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What's The Step By Step To Bromine Treatment?


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#1 footie

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 04:54 AM

As I'm new to hot tubs and new to Bromine I would love some of the experienced member to give us step by step to using Bromine as a form of water treatment.

Thanks in advance.

#2 waterbear

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 06:31 AM

When testing water do NOT use strips, get a good drop based test kit. Your best bet for Bromine is the Taylor k-2106 and for chlorine the K-2006 (NOT the K-2005). THE TEST KIT IS PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN OWN FOR EASY SPA MAINTENANCE. GET A GOOD ONE! I cannot stress this enough!!!!!

On to bromine:
1. fill the spa and balance the water.Do not turn the heat up yet. If you have well water or know your water has metals then add a metal sequestrant at this point. You will need to continue with weekly maintenace doses of the metal sequestrant if your water has metals. A better solution is to fill from a water softener or purchase a "spa stick" filter that attaches to your hose to fill the spa to help remove the metals.
A,adjust TA to about 100 ppm (here is how to lower TA by using acid and aeration here is a more detailed explanation and howto), raise TA with baking soda, it's the same chemical sold as TA increaser for much less money!
B. Once TA is adjusted then adjust pH to between 7.4 and 7.8 Use dry acid to lower pH if too high (above 8.0). Use borax from the laundry aisle to raise it if too low (below 7.2) .Do NOT use pH up because it will make your TA go too high!!!!!!!! pH up is sodium carbonate, also known as washing soda and raises both pH AND TA!
C. IF you calcium hardness is below 130 ppm raise it to 130-150. If it is above 400 then add an anti stain and scale or calcium reducer to the spa weekly. If it is between 130-400 you are fine.


2. Add 1/2 oz of sodium bromide per 100 gallons of water to create your bromide reserve in the water. This is the MOST important step with a bromine spa and the one most people ignore. If you omit this step you will not have a bromine spa for several weeks until enough tablets dissolve in the water to create the bromide bank and you will not have sanitized water! Sodium Bromide is available in packets and jars from several companies. You will need to re add it on each drain and fill.


Make sure that you get sodium bromide in either powder or liquid form that is sold to start the bromide reserve or 'bromide bank' and not a one step bromine product that is a mixture of mostly dichlor and a little blt of sodium bromide. READ THE LABEL! It should only contain sodium bromide (and water if in liquid form).

3. Shock the spa to 'activate' (oxidize) the sodium bromide into hypobromous acid (this is your 'bromine' sanitizer that you test for with your strips or test kit.) You can use MPS to shock but chlorine works just as well if not better and is much less expensive. One of the best sources of chlorine you can use with a bromine spa is sodium hypochlorite and that can also be found in the laundry aisle. It is ordinary liquid chlorine bleach. You want the regular, unscented bleach, not a thickened or scented one. It will come in either 5.25% or 6%. Read the label to see which you have. Use 2.5 oz (5 tablespoons) of the 5.25% or 2 oz (4 tablespoons) of the 6% per 100 gallons of spa water to shock. Your bromine will go very high. Uncover the spa and circulate until the bromine drops below 10 ppm before you use the spa. Now heat the spa up to temperature.


4. Put in the floater with your bromine tabs (which usually contain BOTH bromine and chlorine to activate the bromine, btw) and adjust the floater to maintain your bromine at about 4-6 ppm. this can take a bit of trial and error. Check your pH and bromine before you go ineach time and if bromine is low add a few tablespoons of bleach and retest until it is above 4 but below 10 ppm. It really only takes seconds for the chlorine to oxidize your bromide reserve into bromine sanitizer. If pH is not between 7.2 and 8.0 then you should adjust it before entering the spa and wait abot 30 minutes then retest it to make sure it is in the proper range. If both are off then adjust pH first then the bromine. If your bromine is always low open the floater a bit more. If high then close it down a bit. If it is above 10 then take out the floater and open the spa until the bromine level drops below 10 before entering the water and close the floater down a bit. Once you get the floater adjusted the bromne level will stay pretty constant and it becomes much easier! Remember to keep tablets in the floater at all times!

You are done!

Weekly test pH, Keep pH between 7.2 -8.0 and then when you have finished adjusting shock the spa with bleach just like when you added the sodium bromide but you do not need more sodium bromide. Add anti scale or calcium reducer if your calcium tested above 400 ppm.

Monthly check and adjust TA and calcium before you adjust pH and shock.

Every 3-4 months drain, refill, balance the water, add the sodium bromide, shock, and put the bromine tablets back in.

Actually pretty easy!
If you follow these steps you will not need to waste money on defoamers, clarifier, enzymes, etc.!
Hope this helps.

Chlorne is a bit cheaper than bromine but it really does require daily attention. Bromine (and what I described above is known as 3 step bromine and is the most forgiving) is not as fussy (acceptable pH range is wider and water balance is easier than chlorine or 2 step bromine) and really only needs attention once or twice a week after you get it set up, besides checking sanitizer level and pH before you enter the spa each time.

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

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 07:42 AM

Thank you waterbear, you are a gentleman.

