Can I Use Chlorine Shock in a Bromine Spa?
Hot tubs are shocked now and then as the need arises. In shocking a hot tub, a high dose of oxidizer is added to the water to help in combating diseases and other bacteria.
However, if you have been using bromine in your hot tub, you might probably be wondering, can I use chlorine shock in a bromine spa? Well, you can.
But you need to be careful how you go about the process. It would be better not to try mixing these two in a spa, but it is not impossible.
It is not impossible to add a chlorine shock to a bromine spa. Indeed, you only need to steer away from mixing the two chemicals in their powder form.
Additionally, note that this type of shock increases the chlorine count in the hot tub, and you, therefore, need to test your water after you are done.
This is the only way you will know if it is safe before you start soaking. However, a chlorine shock is not without demerits and merits in equal measure.
Therefore, before you switch to chlorine shock, be sure to understand the pros and cons of such a move.
Is Chlorine The Same As Bromine?
No. These are two different chemicals with different chemical properties.
But before we delve into their differences, let me shed some light on the difference between sanitizer and shock since the two are used that way in hot tubs.
The strength of the chemical solution in the water is different when the chemical is operating as a shock and functioning as a sanitizer.
A sanitizer does not require a high concentration of the chemical, while the chemical needs to be highly concentrated if used as a shock.
The higher chemical dose in a shock is meant for the reactivation of the sanitizer, preferably performed every week.
When bromine or chlorine is used as a sanitizer, it functions by killing germs and cleaning the water.
When it comes to a hot tub shock, you can either use non-chlorine or chlorine.
You should only resort to shocking your hot tub water when the sanitizer is not working correctly.
The sanitizer gets overwhelmed by the level of dirt and bacteria in the water and therefore becomes obsolete. Practically, such a sanitizer can’t function again until it is shocked.
Therefore, shock boosts the sanitizer’s effectiveness.
A sanitizer will, over time, under-perform due to the presence of products like soap, makeup, laundry detergent, cosmetics, body lotions, deodorant, body oils, conditioner, and shampoo.
Does Chlorine Perform At The Same Efficiency With Bromine?
No. When chlorine is used as a shock, it dissolves quickly, unlike bromine.
Additionally, chlorine has a neutral pH, making it an excellent chemical for restoring bromine or chlorine sanitizer levels.
While non-chlorine shocks work similarly, they cannot be matched to chlorine as they scarcely kill algae and bacteria in the water.
Additionally, it is more likely to get cloudier water from the other chemicals use as sanitizers.
When cleaning their hot tubs, many people are unsure whether to use chlorine or bromine as a shock.
Well, one good thing that goes for chlorine is that it is cheaper, retailing at $6.55 a pound than non-chlorine shock.
While chlorine shock will cause oxidase and sanitize your hot tub, killing germs and other contaminants, it does that at a lower point, although associated with a strong odor.
Just as much as chlorine needs a weekly shock, so does bromine. Delayed shock might lead to
bromamines and unsafe water for soaking. Anytime you drain your hot tub, the bromine level goes to zero. Again, it also goes to zero over time, as it continues to clean the water.
At this point, it is crucial to shock the water. And if you chose chlorine for this purpose, avoid using it in excess as it quickly degrades surfaces.
Avoid high chlorine or bromine levels as they might affect the water and hot tub equipment.
Additionally, there are health issues that can result from using too much chlorine or bromine levels.
When it comes to the maintenance of chlorine and bromine spas, chlorine hot tubs will need more active attention and maintenance than bromine spas.
If you fail to accord constant attention to the chlorine hot tub, it will become cloudy or green.
Additionally, chlorine hot tubs are more susceptible to pH fluctuations than bromine, which seems to be a bit stabilized.
Since chlorine cannot handle large fluctuations, it requires constant adjustments than bromine.
Do I Need To Check Bromine Levels And Keep Adjusting?
Yes. It is critical when it comes to maintaining a safe bromine level in the hot tub water.
This is especially so due to the respiratory and skin complications associated with the incorrect use of bromine in hot tub water.
In your hot tub, your recommended bromine level should be between 3.0 and 5.0 parts per million.
You will need to test bromine level using test strips as soon as you apply its tablets. The importance of this step lies in the relevance of safe chemicals in the water.
After buying a bromine test strip, ensure that you stick to the instructions as you use it to test bromine levels in your hot tub water.
Inconsistency in following the instructions might result in incorrect and misleading readings and consequent conclusions.
You will only need to dip the test strip into the hot tub water and remove it shortly. Within two seconds, your readings will be ready.
Once you get the readings, you will need to compare them with the package instructions. If you have high bromine levels in the hot tub, you should not start using the hot tub.
The levels might come down after a day and sometimes after a few hours. You will need to keep testing the water to ascertain that it has dropped its bromine levels to safe levels.
