To treat its swimming pool with bromine: instructions for use

Bromine is the most widespread treatment in France. It is as effective as chlorine and presents notably less risk of irritation and allergic reactions.  Bromine is therefore the best alternative for people allergic to chlorine. Reactive and resistant to UV rays, it does not require the addition of a stabilizing chemical treatment. However, it also has some disadvantages and is not suitable for all pools. Find out how to use it and the best measure to apply to enjoy your pool safely.

Bromine pool maintenance: why use bromine?

Bromine is a treatment product for swimming water. It is a chemical element of the same family as chlorine, naturally present in nature and the sea. In general, it has the advantage of disinfecting the pool water and removing viruses, fungi, bacteria and algae, but it also has an immediate and long-lasting effect. It comes in two forms: tablets and tablets. The bromine tablets allow a slow diffusion and are used for regular treatment of swimming water. It is recommended to diffuse them with a brominator, because the product is extremely reactive and requires regular control. Bromine tablets or briquettes, on the other hand, are dedicated to a shock treatment thanks to their rapid dissolution. They make it possible to quickly raise the bromine level when the pool is particularly dirty or the water has turned.

Pool treatment with bromine: how does it work?

Before the pool water reaches the sand filter by means of a filtration pump, it is first sucked through the skimmers and the bottom strip. It is then pushed to the brominator through delivery nozzles to disinfect and purify it. When bromine tablets are used, the pool treatment equipment remains exactly the same as for chlorine treatment. The diffuser, on the other hand, can be very practical. The installation in by-pass or in derivation on the hydraulic circuit is preferable as not all the water of the pool will pass through the brominator anymore. There is a valve that can regulate the water flow so that it can take the time to absorb the bromine. You can also do a bromine treatment after the brominator is installed to quickly increase the rate of the product. The use of bromine for shock treatment of bathing water is not at all constraining because of its slow dissolution. However, it is necessary to control the pH of the water once a week to be more effective. If it is too high or too low, it must be adjusted with an appropriate product.

How much bromine is needed for pool treatment?

The bromine dosage depends on the volume of the pool, the pH of the water and the temperature of the bathing water. Care must be taken to maintain a pH higher than 7.5 for optimum effectiveness. As a general rule, for a pH of 7.5, dose between 2 and 4 mg/litre of bromine, and for a pH of 8.5, dose between 3 and 5 mg/litre of bromine. The determination can be carried out using the test kits in the form of electromagnetic tests or strips (colorimetric tests). The brominator generally has an electromagnetic tester which makes pool maintenance easier. The concentration of bromine in your pool should be between 1 and 2 mg/l (between 2 and 4 mg/l for spas). For optimal efficiency, keep the pH above 7.5. It is possible to detect bromine in your pool with a pH meter or a colorimetric test. The electronic pH meter is more accurate in results, but more expensive.  To readjust the pH, pour pH+ (soda) or pH- (acid) into your pool.  Wait three hours and re-test the pH. Repeat if necessary until the desired pH is achieved. To add bromine, the filter pump must be turned off and the valves closed. Then open the brominator and fill it with bromine tablets. Close the brominator and open all valves again before restarting the filtration. To reduce the chromium level in your pool, you have two options: use a neutralizer or drain part or all of your pool. If you drain, it is sometimes difficult to know how much water to remove. Then, it is useful to adjust the pH and add bromine to obtain the desired level. The bromine neutralizer can lower the bromine level or remove all the bromine. It is necessary to reduce the bromine rate when you decide to switch to chlorine pool treatment.

Advantages of a bromine treatment for the swimming pool

The first and main advantage of bromine is its ability to rid your pond of all bacteria and impurities. Bromine is a very easy to use disinfectant and oxidizer, perfect for regular maintenance. Bromine is more comfortable for mucous membranes, eyes and skin. Odourless and soft, it does not cause any irritation or allergy for bathers. In fact, bromine produces bromamines when it interacts with components of sunscreen, saliva, urine and sweat, and it does not present any irritation or odor, unlike chlorine which produces chloramines, more aggressive. It is therefore preferable to use bromine in pools for sensitive people and children. Moreover, this product has a more interesting range of action than chlorine water treatment. This allows it to maintain an efficiency of almost 80%, even when the pH of the water is 8 or when the temperature rises. In fact, it is less sensitive to UV rays, which prevents any addition of stabilizing treatment, unlike chlorine. Chlorine is destroyed by the sun’s UV rays and therefore requires a stabilizer to maintain itself. However, the stabilizer is concentrated in the water and can stop the disinfectant action of the product. Therefore, it is preferable to choose bromine, which does not require the addition of this type of treatment and is easier to manage. Bromine is temperature tolerant, it remains reactive in case of high water temperature, which allows it to be used safely in spas, heated pools and exposed pools.

Disadvantages of bromine pool treatment

Like all other treatments, bromine has some disadvantages. It is more expensive, about 30 to 40% more than chlorine. In addition, if you choose the pellet option, you have to invest in a brominator. Therefore, it is necessary to use it for small pools. Pool bromine is very corrosive when it is not dissolved in the water. Therefore, it requires careful storage and handling. It must be stored away from light and air, and especially be inaccessible to animals and children. In addition, the bromine from the treatment must be well dosed. Excessive quantities require a large part of the pond to be emptied, which is neither ecological nor economical.

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