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Bromine Routine Question


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#1 raydz

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 10:57 AM

A lot of great information on this site! My question deals with getting into a daily routine using bromine as a sanitizer. I currently use a floating dispenser with tabs... the tabs are Leisure Time Bromine.... which contain bromine and chlorine... that being the case... is daily addition of chlorine or MPS needed, as its always being added via the floater... I know a weekly shock dose is needed. What do other folks do?

#2 waterbear

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 09:08 AM

A lot of great information on this site! My question deals with getting into a daily routine using bromine as a sanitizer. I currently use a floating dispenser with tabs... the tabs are Leisure Time Bromine.... which contain bromine and chlorine... that being the case... is daily addition of chlorine or MPS needed, as its always being added via the floater... I know a weekly shock dose is needed. What do other folks do?

Here is your procedure (and my 2 cents! smile.gif ):
On filling the spa and after balancing water add sodium bromide (Lieusre time sells it in little packets) at the rate of 1/2 oz per 100 gallons to establish your bromide reserve. Now shock your spa and put your floater and tabs in. (I like to use laundry bleach to shock at the rate of 1 cup per 250 gallons). When total bromine level has dropped below 10 ppm you can enter spa.
Adjust the floater to maintain a total bromine of between 4-6 ppm, never go in the spa if the bromne is below 2 ppm and shock weekly. Bromine levels should rise above 10 ppm on shocking. Wait for them to drop below 10 ppm before entering spa. Even if you use MPS to shock the bromine levels will rise and you still need to wait before entering spa (Bromine works differently than chlorine with MPS shock).
It's a good idea to test your water weekly for TA and Calcium and adjust as necessary before shocking. You should ideally be testing total bromine and pH daily (at least 2-3 times a week) and adjust as needed.
Drain and refill about every 3-4 months and that's about it.
One final thing. If you do not have metals in your water a metal remover is not necesary, If you maintain your spa properly you should have NO need for defoamers, clarifiers, etc. If you calcium is below about 400 ppm and you keep tabs on your pH and keep it in line you should not have a need for descalers. The only supplimental products that I personally have found beneficial are enzymes and borates. Enzymes will help keep a scum line from forming in your spa (I have had good results with NaturalChemisty's Spa Magic) and the borates in the concentration of 30-50 ppm will have multiple benefits such as better pH stability, algaestatic properties that will decrease your sanitizer demand (and bromine usage to maintain the same 4-5 ppm level!) , 'softer' feeling water, clearer looking water. I know it sounds like snake oil but they really do work! Most borate products are called water 'enhancers' and their main ingredients are usually sodium tetraborate and sodium bisulfate to counteract the pH rise created by the tetraborate. Proteam makes such a product for spa use called Gentle Spa. In fact their entire Genle Spa line is a bromine bases sanitizer system that uses borates and MPS for shock.
The only other thing you might want to pick up is a 'scumball', 'scumbug', or 'sunsorb'. These are all different brands of the same thing. It is a sponge like material that floats in the spa and removes oils and scum from the surface. They really work and will last you a season or two before needing replacement.
Fianlly, invest in a GOOD drop based test kit and don't rely on test strips for water balance. I personally like the Taylor K-2106 for bromine. If you think about $60 is too much to spend on a test kit think about how much you spent on your spa to put things in perspective. A good test kit will actually make your spa care much easier!

I've tested more water than I ever care to think about!
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#3 raydz

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 12:08 PM

Thanks for the detailed answer.... I have pretty much doing as you suggest. I'm a little surprised that I have to keep the floater turned down almost all the way.... to provide 2-4 ppm. Thanks

#4 Wrinkles

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 04:47 PM

What would be the easiest way to convert over to Bromine after I have had my spa set up with the chlorine method? Right now my water tests are perfect and have been for about a month. I have the bromine tablets from leisure time and a floater so do I just put it in the water without using sodium bromide or do I need to add it even though there is chlorine(I use bleach) present? Right now my chlorine level has just hit about 0ppm after I added 3oz to it last night after we used the spa.
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#5 waterbear

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 05:49 PM

What would be the easiest way to convert over to Bromine after I have had my spa set up with the chlorine method? Right now my water tests are perfect and have been for about a month. I have the bromine tablets from leisure time and a floater so do I just put it in the water without using sodium bromide or do I need to add it even though there is chlorine(I use bleach) present? Right now my chlorine level has just hit about 0ppm after I added 3oz to it last night after we used the spa.

To convert to bromine you just need to add the sodium bromide to the water to create the bromine reserve, shock with bleach (yes, bleach! use 3/4 cups of ultra or 1 cup of regular for each 250 gallons water), let your bromine level drop to between 4-6 ppm and put in the floater with the tabs and ajust it to maintain the bromine level. Shock weekly with the chlorine bleach and keep the cover off and the circulation going until the bromine level drops back down. Drain and refill every 3-4 months. You can use MPS to shock instead of bleach but you will find that it tends to lower your pH and TA faster (the bromine tabs are acidic and they also lower the pH and TA).

I've tested more water than I ever care to think about!
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#6 Wrinkles

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 06:39 PM

Thanks, I was clear on everything except for the sodium bromide. I thought I had read on another post that if you had shocked with chlorine and then waited for it to get down to about 3ppm then you could just add the bromine tablets with the floater.

I'll get the sodium bromide and get it started.
New Catalina CL 300 w/ozonator
300 Gal.

#7 waterbear

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 02:59 AM

Thanks, I was clear on everything except for the sodium bromide. I thought I had read on another post that if you had shocked with chlorine and then waited for it to get down to about 3ppm then you could just add the bromine tablets with the floater.

I'll get the sodium bromide and get it started.

You need the sodium bromide to put the 'bromide bank' in the water so the chlorine or MPS can convert it into active bromine sanitizer, hypobromous acid. It would literally take weeks for enough of the tablets to dissolve to do this if you didn't add the sodium bromide first.

I've tested more water than I ever care to think about!
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