#4 chem geek

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 12:08 PM

Thank you waterbear, you are a gentleman.

... and a scholar.

#5 waterbear

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 09:51 PM


Thank you waterbear, you are a gentleman.

... and a scholar.


And here I thought I was just a showoff!Posted Image
I've tested more water than I ever care to think about!
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#6 footie

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 01:45 AM

And here I thought I was just a showoff!Posted Image


You may well think that of yourself but to me who is unsure of how to approach this tricky business of managing the water in a hot tub your input and advice is much appreciated and I sincerely mean that.

So thanks. (add big thumbs up here)

#7 lil_country

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 09:56 AM

Bromine is easy if done right! Most people do not understand the chemistry and do it wrong, including many dealers!

When testing water do NOT use strips, get a good drop based test kit. Your best bet for Bromine is the Taylor k-2106 and for chlorine the K-2006 (NOT the K-2005). THE TEST KIT IS PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN OWN FOR EASY SPA MAINTENANCE. GET A GOOD ONE! I cannot stress this enough!!!!!

On to bromine:
1. fill the spa and balance the water. If you have well water or know your water has metals then add a metal sequestrant at this point. You will need to continue with weekly maintenace doses of the metal sequestrant if your water has metals. A better solution is to fill from a water softener or purchase a "spa stick" filter that attaches to your hose to fill the spa to help remove the metals.
A,adjust TA to about 100 ppm (search the forum for how to lower TA by using acid and aeration, raise TA with baking soda, it;s the same chemical sold as TA increaser for much less money!
B. Once TA is adjusted then adjust pH to between 7.4 and 7.8 Use dry acid to lower pH if too high, Use borax from the laundry aisle to raise it if too low.Do NOT use pH up because it will make your TA go too high!!!!!!!! pH up is sodium carbonate, also known as washing soda and raises both pH AND TA!
C. IF you calcium hardness is below 130 ppm raise it to 130-150. If it is above 400 then add an anti stain and scale or calcium reducer to the spa weekly. If it is between 130-400 you are fine.


2. Add 1/2 oz of sodium bromide per 100 gallons of water to create your bromide reserve in the water. This is the MOST important step with a bromine spa and the one most people ignore. If you omit this step you will not have a bromine spa for several weeks until enough tablets dissolve in the water to create the bromide bank and you will not have sanitized water! Sodium Bromide is available in packets and jars from several companies. You will need to re add it on each drain and fill.


3. Shock the spa to 'activate' (oxidize) the sodium bromide into hypobromous acid (this is your 'bromine' sanitizer that you test for with your strips or test kit.) You can use MPS to shock but chlorine works just as well if not better and is much less expensive. One of the best sources of chlorine you can use with a bromine spa is sodium hypochlorite and that can also be found in the laundry aisle. It is ordinary liquid chlorine bleach. You want the regular, unscented bleach, not a thickened or scented one. It will come in either 5.25% or 6%. Read the label to see which you have. Use 2.5 oz (5 tablespoons) of the 5.25% or 2 oz (4 tablespoons) of the 6% per 100 gallons of spa water to shock. Your bromine will go very high. Uncover the spa and circulate until the bromine drops below 10 ppm before you use the spa.


4. Put in the floater with your bromine tabs (which usually contain BOTH bromine and chlorine to activate the bromine, btw) and adjust the floater to maintain your bromine at about 4-6 ppm. this can take a bit of trial and error. Check your pH and bromine before you go ineach time and if bromine is low add a few tablespoons of bleach and retest until it is above 4 but below 10 ppm. It really only takes seconds for the chlorine to oxidize your bromide reserve into bromine sanitizer. If pH is not between 7.2 and 8.0 then you should adjust it before entering the spa and wait abot 30 minutes then retest it to make sure it is in the proper range. If both are off then adjust pH first then the bromine. If your bromine is always low open the floater a bit more. If high then close it down a bit. If it is above 10 then take out the floater and open the spa until the bromine level drops below 10 before entering the water and close the floater down a bit. Once you get the floater adjusted the bromne level will stay pretty constant and it becomes much easier! Remember to keep tablets in the floater at all times!

You are done!

Weekly test pH, Keep pH between 7.2 -8.0 and then when you have finished adjusting shock the spa with bleach just like when you added the sodium bromide but you do not need more sodium bromide. Add anti scale or calcium reducer if your calcium tested above 400 ppm.

Monthly check and adjust TA and calcium before you adjust pH and shock.

Every 3-4 months drain, refill, balance the water, add the sodium bromide, shock, and put the bromine tablets back in.

Actually pretty easy!
If you follow these steps you will not need to waste money on defoamers, clarifier, enzymes, etc.!
Hope this helps.

Chlorne is a bit cheaper than bromine but it really does require daily attention. Bromine (and what I described above is known as 3 step bromine and is the most forgiving) is not as fussy (acceptable pH range is wider and water balance is easier than chlorine or 2 step bromine) and really only needs attention once or twice a week after you get it set up, besides checking sanitizer level and pH before you enter the spa each time.