The need to add bromine will be dictated by how frequently the hot tub is used.
Additionally, the bathing habits and the water quality will all have a role in the frequency of bromine addition.
All you need to do is to ensure that you follow the instructions when dealing with the chemical.
Is It Better To Use Bromine In My Hot Tub Than Using Chlorine?
Yes and No. As stated earlier, these chemicals are not the same, and none can function like the other.
However, the important thing to do is to define your needs to know what you need from the chemical.
Once you know what you need, you can now look at the attributes of both chemicals and make a decision based on the information and your needs.
However, it might mean something to you to point out that chlorine tablets are known to be a bit harsh and might therefore cause skin irritation.
Bromine is known to destroy algae, hot tub bacteria and, micro-organisms, though not as effective as chlorine.
On the other hand, chlorine exhibits relatively weaker oxidation attributes, although it is faster in accomplishing the task.
On the other hand, Bromine boasts of a larger molecular size, giving it an advantage over chlorine in some aspects.
Bromine can also be used as a shock. As you prepare to use bromine shock, it is essential to test the existing pH level. You will desire to adjust it to between 7.2 and 7.5.
Again, it is essential to remember that shock performs best in low pH environments.
Additionally, the efficiency of your hot tub’s shock is at the optimum level when the pH is at 7.5. Consequently, it is essential to have a well-balanced pH.
To use bromine to shock your hot tub, you need to remove the cover to release the chemical vapors and diffused them into the air.
Again, enough oxygen is required in the process, which is better achieved with an open cover. If any other accessories are floating on the water surface, they should be removed.
It is critical to ensure that your eyes and hands are protected with goggles and gloves as appropriate. The pH needs to be balanced to ensure that shock works effectively.
It is also advisable to have the jets turned to the minimum so that the circulation pump performs at a minimum.
The bromine granules you are using should dictate the correct dose of the chemical. Lastly, ensure that you test the water after the procedure before you can step in it.
Is It Safe To Mix Chlorine And Bromine In A Hot Tub?
Yes. But it is not advisable. Indeed, bromine and chlorine strong oxidizers.
The relevance of this is that they easily burn any organic matter that is present in the water.
Consequently, a chemical reaction will result from mixing these two chemicals that might be dangerous.
Even if it were not very dangerous to mix these two chemicals, it is highly recommended that you drain your hot tub if you need to change the sanitizer.
You might also need to flush the hot tub after draining it to ensure no residue from the previous chemical.
While you can easily switch from bromine to chlorine or from chlorine to bromine, you should never mix the two chemicals.
If the hot tub water has either of the chemicals, it should remain that way, and you should not use the other chemical even to shock the water.
Even if the bromine is inactive, the chlorine will reactivate and take a long time to dissipate completely.
Is Chlorine More Expensive Than Bromine?
A straightforward answer here is No. But the truth is that there are other aspects of chlorine that many people forget to focus on when arguing that chlorine is cheaper.
The truth is that chlorine might be more expensive than people thought. Well. Why do people choose chlorine? Largely, because it is cheaper.
But did you consider that chlorine starts cheap but scarcely remains cheap?
The truth is that bromine costs about 20% more than chlorine. However, it stays in your hot tub water for longer periods.
Additionally, it is easily reactivated once all bacteria are killed.
Consequently, less bromine is used in the long run. Using less bromine, in the long run, will translate to cheaper costs overall.
Again, for those people who live in sunny areas, UV rays should play a role in influencing your decision.
With the sun’s UV rays, chlorine dissipates even faster, meaning that you will need to add more chlorine every other time.
This will automatically make the seemingly cheaper chemical to be far more expensive in the long run.
While bromine is degraded faster by the UV rays, it changes to an easy to activate dormant bromine.
If you add a chlorine-free shock, it will be reactivated for the provision of more disinfection.
Many people think that it is safe to use a chlorine shock in a bromine spa. However, this is not advisable.
Both of these chemicals are very strong oxidants and can kill germs in the water. It is even possible to have severe consequences for mixing the two chemicals.
If there is a need to change the sanitizer, it is advisable to drain your water and rinse the hot tub well to change as desired.
Chlorine is fast in dissolving in water. Chlorine forms chloramines which are inactive but can be reactivated by shocking.
On the other hand, bromine dissolves in the water slowly. This is why a small amount works for a longer time than chlorine.
After breaking down, bromine leaves behind bromamine compounds. These compounds can be reactivated, and their usefulness extended.
Bromine kills algae just like chlorine, though not as effective.
On the other hand, bromine does not increase alkalinity like chlorine. When you use your hot tub, bromine will changes its alkalinity from 4 to a lower level.
You will be able to address this by adding a base. While chlorine has a more pungent smell, bromine has a less pungent smell.