shoelace

Gecko in.clear bromine salt generator – my experiences

6 posts in this topic

How does it work? - You add 3.5 lbs of sodium bromide into the spa water. The sodium bromide separates into sodium ions & bromide ions. As the spa water is pumped through the electrodes in the bromine generator the bromide ions are turned into the bromine sanitiser. That sanitiser performs it’s function before turning back into bromide ions and the process repeats.

The bottom line is that you add the 3.5 lbs of sodium bromide once and that’s it ... until you drain and refill your spa ... no other chemicals are required. 3.5 lbs of sodium bromide costs about 40$.

My father had one of the early bromine salt generators installed in his spa back in 2005. It worked very well for him. He only needed to check the spa chemistry now and then to make sure it was working properly – but he never had any problems. My parents would leave on vacation for many weeks at a time and when they returned the spa chemistry would remain perfect. His bromine generator finally wore out last year. It had lasted for 10 years. Since his spa was pretty low-end ... and getting old, he decided not to replace the unit and instead switched to bromine pucks. I asked him how he compared using the pucks to the bromine generator – he said he much preferred the generator because he never had to do anything.

So back in 2013 when I bought my spa, I decided I wanted a bromine salt generator for water sanitisation. The generators work better with 24-hour recirculation pumps – so I made that a requirement for the spa I would buy. (However, my father’s spa did not have a 24-hour recirculation pump and his generator worked fine).

The odd thing was that when looking for a spa back in 2013, I did not find any dealers who recommended bromine salt generators. They were pushing all sorts of other hokey pseudo-scientific sanatiser systems. But, I could not find anyone in the industry that had anything positive to say about the bromine generators. But, at least I had my fathers experience to go by ... otherwise I surely would not have taken the risk.

I chose to buy an H2O Banff spa that featured a 24-hour recirculation pump. I assumed that manufacturers of spas with recirc pumps would be marketing the fact that they work well with bromine generators. Surprisingly to me this was not the case, however, H2O did sell the spa with a Gecko in.clear bromine generator well integrated into the pump housing.

So, my personal experiences using a bromine salt generator? ... Great. No problems at all so far (after 3-1/2 years). Similar to my father – set it up, check in now and then – and it’s good until the next water change (twice per year in my case).

So why is this sanitisation system not more popular? I think the problem is that there is no automated feedback adjustment. You need to tune the system yourself by using litmus tests to check how far you are from ideal bromine levels and then adjusting the power to the electrodes appropriately to correct. And you need to be patient – allowing several days for the system to stabilized before using the tub. But once the system is tuned – you lock it in and are good until the next water change. But you need to think about it. For example, if your filter is blocked, you will not be getting the same flow through the electrodes and your bromine levels will go down. You will need to either clean your filters or increase the power to the electrodes to correct.

Another thing is that you need to start out with good water – water within certain parameters. If your water is not good enough you need to treat it first. I imagine this would be a pain in the neck. Luckily for me, Montreal water is fine ... so I don’t need to do anything to the water. But it may be worthwhile checking the water in your area first before investing in a bromine generator system.

The other great thing is that I never feel like I need a shower after using a tube with a bromine salt generator system. The water feels good on the skin without any bad odour.

By the way, my understanding is that Bromine salt generator systems are suited for spas whereas salt chlorine generator systems are better suited for swimming pools.

I read somewhere that the saltiness of the water is equivalent to tears ... hence, not sufficiently salty to cause rust issues. However, I suppose that if you have a slow leak somewhere the evaporation may concentrate the salt. But this has not been a problem yet for me nor my father.

If I identify any problems or issues with my bromine generator system in the future I’ll be sure to update this thread.

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Excellent post. Thank you.

I think a reason that they aren't promoted by spa stores is that you won't be buying the "special" chemicals that they sell.

So many folks are looking for a magic chemical that they can buy and chuck into their tub rather than spend the time to understand the (simple) process of keeping it balanced and sanitary. One of these generators is probably the closest thing to a "magic" solution.

I hope to get one some day. Bleach into a bromine spa is cheap and easy enough for me and my present budget.

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I am intrigued by this post since my spa gets left alone for weeks at a time also. It is set up with a 24/7 recirc pump for filtration. I use bromine pucks in a floater and an ozone generator. The spa clarity is perfect, the water feels fine, but i have noticed a low pH reading, actually very low, acidic level. My jet pump had a small leak due to an old o-ring, but recently it is not working at all when turned on, just hums. If it is the acidity that corroded the pump or motor I need to make a change after I spend $700 for a new jet pump.You did not mention any use of ozone. Now I am wondering if it is the ozone that is continually being pumped into the water that has caused the aCIDICTY (stupid caps). Any ideas on this? Thanks Now I am off to look up the Gecko in.clear system. This forum is great.

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A bromine salt generator works all by itself.  No need for an ozone generator.  So far as I'm aware it is not even designed to be used with anything else.

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1 hour ago, mrwrick said:

I use bromine pucks in a floater and an ozone generator.

Both of those can work great but they can be tough to regulate. If they are contributing and the tub is not being used then you'll likely have way too much sanitizer.

The same can happen with a BSG if you don't know what output to set it at.

Even if you did switch to a BSG you need to take the time to assess the needs of your tub. There is no one "formula" to maintain a spa. We all use them differently.

The bottom line is figuring out what it takes to keep the bromine level at 2-3ppm between uses and then how much "booster" to add after bathing to account for that and be left at 2-3ppm until your next soak.

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I notice that most (if not all) posts on this site regarding salt generator systems are for chlorine salt as opposed to bromine salt. I read about Onzen & ACE – but not about any specific bromine generator systems.

Does anyone else besides me have experience with bromine salt generator systems?

When my father bought his bromine salt generator back in 2005 the consensus he heard was that chlorine salt generators were designed for pools & were not effective for spas due to the higher temperatures & PH range ... but that the bromine salt generators were more stable & very effective for spas.

Anyone know how much truth there is to that? I’m just trying to reconcile the positive experience I’ve had with my bromine generator vs some of the more negative posts regarding chlorine salt generators.

I have not read any discussion regarding the advantages & disadvantages of each system. Anyone?

 

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