I appreciate your post, but what you describe does not at all seem simple. If I had read this before I bought my hot tub, I never would have bought one. It's more work than marriage! I am totally frustrated with my tub right now. Since I filled it, I cannot get it to balance. I add PH decreaser and PH goes down one time, up the next. I add Baking Soda and Alkalinity goes up one time, down the next. I cannot get a consistent reading. I have tested and added chemicals indicated every day for the last two weeks, and it is still not ballanced.

Here are some test readings (most recent first);

ph-8.1 alk-42
ph-8.5 alk-50
ph-hi alk-63 (ph too high to read)
ph-hi alk-63
ph-7.9 alk-54
ph-8.6 alk-80
ph-8.7 alk-51
ph-hi alk-162
ph-8.4 alk-71

This is just the last week. The week before, the numbers were really crazy. I have been adding PH down and Baking soda after each reading. As you can see the alkalinity is fairly consistent, but not going up despite 2lbs of baking soda, and the ph goes up and down despite almost 32 oz of ph down. I'm using an accucheck meter, and I double check it with regular test strips - they seem to be in agreement. I run the pumps 15-30 minutes before I test. The tub has only been used 3 times in the last two weeks, and I have only been able to test and treat once a day due to my schedule.

#8 chem geek

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 11:11 AM

Stop trying to raise the Total Alkalinity (TA) level. Since your spa is tending to rise in pH, you do not want a higher TA. Though waterbear's post says to target a 100 ppm TA and usually when using bromine tabs which are acidic that is reasonable, for whatever reason in your case the water tends to rise in pH so just keep the TA at a lower level -- even 50 ppm is fine. If you want the pH to rise more slowly, you can add 50 ppm borates (using boric acid such as in ProTeam Gentle Spa).

#9 footie

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 03:17 AM

I learned early on that PH increaser and decreaser effect both Ph and TA much more than Dry Acid and Baking Soda themselves but the other thing I learned was that you need to find a happy medium between both Ph and TA, mine is Ph of 7.4 with TA of 80-90. Water is comfortable, clean and now all I do is test twice a week, occasionally adding a little here or there but not the extent I did at the start when I tried to follow the guidelines closely and ultimately failed as you are doing now.

Chill out and it will come good.

#10 waterbear

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 07:41 AM

Here are some test readings (most recent first);

ph-8.1 alk-42
ph-8.5 alk-50
ph-hi alk-63 (ph too high to read)
ph-hi alk-63
ph-7.9 alk-54
ph-8.6 alk-80
ph-8.7
alk-51
ph-hi alk-162
ph-8.4 alk-71



How are you testing pH? IF you are using the normal phenol red test for pH that is used for pools and spas then the numbers in bold are impossible since they are outside the testable range for that indicator.
Also, how are you getting the alk readings. If you are not using a titration (which I suspect you are not because of the results of your TA test) but rather a colormetic test (such as used in the LaMotte ColorQ and Waterlink systems) the ALK can read low when sanitizer levels are high. Without knowing what the bromine levels are when you made these tests and how they were done it makes your test results suspect since there are interactions between the different chemical levels that can give inaccurate test results. When you post test results you should really post ALL of them for this reason.

If you are using a strip reader and strips then you need to get a better testing method and your results are bogus. (Strips also use phenol red for pH and cannot read above 8.4!) Strips and strip readers do NOT produce valid testing results. Period.

I add PH decreaser and PH goes down one time, up the next. I add Baking Soda and Alkalinity goes up one time, down the next. I cannot get a consistent reading. I have tested and added chemicals indicated every day for the last two weeks, and it is still not ballanced.




First, it is impossible for pH to go up when adding pH down (dry acid). Likewise, it is impossible for ALK to go down when adding baking soda. This makes your testing method suspect nand your results bogus! Without good tst results you cannot balance the water. This is why a good test kit is recommended time and again on here and our collective experience keeps pointing to the Taylor test kits and the LaMotte drop based kits, not their electronic testers. Our collective experience also does not recommend strips either by themself or with a strip reader! Strips and strip readers are worthless.


Second, When adjusting do NOT add the chemicals every day and do not try to raise TA and lower pH at the same time, it is impossible. Once you get a decent testing method (I strongly recommend a Taylor K-2106 test kit for bromine) then get your TA adjusted first if too low (and I suspect yours is actually too high based on your post) THEN lower the pH to your target.
I've tested more water than I ever care to think about!
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#11 lil_country

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 09:39 AM

Ok, I've ordered a Taylor test kit. I hope this gets simpler, because right now I'm thinking Coy pond.

#12 joew

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 03:35 PM

Where is the best place to get a taylor kit?

#13 yodeller

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 04:29 PM

I got mine from amazon.com
k2106 just recieved it yesterday. really easy to use.

#14 chem geek

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 06:31 PM

The least expensive source is Amato Industries here, but will take up to a week for you to receive. You can also get it here but at a higher cost, but probably within 2 days.

[EDIT] The above is for the chlorine test kit. Though that can also be used from bromine with some adjustment to the calculation, the bromine test kit is the K-2106 at Amato Industries here. [END-EDIT]

#15 waterbear

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 07:20 AM

Ok, I've ordered a Taylor test kit. I hope this gets simpler, because right now I'm thinking Coy pond.


