Chlorine vs Bromine Tablets for Your Spa
Even if you have only been managing a pool or a hot tub for a short period of time, you will no doubt have become familiar with the reality that it’s no walk in the park to keep everything moving along swimmingly. Excuse the pun, but the fact of the matter is that keeping a spa pristine and pure takes a lot of work.
You will need to balance the pH, shock the water periodically, prevent algae blooms and restore water clarity with treatments, clarifier or flocculant. You will even need to pay careful attention to alkalinity in order to protect the liner and other surfaces. Perhaps most importantly, you will need to ensure a constant, adequate level of sanitizer that stays within just the right range.
If you haven’t been doing this for too long, you will probably be familiar with the use of chlorine as a sanitizer for pool water. Chlorine is an effective disinfectant that destroys bacteria and viruses, along with other biological contaminants by oxidizing them. Chlorine is a reactive element that, when it comes into contact with bacteria, kills them and produces metabolized products called chloramines. These chloramines are what give pools their distinctive, some might say, unpleasant odors. They are also the compounds responsible for the irritation that some swimmers occasionally experience.
Chlorine is an effective spa sanitizer and chlorine granules and tablets can be fairly easily administered to the water of a pool or a hot tub. If you use chlorine granules you can actually dissolve them very quickly and add them directly to the water where, if you have proper circulation, they will get to work right away.
Chlorine is also relatively cost effective and inexpensive, which makes it the sanitizer of choice for many pool and hot tub owners. Taking all of that into account, there is a fairly common and readily available alternative to chlorine out there, that comes in the form of bromine tablets for your spa.
Bromine, like chlorine, can be added to spa water in order to keep it free of contaminants like bateria, viruses and algae. Bromine is just as effective as chlorine in keeping the water clear, but there are some important things to remember when evaluating the differences.
While bromine does not dissolve as quickly in hot tub water as chlorine does, once it reaches optimum levels, it will remain in circulation for comparatively longer than chlorine and on top of that it will not break down as quickly. There are a few reasons for this.
The first is that bromine is not as quickly deactivated as it works to destroy contaminants in spa or hot tub water. The second is that bromine, like chlorine, produces compounds as it works to keep the water clear. These are called bromamines, but unlike chloramines, they remain active in removing contaminants from the water. Also, and unlike chloramines, they do not present an offensive odor and are not implicated in irritating the skin or eyes of bathers.
Additionally, bromine sanitizers are more stable in a wider range of pH than chlorine sanitizers, which means that you will have more leeway when balancing your water and will not need to keep as tight a grip on the pH balance. Chlorine will rapidly lose its effectiveness when the pH levels fluctuate unduly, but you do not need to be as wary of the performance of bromine in those same situations.
Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, is the fact that bromine is significantly more stable under higher temperatures than chlorine. While you might initially be turned off by the comparatively high cost of bromine tablets for your spa, there is a high likelihood that you will end up spending more by frequently adding more chlorine to the water. Even if bromine costs more per unit, you may end up using less, in which case it will pay for itself.
These are some of the main reasons that you might want to consider bromine tablets for your spa, but there are others as well. Remember that it is a matter of personal choice and preference in some situations and not a clear matter of bromine or chlorine being superior. Chlorine does have some advantages over bromine, such as the fact that it can be protected from UV radiation with stabilizers whereas bromine can’t. Ultimately it comes down to your unique situation and the factors that you need to take into account to determine which is the better option as a sanitizer.
Rather than doing all of the hard work and research yourself, reach out to our hot tub supply and accessories professionals here at LeisureQuip by giving us a call at 866-546-8882. We have many years of experience troubleshooting water and tech issues for pool and hot tub owners just like you, and we’d be glad to help answer your questions on the merits of chlorine, bromine and other pool chemicals. Give us a call for more information; we’re always ready to help.