Using sodium bromide along with chlorine

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
Re: Help me get clear water- what am I missing?

Not sure I would advise using sodium bromide, even in small quantity I understand will increase chlorine demand. I think it's an option (when your out of options) in pools with high CYA and folks not being able to lower CYA due to water restrictions, but wouldn't you in essence convert the pool to a bromine pool by doing so?

I think the OP will do just fine with chlorine at MA shock level, but that's just my opinion and certainly don't have experience using bromine, but recall reading that before I found TFP and was researching pool sanitizers :scratch:
 

Mr. Ed

In The Industry
Jun 16, 2010
38
Dallas Tx
Re: Help me get clear water- what am I missing?

dmanb2b said:
Not sure I would advise using sodium bromide, even in small quantity I understand will increase chlorine demand. I think it's an option (when your out of options) in pools with high CYA and folks not being able to lower CYA due to water restrictions, but wouldn't you in essence convert the pool to a bromine pool by doing so?

I think the OP will do just fine with chlorine at MA shock level, but that'ts just my opinion and certainly don't have experience using bromine, but recall reading that before I found TFP and was researching pool sanitizers :scratch:

It's basically what yellow out and green to clean are composed of and costs a fraction of what they do...when used in conjunction with the chlorine it is highly effective and the pool owner will typically use less chlorine this way than by strictly keeping a high chlorine count for multiple days vs the 24 hrs it typically takes with the sodium bromide
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
Re: Help me get clear water- what am I missing?

The sodium bromide is only really helpful when the CYA level is very high in the pool because bromine doesn't get moderated in its strength by CYA. Even then, since one doesn't normally want a high CYA level, a partial drain/refill is usually required anyway.

However, if you don't have really high CYA, then you can readily shock the pool and kill algae quickly. The main problem with the bromine is that once it's in the pool it takes a long time to leave. If you overuse bromine, then the pool is essentially a bromine pool for some time and the bromine is not significantly protected from the UV in sunlight, at least not in the shallow areas of the water.
 

Mr. Ed

In The Industry
Jun 16, 2010
38
Dallas Tx
Re: Help me get clear water- what am I missing?

chem geek said:
The sodium bromide is only really helpful when the CYA level is very high in the pool because bromine doesn't get moderated in its strength by CYA. Even then, since one doesn't normally want a high CYA level, a partial drain/refill is usually required anyway.

However, if you don't have really high CYA, then you can readily shock the pool and kill algae quickly. The main problem with the bromine is that once it's in the pool it takes a long time to leave. If you overuse bromine, then the pool is essentially a bromine pool for some time and the bromine is not significantly protected from the UV in sunlight, at least not in the shallow areas of the water.
The bromide is effective regardless of cya level, and helps reach breaking point in a pool high in cya (though much more effective to drain)

the bromide, if used in proper dosage is spent during the process and is not present in 24 hours. It is the byproduct of using the chlorine and bromide together that fixes the issue quickly.

It's not always the best solution but used in moderation it is a great solution for a Home owner that needs a quick fix so they can use the pool.


Is it my understanding that the op has resolved this issue? I would now focus on prevention. From what I have seen MA is typically the result of low alk or low circulation. Check pump run times and flow patterns. Personally I run the pump at least 1 hour for every 10 degrees of outside air temp until temps are at 100 degrees. Then 12+ hours prove effective. Check return jets for proper circulAtion in troublesome areas. Do these things while properly culminating and oxidizing and you should be trouble free!
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
Re: Help me get clear water- what am I missing?

Mr. Ed said:
It's not always the best solution but used in moderation it is a great solution for a Home owner that needs a quick fix so they can use the pool.
I disagree. I don't think that sodium bromide is ever a good solution for a home owner maintaining a residential pool. It costs extra, adds complexity, covers up underlying problems, and if not used correctly makes things worse than they were to start with.

Sodium bromide has become popular because so many people have high CYA levels. Sodium bromide can help get some sanitizer into the pool that will be effective even when your CYA level is too high. It is far far better to simply lower the CYA level. If you do that, not only is the current problem solved, but many future problems are also solved.

