Questions about bromine.

shantzy2

New member
Dec 23, 2021
2
Canada
Hi there, first post here. Just had a few questions about using bromine in my tub. Since I live in Canada and sodium bromide is banned here, I began putting pucks in a floater and using bromine granules (bromine plus dichlor) until a sufficient bromide bank was built up. I I’m about four weeks in and when I shock my tub I can get levels up to around 10+ ppm. I’ve noticed however that about two or three days later there is zero bromine showing on my test kit. I will get a total bromine reading while other tests show None. Our hot tub gets moderate used by two adults and two children. Is it normal to have to shock more frequently? Also curious why one test kit would show sufficient bromine while others show none. Thank you for your help!
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 1, 2018
4,413
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Welcome 🤗
Sorry you’re having issues.
I’m not really well versed on bromine so I’ll tag someone to help
@JoyfulNoise
Let’s get a little background…
What test kits are you using?
Does your spa have uv or ozone?
Have u read the bromine guide ?👇
Is there a specific reason why you haven’t chosen chlorine for sanitation especially given your lack of availability to bromide products ?
Here’s the guide on chlorine if you’re possibly interested in switching 👇
Most here use chlorine so that’s usually a little easier to get help with when there’s issues.
Also while we wait for more help, if you can fill out your signature as best u can - it really helps you get more specific advice.
 

shantzy2

New member
Dec 23, 2021
2
Canada
Hey there, just purchased the Taylor k1004. Should be here in a week. I’ve been using aquacheck strips and a cheap drop test kit from a local hardware store. I started off using chlorine but found it was irritating mine and my sons skin (both have eczema). Seems like the bromine is gentler on our skin. No ozone or UV for our tub.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
19,829
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Wow ... they ban the sale sodium bromide and yet they continue to allow the sale of brominating tablets which is basically no different. They think there is some drastic health and environmental issue with "bromine" (which there is not) and then only ban sodium bromide ... a classic example of government overreach and political stupidity. Very reminiscent of the nut jobs at the US EPA that banned phosphate-based dishwasher detergents because of an overreaction to algae blooms when the actual cause is farm runoff. So stick homeowners with an inferior cleaning product that does nothing to solve the problem meanwhile farms continue to use and waste phosphate fertilizers like crazy and leave animal waste runoff unchecked .... but I digress.

You would be better off switching to chlorine. Eczema is actually treated in some instances with "bleach baths" that use much higher levels of chlorine than found in a tub. What most likely causes your reaction to chlorine is the formation of chloramines which can be irritating to the skin. Another source of irritation is actually from bacterial growth in the plumbing which is quite common when people don't regularly purge their plumbing using a biofilm remover like Ahh-some. "Hot tub rash" is caused by pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria that not only can cause an itchy rash but also aggravate eczema. Chloramine and biofilm formation in a hot tub is typically a sign of the water not being properly cared for. All of those things can be corrected once you follow a regular pattern of water care and ignore what all the so-called experts at the spa store are telling.

If you choose to stay with bromine then your only option are those tablets. They are a mixture of chemicals but the active ingredient is BCDMH (1-Bromo-3-chloro-5,5-dimethylhydantoin). The active ingredient contains both bromine and chlorine. The bromine becomes sanitizing bromine as it dissolves but the chlorine will also dissociate from the organic molecule and "activate" any spent bromide in the water and turn that back into sanitizing bromine. Bromine tabs can dissolve very quickly causing wild fluctuations in bromine levels (as you are seeing). Eventually the build up of spent DMH will reduce the effectiveness of bromine over time causing you to need ever higher levels of bromine to keep the water clear. The tablets are also acidic in nature so they typically lower pH and TA over time leading to excessive swings in pH. They are really the least-easy method of hot tub care.

The first step to getting your tub back to normal is to purge it with Ahh-some using the water that is currently in it and then dumping the tub to start over again. The Ahh-some purge will help you to start with a clean tub and good plumbing that is bacteria-free. Then, once you get that accomplished, you can fill the tub back up and we can discuss sanitizers. I really think you should reconsider chlorine and follow the sticky article that was posted above (dichlor-then-bleach method). Now that you have a high quality test kit, you can much more easily monitor your tub chemistry on a daily basis and keep better care of the water. There's no harm in letting the chlorine levels drop down when using the tub just so long as you re-establish the correct levels afterwards. Some people prefer to soak in tub water that is low in chlorine and that's ok when you are using it. It's not ok to leave a tub with low chlorine after you use it as that is when bacteria will grow and cause problems. So really it's just a matter of getting into a good chemical testing and dosing routine and being consistent with that so you maintain healthy water.
 
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