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What's The Step By Step To Bromine Treatment?


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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.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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  • 5 months later...

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.swimmingpoolspares.com.au/index.php?cPath=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!

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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.

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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?

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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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