Bromine or Chlorine?

HarryP777

New member
Jan 1, 2020
4
Sonoma, CA
OK I've used bromine in the past, and I have a new tub should I use bromine or chlorine. I've "heard" bromine is harder on hot tub equipment/shell/cover then chlorine.
Any thoughts on that statement?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Harry, welcome to TFP! :wave: @JoyfulNoise speaks hot tub language really well, so by tagging him he should reply at some point. In the meantime, here are a few previous discussions you might like. You can find many more by using the search feature at the top of the page. Hope you find what you are looking for. Have a great Superbowl Sunday kind of day.

 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,214
Tucson, AZ
OK I've used bromine in the past, and I have a new tub should I use bromine or chlorine. I've "heard" bromine is harder on hot tub equipment/shell/cover then chlorine.
Any thoughts on that statement?
“Harder” .... sounds like pool store baloney to me. Either sanitizer is effective when used properly and both have their downsides. I think a lot of people use chlorine simply for the convenience of being able to get the chemicals they need more easily. If you own a pool and a hot tub, then it’s the same stuff. Some people don’t like bromine and are sensitive to it. So it really comes down to a choice of what you’re most comfortable with. There are lots of salt water chlorine generators on the market now that draped over into a hot tub making chlorine management easier.

The most important thing is purging your tub right away to strip out biofilms and other biological contaminants. TFP recommends using Ahhsome for that. Even brand new hot tubs need to be purged as they are pressure tested at the factory and stagnant water is often left over in the plumbing. Biofilms and bacterial contamination are the biggest problems when it comes to managing sanitizer levels in a hot tub.
 

HarryP777

New member
Jan 1, 2020
4
Sonoma, CA
“Harder” .... sounds like pool store baloney to me. Either sanitizer is effective when used properly and both have their downsides. I think a lot of people use chlorine simply for the convenience of being able to get the chemicals they need more easily. If you own a pool and a hot tub, then it’s the same stuff. Some people don’t like bromine and are sensitive to it. So it really comes down to a choice of what you’re most comfortable with. There are lots of salt water chlorine generators on the market now that draped over into a hot tub making chlorine management easier.

The most important thing is purging your tub right away to strip out biofilms and other biological contaminants. TFP recommends using Ahhsome for that. Even brand new hot tubs need to be purged as they are pressure tested at the factory and stagnant water is often left over in the plumbing. Biofilms and bacterial contamination are the biggest problems when it comes to managing sanitizer levels in a hot tub.
OK I've used bromine in the past, and I have a new tub should I use bromine or chlorine. I've "heard" bromine is harder on hot tub equipment/shell/cover then chlorine.
Any thoughts on that statement?
Thanks JoyfulNoise & Splash, I intend to purge (Ahhsome) before startup no matter which system I use. On first blush it seems like bromine has a little less of a maintenance demand then chlorine. It also seems that D1 leans toward chlorine with there vision silver system they use but no outright request that chlorine is the "only" sanitizer to use. Are there incompatabilities with bromine and silver mineral systems?
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,905
NY
Somebody posted (apologies for forgetting who) recently that a while a Bromine pool works well, it can be costly and miserable to undo. A hot tub on the other hand can be dumped and re-filled easily if you decide to change later.
 

equinn01

Member
Jul 3, 2013
12
Troy, MI
I've been following the bromine guidelines on this site for the last 8 months, and have had lots of luck with my new swim spa.
Prior to that I used the chlorine guidelines for my pool, and had great luck with that those.
I wouldn't be afraid of bromine for you spa, and you can easily dump it and switch if you want to go to chlorine.
 

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
581
South-Central WI
I've only used chlorine, but from being here I would say the most important thing is a quality test kit and understanding proper levels to maintain sanitizer and other things like TA, along with CYA if you use chlorine (hint, it's not what the spa manual or pool store told you).

One thing I note in your signature is your spa has an ozone generator. If functional, that could help maintain proper free bromine levels, as it "recycles" bromide ions into bromide sanitizer. Depending on how it runs (such as if the timing is not controllable), it may make too much or too little free bromine from your bromide bank though.

Somebody posted (apologies for forgetting who) recently that a while a Bromine pool works well, it can be costly and miserable to undo. A hot tub on the other hand can be dumped and re-filled easily if you decide to change later.
It wasn't me, but in theory bromine works basically just like chlorine in a pool. As I understand, the reason it's hardly ever used in pools is that there isn't an equivalent to CYA that slows the breakdown from UV, so it's only suitable to indoor pools and covered spas.

As to the switching, once you have bromine in there, chlorine additions just reactive "used" bromine immediately (bromine pools/spas require addition of ozone, chlorine, or MPS to reactivate used bromine). So the only way to convert from bromine pool/spa to chlorine pool/spa is by a complete water change to remove all bromine. Which is easy to do in a spa, hard and/or costly in a pool.
 

plove42a

New member
Mar 2, 2019
2
Kansas
My grandpa used bromine, and I can still remember the smell to this day. We use Chlorine, and while we do have to add it pretty much every day (we're heavy users), it is simple and easy to maintain. We make it 3 months between water changes with heavy use.

I'd be tempted to use bromine if I didn't use the spa as often (I think chlorine would be a pain if you only used it a few times a week), but for us it's easy.