Once you get your kit post a full set of results in this thread (don't start a new one) and we can help you from there.
I've tested more water than I ever care to think about!
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#16 footie

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 07:29 AM

Do any of you guys know where the Taylor test kits can be bought in the UK?

#17 chem geek

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 09:54 AM

I don't believe you can get Taylor kits in the U.K., but you can get Palintest.

The Palintest SP 316 is a complete test for bromine (the SP 315C is what one would use for chlorine). The only downside is that the bromine/chlorine tests are DPD-based. Palintest does have a FAS-DPD chlorine test called the SP 300 (and that could be used for bromine as well with suitable unit adjustment), but that may only be available in the U.S.

I think the SP 316 should work well for your bromine spa.

#18 footie

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 02:11 PM

I don't believe you can get Taylor kits in the U.K., but you can get Palintest.

The Palintest SP 316 is a complete test for bromine (the SP 315C is what one would use for chlorine). The only downside is that the bromine/chlorine tests are DPD-based. Palintest does have a FAS-DPD chlorine test called the SP 300 (and that could be used for bromine as well with suitable unit adjustment), but that may only be available in the U.S.

I think the SP 316 should work well for your bromine spa.


I have tried my hardest but so far I can't find the bromine version, only the chlorine. Is there any UK member that know of anyone selling this product?

#19 lil_country

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 02:13 PM


Ok, I've ordered a Taylor test kit. I hope this gets simpler, because right now I'm thinking Coy pond.


Once you get your kit post a full set of results in this thread (don't start a new one) and we can help you from there.

Will do, thanks. I hope it will come in Monday.

#20 chem geek

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 06:08 PM

I have tried my hardest but so far I can't find the bromine version, only the chlorine. Is there any UK member that know of anyone selling this product?

You can go ahead and use the chlorine version. You just multiply the result you get by 2.25 for ppm Bromine units. The Free Chlorine test will essentially test for Total Bromine (bromamine measures as free chlorine in the test). The rest of the tests are the same (i.e. pH, TA, CH, CYA though you don't need the CYA test so could get the SP 315 instead of the SP 315C, if you like).

#21 footie

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 02:22 AM

Thanks chem geek for this advice, between you and waterbear I am not sure who I love most. :wub: (j/k)

#22 waterbear

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 09:24 AM

Thanks chem geek for this advice, between you and waterbear I am not sure who I love most. :wub: (j/k)


Well, we are both pretty lovable. Posted Image
I've tested more water than I ever care to think about!
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#23 footie

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 03:20 AM

After sourcing a supplier of the Palintest products I asked about the SP316 as you guys suggested but they are suggesting two alternatives which they say are more accurate, first is the Palintest Cool Pool Tester and the other is the Pooltest 3. The Pooltest 3 is more comprehensive in what tests it can do but I don't think I need most of them, plus it's over seven times as expensive.

Any thoughts.

P.S.
I forgot to add earlier, Palintest suggest that Bromine spa can run the pH higher than a Chlorine spa, suggesting 7.6-8.2 for Bromine as suitable. Does this sound right to you guys because I have been finding that to maintain a TA of 100 my pH goes to between 7.8-8.0.

#24 waterbear

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 06:57 AM

After sourcing a supplier of the Palintest products I asked about the SP316 as you guys suggested but they are suggesting two alternatives which they say are more accurate, first is the Palintest Cool Pool Tester and the other is the Pooltest 3. The Pooltest 3 is more comprehensive in what tests it can do but I don't think I need most of them, plus it's over seven times as expensive.

Any thoughts.

P.S.
I forgot to add earlier, Palintest suggest that Bromine spa can run the pH higher than a Chlorine spa, suggesting 7.6-8.2 for Bromine as suitable. Does this sound right to you guys because I have been finding that to maintain a TA of 100 my pH goes to between 7.8-8.0.


On the second point, bromine is effective at a wider pH range than chlorine but I prefer to keep it at a pH of 8.0 or less.

As far as the testers go, if I am not mistaken the pooltest3 is usless for bromine since you are not testing CYA (one of the three tests) and cannot test TA or CH., which you need. The CoolPooltester does not test for CH.

Also realize that inexpensive electronic photometers are not going to be that good. You get what you pay for really applies here and you have to consider that professional models cost into the thousands of dollars..

However, it is a GREAT way for whoever is selling it to you to make a bigger profit and a bigger sale!
I've tested more water than I ever care to think about!
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#25 footie

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 07:12 AM

On the second point, bromine is effective at a wider pH range than chlorine but I prefer to keep it at a pH of 8.0 or less.


That's good to know because I have been struggling to get it down to the 7.4 mark, other than that the water appears to be plain sailing to look after, tablets in the floater, shock it once a week and clean the filter fortnightly, lovely jovely. :P

As far as the testers go, if I am not mistaken the pooltest3 is usless for bromine since you are not testing CYA (one of the three tests) and cannot test TA or CH., which you need. The CoolPooltester does not test for CH.

