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Thread: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

  1. Back To Top    #21
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    Why not just leave a copy of the sticky and my reponse to you about the pool frog? You could also leave a copy of the sticky on chemical free pools and alternative sanitizers since that is where I cover 'mineral' scams er, I mean systems.

  2. Back To Top    #22
    whoozer's Avatar
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    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    I have had a headache spa now for a year. Parts constantly breaking etc. But the biggest headache has been the chemistry. I have a four winns 6 person 400 gallon stand alone tub.
    I used the soft soak products on the spa as I didn't know any better. That's what I was told I had to use.
    I drained it for the summer have cleaned it out and am getting ready to reuse it for the winter and spring.I want to make sure I get this right.
    So this method only requires me to put in the sodium bromide at the start (how much and where do I find it?) and then use the tablets (where do I get these?) then chlorinate 1x a week?
    If that's all it seems easy enough. What am I missing? Note there aren't ANY good pool stores close, they all push one product line and carry nothing else. We now have a new Leslies which is about 45 minutes away. Would I find this stuff there? Thanks. I'm looking forward to using my hotub again...even if I'm bummed I can't use my cold pool
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  3. Back To Top    #23

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    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    I got mine at Wal Mart. The packages are small so you may have to look around a bit for it.
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  4. Back To Top    #24
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    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    Many of the online retailers also sell sodium bromide.

  5. Back To Top    #25
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    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    There is a lot if misinformation on the proper way to use Bromine so I hope this primer is helpful.

    First, you need to establish a bromide reserve in the water. Bromine tablets can do it by themselves but it can take literally weeks until enough dissolve. Some people crush about 6 of them up and put them in the water on each water change to achieve this but it really is easier and cheaper to add a packet or two of sodium bromide! It is available from such companies as HTH, Leisure Time, Robarb (Rendezvous), and others. Bromine tablets contain both bromine and chlorine to oxidize the bromine into active sanitizer. (There is one that I know of on the market that contains MPS instead of chlorine but it works exactly the same way.) If you do not add the sodium bromide and just put in bromine tabs then you will be starting with a chlorine system until enough bromide dissolves in the water.

    There are basically 2 ways to do a bromine system--2-step and 3-step. In the 2-step system you add the sodium bromide to the water to the proper concentration, then add oxidizer on a regular basis (usually, chlorine, MPS, or ozone, or a combination of them) to oxidize the bromide ions into hypobromous acid, your active sanitizer. It's pretty easy but does require a bit of attention daily to maintain the bromine levels in the water.

    A 3-step system is identical with the addition of bromine tabs in a floater. This will help maintain a more constant bromine level in the water with less maintenance but otherwise there is no difference. The three step system costs more since the bromine tablets are the most expensive part of this equation. The dimethylhydantoin in the tablets seems to have a similar (but not identical) function in a bromine system as CYA does in a chlorine system. It tends to stablilize it but, like CYA, too much is not good. Not that much info is readily available on the effects of dimethylhydantion other than that it makes the bromine more difficult to destroy, a consideration if you ever want to switch over to a chlorine system.

    If you add sodium bromide to your water and have an ozonator you might be able to achieve the constant bromine level without the floater since the ozone is constantly oxidizing the bromide while it is on. However, you might deplete the bromide reserve quickly this way, leading to a shorter time between drain and refills. Also, ozone can cause bromates to form in your water. Bromates are a suspected carcinogen in drinking water.

    You still need to superoxidize (shock), usually about once a week to destroy organics in the water whether you chose the 2-step or 3-step method.. I prefer plain, unscented laundry bleach (5.25%) for shocking a bromine spa. 1 cup per 250-300 gallons is about right. If you use Ultra bleach (6%) then you need about 3/4 cup. You can also use 12.5% pool chlorine at half the ultra bleach dose. They are all sodium hypochlorite, just in different strengths. If you do not want to use a liquid shock you can also use calcium hyopchlorite granules (slow dissolving and will cause your calcium levels to rise), Lithium hypochlorite (very fast dissolving but very expensive, however my first choice for a granulated shock since it really has minimal impact on your water like the liquid does), or MPS--potassium monopersulfate, also called non chlorine shock (will lower your pH and TA and add sulfates to your water). There is no advantage to using dichlor (stabilized chlorine) for shocking a bromine system but it probably wouldn't hurt. CYA (stabilizer) does not stabilize bromine.