Sodium bromide can be handy for pool services that only show up once a week as a quick fix that gets around underlying problems. In that context, it does have it's uses. However, the "default" context here, if you don't say otherwise, is the home owner taking care of their own pool. In that context sodium bromide adds complexity and hides the underlying problem of high CYA.
 

Mr. Ed

In The Industry
Jun 16, 2010
38
Dallas Tx
Re: Help me get clear water- what am I missing?

JasonLion said:
Mr. Ed said:
It's not always the best solution but used in moderation it is a great solution for a Home owner that needs a quick fix so they can use the pool.
I disagree. I don't think that sodium bromide is ever a good solution for a home owner maintaining a residential pool. It costs extra, adds complexity, covers up underlying problems, and if not used correctly makes things worse than they were to start with.

Sodium bromide has become popular because so many people have high CYA levels. Sodium bromide can help get some sanitizer into the pool that will be effective even when your CYA level is too high. It is far far better to simply lower the CYA level. If you do that, not only is the current problem solved, but many future problems are also solved.

Sodium bromide can be handy for pool services that only show up once a week as a quick fix that gets around underlying problems. In that context, it does have it's uses. However, the "default" context here, if you don't say otherwise, is the home owner taking care of their own pool. In that context sodium bromide adds complexity and hides the underlying problem of high CYA.

Quoting that one sentence does in fact change the context.....you've repeated several things that I have also stated.

Sodium Bromide works REGARDLESS of high CYA levels and is in no way shape or form higher in cost unless one is buying the fancy packaging and names associated with it or they using it incorrectly. You also quoted me saying it isn't always the best solution. It's not, it has it's uses.

High CYA isn't always the cause of MA...it can be as simple as a circulation issue or low TA.

I'm not going to continue to argue with anyone over this in public forum....it's not why I joined. I'm here to offer help based of of experience with nearly every swimming pool situation imaginable.... not to argue opinion. There will always be a multitude of ways to handle ANY situation with a pool....some better than others, most of which are hardly "wrong"

:mrgreen:
 

bk406

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2009
2,690
Central Massachusetts
Adding sodium bromide to a chlorine pool essentially turns it into a bromine pool. The idea that the bromine is gone in 24 hours is prety much without merit. As soon as chlorine is introduced into the pool, it converts it back to active bromine. As chemgeek said, it takes a long while to get rid of all the bromine from even just one treatment. Bromine based algecides are not recommended either for the same reason.
The point Jason is trying to make is that while it may be a quick fix for use by pool companies that do weekly maintenance, it's really just a bandaid to fix bigger issues. While circulation is a concern, and can lead to algea growth, the underlying problem is an improperly chlorinated pool. This usually occurs from a over stabilized pool and an improper FC level based on the CYA value. The proper fix is to decrease the CYA, and maintain an FC level compatable with the amount of CYA in the pool. The point is, adding bromine, for the homeowner taking care of his/her pool, is not the answer to algea issues. Keeping the FC levels relative to the stabilizer is the fix.

One other question I have is your assertation that low TA can be a cause of mustard algea. Can you elaborate?
 

Mr. Ed

In The Industry
Jun 16, 2010
38
Dallas Tx
bk406 said:
Adding sodium bromide to a chlorine pool essentially turns it into a bromine pool. The idea that the bromine is gone in 24 hours is prety much without merit. As soon as chlorine is introduced into the pool, it converts it back to active bromine. As chemgeek said, it takes a long while to get rid of all the bromine from even just one treatment. Bromine based algecides are not recommended either for the same reason.
The point Jason is trying to make is that while it may be a quick fix for use by pool companies that do weekly maintenance, it's really just a bandaid to fix bigger issues. While circulation is a concern, and can lead to algea growth, the underlying problem is an improperly chlorinated pool. This usually occurs from a over stabilized pool and an improper FC level based on the CYA value. The proper fix is to decrease the CYA, and maintain an FC level compatable with the amount of CYA in the pool. The point is, adding bromine, for the homeowner taking care of his/her pool, is not the answer to algea issues. Keeping the FC levels relative to the stabilizer is the fix.

One other question I have is your assertation that low TA can be a cause of mustard algea. Can you elaborate?

