I've been using Bromine. It's not working and pool is green. How do I transition to BBB method?

Terazosin

Member
May 21, 2019
5
Redding, CA
I've got algae growing on the side of my pool at the house I just bought. I've been using bromine, but apparently that doesn't work. How do I transition to using chlorine? Do I have to wait for the bromine level to go down? Or can I just add chlorine right away???
 

Terazosin

Member
May 21, 2019
5
Redding, CA
The guy at Leslie's said that powdered bleach is more cost effective. Is this generally true? He was trying to sell me a $150 bucket of chlorine.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,268
Tucson, AZ
Depending on how much bromine is in the water, you can’t just switch. Once a bromine pool, forever a bromine pool....sort of. The only way to switch a pool from bromine to chlorine is to drain the pool. Chlorine oxidizes bromide to bromine and so any bromide in the water will use up any chlorine you add to it.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,196
Franklin, NC
To change from bromine to chlorine you need to do a 100% water exchange. The bromine degrades and goes away very slowly. Every time you add chlorine now, it will just reactivate the bromine.

To be honest, we refrain form using the"BBB" moniker anymore as most pools never (or seldom) need the last two "B"'s. Folks heard BBB and ran out and stocked up on Bleach, Borax and Baking Soda, generally unnecessarily. Most pools, once stabilized only need chlorine and muratic acid.








BBB is a old term, bleach baking soda borax, we like TFPC, trouble free pool care, since is more accurately describes the process as many people don't need borax or baking soda.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
May 3, 2014
17,897
Laughlin, NV
The guy at Leslie's said that powdered bleach is more cost effective. Is this generally true? He was trying to sell me a $150 bucket of chlorine.
Powdered chlorine comes with either CYA (dichor) or calcium (cal hypo). Both stay in your water until you drain/exchange the water with fresh water. So no, for daily maintenance you should use bleach/liquid chlorine, Sodium Hypochlorite, which, besides chlorine, adds water and a pinch of salt to your pool water.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
14,497
How long has the pool been on bromine tabs?

If it's been a long time, you have a lot of DMH, which will dramatically reduce the effectiveness of the bromine.

If you add chlorine, it will just turn into bromine.

You probably need to do a full drain and refill if you can do it safely.

A liner will be ruined by a full drain and refill. A concrete or fiberglass pool can float if fully drained and the groundwater is high.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,268
Tucson, AZ
If you want to convert to chlorine you will have get rid of that water. Because it’s fiberglass, you cannot drain it, the sides will collapse or the pool can float out of the ground if the groundwater level is too high.

Best thing you can do is exchange water. Start a slow drain from the deep end using a submersible pump and then refill at the shallow end without causing too much mixing.

There’s no testing for bromine and chlorine separately; they both show up on standard chlorine tests. So you’re going to have to measure the exchanged volume of water as best you can and maybe target a little more water than what’s in the pool. Then start using chlorine and see what the loss rates look like. Chlorine will create sanitizing bromine which is unstable in sunlight and so a body of water with bromine in it has a higher daily chlorine demand than just a regular chlorinated pool.

Unfortunately you’ve been left in a very complicated situation. There’s no easy solution here.
 

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