Bromine. I’m sure that it’s a word you hear often. It arrived almost like soy milk; low profile at the beginning, but then becoming the prefered option by many.
It’s always been said: “chlorine is for swimming pools and bromine for spas”, a statement that is true many times. Although, there are times when bromine will be the winning option, even for swimming pools.
Advantages of bromine over chlorine:
- Bromine is more effective than chlorine when pH levels rise. It is said that the effectiveness of chlorine decreases beyond a pH of 7.4, while the disinfecting power of bromine remains in force even at pH 7.8.
- Bromine stays more stable at high temperatures. This is why it is indicated as ideal for spas and hydromassages, as it retains its effectiveness in temperatures of up to 40º.
- When free bromine and free chlorine are consumed and combined with the other components of water, they are called bromamines and chloramines. The disinfectant power retained by chloramines can not be equated with that of bromamines, which, moreover, are less odorless and produce less irritation.
- Bromamines do not “gas” the water surface as chloramines do.
- Bromine can be reactivated or reused by shock treatment.
Advantages of chlorine over bromine:
- It is much cheaper than bromine.
- Chlorine can be protected from UV rays by a stabilizer, bromine can not.
- Chlorine is both oxidizing and disinfecting, while bromine is used only as a disinfectant.
So, can bromine be used in outdoor swimming pools?
Yes. The problem is that it can not be protected from the sun.
In outdoor pools that receive direct sunlight, bromine levels can be depleted at high speed, which will be a significant expense if we want to maintain a healthy water.
By adding cyanuric acid to a chlorinated pool, it will protect the chemical from the sun, almost tripling its life in the water. Unfortunately, this does not work in the case of bromine.
For indoor pools that receive very little sunlight, the recommended option is bromine. The reason is that the bromamines do not “gas” the surface of the water as chloramines do, which tend to rise to the surface where swimmers breath.
In addition, if the chemical mixture is not perfect and the ventilation of the building is not adequate, the chloramines will search anything to rust, like furniture.
We hope that this information has helped you deciding the winner of this epic duel.
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