    Here is a step by step:
    1) On each fill balance the water (adjust TA and pH. Add calcium if below 125 for acrylic spas or below 200 for plaster.) If you have metals in your water add a metal sequesterant.
    1) On each fill add sodium bromide to the water. (Follow manufacturer's directions on dosing. You will end up with about a 30 ppm concentration of sodium bromide.)
    2) Shock with your preferred oxidizer (chlorine or MPS) and turn on the ozone if you are using it. Your bromine levels should now be above 10 ppm. Wait until they drop below 10 ppm before entering spa.

    3) If using a 3-step system add your floater with bromine tabs and adjust it to maintain a 4-6 ppm bromine level. If using a 2 step system add your preferred oxidizer as needed (and adjust your ozone) to maintain a 4-6 ppm bromine level.

    4) Shock weekly to burn off organics that collect in the water. (If you are using ozone and your bromine levels are staying at 4-6 ppm then you can shock less often.) Wait until the bromine level drops below 10 ppm before entering spa.

    5) Test bromine and pH before entering spa each time. Test all water parameters (bromine, pH, TA, Calcium Hardness) weekly.

    6) Drain and refill about every 3-4 months.

    One final note. A good test kit is a must, just like with a chlorine system. IMHO, the BEST test kit for bromine is the Taylor K-2106 which has an FAS-DPD test for bromine and also tests for pH with acid and base demand, TA, and CH. If you already have a Trouble Free Testkit TF100 (or are getting one for your chlorine pool) then use the OTO test (small comparator with yelllow color blocks) for your bromine levels since you only want to know total bromine. The TF100 has all the other tests you need also. Remember, you don't need to test CYA in a bromine system.

    Happy bromine hot tubbing!
    Since I just referred someone to this...

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    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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  7. Back To Top    #27

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    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    Do any of the moderators have the ability to re-add this to the beginning of the thread?
    11000 Gals, Intelliflo, Sta-Rite Cartridge, Polaris 360

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  8. Back To Top    #28

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    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    Edit, I added a link to the post above.

    Kinda confusing with all the editing, to be sure.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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  9. Back To Top    #29
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    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    There, that should be better.
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  10. Back To Top    #30

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    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    I took out my link and "edit" comment.

    You are the wiz!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
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  11. Back To Top    #31

    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    I have decide to switch from a chlorine based system to the three step bromine system. Unfortunately, despite having 4-5 pool stores nearby, none of them sell sodium bromide (or have even heard of it???). Anyway, I have ordered some and plan to use it on next fill; but in the interest of time, I am going to use the 'crush tablet' method this time around. Could anybody out there give me some tips on this? For instance, how many tabs would you rec'd for a 336 gallon hot tub. Will I still need to shock before putting the dispenser into the hot tub? or will the chlorine in the tabs take care of this? Also, any rec's on the best dispenser to get for a small hot tub? Thanks in advance.
    Lynn

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  12. Back To Top    #32

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    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    My Wal Mart has it.
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  13. Back To Top    #33

    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    Ok then, I think I've got this. I'm going with a 3 step system to start until I can quantify how effective the ozinator is at maintaining the bromine level where I want it. On your advice, I bought the k-2106 test kit. I tested my tap water and it's 20/20 for TA and CH so I've bought some calcium chloride and baking soda to bring those up when I fill the spa. The bottle of sodium bromide tells me how much to add to achieve a 30PPM level. I'm going to add this first so any effect it may have on TA or CH is already there before I start balancing. I'm shooting for a CH of 150 and TA of 100 to give me a saturation index of 0 at PH 7.5 and 100 Deg F. I'm planning on shocking with lithium hypochlorite as is seems most convinient. With the bromide tabs dragging the PH down, and the aeration pushing it up, which will have the stronger effect? Also, what I don't get yet is how to tell beforehand how much lithium hypochlorite to use to shock the tub to an acceptable bromine level. Is this a trial and error thing or are there guidelines on the bottle for shocking bromine tubs? Also, is it smart to shock the tub before a high bather load even if the bromine level is acceptable say 3-4 ppm?

    I'm a noob but I've been reading lots lately...

    Thanks.

  14. Back To Top    #34

    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    Ok Well I went and did it. Pool calculator worked great. My targets were 150-100 CH-TA and I hit them perfectly. The TA was a little high to keep the PH down while running the jets so I had to add enough acid to bring it to about 70 which seems low but I'm still in range. I dosed with bromide and shocked with lithium hypo at half the dosage to about 6ppm. Right now she's sitting at 150 CH 75 TA 4ppm Total Bromine and 7.5 pH. I'm thinking about sending my wife in to try it out, adjusting the PH again if needed, and then putting in the floater and see what happens overnight. ::Crosses fingers::

  15. Back To Top    #35

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    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    I’m going to switch over to bromine from chlorine, hopefully, this weekend. Way, way, way back I used bromine in my spa and pool. I then moved to ionization when the Nature 2 came out. Just switched the pool and spa to chlorine in past couple of months (or maybe more….. Time sure does fly).

