An effective way of disinfection is the basic requirement for a crystal clear and hygienically safe bathing experience in your own garden pool.
It is also suitable for your pool’s water maintenance, as it shares many properties with the chemical chlorine, but also has other characteristics that make it potentially more worthwhile for use in your home pool.
The following sections will cover both the advantages and disadvantages, as well as how to use bromine should you wish to use it for disinfection.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is bromine for the pool and is it worth using?
- 2 Advantages and disadvantages of bromine in the pool
- 3 How to use bromine in the pool
- 4 Bromine value measurement: How much bromine is in the pool?
- 5 Bromine dosage: How much bromine needs to be added to the pool?
- 6 FAQ: Frequently asked questions about bromine pools answered
- 7 Conclusion
What is bromine for the pool and is it worth using?
Bromine, like chlorine, is what is known as a halogen. Although both are used to provide a disinfecting effect, they vary significantly in terms of how they work as well as their associated properties.
When bromine encounters contaminants in your pool water, it ionizes them, separating the chemical components of the particles, while chlorine penetrates them by oxidation to destroy them from within.
To what extent the use of bromine as opposed to chlorine, for example, will prove to be recommendable depends, among other things, on the individual usage behavior and the wishes and needs of the respective pool owner.
In this case, it is worthwhile to carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages presented in the following sections in order to make an informed decision.
Advantages and disadvantages of bromine in the pool
As an effective disinfectant, bromine, just like the still frequently used chlorine, sustainably as well as reliably frees the water of a pool from organic foreign bodies, which can include fungi, viruses or even bacteria, for example.
Although bromine has some positive aspects in terms of its individual properties, there are also some factors that could possibly speak against the use of bromine in your pool. What each of these are in detail is explained below.
Bromine Pool Advantages
First of all, it can be stated that bromine’s disinfecting effect is similar to that of chlorine, but it does not cause an unpleasant odor or irritation of the mucous membranes, especially the eyes, but also the skin, which is why it is a comparable alternative not only for people who are allergic or sensitive to the popular chemical.
Furthermore, bromine also remains active when it has already combined with potentially disease-causing bacteria or other dirt particles, among others.
Due to the fact that bromine effectively combats organic compounds both at comparatively high pH values and at high temperatures, such as those that can prevail in a whirlpool, for example, there is a higher level of disinfection safety than with chlorine.
It should also be noted that, unlike chlorine, bromine has less of an effect on the pH value, which can result in a reduced addition of further chemical agents for pool maintenance or a generally lower workload for water maintenance. The alternative disinfectant also dissipates more slowly than chlorine, which is why it needs to be replaced less frequently.
Bromine Pool Disadvantages
Although bromine has numerous advantages in terms of effective disinfecting action, it still has some factors that could weigh negatively in some cases when individual circumstances require other features. On the one hand, although bromine is certainly reactive, it lags behind chlorine in this aspect and therefore removes harmful substances more slowly in principle.
Despite the fact that in many scenarios bromine convinces with its excellent stability as well as durability, it is destroyed by UV light faster than, for example, chlorine, which is why it should either be used only for indoor pools, or a consistent approach to covering an outdoor swimming pool is necessary.
Furthermore, bromine is considered comparatively expensive, although this assessment depends on individual life situations. Finally, bromine is also a chemical that must be handled with care, as elemental bromine, among other things, can be corrosive to the skin.
How to use bromine in the pool
If you have decided to use bromine to disinfect your pool, there are a few steps to take to achieve the best results.
After a certain period of time, however, a well-rehearsed routine usually sets in, so that water care with the chemical is uncomplicated and quick. In the following sections, you will learn which aspects should be considered when using bromine.
Bromine value measurement: How much bromine is in the pool?
In order to test the content of bromine in the water of your swimming pool as well as to correct it if necessary, you need, for example, a corresponding test strip, whereby a measurement with a digital device is also possible in principle.
It is a good idea to also check the pH value during this step, but unlike chlorine, bromine is still active with its full effect at higher pH values.
Bromine dosage: How much bromine needs to be added to the pool?
Once it has been determined how much bromine is in your pool’s water, you can take steps to lower or raise it, respectively. It should be noted that even too much bromine does not necessarily mean that the pool needs to be completely refilled.
The respective dosage of the chemical depends, among other things, on whether you decide to use granules or tablets and what other systems your pool has, for example, an ozonator with a 24-hour filter function.
In case of doubt, the safest option is to follow the individual instructions of the respective manufacturer. In principle, you can assume that more bromine than chlorine is needed for disinfection, but in comparison, it must also be added to the pool water less frequently.
As a guide, 3 ppm (parts per million), or milligrams per liter, to 5 ppm is usually given, but you should stick to the higher value as the ideal. However, this is also dependent on the pool in question, as, for example, a spa with 24-hour filtration and an ozonator only needs to have 1 ppm to 3 ppm of the agent added.