I'm not going to elaborate any further than I repeatedly see the combination of low TA (thus ineffective CH) and lack of circulation. Correcting the two fix the MA problem every time. There is the rare occurance of high CYA simply due to big players like Sam's club and Lelsie's selling the trichlor & dichlor combo and in those situations a drain is the optimal solution.....


You guys are entitled to your opinions however skewed they may be. I'd like to respectfully leave you to them. There is a ton of useful information here, but also a ton of misinformation and opinion as well.

You have a great site and I hope it continues to help people in need but I won't be a part it, I have a good core group of customers and colleagues that we have done business with for quite some time....one of them suggested I check out the site and I did.

I've tested water DAILY when attempting various solutions to see what the after effects are... basically...I know what I am doing....just as some of the moderators here do... and we just seem have a difference of opinion on some things. If I'm going to get attacked every time I suggest something that doesn't fit within a moderator or admin's "preference" then I simply choose not to be a part of what's going on. I think that some of the suggestions you guys are making are fantastic...most of them actually....other's are quite tedious and save a home owner neither time nor significant amounts of money. Unfortunately it's quite some time before people that read these types of forums make it into a location like mine (after several other failed attempts of fixing their problems via uneducated Leslie's employees or pool services, and other websites that contain nothing useful at all) and get good help. I really thought I could extend that help to this forum but sadly I was mistaken.

Admin's.... please do what you choose with my account...delete etc. I won't be back!
 

bk406

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2009
2,690
Central Massachusetts
Dont go away mad. Nobody is trying to make you mad, either. But, the idea here is for the average home owner to take care of their own pool.
We also deal in science here as well. Your observation that low TA helps clear algea is an example. How does low TA render CH (i assume you mean FC) ineffective. Rather than throw something like that out anecdotally, we like to know the basis behind it rather than saying it works. Again, nobody is attacking you.

i'd really like to know what advise here is tedious, skewed, or just plain wrong.
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
Ed, I'd really hate to see you leave...I really meant no harm by questioning the use of sodimum bromide. I just recall reading over and over that once a Bromine pool, always a bromine pool...hence why I asked. No doubt you have some great experience, and I think I speak for all the Mods as well as Jason...that your advice is welcome. Every so often though you will find we have a certain way of doing things, so agreeing to disagree is not out of the question :goodjob:
 

no-mas

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 16, 2008
405
FL
Mr. Ed said:
...I know what I am doing....just as some of the moderators here do... and we just seem have a difference of opinion on some things. If I'm going to get attacked every time I suggest something that doesn't fit within a moderator or admin's "preference" then I simply choose not to be a part of what's going on. I think that some of the suggestions you guys are making are fantastic...most of them actually....other's are quite tedious and save a home owner neither time nor significant amounts of money. Unfortunately it's quite some time before people that read these types of forums make it into a location like mine (after several other failed attempts of fixing their problems via uneducated Leslie's employees or pool services, and other websites that contain nothing useful at all) and get good help. I really thought I could extend that help to this forum but sadly I was mistaken.

Admin's.... please do what you choose with my account...delete etc. I won't be back!
That's too bad, Mr. Ed - I'd hope you reconsider. Differing viewpoints and opinions only adds to the collective knowledge of all the users on this site.
 

Mr. Ed

In The Industry
Jun 16, 2010
38
Dallas Tx
dmanb2b said:
Ed, I'd really hate to see you leave...I really meant no harm by questioning the use of sodimum bromide. I just recall reading over and over that once a Bromine pool, always a bromine pool...hence why I asked. No doubt you have some great experience, and I think I speak for all the Mods as well as Jason...that your advice is welcome. Every so often though you will find we have a certain way of doing things, so agreeing to disagree is not out of the question :goodjob:

14.7% active ingredient Sodium Bromide added at the rate of 2 lbs/ 10k gallons of water with subsequent super chlorination every 12 hours not only rids the pool of mustard algae, but the bromide residual is 0 after 24 hours.... that's all I'm saying. In a matter of 24-48 hours the pool is swim-able. Sure I could ask a home owner to raise their CH level to high levels for a week but that's hardly a good swimming environment for someone who wants to use the pool NOW haha.

I pride myself on my lack of conforming to one method....just as the weather and conditions change in Dallas so does my method of attack on the issues.

