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

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yog27

Member
Dec 5, 2012
7
3 questions:

1-What do You use to test your water?
2-have You had sodium bromiDE at the start up of brome setup
3-what are the other parameter of your water? (TA, CH, PH)?
 

TIMMAH

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2009
56
1- taylor k-1004 i needed something fast and they had it at the pool store.
2- yes 2 oz
yesterday before i added ph up
ph- 7.2
TA- 60
ch- my guess 180
i've had it tested at 2 different pool stores twice- 1 gave me a reading of 225 then 175. the other gave me a reading of 180 and 160. needless to say i don't trust there numbers. one store said my TA was 120 and the other 80 when it was 60.
i have the taylor numbers for the refill bottles for CH. i'm going to see if anyone has them or order them

i added some ph up lastnight and
ph is still reading 7.2 but TA is like 75 or 80, i just started the jets to see if i can get the ph to rise.

so right now
ph 7.2
ta 75-80 i had a good color shift on the 7th drop and 8th was full red.
ch my guess 180


i'd guess bromine level was around 15-20 and with the jets running for 20 minutes it dropped down to 6. then i shocked it with mps and ran the jets for 20 minutes and bromine was down to 10.
is that what should happen or are my pipes that nasty?
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
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When you add an oxidizer, it will convert bromide to bromine. However, this doesn't happen instantly so adding chlorine or MPS could react with something in the water if bromine didn't get to it first. Mostly though, adding an oxidizer to a bromine tub to shock it mostly elevates bromine and it is these higher levels that oxidizes things faster.
 

GuinnessPhish

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2012
438
Herndon, VA
chem geek said:
Just see how the pH is holding. If it is dropping over time, then increase the TA. If it's stable, just leave it as is. If it's rising over time, also leave it but consider using 50 ppm Borates if you aren't doing so already.

pH has been holding relatively steady. pH did lower over time due to using bromine tabs in the floater.


I just added a few gallons to top off the hot tub. Now I have TA 40, 7.4 pH.

Should I bring TA up to 80 or so?
 
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chem geek

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Sure, if your pH was still stable at a TA of 80 ppm you can raise your TA. The key to the TA level is to not get it so high as to cause the pH to rise.
 

GuinnessPhish

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2012
438
Herndon, VA
chem geek said:
Sure, if your pH was still stable at a TA of 80 ppm you can raise your TA. The key to the TA level is to not get it so high as to cause the pH to rise.


TA is 60 now, CH 200.


My pH seems to keep drifting upwards, requiring me to add muriatic acid every few days. I just added enough acid to bring pH down to 7.2.


Is there anything I can do to make the pH remain more stable?
 

UnderWaterVanya

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Jun 14, 2012
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Mint Hill, NC
GuinnessPhish said:
chem geek said:
Sure, if your pH was still stable at a TA of 80 ppm you can raise your TA. The key to the TA level is to not get it so high as to cause the pH to rise.


TA is 60 now, CH 200.


My pH seems to keep drifting upwards, requiring me to add muriatic acid every few days. I just added enough acid to bring pH down to 7.2.


Is there anything I can do to make the pH remain more stable?

50ppm Borates as Richard mentioned before. Borates add more "pH Inertia" helping hold the pH more steady.
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
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Also, don't try and get the pH to 7.2 since it outgases faster at lower pH. Let it rise to 7.8, then lower to 7.5 instead. The rise from 7.5 to 7.8 should be slower, IF the source of the rise is carbon dioxide outgassing.
 

GuinnessPhish

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2012
438
Herndon, VA
UnderWaterVanya said:
50ppm Borates as Richard mentioned before. Borates add more "pH Inertia" helping hold the pH more steady.


So, since I haven't added borax before, my borates would be zero?

According to the pool calculator, to get from zero to 50 ppm of borates, I need to add 29 oz by weight or 28 oz by volume of borax, as well as 14 oz of 31.45% muriatic acid to compensate for the pH increase.


Seems like a lot of both to add to a 500 gallon hot tub....is this right? How do I go about doing this?
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
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Those are correct amounts. With the circulation pump running, add half the borax, then half the acid, then the other half of the borax, then the other half of the acid. Or you can use boric acid instead which is closer to pH neutral (slightly lowers the pH). See the Borate section of Recommended Pool Chemicals in the Pool School for some sources for boric acid. It's also in Proteam Gentle Spa, but we've had reports that this raises the pH so isn't quite neutral and will require some acid (it's some mixture of boric acid with borax).
 

