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Bromine Pool Sanitizers

Using pool bromine sanitizers, instead of chlorine.
The Pool and Spa Informational Website

A Popular Sanitizing Alternative to Pool Chlorine.


Scroll down to browse through some archived SWIMMING POOL questions and answers.  Please click the Pool Topics Link, on top of every page, to access a complete listing of Pool Problem subjects, an alphabetized Website Table of Contents, Pool Equipment Information, About Alan Biographic Material and a Pool Glossary. Use the other links to access additional subject information. More information about some new and unique products, for pools and spas, can be found by visiting The Website Store. You'll never know what you'll find and that's always fun. Be better prepared and avoid costly problems!

Solar-Powered Mineralizer for pools. Salt Chlorine Generator, for all types of pools. One of the ColorQ all-digital, pool and spa water analyzers.
MegaChlor salt chlorine generator for spas, swim spas and pools up to 10,000 gallons. Remote Controlled Pool Surface Skimmer.
Unltravioloet (UV) sterilizers, for all ypes of residential pools and spas. The Salt Chlorine Generator, pictured above, will produce all the chlorine, that most pools, up to 20,000 gallons, need.  No installation is required.  Includes many important performance features:  such as self cleaning salt cell, power level selector and timer.  This is the better way to use chlorine. The Circulator improves pool water circulation.

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How to use Bromine, for pool sanitizing? Bromine pool water sanitizing has gained in popularity in recent years. While it shares a similar chemistry with that of chlorine, there are major differences in how the products are used in a swimming pool. Bromine is available in solid form and is very slow dissolving. Typically, it is used in a feeder specifically designed for bromine. Its main advantage over chlorine is the reduced odor and potential for irritation. Its disadvantages include: higher cost, not stabilized for use in outdoor pools, limitations of slow-solubility and requirements for larger-sized, specialized feeders.  If problems arise, refer to the Pool Problems Page, as a source of problem-solving information, broken down into various categories.  Scroll down the page and click on the linked keywords, catch phrases or images, in the archived answers below, to access additional information, on that topic or product.

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▼     Helpful, Problem-Solving Information, in a question and answer format.     ▼

Bromine Readings Rise Over Time?

Hello Alan - I have a ColorQ PRO 6 and I'm very pleased with it. My question: When testing the Bromine levels, the readings from any particular sample tend to rise over time.  Sometimes significantly. Not sure if I should rely on the initial (lower) reading or the higher reading after waiting 2 - 3 minutes. Your thoughts? Thanks!
ColorQ PRO 6
Bill S., 12/14/2015

Glad to hear, that you are pleased with the ColorQ PRO 6.  It sure beats color-matching! The initial readings are the ones to
use. The bromine oxides the DPD, forming a red color. If left to stand, the oxygen in the air, will start to oxidize the DPD and that causes the color to color to deepen, over time. I  hope that the information provided was helpful.

Sincerely.  Alan Schuster, 12/14/2015

Considering Switching To Bromine And Ozone?

Hi Alan.  I just read through a slew of your Q and A's, but did not find my question specifically. I have a saltwater pool that is just too much of a problem to run anymore. I am wanting to convert to a bromine pool with an ozone generator. Do I have to drain the water to do this or not? Thank you!

David B. Fort Mohave, AZ, 10/24/2015
Model SR salt chlorine generator, for all types of pools.

It is not absolutely necessary to drain the pool. However, I am unconvinced, that switching to bromine will make things easier. Bromine will not last long, under the Arizona Sun, as it cannot be protected from being destroyed by the Sun's UV rays, as can chlorine. Adding an ozone generator, to what you have, will make things easier. The salt cell will last longer and the rise in pH will slow down, because you will need to generate less chlorine. I would start by adding an ozonator. The combination of a salt chlorine generator and ozonator really complements each other, producing better results and fewer issues. We hope that the information provided was helpful.

Sincerely.  Alan Schuster, 10/24/2015

pH Confusion And Non-Chlorine Shock?

Dear Alan, if I am using bromine to sanitize my pool, is it ok if my pH is 8.4?  Or I must lower it?  Otherwise, the water is perfectly balanced.  Could the non-chlorine shock be used (temporarily, at least) as a sanitizer or not?  I read divergent statements about this.  Thank you for your time,  Best regards,

Raphael, 1/21/2014Solar-Powered Mineralizer for pools.

