Bromine – The Alternative to Chlorine
Today, in part 3 of our FAQ series, we are going to discuss bromine and why it makes an excellent alternative to chlorine.
Bromine is an effective sanitiser. Let us discuss the different advantages and disadvantages to help you make the most informed choice.
More stable at high temperatures
Bromine dissolves easily into water in the same manner at chlorine. What makes bromine stand out is that it has a higher 'gassing off' temperature. Readings have to read above 58.8 degrees C for bromine to become a gas and be released into the atmosphere. This temperature far exceeds any you will ever use in your hot tub, spa or pool which ensures you won't loose the bromine's strength during use.
More potent at higher pH levels
This is very important in environments with high bather-to-water ratios such as spas and communal hot tubs. Hot water causes the chemical reaction rates to increase and the free sanitiser to deplete much faster. Chlorine's sanitising power lowers once your pH increases above 7.5. This, in turn, drops the effectiveness and increase the risk of equipment corrosion. In contrast, bromine can be reactivated by superchlorinating.
After bromine complete it's sanitising job, it leaves behind bromide salts. These can be reactivated back into sanitising bromide by adding the correct amount of chlorine or non-chlorine stock (available in granule or tablets) to water. This is superchlorinating. This cost-effective process allows you to use less bromine on each clean by simply reactivating the quantity that has been left in your hot tub, spa or pool. In comparison, chlorine becomes inert after sanitising.
Bromamines are active sanitiser with low odour
Bromamines are a byproduct of bromides which react with water contaminates, in a similar way to chloramines. The difference is that bromamines are good sanitiser and produce no odour or irritation. Bromamines can also be regenerated into bromides (as detailed above).
Adds no cyanuric acid or calcium to the water-balance
High levels of cyanuric acid (a chemical stabilizer used with chlorine) can cause water cloudiness and binds with chlorine levels. This lowers the sanitizing effectiveness. In comparison, excess calcium can cause limescale build-up in your appliances.
Lower risk of bleaching swimsuits or clothing
The chlorine that is used for sanitizing transforms into hypochlorite when combined with water – the same ingredient that is in bleach. This is what causes the fading/bleaching action in clothing and bathing suits. In contrast, bromine does not have this ingredient. It can cause fading but the risk is only significant when exposed over a longer period of time.
More expensive option
In general, Bromine products are more expensive than Chlorine products. For example, here at SpaChem™, our chlorine products are around 20% cheaper than our bromine equivalents. This is normally due to the higher cost needed to purchase bromine. However, this can be offset by the fact that less bromine is required to get the same sanitizing power as chlorine.