Spa Water Chemistry – Bromine Tablets

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Spa Water Chemistry – Bromine Tablets



Maintaining the spa water chemistry with Bromine can be very effective chemical used to sanitize water. Always maintain a level of 3.0 to 5.0 ppm

pH (potential Hydrogen): A scale of 1 to 14 that measure the alkalinity of the water. A reading below 7.0 equals acidic water and will cause etching of the plaster, staining and corrosion to the metal pipes and heater and could be irritating to swimmers. If the pH is above 8.0 the water will be cloudy, scale will build up along the tile and in the pipes. The filter will become clogged and circulation will diminish. High pH makes chlorine less efficient but Bromine works OK at a pH up to 8.0. In A Fiberglass spa keep the pH at 8.0 or above.

Acid Demand: If the pH is above 7.8, use the #3 test solution 1-drop at a time to determine how much acid is required to bring the pH down to the ideal range of 7.4 to 7.6. Count the number of drops and compare against the chart in the test kit to determine how much acid. NOTE*** Dry acid is preferred when adjusting spa water.

Total Alkalinity: This is a buffer for the pH. The ideal range is 80 to 120 ppm. If the Total Alkalinity is above 120ppm the pH will drift up (above 7.8) and the demand for acid will be higher. If the Total Alkalinity is below 80ppm the pH will drift below 7.4 and Base will be needed to raise the pH on a regular basis. In addition, the spa will be prone to blue stains.

Base: When the pH is below 7.4, a Basic (opposite of acidic) product will be added to the spa to raise the pH. The name of this product is Soda Ash. This should not be needed and only used if the chemicals are allowed to be out of range for extended periods of time.

T.D.S.: Total Dissolved Solids can be tested at the local pool store. Check every other month. The maximum reading is 2000 to 2500 ppm, if above 2500 ppm drain pool. T.D.S. is a measurement of ALL dissolved particles in the pool. Everything leaves some particles behind. Chemicals, dirt, people etc. all leave some TDS and over time the measurement rises. Liquid chlorine is the biggest contributor to this reading. When the spa has a high T.D.S. level people may complain the spa water “tastes salty”. A high T.D.S. level won’t cause damage but will make the chlorine a lot less efficient and the cost of chemicals will be more.

ConditionerMade from Cyanuric acid and is used to preserve chlorine levels in the water. The ideal range is 40 to 80 ppm. Test for this chemical with a Cyanuric acid test kit. Not used with Bromine

Algaecides: Kills algae. Identify the color of the algae and the location of the algae. Common colors in California are Green algae, Yellow (mustard) algae, and Black algae.

Scale: Deposits of calcium on the tile and plaster, caused by high pH.


Items Needed:

  • Bromine Test strips
  • 1” Floating Bromine Dispenser
  • Bromine Tablets (1”)
  • Sodium Bromide
  • Leisure Time “Metal Gon”
  • Non-Chlorine Shock (often sold as Renew) (individual 1oz packets or 2lb bottle)
  • pH increase (Raises pH. Often sold as Spa Up)
  • Spa clarifier with enzymes
  • Foam Down

Where to Buy: Purchase these items from a POOL SUPPLY…..NEVER PURCHASE SPA CHEMICALS FROM HARDWARE STORES!!!  Their products aren’t as good.

Weekly Maintenance:

Test spa water with test strips (designed for use with Bromine)

  • Dip test strip in water and hold flat for 15 seconds and compare colors to chart.
    (For best results do this out of direct sunlight)

Check the reading of the pH and Total Alkalinity first.

pH: Measurement of 7.4 to 8.4 is ideal for Bromine. If it is higher don’t worry. If it is lower add 1 ounce of Spa Up, allow water to circulate for 15 minutes and re-test. Repeat if necessary up to 3 times in 24 hours.  Drain spa if it will not stabilize.

Total Alkalinity:  Readings of 110ppm to 160ppm are ideal. If the readings are below 80ppm drain the spa.

If the pH and Total Alkalinity are OK, proceed to next step.

With a Bromine sanitized spa it will be very simple to maintain fresh clean water.

A reading of 5.0 or better, you have plenty of Bromine.

If the Bromine Level is too high just remove floating bromine dispenser (the floater) for 24 hours and retest.

A Low level of Bromine (below 3.0 ppm). Verify that the floater has tablets 3 to 4. Set to # 3 or # 4 on the side of the floater are numbers. Close the floater exposing the numbers. Lock in place with locking ring. Add tablets if necessary.

Adding 1oz of Non-Chlorine Shock (Renew) will instantly activate the Bromine in the water and you will have a healthy Bromine Reading (above 3.0).

Always add chemicals with the filter on. Always wait 15 minutes before you add additional chemicals


  • Testing the water is important. Test the water one time per week and most importantly before using it
  • Dedicate a bathing suit to the spa and NEVER wash it. Laundry soap causes foaming.
  • Adjust a small shot of Foam Down if spa has Excessive foam (may cause cloudiness)
  • The Spa Cover is ESSENTIAL…. It prevents the sun from burning out the Bromine
  • Add 1 oz of Spa Clarifier each week to help the filter (preventative maintenance).
  • Using high pressure garden hose clean filter pleats each month
  • Drain Spa 3 to 4 times per year (it’s just a big bath tub).
  • Always add the chemicals to the water…never add the water to the chemicals!!!
  • Keep at a 2lb. container of Spa Up on-hand and hope the pH just stays high and that you do not need to add it at all.
  • Circulate the spa for approx. 3 hours per day
  • Don’t try to balance the pH. Its just too hard to do. Just keep it at 7.4 to 8.4 and if it goes higher don’t worry. PH below 6.8 is bad your skin and the spa equipment.
  • If the water looks and smells its probably OK to use the spa. If it smells bad, is cloudy or discolored there is definitely a problem!
  • When the cover is removed strong fumes may be present. Choking and coughing are not normal.
  • Bromine is considered to be less irritating than Chlorine.

For More Info Call Spa Covers Etc. 949) 496-2883… ask for Chris

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