This cut and dry!!! The pH with bromine should be 7.2-7.8. Higher pH readings will make the bromine less effective and could prove irritating. When bromine has done its thing, it reverts to bromide ions. Adding non-chlorine should will convert the bromide ions back to bromine. It is an ideal product to supplement the bromine.  Bromine can get depleted, by the Sun, much more so than chlorine. Adding a solar-powered, dual-ion, Purifier/Mineralizer, will provide some persistent, sanitation, for those times when the bromine level might have dropped too low.  I hope that this information will be helpful and should set the record straight.

Sincerely.  Alan Schuster, 1/21/2014

High pH Problems And Bromine?

It seems that the pH of my pool is always high. It started a few days after I switched from chlorine to bromine. Can that have anything to do with the problem? The water is clear, but the pH seems to be very high. I keep adding acid and testing, but nothing seems to be happening. I need some advice.

Allen L., Highland Park, IL, 7/23/2013

The problem can very well be related to the bromine. However, the fault lies, not with the bromine, but with the chemicals used to test the pH. Bromine can react with phenol red (chemical used to test for pH) and form a purplish-red color that makes it appear that the pH i
Liquid MetalTraps very high. In fact, the formation of this color has nothing to do with the pH. The problem lies in the fact that the phenol red solution may not have had enough neutralizer (to prevent bromine from reacting with phenol red) in its formulation. This can lead to false high pH readings. You are using a bromine product that is acidic in nature and that should preclude the need for you to have to add acid reducers. Pools maintained, in this manner, will require pH increasers and total alkalinity increasers - never acids. I suggest that you bring in a water sample into a local pool professional, for confirmation If confirmed, you need to use a pH test that is formulated to work with bromine or add a drop of chlorine neutralizer (available in most pool stores) to the test vial, just prior to adding the phenol red solution. Now that we have established why the pH can actually be very low, we must take another step. The low pH could have caused corrosion. In order to avoid discoloration or staining, I suggest that you add a double of a Quality Mineral Treatment, such as phosphate-free, Liquid METALTRAP, prior to raising the pH or TA. I hope that I have been helpful. Good luck and enjoy the summer.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/23/2013

Bromine vs. Chlorine?

I am currently using bromine in my pool. It is not a huge pool, 16 X 32, vinyl liner in the ground. I know that it is costing me more per year to use bromine. I do prefer the bromine because there is very little odor and the feeder is really convenient. My question: is bromine worth the difference in cost and what are the advantages and disadvantages? Appreciate your answer.

Jody F., Brooklyn Heights, OH, 8/3/2011

You have already answered part of the question.  Bromine does have much less odor associated with its use, than does chlorine. Br
omine is also less irritating and does not form ineffective products similar to chloramines. Both can be used with automatic feeders. However, the bromine feeders are usually larger and require more product to fill. Both are slow dissolving and have a similar lowering effect on the pH. Bromine cannot be stabilized against UV degradation. Chlorine can be stabilized and the buildup of the stabilizer can lead to the requirement to replace water. Bromine does not have a buildup problem of similar nature. Bromine is less affected by higher pH readings, than is chlorine. Both products are effective sanitizers. What it may all boil down to is less odor, more comfort and higher costs vs. more odor, more irritation potential and less cost. There is some subjectivity in this, so let me add: if it ain't broke - why fix it?  If you would like to reduce the usage of bromine or chlorine, the addition of an ozone generator will do just that.  It will oxidize wastes, that would otherwise deplete the bromine or chlorine level. This allows them to stay active and provide long-lasting sanitation.  Enjoy the pool.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/3/2011

Extremely High Bromine Level?

I am getting an extremely high bromine reading in my 25 year old gunite pool. The only option I have been given is to drain the pool. Any other ideas?

P. B., 4/4/2010

Bad option! Assuming that your bromine level is really that high and I'm not at all certain, it is not necessary to drain any water. First, I would have the water retested to be sure. If the level is way too high, all you have to do is to temporarily stop adding more bromine and add a chlorine neutralizer. Many dealers carry this product, which is meant to very quickly neutralize high levels of chlorine. In case the product does not have bromine neutralizing directions, follow the chlorine instructions and add 1/2 as much of the product. In any event, I would break the recommended amount into 2-3 increments and test after each addition. There's no point in overshooting the mark and having to add shock. In the future, adjust the amount of bromine being added to avoid a repetition. I hope that I have been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/4/2010

How to get better results and reduce bromine usage.