Apply Bromine Granules
- Calculate the volume or the amount of water with which your pool is filled.
- If not already done, the pool pump should now be turned on.
- Follow the individual instructions of the corresponding manufacturer with regard to the dosage and general application.
- Next, measure out the recommended amount of bromine granules.
- The disinfectant is now added directly into the pool water using slow movements.
- There should be at least 20 minutes of circulation for optimal distribution of the bromine.
- In a final step, use a test to determine as well as check the bromine level.
- If the bromine level is not ideally adjusted, it is necessary to adjust it again.
Use bromine tablets
- Be sure to consult the bromine tablet instructions that come with the tablets.
- Place the recommended amount of tablets, usually 2.5 centimeter tablets, in the appropriate float or skimmer.
- Then adjust the disinfectant delivery control according to the manufacturer’s dosage instructions, if possible.
- Now, ideal conditions are created by, for example, the float gaining stability as soon as the air was able to escape when it was immersed in the water of the pool.
- In the course of the following days it is necessary to test the pool water again in order to achieve the optimal dose of the chemical agent.
- If the dosage still requires improvements or adjustments, it is necessary to make them.
FAQ: Frequently asked questions about bromine pools answered
Before or even after deciding to use bromine as a disinfectant, a variety of questions can arise. This is certainly due, among other things, to the fact that the increasingly popular alternative to chlorine has not yet established itself at some domestic pools and a possible contact is thus only available via the Internet.
In the following sections, the answers to frequently asked ambiguities with regard to bromine are explained, so that you will have developed a corresponding routine after some time.
How does bromine work in the pool and how effective is it?
Bromine, like chlorine, belongs to the family of so-called halogens. Its effectiveness is similar to that of the popular disinfectant, but it causes organic particles to separate and, unlike chlorine, destroys them from the inside out.
Apart from its gentle effect on the mucous membranes, the absence of any unpleasant odor and a long duration of action of the so-called bromamines, it still reliably fights bacteria or algae, among other things, even at a high pH value and a very warm water temperature.
How long does bromine last in the pool?
Especially in warm pool water, bromine is characterized by high stability and resistance compared to chlorine, which is why its disinfecting effect lasts for a longer period of time.
An exception to this is ultraviolet light, also known as UV radiation, which occurs in direct sunlight and leads to rapid destruction of bromine. Therefore, if you have a pool in your own backyard, an opaque pool cover is urgently needed if you want to use bromine for disinfection.
When is the bromine level in the pool too high and can it be lowered again?
Depending on the characteristics of your pool, a value above 3 or 5 ppm (parts per million or milligrams per liter) is an elevated bromine level.
The determination depends on the type of pool, as for example a heated whirlpool needs a different dosage than a deviated model, but in this case you should always follow the appropriate instructions of the individual manufacturer.
There are a few ways to lower a bromine level that is too high, the most straightforward method ultimately involved only waiting, with the bromine degrading even faster in direct sunlight.
However, it is also possible to remove some of the pool water and then fill the pool with fresh water, which will also reduce the bromine level. Another option is to use a neutralizer such as sodium thiosulfate, although water levels should definitely be checked before bathing again.
Where to buy bromine for the pool?
Bromine as a disinfectant for your pool water can be purchased from local specialty stores, among others, although they may need to order it first. Another option is online mail order companies, for example Amazon, where an uncomplicated and fast delivery to your home is possible.
Are there any experiences with Bromine Tablets?
Both German pool owners and bathing enthusiasts abroad are already using the gentle alternative to chlorine as a disinfectant, so that a number of testimonials can already be found on the Internet.
These are mainly positive about the use of bromine tablets, which is, for example, excellent for the whirlpool, since there is no irritation of the skins and the water does not tip. Moreover, it disinfects a swimming pool very reliably, and unlike chlorine, it does not emit an acrid smell.
Bromine is becoming more and more popular as an alternative disinfectant, because it does not cause irritation to the eyes or skin, it does not produce unpleasant odors, and it has a reliable disinfecting effect even at high water temperatures and pH values.
For this reason, not only bathing enthusiasts with chlorine allergy use bromine to combat organic foreign bodies such as algae, bacteria or other organisms that may be harmful to health or appearance.
Despite its advantages, the specific properties of the agent must be carefully weighed with regard to individual desires, as some characteristics may well be perceived as negative.
Also with regard to the determination of the bromine value as well as its dosage, it is necessary to take into account the particularities of the respective pool and the necessary work steps, which make up the administration in granulate or tablet form. In case of any uncertainties, it is essential to consult the instructions of the individual manufacturer in order to enjoy a relaxed bathing experience.