's step by step on using bromide.

    I got the spa balanced and bromde levels around 4 ppm, put the floater in then about a week later I decided to shock it. I think I misread the instructions and didn't increase my my bromide levels up to 30 before I added the bleach ( about a cup ) to sanitize.

    After about a week I retested the water. Everything was all out of whack. Water was cloudy, TA was low, PH was high, and BR was almost non existent.

    QUestion #1 Did I screw up by adding chlorine without having the BR levels at 30 before doing so?

    To try and remedy the situation, I brought the TA to 80 with baking soda, then I used the Pool calculator to determine how much Muratic acid and Borax to add to the tub (including extra acid to make up for the increase in PH from Borax)

    I added the correct dosage ( somewhere around 1oz of each for a 400g tub ), waited and retested. NO change. I waited 24 hours and retested, no change.
    I added the chemicals again, repeated the above tesiting/waiting. PH levels creeping down very very slightly and BR levels going up very very slightly.
    I added the correct dosage again ( with a little extra of each ) and again only very slight changes.

    As of right now the PH is around 7.8 (down from 8+), i'd like it to be slightly lower, and the BR is registering maybe around .5 ppm ( up from 0 ), and as I understand it I want this to be closer to 3ppm ( i'm using the 3 step system with a floater ) normally.

    Question #2 Given what I did with the shocking, does that make it harder to get the PH/bromide levels correct?

    Question #3 Is borax even the right thing to add to get it to 30ppm prior to shocking? Maybe I have my chemicals mixed up completely here....I'm kind of confused as to the difference between 'borates' and 'bromides'.

    Please Help
    15' used Atlantic Esprit II pool 52" to be installed
    Sand Filter, 1.5 HP pump

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Bromide Balance Questions

    This should reply be in the spa sectin. Perhaps one of the mods will be kind enough to move it.

    You haven't made any serious mistakes. It takes some practice to figure out how to balance PH and TA. Keep working at it and remeber that high TA levels raise the PH rapidly.

    Bromine is a completely separate issue. It sounds like your bromine bank is a little low. Nothing serious. If it goes to zero just shock and continue on.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Bromide Balance Questions

    Maybe someone can move this thread over to the right area.

    Been reading a lot more about this tonight as well, thanks for your response.

    From what I have gathered, borates are just something are 'good' for your spa and you want them in the 30ppm range. There are test stips to check borate levels ( i need to get some ), and it's something you monitor occasionally once you get them to a good level. Raising borate levels with Borax is a good method, as long as you add some acid to compensate for ph.

    Separate from that, when you first fill the tub you need to add sodium bromide (according to the instructions on the container ) which also gets you to 30ppm bromates ( this is what confused me 30ppm borate and 30ppm bromIDE are both referenced in different writings ). You then shock the tub with chlorine (if thats what you are using), bringing the bromide levels down to 10ppm and they eventually settle in lower than that. You then add a floater to keep the bromates in the water so that when you add chlorine again it will activate them.

    Did I get that right?
    15' used Atlantic Esprit II pool 52" to be installed
    Sand Filter, 1.5 HP pump

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Bromide Balance Questions

    Borates (20 Mule Team Borax) and Bromine (bromates) are completely different things. Borates help stabilize the PH. Bromine/bromates help sanitize the spa.

    Bromine can be either active or inactive. In it's active form it sanitizes the spa. In it's inactive form it just sits around waiting for the next time it is activated. Bromine can be activated in several ways, the most common being the addition of chlorine.

    You don't normally need to check the borate level in a spa. Generally you add enough to get to your target level and then don't worry about till the next time you drain and refill the spa.

    You do need to check the active bromine level fairly frequently and add more chlorine to help maintain an appropriate level as needed.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Bromide Balance Questions

    Ok makes sense.

    I was adding borax thinking it was raising my bromide level. I nearly flunked chemistry in high school.
    15' used Atlantic Esprit II pool 52" to be installed
    Sand Filter, 1.5 HP pump

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