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yog27

Member
Dec 5, 2012
7
Precision please:

-when i oxidize the bromide with chlorine or ozone or tab this will make the bromine (hypobromous acid), the sanitizer.

- When we shock (super oxydize) this will destroy organics in the water.

What does the sanitizer if it not destroy organic?
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
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Bromine isn't quite as thorough an oxidizer as chlorine. So bromine does disinfect and keep the spa from growing bacteria and it does oxidize some bather waste, but not all of it. Chlorine does a better job so shocking with chlorine every now and then helps to keep the water clear. The chlorine will first attempt to oxidize some of the chemicals that bromine hasn't handled and then it will oxidize bromide to bromine since that takes somewhat longer (depending on what's in the tub).
 

yog27

Member
Dec 5, 2012
7
If my hot tub is balance (CSI =0), do i need to had weekly stuff like "Stain and Scale Control "?
 

Sandib210

Active member
I use chlorine bleach as a sanitizer in my hot tub currently, but I am considering switching to bromine simply for the fact that I want the ease of not going to my tub everyday in the cold winter and adding bleach and testing. Somedays it's just too cold to hot tub around here. I'm interested in using a floater with bromine tabs. I may occasionally be able to skip a day if I had sanitizer in a floater. I currently have a taylor K-2006 test kit.

Here are my questions, If I want to switch to bromine:
1.i just drained and balanced 1 mont ago,do I have to drain the water and start over? (more questions to follow if I can use my existing water)

2. What do I need to buy so that I can test bromine? (I'm assuming I don't need another new kit but rather just the appropriate reagents)

3. I currently use pool calculator to balance my water, since I understand the relationship between CYA and chlorine. Are there particulars like this for bromine to be congnizant of or just maintain 4-6ppm bromine and go?

Thank you,
Sandi
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
12,083
San Rafael, CA USA
You can switch from chlorine to bromine at any time. It's going the other way around from bromine to chlorine that requires a water change.

You don't need to buy anything new to test for bromine. You can use your existing chlorine test kit. Just multiply your FC reading by 2.25 to get ppm Total Bromine. If you use the R-0003 and measure the CC separately, then add it to your FC reading -- for convenience you can just start off the test adding the R-0003 drops to get Total Bromine immediately. Technically, you shouldn't see CC in a bromine spa since bromamine (or monobromammonium ion) is supposed to register as FC as it reacts with the DPD dye, but some have reported needing to add the R-0003 to see all the bromine.

You don't need to worry about CYA with bromine as they do not bind to each other. Just target a 4-6 ppm bromine and you are good to go. If you have an ozonator, that adding sodium bromide to create a bromide bank should have the ozone create bromine for you so you might not even need to use bromine tabs in that case.
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
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San Rafael, CA USA
yog27 said:
If my hot tub is balance (CSI =0), do i need to had weekly stuff like "Stain and Scale Control "?
I didn't notice this question before (and the user may no longer be around), but you don't need to use stain and scale control or any other metal sequestrant unless you've got a metals (usually iron from well water) problem. Also, your hot tub need not get to CSI balance since it's usually acrylic and it's better to have a somewhat negative CSI to ensure you don't get scaling in your heater even if the pH gets too high.
 

Sandib210

Active member
I managed to find bromine tablets, but not sodium bromide. So to create a reserve in a hot tub currently sanitized with chorine and no ozonator, how do I do that? is the next best trick to crush tablets up?
Thanks for your help.
Sandi
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
12,083
San Rafael, CA USA
You don't have any of the following nearly pure sodium bromide products available to you?

Rendezvous Broma Start ($1.94 per ounce)
Spa Specialties Robarb Bromine Energizer ($1.50 per ounce)
Leisure Time Sodium Bromide ($1.57 per ounce)
SeaKlear Spa Sodium Bromide ($0.98 per ounce)
Natural Chemistry Spa Bromine Start ($0.77 per ounce)
hth Brom-Start ($1.19 per ounce)

If you use bromine tabs, the used bromine will mostly revert to bromide (some outgases or gets combined with organics). So you will slowly build up a bromide bank at roughly the rate of your cumulative bromine usage.
 

Sandib210

Active member
So to my surprise, most pool store workers didn't know what I wanted when I asked for sodium bromide. I was able to find this:


Here is my concern, the label says:
dichlor 47.6%
sodium bromine 14.88%

I'm wondering how this affects building the bromine bank. Does this mean that I will not need to shock after adding this? Also how do I know how much to add to get my 30 ppm starting point? This has just added more confusion for me.
Suggestions?
Thanks
 

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