Use a backup sanitizer, to help assure better performance.
Adding an Ultraviolet Sterilizer will eliminate sanitizer-resistant microorganisms.
A salt chlorine generator will produce chlorine, while converting bromides into bromine.
Improve pool skimming and keep the pool cleaner, while reducing chemical usage.
Improve circulation and eliminate dead zones . . . that promote algae growth!!!
Solar-Powered Mineralizer for pools. Unltravioloet (UV) sterilizers, for all ypes of residential pools and spas. Model SR salt chlorine generator, for all types of pools. Floating Pool Surface Skimmer The Circulator boosts circulation and eliminates dead zones.
Purifier, uses copper and zinc ions. For all types of pools.
Eliminates resistant microorganisms and reduces the overall chemical usage. A salt chlorine generator can be used to maintain a bromine level. Removing the floating debris sooner will reduce chemical usage. The Circulator eliminates dead zones, improving sanitizing.
Click on any image for complete product and ordering information.

Water Chemistry With Bromine Generator?

If I have a Bromine Generator system it is salt that I have to test for correct? Do I still have to test pH, Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness? And what is the ideal range for all of these things if there is a Bromine Generator system? Do I still have to test for Bromine? Thank you so much for your help. Your website has been super helpful to me a few times.

Cherise, 2/4/2011

You have to add salt, to the level recommended, by the manufacturer. A salt test is required. You have to add sodium bromide, t
Professional Sat Water Test Kit.o a level that is recommended by the manufacturer. As chlorine is produced, it concerts the bromine to bromine. The chlorine reverts back to salt. When the bromine has done its work, it reverts back to bromide. Cycle keeps repeating. Bromine has advantages, but it cannot be protected from the Sun's UV rays, as can chlorine. This could shorten the life of the salt cell.  You need to test for salt, bromine, pH, total alkalinity and calcium hardness. Cyanuric acid does not have to be added, nor does it need to be tested. Test range for bromine is 3-5 PPM and for the other tests it is similar to a chlorine pool, except a pH as high as 7.8 is acceptable. Proper salt level is important. Too little and not enough chlorine will be produced. Too much could shorten the life of the salt cell. PockeTesters are the easy way to test the salt level. Even tough the pool contains potassium chloride, maintain it to the same test reading standards, as if it contained sodium chloride. The new ColorQ water analyzers are all digital, use no look up charts and completely eliminate all color matching and guesswork. You will find ColorQ Testers for pools using Chlorine or Bromine, pools using Copper Ionization and pools using Biguanide. There's one just right for your pool. I hope that this information is helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/5/2011

Hassled Opening A Bromine Pool?

I pray that you can help. I have so far found that owning a pool is a huge hassle and pool companies are not all that helpful. They just seem to charge me a fortune. I have a bromine inground pool and need to open it for the first time this year. I find that most information is geared toward chlorine pools. I would love to find a good source for helpful information like what chemicals I should purchase and what steps to take to clean and care for my pool. Can you please give me some guidance as to what to do. I would love a basic list of what chemicals to purchase, so that I can get ready. I can't seem to find any step by step care instructions for my pool. I also have a DE filter. Please help.

Tracey, 4/2/2005

Opening a bromine pool is just about the same as a bromine pool. If the pool is covered, pump off the waterOne of the ColorQ all-digital, pool and spa water analyzers.and remove the debris. Try very hard not to let material get into the pool, as it will only add to the cleanup. If you ar
e unsure about the possibility of iron and other heavy metals, being present in the tap or pool water, have a sample tested beforehand. Raise the water level and get the filter operating. Add enough shock, any kind of chlorine shock will do, as it will convert to bromine and raise the bromine level to 5-10 PPM. Maintain this high level until the water is free of algae and is essentially clear. Adjust the pH to 7.2-7.8, by adding chemicals as needed. If the total alkalinity is below 80-120 PPM, as chemicals to raise it into this range. Chlorine stabilizer is not needed. Operate the filter for extended periods, until the water is clear. Test the water frequently, maintain proper bromine levels and there should be few hassles. The right tester can be a real plus.  The ColorQ Testers are all digital and there's no guess work or color matching.  Good luck and enjoy the pool.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/3/2005

Bromine To A Salt Chlorinator?

