Bromine is becoming a preferred disinfectant over chlorine for pools and spas. It has no detectable odor, and rarely causes skin irritation to swimmers. Here is how you can convert your chlorinated pool to a bromine pool.
Step 1 - Basics for a Bromine Pool
Do not reuse your chlorine erosion feeders for bromine tablets.
The pH readings will seem too high if you use a test kit designed for checking chlorinated water.
Step 2 - Test the pH of Your Pool - Adjust if Needed
Before switching to bromine pool treatment, determine that your pool is at a safe pH range between 7.4 and 7.6.
Use your original chlorine pH tester to make this assessment.
Adjust the pH of your pool if necessary, using either muriatic acid to increase its acidity, or soda ash to reduce acidity and make it more alkaline.
Safety Tip: Handle these chemicals with caution. Never mix either of these with chlorine or bromine in an open container. Add each directly to the pool water.
Step 3 - Add Bromine to Your Pool Water
Use two or three automated erosion feeders to add the bromine to the pool water. These are closed containers with water access vents around the bottom. The water enters and swirls around the bromine tablets to dissolve them.
If you were already using erosion feeders for chlorine dispensing, buy new ones for the bromine tablets.
Turn the pool pump and filter on, and leave them running steadily for at least 15 hours the first time you use bromine for disinfecting the pool.
On the second feeder fill, let the flow valve remain open for 30 seconds, to flush old chemicals. Run the pump and filter for 12 continuous hours to ensure complete mixing of the bromine.
Clean the feeders monthly by opening them and washing with the highest pressure stream of your water hose. Refill them with bromine tablets as directed, and release them back into the pool.
Check pH levels weekly, and also check for the active level of bromine in the water. It should be no lower than two and not above five ppm (parts per million).
Step 4 - Maintain Your Pool's Bromine Level from Spring to Fall
Following a regular maintenance schedule through the year will help your pool overwinter safely and be ready to use sooner in late spring.
Measure the free bromine concentration in the pool in fall and when you open it in spring, with a specific test kit, not one that measures total bromine. Pool care specialty retailers carry these kits.
Check the pH and total alkalinity, and adjust as needed through the spring and summer. Add a flocculent, to clump particles for easier filtering every month while the pool is being used. Vacuum, clean the filters, and do other maintenance as always for a safe, beautiful pool.