Also realize that inexpensive electronic photometers are not going to be that good. You get what you pay for really applies here and you have to consider that professional models cost into the thousands of dollars..

However, it is a GREAT way for whoever is selling it to you to make a bigger profit and a bigger sale!


Both the cool pooltester and pooltest 3HR (it's the one which tests all) provide measurements for (Chlorine (Free and Total), pH, Cyanuric Acid, Alkalinity, Calcicol, Bromine), though the cool pooltester is slightly less accurate but according to them will still far more accurate than guessing yourself with the SP316. BTW price of the cool pooltester (model SP166 which tests Br,TA & pH) is only 55 euros but the pooltest 3 is a eye watering 399 euros.

#26 lil_country

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 09:09 AM



Ok, I've ordered a Taylor test kit. I hope this gets simpler, because right now I'm thinking Coy pond.


Once you get your kit post a full set of results in this thread (don't start a new one) and we can help you from there.

Will do, thanks. I hope it will come in Monday.

Well, it supposedly shipped last week, but hasn't come in. Still waiting.

#27 lil_country

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 10:48 AM

Apparently Fed Ex lost my order. Another one was shipped Friday, so I guess I'll wait another week.

#28 lil_country

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 08:21 PM

I got mine from amazon.com
k2106 just recieved it yesterday. really easy to use.

You have got to be kidding me! I just got the kit and tried to read the book. You must be a chemistry major.

#29 lil_country

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 08:32 PM

Got the kit today. My thoughts are not suitable for posting. I got the tub to reduce stress, not create it. The book that comes with it is written for a chemistry major. The instructions on the lid show over 20 steps required to test (More like 40 if you count each drop and swirl). I have better things to do with my time. I have a kit for sale - never used.

#30 chem geek

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 10:57 AM

You don't do every test every day. Items like Calcium Hardness (CH) and Cyanuric Acid (CYA) don't change very quickly over time (for a bromine spa you don't worry about CYA at all and that's not in the K-2106). So you'd only do the CH test on a fresh fill so once every 3-6 months depending on what sanitation technique you are using and how often you use the tub. The Total Alkalinity (TA) likewise doesn't change very quickly so could be tested around once a week (or less frequently) unless you are adding a lot of acid to the tub (bromine tabs are acidic, but the TA will likely drop slowly enough to test once a week).

The only daily or every other day test is Total Bromine and possibly pH if the latter isn't stable (once you get the pH fairly stable, then that can be tested less frequently, but still at least once a week and probably twice a week). The pH test just adds 5 drops and looks at the color -- very easy. The Total Bromine test adds powder, stir, then add and count drops until the sample turns from pink/red to clear. A demo of the test is in this link though that shows the test for chlorine that has an extra step using R-0003 that you don't do for bromine.

#31 waterbear

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 04:34 PM

Got the kit today. My thoughts are not suitable for posting. I got the tub to reduce stress, not create it. The book that comes with it is written for a chemistry major. The instructions on the lid show over 20 steps required to test (More like 40 if you count each drop and swirl). I have better things to do with my time. I have a kit for sale - never used.


The kit is the easiest one to use and get meaningful results. We can help you learn how to use it. If you don't want to care for the spa then I suggest selling that as well since it will not take care of itself. You might think this is harsh but it is truth.
I've tested more water than I ever care to think about!
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#32 lil_country

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 11:02 AM

Ok, sorry for the rant. Thanks for your patience with me. When that kit came in I had just worked 34 hours in two days with very little sleep. Obviously I haven't had much time to enjoy the tub lately. Here are the results of my first test. I have not used the tub in about a week, and haven't added anything to it.

When I did the TA test, it turned clear in 4 drops - red after 5 drops. (50 ppm)

With CH the solution turned red, then purple after 9 drops - blue after 10 drops. (100ppm)

Bromine - 6 dippers R0870 to turn pink, 1 drop R0872 to clear

PH was 7.4, 1 drop R0006 raised it to 7.6

Temperature is 104

Last time I used the tub a strip test showed the bromine level very high, so I remove the bromine tabs while waiting for the kit to come in. I would appreciate your suggestions to get the water balanced.

Thanks

#33 chem geek

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 07:30 PM

Bromine - 6 dippers R0870 to turn pink, 1 drop R0872 to clear

Yikes! It is very unusual to require that many dippers of R-0870 to turn pink. Did you find that when you added the powder it flashed pink briefly but then went clear so that's why you kept adding more? I suspect that even with 6 dippers it was still getting bleached out -- you would need to add enough to have it stay pink/red. But then it would likely take a lot of R-0872. Basically, it sounds like your bromine level is extraordinarily high.

I'd hate you to waste so much DPD powder and titrant drops trying to measure this. Why don't you try diluting the water with distilled/filtered water -- dilute 5:1 -- and then see if that gives you a more logical result, turning pink/red after one scoop and staying there allowing you to add titrant drops. Then just multiply by your dilution amount so if you have 5 parts distilled/filtered water to one part spa water then multiply your result by 6.