I am using bromine as a sanitizer and am considering adding a salt water chlorine generator. Are the two compatible? Should I stop using bromine, if I add the generator? Also I have heard that there is an additive in the bromine tablets that makes it difficult or impossible to switch sanitizers. Once a bromine pool always a bromine pool is what I was told. Thanks.

Bashful about bromine, 4/15/2009

MegaChlor salt chlorine generator, for spas and swim spas.
It is the bromide ions that are the problem. Add chlorine and the bromide ions become bromine. In that sense, it is correct that
once a bromine pool, always a bromine pool. That is, unless you drain the pool and replace the water. It is not a compatibility issue. If bromides are present, bromine will be produced and that can affect the life and performance of the cells. If you choose to add a salt chlorine generator, you should replace the water and discontinue all use of bromine. And you won't miss the bromine! With a salt chlorine generator, there is very little sensation of chlorine being present because the odorous forms are destroyed, as the water passes through the cell. For more information on some fine salt chlorine generators, please click here. A Salt PockeTester makes it simple to test the salt level and help assure proper performance and cell life. I hope that I have been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/15/2009

Bromine And Mineral Sanitizers?

I was told by my local pool dealer that bromine causes problems with some mineral sanitizing products. Could you explain why? Thanks for the opportunity to ask the question and for making this website available.

Frank L., Hamden, CT, 5/12/2005

This is some truth here. One of the leading mineral sanitizers (Nature II) should not be used in pools that contain bromine or use sodium bromide algae treatments and chlorine products. The presence of the bromine will abruptly shorten the life of their cartridge and the only way to avoid this problem is to replace the water. And that may not be practical! Use a Mineral Sanitizer, that can be used in pools, using bromine or chlorine and which will not interfere with the expected 6-month life of the cartridge. I hope that this information will be helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/12/2005

Sensitivity Issues?

My husband and I just had our in-ground plaster pool finished and are about to add chemicals. We are not sure which system to use... Bromine, Chlorine or ionization? We would rather go with something that is better for skin, we have a family member that is sensitive to Chorine. We use Bromine for our above-ground spa and like it, but have read that Bromine in a pool (ours is very large) in HOT (we live in AZ) does not do as well as Bromine. We want what will be most effective. Not to concerned about extra cost if better. Can you educate us on the differences and what may be best. I believe our pool will come with an ozonator. Thanks for your help.

Phyllis, Arizona, 2/26/2010

Assuming that your pool will be equipped with an ozonator, there are some good choices. Ozonators require a persistent, backup sanitizer to help keep the pool sanitized, as ozone's presence can be short lived. Ionization or a mineral sanitizer would
WaterLink SpinTouch Tester, for pools and spas. ordinarily be a good choice. However, I believe that you might be better off avoiding this type of sanitizer for the first six months, in order to allow the plaster to completely cure. You have ruled out chlorine. Bromine has not been ruled out, except as related to cost. Bromine usage will be more expensive because of the heat and the strong Arizona Sun. However, the bromine requirements will be drastically reduced by the use of the ozonator. In short, the amount of bromine required, to maintain any given PPM level, will be much less because of the ozonator.  Given the sensitivity issues, I would give this approach the first try. If it proves too costly, you could add a solar-powered, dual-ion purifier/mineralizer. I hope that this information proves useful. To better assure proper overall pool water chemistry, visit a pool store that has a very reliable, professional lab such as a WaterLink SpinTouch Lab, rather than a less accurate test kit or strip reader.  To locate a dealer near you, go to: LaMotte Professional Testing Center Locator.  Good luck with the pool.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/27/2010

Shocking Questions?

I am so glad I found your site, I ran into a bit of water trouble and your site helped me out a great deal. I have a couple of quick questions to ask you please.

1. We use bromine tablets in a dispenser, it is only my husband and I that use the hot tub, we rarely have other user. I notice that after I add a shock treatment, a specific weekly amount that my dealer recommends as a weekly treatment, by bromine levels go off the chart, and it can take weeks for it to come back down. Especially if the bromine was in a good range before I shocked it. If the bromine is in good shape before shocking it, what is one to do so as not to cause this huge lag in usage?  2. I am in a cold climate and I chose to keep the outdoor spa going all winter, there were a few months there where we did not use it so we turned the heater down to the point of not letting the water freeze how does this fair on water quality safety?

