Mixing Bromine And Chlorine In Hot Tub
If you want to make sure that your hot tub is as clean as possible so that you can use it happily and healthily, you might be wondering if adding chlorine or bromine (or both) is a good idea.
One question people often ask us is,
Can I mix chlorine and bromine in my hot tub water?
The simple answer to this question is no, you should never mix these two chemicals in your hot tub water.
Come dive in with us as we explore the why to this frequently asked question.
What Happens When I Mix Chlorine and Bromine?
When you mix chlorine and bromine in your hot tub water, you get a nasty reaction. The bromine will not go away for a very long time, building up and creating a need for more chlorine. If you have a chlorine pool or hot tub that you shock with chlorine, the bromine that is in there residually will turn the chlorine into bromine.
Mixing chlorine and bromine together in the water can create a chemical reaction that is quite dangerous.
However, that does not mean that you cannot switch from one of these chemicals to the other. If you decide to switch from chlorine to bromine, for example, you should first drain your hot tub and clean it out.
Do note mix them together when they are in a dry form either. This is especially true if you use bromine or chlorine in a granule form.
We would even recommend going as far as keeping them stored separately, each in separate containers, as the fumes created from a mixture of the two chemicals are highly flammable.
Lastly, we recommend that you use a different feeder for both bromine and chlorine application. If you have a chlorine pool and a bromine hot tub, we highly recommend getting a different feeder to apply chemicals to each of these.
Regardless of if you believe that you have cleaned out your feeder to the point where it is okay, there might still be some remnants of the chemical inside, which can create a bad reaction with the other chemical you ultimately decide to use.
What Is Better for My Hot Tub: Chlorine or Bromine?
You're probably well aware that people use chlorine and bromine to keep the water in a pool and spa clean.
Of course, the next logical question is "how do these two chemicals differ from one another?"
Chlorine is a chemical that is made to oxidize contaminants.
It destroys them from the inside out once it invades them.
Chlorine will continue to dissipate after you add it to your hot tub, turning any waste product into something called a chloramine.
Chloramines are the reason for the smell and the sting that you get when you enter a hot tub or pool. However, these chloramines are also the reason why this chemical is so effective.
There are ways that you can make your chloramines safer to deal with, however. One way to do this is by adding chlorine to your hot tub once per week at the least. However, if you notice that the stinging or smell has gotten really bad and the chlorine isn't doing the job that it should, you should consider shocking your hot tub to get rid of the chloramines altogether and start fresh.
A good chlorine shock is something you should perform on a regular basis regardless, as it is a great way to keep your water crystal clear.
Bromine is different than chlorine as it ionizes any contaminants present in your hot tub, forcing the chemical bonds of these contaminants apart. When you add bromine, most of it stays active and continues to work, even after it has combined with contaminants.
Just like chlorine, however, bromine also produces a unique waste product of its own known as a bromamine. Compared to chloramines, bromamines aren't nearly as noxious. A good non-chlorine shock is the solution to getting rid of bromamines that reduce the effectiveness of the chemical within your hot tub. For more information, see our "bromine vs chlorine hot tub" article.
When it comes to the overall effectiveness of chlorine or bromine, you have to look at the reactivity rate. The reactivity rate is the rate at which the particular chemical is able to destroy contaminants.
Chlorine has a much faster kill rate than bromine when it comes to getting rid of contaminants in your hot tub. Compared to chlorine, bromine is not nearly as reactive, meaning it kills contaminants at a much slower rate.
It is also important to note that compared to chlorine, bromine has a lower pH level. The great thing about this quality is that it helps keep your hot tub chemistry more balanced, minimizing the time that you need to spend finagling and adjusting.
Is Chlorine or Bromine More Stable For Your Hot Tub?
So yes, chlorine works at a much faster pace compared to bromine, though bromine has much more stability than chlorine. This is especially true when you're dealing with warm water inside a hot tub.
Chlorine is made to dissipate much faster than bromine, meaning you need to replace your chlorine far more often to keep your hot tub clean. Because of the slow reactivity of bromine, it continues to kill contaminants for a much longer period.
There is an exception here, however. UV light is the worst enemy of bromine, killing it far more quickly than chlorine. If you live in a very sunny climate and you use your hot tub outdoors, this could present a problem for you. This is when having a high-quality hot tub cover can come in handy. You can protect your water and prolong the usefulness of your chemicals by keeping your hot tub cover on when the hot tub is not in use.
It is also worth noting that chloramines have more of a negative impact on the chemical's ability to fight off contaminants. If you have a ton of chloramines inside your hot tub, then you have more of a probability of bacteria and algae breeding and growing.
How Much Chlorine or Bromine Should I Add To My Hot Tub?
If you want to keep your hot tub as clean and as safe as possible, it is very important to know how much chlorine or bromine to add to your hot tub. The amount of chlorine or bromine that you add to your hot tub will depend on how large it is.
The very first thing you should check when trying to answer this question is the manufacturer manual.
If you want to know whether the amount that you added into your hot tub was enough, you can use test strips to test the water.
When it comes to chlorine, you should be in the range of 1 to 3 parts per million (ppm). Ideally, you should be closer to 3 parts per million for the safest hot tub use.
When it comes to bromine, however, you should aim for anywhere between 3 and 5 parts per million. The higher end of the spectrum for your bromine levels, the better.
If you use chlorine in your hot tub and you put too much in there, there are a few things that you can do to lower the overall level of chlorine. Not having to drain your hot tub and start all over is a huge plus. The same thing also works if your use bromine.
Do note that for the same amount of sanitizing, you will need to use more bromine than chlorine. Bromine is also more expensive than chlorine, which is why most people end up using it more than chlorine. However, most people aren't aware that you don't have to use it as often as you use chlorine, which is why the costs tend to even themselves out.
It is up to you to weigh the advantages and disadvantages and decide whether the upfront cost is worth it to you or not.
Which Is Healthier, Chlorine or Bromine?
All spa chemicals are safe as long as you use them in the right way. However, some people react differently to chlorine vs bromine. If you use chlorine, you are probably aware that it can sometimes be harsh, especially if the chlorine levels are a bit high. Chlorine can often be harsh for the eyes, skin, and hair.
If you have chloramines that linger around your hot tub, filling up the humid air, it can make it quite difficult to breathe. People with asthma or general trouble breathing often find this to be a problem.
Bromine is much gentler on the skin and can keep your hot tub just as clean. That being said, bromine can be harder to wash off after a long soak in the hot tub.
When it comes to overall health, we highly recommend going with bromine.