Is bromine bad for inflatable hot tubs?

wolffie777

Member
Mar 27, 2019
6
Lutz, FL
I just got an Intex inflatable hot tub and set it up about three weeks ago. I have been using bromine and I happened to call Intex today for another issue and I asked if they recommended bromine or chlorine. The gal I spoke with said, "Oh, no, don't use bromine! The bottom of the hot tub is made of PVC and bromine breaks it down. You need to empty the tub and fill it with plain water and run the filters for about nine hours and make sure all the things you are using in the tub have no bromine in them..." She was quite insistent that this was a bad thing. I looked at the paperwork that came with the hot tub, as well as doing a search online for any information to this effect, and have found nothing about this. I'd rather use bromine over chlorine, but I don't want to ruin my hot tub.

Any guidance or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks :)
 
Last edited:

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,170
Stuart/FL
Wolf,

Welcome to TFP! We have experts on almost anything pool... and I think some people that know about hot tubs as well. Hang on a minute and I'll call one. If she doesn't have the answer, she'll know who does.. @kimkats

Good luck,

Chris
 

wolffie777

Member
Mar 27, 2019
6
Lutz, FL
Chris,

Thanks so much! I've been so good about taking care of the tub. There's a pool supply company just down the street from my house (I don't know if I can mention company names in this forum, but let's just say they're there in a Pinch :) and they've been great. I take them a water sample once a week and they test it and tell me if I need to add anything and my water has been just great. Clean and clear and spot on with the chemicals, etc. Now here I am, 9 o'clock at night, draining my tub so I can refill it and hopefully clear out any harmful chemicals I've put in it.

Thanks again and I'm looking forward to learning more,

Sue Ann
 

wolffie777

Member
Mar 27, 2019
6
Lutz, FL
Thanks to everyone for your replies :)Maintenance and Chemicals.jpgSpa Water Chemistry and Balance 1.jpgSpa Water Chemistry and Balance 2 .jpgSpa Water Chemistry and Balance 3.jpgWarranty.jpg

So, I read through the entire owner's manual, all the way back through the Warranty. On the Maintenance and Chemicals page under the heading of Water Sanitation, the second sentence (the first one simply saying to keep the water sanitized with regular maintenance) reads "Adding sanitizer and other chemical will control bacteria and viruses present in the spa water." Under the heading Maintenance of Spa Water and Cartridge, they say to "See your pool/spa professional for chemical, sanitizer, test kits and testing procedures questions" and "Use spa chemicals to maintain proper water chemistry." No mention of either chlorine or bromine in this section.

About 2/3 of the way down that same page, under the heading Water Chemistry Balance, the word chlorine is first used where they say to "Maintain the spa water pH level between 7.2 and 7.8, total alkalinity level between 80 and 120 ppm and free chlorine level between 2 to 4 ppm." Since chlorine is cheaper and generally thought of first by most people when it comes to pool chemicals, the fact that they say chlorine makes sense to me. There is a table on the page titled Spa Water Chemistry and Balance that is labeled "Preferred Water Chemistry Reading" where it gives the Minimum, Ideal, and Maximum preferred levels of Free Chlorine, pH, Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, Saturation Index, and Water Temperature. The key word, I would say, is "preferred" in that table heading.

Absolutely nowhere does the paperwork say anything about not using bromine or having to use only chlorine. Had I not asked the gal on the phone at Intex about which chemical system they preferred, suggested, or otherwise recommended, I would not have given this another thought. The fact that she was in such a panic and had such clear instructions ("You have to empty the spa and refill it with fresh water and run it for at least nine hours to clear out the bromine!"), makes me wonder what is going on. And that's why I'm here with y'all :)

I chose bromine because everything I read on "the Google" said bromine was better suited to the higher heat environment of a hot tub/spa. I really don't want to switch to chlorine, but I will if I need to. I just want to take good and proper care of the spa.

Thanks again for your time and guidance. I do appreciate it all.

Sue Ann
 

wolffie777

Member
Mar 27, 2019
6
Lutz, FL
Okay, I went to my local "pool/spa professional" that I go to in a Pinch ;) and told them what was going on. They said, no, bromine was fine. Not that I expected them to say otherwise, but I had to go ask. I mean, that's what Intex says to do in my owner's manual, right? Next I've got to stop by a local commercial plumbing company for another errand today and I'll ask them about PVC and bromine. They might have a comment. I'm not going to go so far as to look for a chemist, although... I have an old college buddy in my FB friends list who was a Chem E major and is now a Chem E professor himself. Hmm...

Anyway, I've refilled the spa right back up, put in all my bromine and other start-up chemicals, just as I did when I first filled it three weeks ago, and it's warming and filtering as I type. We've had a cool front move through here (so it's 63 degrees out there now at 0945 - brrrr!), and it will take 24 hours to get back up to 104 degrees, but I'll check the water tomorrow and dial the chemicals back in as necessary.

And I'll keep watching this thread for any additional comments anyone may have. I didn't see this exact issue (inflatable spa manufacturer call center personnel scaring people aware from bromine) addressed anywhere else, so maybe if someone else hears the same stuff, now they'll have a place to go.

Thanks again :)

Sue Ann
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
May 3, 2014
18,380
Laughlin, NV
To properly manage your pool water chemistry you really should be testing it your self. And more often than once per week.
 

wolffie777

Member
Mar 27, 2019
6
Lutz, FL
Yep, I’m gonna start dipping the strips daily, in addition to taking a water sample in for broader testing weekly. For the record, mine is the only hiney ever in the spa (I’m an RN and... I. See. Things.), I shower with soap immediately before each use, and as I live in a nudist community, I never wear a swimsuit.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
May 3, 2014
18,380
Laughlin, NV
Strips are as good as guessing. Get a proper test kit. I recommend the TF100. Best value for the residential pool/spa owner.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
May 3, 2014
18,380
Laughlin, NV
Purely up to you. We advise the methods and testing that provide the most sanitary and safe water maintenance.

If you can dump it and refill every couple weeks, you can get by with the strips, or just guess! :)

Good luck.
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,170
Stuart/FL
Wolf,
We're pretty anal about all of the TFP requirements including testing yourself. But it's only because know it works incredibly well for everybody this way.. Of course as Marty indicated the final choice is always up to you.

Glad you got the information you needed and it looks like you've triangulated in to the same answer from a least 3 independent sources. Good luck to you and please do check in from time to time. If anything goes array we'll always be here to help!

Chris
 

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