Sam, 3/15/2010

Interesting questions! If you are maintaining a satisfactory level of bromine, at all times, the addition of the shock will always cause the bromine level to rise. Shocking does help destroy organic contamination and help avoid the formation of resistant microorganisms. In your case, I would either cut back on the amount of shock or only shock if the water quality deteriorates, the bromine level bottoms out or after periods of heavy bather activity. If your bromine level is in the 3-5 PPM range, adding shock can boost the bromine to uncomfortably high levels. If the level is below 3-5 PPM, adding a small amount of shock will quickly boost the level. The turning off of the heater is not a problem. The lower water temperatures help prevent microbial growth. Think of it as refrigerated water. The presence of a small amount of bromine at lower temperatures should suffice to maintain good water quality. When you're ready to resume normal operation, add some shock. Add it in increments. Remember you can always add more - you can't take out. I hope that I have been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/15/2010

Using A Chlorinator?

I, too, am grateful to have found your site! You are now bookmarked forever! I have just replaced my liner on my 16x32 inground pool and have chosen to go to bromine as my chemical. I have been told by my dealer that a brominator is the same as a chlorinator, and therefore am in the process of buying and installing a chlorinator from them for my bromine tablets. Any reading I have done on this suggest that I am being misdirected and now need some intelligent advice. Sincerely.
S. B., New Brunswick, Canada, 8/2/2005

Unless that piece of equipment states that it can be used with chlorine or bromine and it suitable for a pool of your size, you are not using the correct product. Bromine tablets are far less soluble than are the popular trichlor products. In order to help assure that enough bromine dissolves, the brominators are larger in order to accommodate more tablets. Possibly, how the water passes through is different as well. You should only use a product that is labeled as suitable for bromine. Otherwise, there could be a safety risk and the possibly that you will not be able to get the bromine tablets to dissolve quickly enough to meet the demands of the pool. I hope this information proves helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/3/2005

Bromine Compatibility?

Hi Alan, I am a new inground pool owner and am overwhelmed with all the products out there for sanitizing and for control of pH, algae, and so forth. I am using bromine products currently because that is what I received when the pool was installed in July. I really like the bromine compared to chlorine that my friends use and want to continue with it.  Are all bromine sanitizers the same? Can I use another companies product? Can I use any  algae prevention product with bromine, or are some only to be used with chlorine, and some with bromine products? I would ask my pool supply store, but not sure if they would tell me the truth since I wouldn't be purchasing the products they sell. Thanks.

R T., 9/3/2008

ColorQ all-digital water analyzers, for pools and spas.
Bromine and chlorine share a similar chemistry. Compatibility is not an issue. All bromine, in solid forms, are not exactly the
 same. There are slight chemical differences that effect how the material can be made into solid shapes. These differences do not lead to any significant differences in the actual use of the bromine. In general bromine is difficult to tabletize and some tablets make keep from chipping better than others. They all work the same. The only chemical that you should not use is chlorine stabilizer, as it will serve no useful purpose in a bromine pool. If you're interested in doing more of your own testing, a ColorQ Digital Water Analyzer can do it without any color-matching or guesswork. I hope that I have been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 9/3/2008

Looking To Save Money?

Hi Alan, we just put in a large inground pool. We are going through bromine tablets like crazy. I pay $250 per 50 pounds of bromine. Do you know of a place I can order bromine cheaper? Thanks.

Dan B., 8/30/2008

I don't have any chemical pricing information. You can reduce your bromine consumption, by supplementing the bromine tablets with regular additions of a chlorine product or shock. For example, lower the settings on the brominator and add liquid chlorine to boost the bromine level. It will work because the chlorine will convert to bromine. As a bonus, you'll find the pH will remain more stable. It does work.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/30/2008

Choosing A Bromine Test Kit?

What is the best way to test for bromine in a pool? Thanks for any help you can offer.

