When I bought a hot tub back in 2017, I decided to go with bromine instead of chlorine because I read that it was softer/milder and worked better in warm water. Well, it all started off as a bit of a nightmare. For a couple of months, I couldn’t get the water looking good and it kept going opaque and green. I was following the instructions given by the manufacturers (Hydropool) but these were inadequate and, in many cases, not good advice. After lots of frustration, I asked a friend who had a hot tub and he said he started off with bromine but switched to chlorine because of similar problems. This didn’t sound good, but I didn’t want to give up and wanted to get my bromine hot tub working properly. I did a lot of research and have sorted out all the problems now and have a crystal clear bromine hot tub. And it’s true that bromine feels less harsh than chlorine. One of the keys to sorting this out was getting a serious pooltester kit.
A proper pooltester kit – the most important first step
When I bought the hot tub, Hydropool gave me some testing strips for checking the chemicals in the water. It worked out these were rubbish. After having lots of trouble with the water, I ended up with three packets of testing strips and I realised that they gave me different readings. Two of the packets were roughly consistent (but not precisely) and the third set of testing strips gave way different results. How can we possibly sort out the water if the testing kits are giving us the right information?
Ditch your testing strips and get a proper, more reliable testing kit. After doing some research, I decided to buy a pooltester kit from Palintest (although there are plenty of other options available). This comes with a very simple device that can hold two test portions of your hot tub water with colour scales next to them, plus some tablets enclosed in foil packets. Having the tablets protectively wrapped in foil is one of the key steps to getting accurate measurements as they are protected from exposure to air and sunlight.
This testing kit allows for accurate measurement of the water’s alkalinity, pH and bromine. I’ll explain how to assess and manipulate these in future posts that I’ll make soon. The aim is to keep the chemicals in the hot tub such that the colours you get from dissolving a tablet in the test water are close to the central colour on the pooltester kit.
It’s easy to buy bulk testing tablets (there are different ones for alkalinity, pH and bromine) in boxes of up to 250, so it’s easy to test your bromine hot tub regularly.
Bromine hot tub – what’s next?
Once you have a reliable pooltester kit, the next biggest step is to setup the chemicals in your hot tub immediately after filling it with water. There’s no point trying to do this without a proper pooltester kit, but getting your chemicals right from the get go is so important. I’ll be making a detailed post about how to do that as soon as I can.
Pooltest kit – related links
- Apart from various testing strips, the pooltester kit from Palintest is the only one I’ve used and it works fine for me – there are many other options that I assume would work well too
- Chlorine Versus Bromine: Choose The Right Hot Tub Sanitizer – from Swim University