#34 lil_country

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 08:09 AM


Bromine - 6 dippers R0870 to turn pink, 1 drop R0872 to clear

Yikes! It is very unusual to require that many dippers of R-0870 to turn pink. Did you find that when you added the powder it flashed pink briefly but then went clear so that's why you kept adding more? I suspect that even with 6 dippers it was still getting bleached out -- you would need to add enough to have it stay pink/red. But then it would likely take a lot of R-0872. Basically, it sounds like your bromine level is extraordinarily high.

I'd hate you to waste so much DPD powder and titrant drops trying to measure this. Why don't you try diluting the water with distilled/filtered water -- dilute 5:1 -- and then see if that gives you a more logical result, turning pink/red after one scoop and staying there allowing you to add titrant drops. Then just multiply by your dilution amount so if you have 5 parts distilled/filtered water to one part spa water then multiply your result by 6.

It did flash pink, but quickly went back to clear until I added the 6th dip. After that is was lightly pink until I added 1 drop R0872. So, today I tried the diluted method. I used 5ml spa water and 20 ml distilled water. 4 dips did not turn it pink. I quit there because that just don't seem right. The water is cloudy today and smells kinda fishy. (Yesterday it was clear until I turned on the pumps.) Is it possible there is not enough bromine?

Or, is it possible the reagent is bad? The powder does not disolve in the water very easily. I have to shake it vigorously to get it to disolve. Is that normal?

#35 chem geek

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 04:12 PM

The powder does take swirling and doesn't all dissolve quickly so that's normal. So this seems to be reporting that you have no bromine which is certainly possible, but I thought you wrote somewhere that you had high bromine levels. So what is it you were using that said you had a lot of bromine? Maybe you just don't have any bromine in the water now.

#36 quantumchromodynamics

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 08:56 PM

Get an OTO test kit and see what that shows.
You can't manage what you don't measure. Get a good test kit. I recommend the Taylor K-2006 for chlorine or the Taylor K-2106 for bromine.

#37 lil_country

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 08:42 AM

Get an OTO test kit and see what that shows.

Is that different from the Taylor K2106?

#38 lil_country

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 09:05 AM

The powder does take swirling and doesn't all dissolve quickly so that's normal. So this seems to be reporting that you have no bromine which is certainly possible, but I thought you wrote somewhere that you had high bromine levels. So what is it you were using that said you had a lot of bromine? Maybe you just don't have any bromine in the water now.

My Aquacheck digital strip reader showed high bromine about a week ago, so I took out the bromine float. I did not use the tub or add any chemicals since then, in anticipation of getting my Taylor kit.

I just now added 1 oz baking soda and 3 oz non-chlorine oxidizer,and I put my bromine float back in with 3 tabs. I will run a full test tomorrow and see what I get.

If the CH continues to show 100, should I try to raise that. And if so, how?

Thanks

#39 chem geek

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 09:22 AM

A CH of 100 ppm for a spa is probably OK. If you find that the water tends to foam, then you can raise the CH to 120-150 ppm. You don't want the CH much higher than that since you want to avoid the possibility of scaling if the pH gets too high.

The OTO test is an inexpensive chlorine/bromine test kit where you compare a sample against shades of yellow. It doesn't bleach out, but it's not very accurate so it's more of a backup test to see if there is any or too much chlorine/bromine. At this point, having the bromine floater back in and seeing if you start to get bromine readings again is probably reasonable. It might just be that you had high bromine but it went away during the week by the time you measured the water with the Taylor K-2106 kit.

#40 lil_country

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 10:33 AM

A CH of 100 ppm for a spa is probably OK. If you find that the water tends to foam, then you can raise the CH to 120-150 ppm. You don't want the CH much higher than that since you want to avoid the possibility of scaling if the pH gets too high.

The OTO test is an inexpensive chlorine/bromine test kit where you compare a sample against shades of yellow. It doesn't bleach out, but it's not very accurate so it's more of a backup test to see if there is any or too much chlorine/bromine. At this point, having the bromine floater back in and seeing if you start to get bromine readings again is probably reasonable. It might just be that you had high bromine but it went away during the week by the time you measured the water with the Taylor K-2106 kit.

Ok, I'm new to this, so if I want to raise the CH in a 450 gallon tub what do I add and how much?

#41 chem geek

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 03:40 PM

Ok, I'm new to this, so if I want to raise the CH in a 450 gallon tub what do I add and how much?

You can use The Pool Calculator and see that to raise CH from 100 to 150 ppm in 450 gallons would take 3.3 ounces weight (2.7 ounces volume) of calcium chloride (anhydrous) or 4.4 ounces weight (5.1 ounces volume) calcium chloride dihydrate. In general, it's best to add half the amount and remeasure, especially when using volumes since density of product can vary.

If you aren't experiencing any foaming, then I'd just leave the CH where it is at 100 ppm.

#42 lil_country

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 09:21 AM


Ok, I'm new to this, so if I want to raise the CH in a 450 gallon tub what do I add and how much?

You can use The Pool Calculator and see that to raise CH from 100 to 150 ppm in 450 gallons would take 3.3 ounces weight (2.7 ounces volume) of calcium chloride (anhydrous) or 4.4 ounces weight (5.1 ounces volume) calcium chloride dihydrate. In general, it's best to add half the amount and remeasure, especially when using volumes since density of product can vary.

