What is Bromine?
Bromine is a member of the same chemical family as chlorine. This chemical family known as halogens attacks microorganisms such as bacteria using oxidation and kills them. This is why chlorine and bromine are the two most popular choices for sanitizer in pools and spas.
Most people who choose to use bromine over chlorine do so for a few reasons. Although bromine is not completely odor-free most people find it to be a much less potent odor than that of its cousin, chlorine. It also seems to be less irritating to the skin and eyes. Bromine remains more stable at the high water temperature in hot tubs than chlorine does, making it more stable and less maintenance. Bromine also has advantage over chlorine in that after chlorine is combined with waste it has no further ability to sanitize but bromine can be reactivated with an non-chlorine shock treatment.
How to Use Bromine?
Bromine is typically either used in tablet form like, SpaPure Bromine Tablets or ProTeam Brominating Tablets, a brominating concentrate, or administered through either a floating or inline cartridge that also works with a mineral system, like the ones from Spa Frog.
Testing bromine levels to make sure they are high enough can easily be done with test strips like Aquachek Total Bromine in seconds about twice a week, or a larger test kit like the Taylor K-2106, which uses reagents, can be used which eliminates the need for color matching.
Regardless of which way you use bromine and how you test for it, if it is maintained at correct levels it will work as a great sanitizer to keep your water crystal clear.
Spa maintenance needs vary based on the usage of the hot tub, both how often and how many people are using it. But here are some basic guidelines to follow when caring for your spa:
· Bromine Tablets being used in a residential spa should maintain a 2-4 ppm total bromine residual.
· Brominating Tablets being used in a commercial hot tub should maintain a 4-6 ppm total bromine residual.
· When starting with a fresh fill and using bromine tablets, fill up the floating feeder with tablets as instructed by the manufacturer. Shock your spa water with either a chlorinating or brominating concentrate following the label instructions. This will eliminate unwanted compounds and create a sanitizer residual. You will then want to adjust the rate of flow from the Brominating Tablets in your feeder. For the first week you will want to test the water frequently then shock as needed to get the correct bromine residual established and maintain it.
· Bromine Concentrate being used should maintain 3-6 ppm total bromine residual.
· When starting with a fresh fill and using a bromine concentrate add 2 tsp. per 400 gallons of water with the pump running. For the first week test the water frequently and add concentrate as needed to maintain the proper residual.
BROMINE CARTRIDGES with a Mineral System
· Spas using bromine along with a mineral system should maintain a 1-2 ppm residual of bromine and follow the instructions given by the manufacturer.