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Post-decontamination, 3-step Bromine questions


tubber21
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First of all, I have so much gratitude for this forum and thank you for sharing your knowledge! I inherited a RoyalSpa hot tub with the purchase of our home and have been learning to care for it. Finding this resource probably saved me and my family from a multitude of skin or other health issues. 🙇🏻‍♂️

Last week, I followed @Nitro’s decontamination instructions, and being that the spa was set up for bromine I switched after step 10 to @waterbear’s 3-step bromine method.

I reached 10pm bromine (step 3), put the floater in. Next day I tested (Taylor K-2106):

CH 140
TB 1.5
TA 140
pH 7.8

If I recall correctly, I added somewhere in the range of 2-3 tablespoons bleach to bring it up to 4ppm as suggested. Mission accomplished. Or was it?

Tested today and I’m at:

CH 140
TB no trace
TA 80
pH 8

Is this normal? I do recall reading in another post that it can take a week for the bromide bank to build up. My floater is open all the way. Should I be doing anything other than adding more bleach?

 

Thank you!

 

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Well, I don't really have time to first read nitros method then waterbears. 

Bromine is created from oxydizing a bromide bank established in the water with sodium bromide. It can take quite a while to establish if using tablets. Without a bromide bank, you weren't reading bromine, but chlorine. Or some indefineable combination of both. 

Rapid sanitizer loss is indicative of high contaminant levels. Losing 1.5ppm bromine could result from one person using the spa, or residual cleaning products, or leaving the cover open on a windy day, or...

We recommend aahsome spa purge on any new-to-you spa to remove biofilm buildup from inside the pipes. Biofilm would account for your sanitizer loss.

Also, ozone will burn off chlorine, so if you have ozone and have not established your bromide bank, this is exactly what you should see.

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@RDspaguy Hmm... the decontamination process included a spa purge. Perhaps there was enough residual cleaning product to have an affect.

To rephrase my questions then, because this is still a bit unclear to me:

  1. How will I know when the bromide bank is established?
  2. Until then, should I continue adding bleach to maintain some level of sanitizer aside from the bromine tablets?
  3. And if so, what level should I aim for and at what frequency should I test and/or be concerned about it?

Thanks!

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13 hours ago, RDspaguy said:

I haven't used bromine in decades, so may not be the best source for info. I always added a packet (2oz I think) of sodium bromide at fill and changed water every 3 months. Shock after use, and weekly ph adjustments.

@Cusserand @waterbearare bromine users, maybe one of them can help you out.

I add about 1 oz. sodium bromide at every water change (2-3 times a year).  I use 1" bromine tablets in a floater, and add a little monopersulfate oxidizer every 2 weeks.  Only other chemical I use would be sodium bicarbonate or sodium carbonate to adjust pH.

I've had a 7-foot CalSpa since 1988. 

Why do I use bromine tablets?  Because the spa salesman/manager said to; and he was an out-of-work real estate salesman, as real estate wasn't moving at all in 1988....

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Help me, @waterbear… you’re my only hope.

Still unclear to me:

  1. How will I know when the bromide bank is established?
  2. Until then, should I continue adding bleach to maintain some level of sanitizer aside from the bromine tablets?
  3. And if so, what level should I aim for and at what frequency should I test and/or be concerned about it?
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Until the bromide bank is established you will have a chlorine tub if you have not added sodium bromine on filling. As long as your sanitizer is testing in the correct range you are fine. Bromine tablets are mostly chlorine along with a small amount of organic bromine. Test your bromine level, keep it at 4 to 6 ppm and you are good whether it's bromine or chlorine in the tub.  Eventually it will be bromine, usually a few weeks after a fresh fill. If you can get sodium bromide use it. Normal dosing to establish bromide bank immediately is 1/2 oz per 100 gallons. Add the sodium bromide, shock with chlorine or MPS and put your floater in. Adjust floater to maintain 4 to 6 ppm bromine (some trial and error here but once you get it right your bromine levels will remain stable), and shock with chlorine or MPS every week or two, depending on tub usage. My feeling is that sanitizer and pH should be tested daily (ideally before going into the tub, IMHO). Shock weekly wit chlorine

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