    I switched the spa to chlorine after a major decontamination due to bio-slime. Although, we are quite happy with BBB in spa, I’m getting concerned about the new cover, as the spa gets so much use, for long periods of time, requiring loads of chlorine, frequently, usually twice a day. And I have a perfectly good ozonator, which I unplugged when I started BBB. In addition both of my 24/7 returns, one from ozonator, the other from heater/filter, both put out air bubbles, which we really like. I, also, miss the smell of the ozone. I replaced the cover this year. Should have done it last year though. Our intense Texas sun is murder on everything.

    This is really obvious probably. I know not to use Nature 2 with bromine, and the one in use is due to be replaced next week (I replace them every 2.5 months or so due to 24/7 filtering), …… Do I need to drain the spa because of residual ions? I drained and refilled a little over a month ago. How anal should I be about getting all of the ionized water out of system lines?

    Thanks much, gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

  16. Back To Top    #36

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    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    Bump..........please. I stopped by Wally World this a.m. and have all the "stuff". Anxious to get started.
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

  17. Back To Top    #37

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    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    Bump.................
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

  18. Back To Top    #38

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    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    Well, wouldn't you all rather I play with the spa tonight than hunt the dead, stinking rat in the garage

    DH left town this morning with "rat" at top of my to do list. I'd rather tackle it tomorrow after taking something to really, really settle my stomach and maybe drinking too much wine.
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

  19. Back To Top    #39
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    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    Quote Originally Posted by geekgranny
    …… Do I need to drain the spa because of residual ions? I drained and refilled a little over a month ago. How anal should I be about getting all of the ionized water out of system lines?
    Alice, I'm just posting to let you know folks are reading, but I've no idea whether the ionized water can or should be evacuated from the lines. My bet is that it doesn't matter. I further speculate that you'll clean the spa again even if it doesn't matter. That's what I'd do!


    Quote Originally Posted by geekgranny
    Well, wouldn't you all rather I play with the spa tonight than hunt the dead, stinking rat in the garage
    Oh, now, if you're asking for opinions... I think you ought to have that glass of wine, regardless. Never mind the dead, stinking rat.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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  20. Back To Top    #40

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    Re: How do I use Bromine in my spa (or pool)?

    Quote Originally Posted by polyvue
    Quote Originally Posted by geekgranny
    …… Do I need to drain the spa because of residual ions? I drained and refilled a little over a month ago. How anal should I be about getting all of the ionized water out of system lines?
    Alice, I'm just posting to let you know folks are reading, but I've no idea whether the ionized water can or should be evacuated from the lines. My bet is that it doesn't matter. I further speculate that you'll clean the spa again even if it doesn't matter. That's what I'd do!

    Thanks much. I drained it and flushed the lines a bit and now filling. Before draining I threw a whole bunch of chlorine in, and ran everything for a couple of hours.

    Quote Originally Posted by geekgranny
    Well, wouldn't you all rather I play with the spa tonight than hunt the dead, stinking rat in the garage
    Oh, now, if you're asking for opinions... I think you ought to have that glass of wine, regardless. Never mind the dead, stinking rat.
    Glass of wine? We stopped counting.

    My neighbor, the one who has the 3-4 yr old "new" pool, and the doggie who comes over to play, came over twice tonight. So I've had a good deal of wine. Tub is filling right now. Doggies got to go bonkers twice today. They love their girlfriend, Chaco. Her mommy, who was expecting company, in between visits, got totally muddy from my doggies loving on her. I told her to change but she didn't because she came back over in the same muddy clothes. So, lots of wine and I'm still going, and I'm going to do "rat" tonight too, maybe. I've had enough wine to make it kind of fun. My neighbor comes through the garage and was so totally grossed out even after second visit.

    BTW.... first visit she was totally astonished at how beautiful my pool looked. BBB and AA treatment, and two Pool Skims to keep the leaves up. It's a bit breezy out here tonight so lots of leaves coming down. PoolSkims and Polaris doing a great job.

    Over and out until tomorrow (maybe)

    I'm just starting fresh with Bromine, three step. It will be ready for when DH gets home tomorrow.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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