So...who wants to talk about phosphates? :hammer:
 

Ohm_Boy

TFP Expert
May 1, 2007
1,344
Orlando, FL
I really, really, really don't want to step in this, but I think I recall somewhere seeing Sodium Bromide used for Baquacil conversion to Chlorine.
 

Mr. Ed

In The Industry
Jun 16, 2010
38
Dallas Tx
Ohm_Boy said:
I really, really, really don't want to step in this, but I think I recall somewhere seeing Sodium Bromide used for Baquacil conversion to Chlorine.
not that it couldn't be used but i've never heard this....however I have used monopersulfate (non chlorine) shock to do so.

chemgeek definitely knows his stuff....that's obvious....but testing of the water 24 hours later shows that the bromide isn't present
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
Ohm_Boy said:
I recall somewhere seeing Sodium Bromide used for Baquacil conversion to Chlorine.
I've seen that. The peroxide used in baq pools activates the bromine, which then breaks down the baq sanitizer. It can let you keep swimming during part of the conversion, but tends to stop working well before the conversion is complete, leaving you with a partial conversion.
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
Mr. Ed said:
chemgeek definitely knows his stuff....that's obvious....but testing of the water 24 hours later shows that the bromide isn't present
When I wrote that bromine only works well for high CYA situations, I didn't mean that it doesn't work unless the CYA is high. As you wrote, it works regardless of CYA level. I meant that it is only really needed when the CYA is high because when the CYA is lower you can shock with reasonable amounts of chlorine. By "works well" I meant in an overall sense balancing against other options such as using chlorine.

How are you able to test for bromide and distinguish it from chloride? And how are you able to test for bromine and distinguish it from chlorine? The standard test kits that test for chloride also react with bromide and quite frankly there is always so much chloride in the water that it will swamp any bromide result anyway. As for bromine, the tests are for halogen where bromine and chlorine will both react whether it is an OTO, DPD or FAS-DPD test. The only difference is that technically bromine is 2.25 times heavier than chlorine which is why the test kits have dual scales with bromine twice as high as chlorine. If you measure a zero bromine reading, that just means there is no bromine or chlorine, but it does not mean there is no bromide. Any chlorine that is then added to the water would then reactivate the bromide to bromine and would show up in your test kit as if you had chlorine, but it's really bromine because the test kit does not know the difference.

If you only add a fairly small amount of sodium bromide to the pool so that you are only generating a few ppm, say less than 5 ppm, of bromine (equivalent to around 2.2 ppm of chlorine, but unbound to CYA), then that might outgas from the pool in a week or a month, but it's not going to be hours or days. The reason is that unlike chlorine which breaks down to become chloride and then gets stuck there (unless you have an SWG system), bromine that gets broken down by sunlight or that oxidizes an organic becomes bromide which then gets reactivated by chlorine in the water to become bromine again. So the pool becomes a bromine pool and bromine or bromide only leave the system through 1) slow outgassing (accelerated by more aeration if you want to make it happen faster), 2) dilution of the pool water and maybe some physical removal in backwashing if you are lucky enough to have bromine attach to some organic particles large enough to get filtered out.

Bromide + Chlorine ---> Bromine + Chloride
Bromine broken down by sunlight or oxidizing ammonia or an organic ---> Bromide

So you can see from the above cycle, that you don't get rid of bromide/bromine except by its physical removal from the water. This is very different than chlorine which goes to chloride (salt) and stays there.

To a large extent this is all somewhat of a moot point since what does it mean to have a bromine pool? It's not a disaster, but it usually means a somewhat higher sanitizer demand because bromine does not bind to CYA so gets broken down by sunlight, though not as quickly as unbound chlorine. Actual reports from users are mixed, however, in terms of sanitizer demand when using bromine -- some see a higher demand, some see about the same (no one sees a lower demand). So other than carefully measuring the sanitizer demand and noticing a difference in consistent conditions, you can't really know when you are back to chlorine instead of bromine. Technically, you might smell a difference if you are very familiar of bromine odor vs. chlorine.

If I were going to use a product that bypassed CYA, then ammonium sulfate to form monochloramine would be an alternative and at least in this situation one knows that one can add chlorine to get rid of the monochloramine and can measure to know that the Combined Chlorine (CC) has truly dropped.

Richard
 

Other Threads of Interest