First let’s take a look at what the differences are between these two chemicals.
Chlorine used for pool and spa care dissolves rapidly and more quickly gets to the work of sanitizing water. Chlorine can be used in a few different forms to keep swimming water clean. The most common include tablets or sticks in floating dispensers, in line or offline chlorine feeders, and directly placing chlorine in the skimmer basket (this is not the most recommended method). Chlorine granules can also be dissolved in a bucket of water and poured around a pool.
- What Chlorine Does: chlorine oxidizes the contaminants in water and kills bacteria from the inside of their body. As the chlorine is working, it turns into waste called chloramines. Chloramines are what produce the “bleach smell” around a pool.
- Chlorine is less costly than bromine
- Chlorine can be protected from the sun’s UV rays with stabilizer
- Chlorine is more powerful in oxidizing
- Chlorine is an oxidizer and sanitizer
- In turbid waters it is less effective
- Potential odor and taste
- Lower protection against protozoa bacteria
The chemical reactions caused by bromine take a little longer to get to work as compared to chlorine. Bromine comes in the form of 1” tablets meant to be used in a feeder or floating dispenser. Bromine can also be placed in a skimmer basket, but will take longer to dissolve. Bromine tablets work best when they are in a bromine feeder and water is rushing over the tablet to help it dissolve.
- What Bromine Does: bromine ionizes the contaminants in pool and hot tub water and reverses the polarity of the chemical bonds. A large amount of the bromine in the water remains active after attacking water contaminants. Some people believe bromine to be a more stable sanitation method for water.
- Bromine is effective in higher pH levels
- Stable in higher water temperatures
- Bromamines retain killing power after attacking bacteria
- It does not gas off the water surface
- It can be reactivated with granular oxidizer also known as shock
- More costly
- Not as easy to find in a store
- Not as stable in the sun
If you have a pool of considerable size it is best to use chlorine. In smaller pools and in hot tubs bromine is a good solution for swimmers that are sensitive to chlorine.
The answer is really dependent upon your pool and your particular lifestyle and needs. If you prefer to have a lower maintenance sanitizing method then chlorine is the better choice as it is easier to more quickly raise and lower chlorine levels requiring less water testing. Those swimmers with a sensitivity to chlorine that swim frequently may benefit from the use of bromine.
For indoor pools that do not get much sunlight, bromine is more effective. This is due to the fact that once bromine begins reacting with bacteria in the water it does not produce gas off the surface of the water the way chlorine does when it becomes a chloramine. This reduces the smell and irritation as things get “trapped” inside.
For more information on pool care or help with pool maintenance in Lake Havasu City please contact us any time.