Harry A., Bloomington, IN, 5/12/2009
New!!!  One_Dip Insta_test Strips for pools and spas

I would not suggest that you use any swimming pool test kit, unless it is specifically made to test for bromine! Bromine can
interfere with the pH test and give a false high test result, if the pH test materials are not formulated properly or the bromine levels are very high. There are several different test methods in use. Test Strips have come a long way in terms of reliability, accuracy and the majority of them can perform the bromine test. The convenience and lack of liquid chemicals makes them a choice of growing popularity. DPD Test Kits are suitable for bromine testing. There are several ColorQ all-digital water analyzers, that would be ideal, for your needs.  I hope that I have been of assistance. Enjoy the pool.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/12/2009

From Chlorine To Bromine?

Is it possible to convert a chlorine pool to a bromine pool without draining the pool? If you know the procedure, would you please email it to me. Thank you.

Greg C., 2/8/2005

There really isn't anything that you have to do. If you add some sodium bromide, all of the chlorine will quickly convert to bromine. Otherwise, all you need is to keep the pH at 7.2-7.8 and the bromine level at 3-5 PPM. Good luck and have fun!

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/8/2005

Bromine-Chlorine Shuffle?

Is it possible to use Bromine in the summer and Chlorine in the winter. My daughter's hair turns green from the chlorine and our eyes burn somewhat after long swim days, so I would like to use Bromine in the summer. The pool is not used much in the winter and I would like to save some money by using Chlorine we have an automatic feeder that says it will work with either.

Larry G., 8/11/2009

Yes!!! Once you start using bromine, you will establish a reservoir of bromide ions. Subsequent additions of chlorine will convert
One of the ColorQ all-digital, pool and spa water analyzers. into bromine. I am not sure that you'll save much money. Once bromide ions are present, the chlorine consumption will increase, due to the fact that bromide is not protected against destruction by the Sun's UV rays. Green hair isn't necessarily due to chlorine. Have the water tested for copper. If you have a heater, it is a virtual certainty that you caused copper corrosion, as a result of low pH conditions. At the very least add a double dose of a quality metal treatment. The eye irritation can be due to high levels of combined chlorine. The ideal level for free chlorine is 1-3 PPM. Total chlorine should not be more than 1 PPM higher. The difference is combined chlorine. Make sure that you are testing for free and total chlorine. A product such as the ColorQ all-digital water analyzer, will provide a better picture of the state of the pool's chlorine level. Have you ever considered a salt chlorine generator? It will provide better results, with fewer problems. I hope this information proves helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/11/2009

Bromine - Chlorine Interaction?

I used bromine in the beginning of last year to sanitize my pool. Now, I have learned that I cannot use chlorine, after using bromine, unless I wait “a long time”. Do you believe that a full season later the bromine should be lowered enough that do not have to drain the pool. Is there a test kit that measures only bromine and not chlorine? Is it true that it is more difficult to stabilize the pH in brominated water? Thanks!

Werner N., 6/23/2004

Once bromine is used in a pool, a residue of bromide ions remains for an indeterminate period of time. The bromide ions convert into bromine, upon the addition of chlorine. The only sure way to avoid bromine formation would be to completely replace the water. A season later, there could still be significant bromide concentrations, as it does depend upon the original concentrations. You can use chlorine without doing anything. However, some or all of the chlorine may be converted into bromine. As time goes by, less bromide ions will be available. The same test kits are used for chlorine and bromine. It is no more difficult to maintain the pH of a bromine pool. In fact, bromine pools are suggested to maintain a pH of 7.2-7.8, as opposed to 7.2-7.6 for chlorine pools. I hope that the information proves helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/25/2004

It Is Not Cold Fusion?

I read many of your responses to questions about using chlorine shock in a brominated system and your answer has been: "When you add a non-chlorine shock to bromine maintained water it destroys contamination or converts into bromine. Guess what? The same thing will happen, if you use chlorine. It all ends up as bromine. Isn't chemistry great! " and "Because you are on bromine, any chlorine or non-chlorine shock will be converted into bromine. Isn't chemistry great! " Essentially you're saying chlorine (17 protons) turns into bromine (35 protons), but I'm not sure that is technically possible.  Could you explain more of the chemistry of using typical chlorine or non-chlorine shock chemicals interacting with typical brominating tablet chemicals? Also, do you think it is possible for chlorine to end up as bromine, if there is no bromine introduced into the system? Chemistry is great! Thanks.

