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Bromine Use in Spas

Bromine Tablets in Spas - Bromochloro-5,5-dimethylimidazolidine-2,4-dione / 1-bromo-3-chloro-5,5-dimethylhydantoin / bromo chloro dimethylhydantoin

Bromine tablets for spas has been around for a number of decades. Firstly, Bromine tablets contain both Bromine and Chlorine. The industry simply refers to Bromine tablets as “Bromine.” Bromine is a fantastic sanitizer that produces both hypochloris acid & hypobromous acid. It is effective at killing almost anything in the water, and has a high heat resistance. Even “used” Bromine is still effective at killing microbes. There is a “but” that comes with bromine usage though…

Bromine tablets have a very low pH and are acidic, at around pH of 4. At a low pH, with moderate levels of Bromine, your water generally looks fantastic and sparkling. We often don’t even notice this on our skin.

This low-pH nature of Bromine causes a number of problems:

  • The first signs of damage are often seen on the bottom of spa covers, spa headrests, spa acrylics, that backs of jets, and damaged plastics.
  • Jets may pop out, and you’ll notice a chalky breakdown on the tails of jets.
  • Pump wet-ends that start off black will have a whitening or yellowing of the plastics, often producing a chalky affect that can be scraped with a fingernail. It also prematurely damages mechanicals seals & any o-rings or gaskets.
  • It can strip the Teflon coating of many heater elements, before attacking the metals themselves.
  • If you have a gas heater, there is a good chance you’ll have a high copper reading in the water, as it’s constantly attacking the copper heat exchangers.

High Bromine with low pH can destroy a gas heater, heater element, seals, etc in a matter of months or even weeks.

Bromine can affect health in many ways:

  • If you open the spa cover and get smacked in the face with that strong Bromine smell, you’ve got a problem.
  • If the water appears “fizzy” this indicates acidic water (similar to a soda drink).
  • Bromine and low pH can cause Dry, Itchy Skin, and difficulty Breathing.
  • Bromine produces bromamines, which are irritating to skin, eyes, and lungs.
  • Bromine tablets can products bromates, which are known carcinogens.
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