If you aren't experiencing any foaming, then I'd just leave the CH where it is at 100 ppm.

I have been experiencing foaming, so I do want to raise the CH. What is the best source of calcium chloride?

New test results posted below.

#43 lil_country

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 09:30 AM

After the previous results (TA-50, CH-100, TB-apparently 0, PH-7.4) I added 1oz baking soda, 3 oz non-C oxidizer, and 3 bromine tabs. This is what I got with today's test;

Temp 103
volumn 450

TA 50
CH 110
TB 1
PH 7.2 (1 drop demand base to 7.5)

If I have the wheel figured out the SI is -.8, and I don't think that's good.

I have been having foam so I want to raise the CH. It looks like I need to raise TB and PH, and possibly TA.

I have not figured out how the pool calulator works yet, so what do I need to add and how much to get the water balanced?

Thanks

#44 chem geek

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 05:41 PM

Unless you have a plaster spa or one with tile that has exposed grout, you don't have to worry about the saturation index. In The Pool Calculator, I put in 450 gallons after "Size" an have the "Units" set to "U.S.". In the first column ("Now") after CH I put in 110 an in the second column ("Target") I put in 150 an I can read that this is 2.7 oz. by weight or 2.1 oz. by volume of calcium chloride (anhydrous) or is 3.5 oz. by weight or 4.1 oz. by volume of calcium chloride dihydrate. As for where to get this, I'd just get some Calcium Hardness increaser at a spa store since you don't need very much (for pools, where a lot more is needed, one can use de-icer products). As for knowing which kind of calcium chloride is in the product you get, you can just follow the directions they have on the bottle.

Yes, since your pH is low, you can increase TA by adding some baking soda. You can get from 50 to 80 by adding 3.2 ounces weight or 2.5 ounces volume of Arm & Hammer baking soda. Remember that 1 ounce is 2 tablespoons or 6 teaspoons so 2.5 ounces volume is 5 tablespoons. This may raise the pH some so increase the TA first, let it mix, then you can retest pH which will probably be OK.

#45 lil_country

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 05:40 PM

Ok, here is what I got. Some results expected, some surprised me. The test was two days after I added chemicals (First chance I got). I ran the pumps 10 minutes, then turned them off before testing.

TA went from 50 to 80 after adding 2.5 oz Baking Soda. ( Folks on here seem to think 80 is ok, but my tub manual says it should be 80 to 140 - why the difference?)

CH went from 110 to 150 after addding 6 tbs CH Increaser. (I followed directions on bottle.) Water is still foaming when jets are on full blast.

TB went from 1 to 11.5. This was surprising. All I did was add 1 tablet to the floater because the 2 in it were almost disolved. Floater is turned to lowest setting. I also added 2 tbs Non-chlorine oxidizer after using the tub one night. Any ideas what caused the spike? (Have I seen other folks saying they use regular clorine to shock? If so, how much and how often should I use it? It would be much cheaper than NC-O.)

PH went from 7.2 to 8.0. 2 drops of R0005 got it down to 7.4. I did not add any PH increaser - only the aforementioned Baking Soda.

#46 quantumchromodynamics

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 10:39 PM

The people who wrote the manual do not understand that bicarbonate causes pH rise.

HCO3- < > CO2(aq) + OH-

bicarbonate < > dissolved carbon dioxide + hydroxide ion

or

HCO3- + H+ < > CO2(aq) + H2O

Bicarbonate + hydrogen ion < > dissolved carbon dioxide + water

As you add bicarbonate, you reduce the hydrogen ion concentration and increase the hydroxide ion concentration. This is what causes the pH to rise.

Since the bicarbonate is in equilibrium with the carbon dioxide, a change in one affects the other. If you cause the carbon dioxide to come out of solution and off-gas, it will shift the equilibrium to the right and bicarbonate will become carbon dioxide, which will raise the pH. The two main ways to force carbon dioxide to come out of solution and off-gas are heating the water and aeration. Aeration is just agitating the water by running the pumps and blowers.

The key to finding the right TA is if your pH is consistently too high, then your TA is too high. If your pH is consistently too low, then your TA is too low. When your TA is right, your pH will remain where you want it to with very little effort. Forget about trying to make your TA fit into any range. Let it go wherever it needs to to achieve pH stability.

You can use regular, unscented 6 % bleach (sodium hypochlorite) to shock. Make sure that you do not get any sort of "special" bleach, such as scented or "splashless".. Make sure that it says "Sodium Hypochlorite...6.0 %" on the label. You will have to determine the correct amount based on your testing. 0.37 ounce (volume) of 6.0 % bleach will increase bromine by 1.0 ppm in 400 gallons of water.

MPS will oxidize bromide to bromine.

To calculate the hardness of your water, you can use the pool calculator. It calculates the CSI (Calcite Saturation Index). Be sure to fill in all of the boxes including temperature to get an accurate CSI calculation.