Erika, 4/12/2006

You are not the first to bring this up. I am not advocating cold fusion! You are taking it too literal. By chlorine, I mean hypochlorous acid - the active form of chlorine in water. Bromine refers to hypobromous acid. If bromide ions are present, hypochlorous acid will oxidize it to hypobromous acid and the hypochlorous acid will be reduced to chloride ions. With non-chlorine shock, the persulfate ions oxidize the bromide ions and, in the process, are reduced to sulfate ions. This is simply an oxidation-reduction reaction. The confusion is in the use of the popular terminology for chlorine and bromine. I hope that I have clarified the matter. No cold fusion - not even close!

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/12/2006

High Bromine Usage?

Hello Alan! I'm a health inspector and I've been told of this situation below. A health club pool contacted a local inspector with an unusual problem: their ~25,000 gallon pool won't hold Bromine levels at all. Even after shocking, the Bromine level won't pass 4 ppm. The next day, the Bromine level is barely detectable. These folks are literally shocking everyday and spending a fortune. The pool has been in operation for 18 years, and this problem started approximately 2 months ago. I've quizzed the manager on what, if anything, changed 2 months ago in regards to the pool/pool operation, and nothing jumps out. The brominator has been replaced. The pool has been shocked, super-shocked, etc. pH, Alkalinity, etc. are all monitored and in range. Their usual brand of Bromine has been replaced with another brand, test kits have been swapped out, etc. UV doesn't seem to be a cause. The sand filters have been checked and, if I recall correctly, the sand has even been replaced. Any ideas? Thanks!

L. W., 1/12/2009

There is no simple answer, as you have concluded. Very high bromine levels will destroy the testing chemicals, especially DPD, and could yield erroneous low results. A more likely possibility is that the pipes and some underwater water surfaces are coated with biofilm. This would consume bromine, at a higher rate. I suggest that liquid chlorine be added, until bromine level is over 10 PPM. Keep it elevated, until there appears to be some modicum of stability. From the point forward, it should be easier to maintain a normal level with more modest chemical additions. Urine is the worst contaminant, in terms of bromine concentration. Is it possible that some new users are subjecting the pool to this undesirable situation, through lack of proper use of rest room facilities. Good luck.

Alan Schuster, 1/12/2009

The Shocking Opening Story?

We are opening our in-ground pool in Michigan and we use bromine. Can we use the lesser expensive shock (which I think is chlorine based) to originally shock it, or will this cause more problems? I know for the summer we used the non-chlorine based to keep it going, but I am hoping that we can use the lesser expensive to originally shock it because it takes about 24 pounds (12 , and then 12). Thank you.

Carol T., Tecumseh, Michigan, 5/17/2008

Being that you're in Michigan I think it will be OK to use any form of shock. It will all convert into bromine. In fact, even if you lived elsewhere, it would be OK. You are right in not wasting the money. At pool openings, it is quantity that counts most. I hope that this information proves helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/17/2008

Brominator Troubles?

I was attempting to fill the brominator with bromine. I could not get the lid off so assumed there was too much pressure. I shut the whole filter system down and then filled the Brominator and replaced the lid. When I attempted to turn the filter system back on the water was coming out of the top of the brominator. What went wrong? How can I fix it? Thank you for having this web site and helping me with my problem.

Jeanette H., 3/7/2005

Most likely chemical residues caked up on the threads and/or seals. The difficulty in removing the lid was the result of cementing. This probably prevented the lid from being re-seated properly and allowed water to flow out, after the pump was switched on. You may have to take it apart and clean the sealing surfaces. Remember, don't mix chemicals with bromine or any other pool chemicals. Good luck and I hope that this solves the problem.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/7/2005

Bromine Feeder?

I've seen some bromine feeders and they seem to be quite large. Can I just add bromine to the skimmer basket? I've done this with chlorine and would like to switch over. Need an answer. Thanks.

Stan T., Fairfield, CT, 7/12/2007

I know that it is being done with chlorine (contrary to some directions). Bromine, however, is another matter. It is much slower dissolving than chlorine tablets: that is why the feeders are bigger, in order to accommodate the need for more product. If you add bromine tablets to the skimmer, it just won't work out. If you really want to switch from chlorine to bromine, I suggest a bromine feeder. Sorry if it wasn't the answer that you were looking for. Have a good summer.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/13/2007

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