If you haven't done a decontamination procedure, you might want to consider doing it and starting over.
You can't manage what you don't measure. Get a good test kit. I recommend the Taylor K-2006 for chlorine or the Taylor K-2106 for bromine.

#47 spartan

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 02:28 AM

Hi, thanks for all this information in this forum its been great.
I have just converted my 1100 litre spa to bromine following the 3 step process described in this post.
I am located in Australia and I have having trouble finding one of the recommended kits and am unfortunately using for older test strips (Aquachek) that I happened to have on hand when I was using a system called SpaPoppits (hydrogen peroxide) as I would use them to balance the water.

After Step 1. Balancing the water, do you do Step 2 & 3 straight after each other(sanitize and oxidise)?
After Step 3. Oxidize using bleach, do you put the bromine floater in straight away or doesn't it really matter?

The test strips I am using are of 2 types. One is for Bromine which tells me the my ideal level ppm level is 5 which is straight forward, the other type is for chlorine and uses a measurement of "free clorine ppm". My understanding from what I have read is that I can use the test strips to measure my bromine level by multiplying the FC level by 2.25 times, is that correct?

RE: test kits, I have been unable to locate the Taylor K-2106 locally and doesn't look like I can get it shipped here either. The other option is the TFTestkits TF-100 which there is a local reseller but they only have 1 left but its missing the R-8071 reagent and they are not sure when they are getting more in. In the email they sent to me they make the comment: "The reagent that's missing is R-0871, which is for chlorine, not bromine so not sure if you need it. There is no reagent for FAS/DPD bromine tests in this kit, just the basic OT-High test for OT Bromine (1 - 10 ppm)"
Could this kit be any use to me as is?

I have also managed to locate locally these Taylors re-agents http://www.swimmingp...Path=85_180_177
Could I make up for what is missing from the TF-100 kit above with some of these components? If so which one(s) would I need.
There is also a "Taylors Complete Service Test Kit" on the same website but it doesn't have a model number and is very expenive compared to what I have seen online elsewhere.

Apologies for all the questions and I only have one more :rolleyes: The bleach I found in the supermarket here seems to be slightly different strength. On the bottle it says "sodium hypochlorite 4.2% w/v (when packed) sodium hydorxide less than 9 grams per litre". Does that mean it is 4.2% strength compared with the 5.25% or 6% mentioned above?

Thanks in advance for any assistance!

#48 chem geek

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 08:16 AM

Yes, you can sanitize and oxidize right after one another though step #2 is really just creating a bromide bank, not yet sanitizing. Adding the oxidizer in step #3 is when creates bromine sanitizer out of the bromide salt you just added. So doing step #2 followed immediately by step #3 is fine. Chemicals mix quickly in a spa assuming you have the circulation pump running.

Yes, you convert a chlorine test reading into bromine by multiplying by 2.25. The R-0871 can be used with bromine as well and you multiply your result by 2.25 what you would have done with chlorine. So every drop with a 10 ml sample is 1.125 ppm bromine while with a 25 ml sample every drop is 0.45 ppm. The bromine version of this reagent (R-0872) is just slightly more concentrated so that the 10 ml sample has every drop be 1.25 ppm while the 25 ml sample has every drop be 0.5 ppm.

The link you gave has reagent refills for the DPD test (K-2005) that they also sell here. Or you can get the TF-100 and fill in with additional reagents. Either way would still be better than test strips. Another good drop-based test kit that you might be able to get is the Palintest SP 315C which is equivalent to the Taylor K-2005 and is available in Australia (see Pool Resources (S.A.) Pty. Ltd., for example). Though that's a DPD chlorine test, they also have a FAS-DPD chlorine test though I don't know if that's available outside the U.S.

Yes, the 4.2% is basically compared with the 6% though technically it's a weight/volume, but the density is fairly close to water (perhaps it's about 4.3% in equivalent weight/weight units). The sodium hydroxide (excess lye) at 9 grams per liter is high at around 0.9% so would make the pH go up requiring you to add acid periodically to compensate. It's not the best chlorine to get, though not unusable. You can get Liquid Chlorine at places like Kleenco, Zodiac though this higher concentration is more useful for pools since you don't need very much for your spa and the higher concentration doesn't last as long. You can keep it in a cool place (out of sunlight) or to make it last longer you can dilute it 50/50 with distilled water (but then need containers for it) as that will last nearly 4 times longer.

#49 spartan

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 05:26 PM

Thanks for the quick reply and information.

I am looking at getting the TFTestkit TF-100 without the R-0871. I have tried a number of places locally and I can't seem to find the R-0872 FAS-DPD TTR component or some other FAS DPD test component locally that would be suitable. What components would I need to top-up the TF-100 kit to make it more complete for testing a bromine spa?

#50 chem geek

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 05:55 PM

Really just the R-0872 or R-0871 FAS-DPD titrating reagent. Everything else is in the TF-100 kit. However, if you can't get that reagent you'd be better off getting a DPD kit such as the Taylor K-2005 I linked to or the Palintest SP 315C I linked to. It's easy to go from such kits to the equivalent of a K-2106 by adding DPD powder and FAS-DPD titrating reagent if both become available.




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