Although it is good to lower bromine in a hot tub when the level is high, don’t allow it to go below 3ppm when reducing it. The high amount of bromine or chlorine in your hot tub may help to kill all germs in the hot tub, but it’s not safe for your health.
So, anytime the bromine levels go beyond 5ppm, try your best to lower it. You can lower the bromine in your hot tub by diluting the water in your hot tub, using a bromine reducer/neutralizer, or by allowing the bromine to escape from the tub through evaporation.
My closest cousin enjoys spending her time in the hot tub, which I believe is a way of relaxation for her. But she complains a lot about having itchy eyes, skins, and other symptoms. This could be a result of the high level of bromine in the hot tub. Of course, having a good amount of bromine in a hot tub is great. Bromine is good for preventing dangerous and sickness-causing germs in a hot tub. It has a lesser odor than chlorine and also helps to keep the hot tub clean.
But having an excess amount of it in your hot tub is not safe for you. So, just like my cousin, you might have been having skin irritation lately and attributed it to other things maybe your cream or other cosmetics. Well, it might be the side effect of excess bromine in your hot tub.
So this piece is here to educate you on how to:
- Detect when there’s so much bromine in your hot tub
- The effect on you and your hot tub.
- The importance of having the right bromine in your hot tub.
- How to lower it, and lots more.
What is bromine?
Bromine can be described as a chemical element that is reddish-brown. It is mostly used as a sanitizer in hot tubs and pools. It helps in stabilizing high temperatures and widens the pH range. It also helps to kill germs in the hot tub. But despite its good effects as stated, it can be hazardous when it isn’t used in its right proportion.
Can bromine levels be too high?
Yes, bromine levels can be too high when it is above the recommended levels. It can only be safe at a level between 3 – 5 ppm (parts per million). Any level more than this is too high and would become hazardous. The only way to ascertain this is by testing your hot tub water regularly to lower it for a more potent effect.
Causes of high bromine in a hot tub
Some of the factors that can cause high bromine in a hot tub are the presence of excess chloramines, pH imbalances, and copper in the hot tub water. Also, adding too much bromine to your hot tub could be the cause. So, it is better to have a test strip handy to test the level of bromine, especially when you are adding it to the water.
How to detect high bromine in a hot tub
The recommended level of bromine in your hot tub is between 3-5 ppm (parts per million). The bromine level is high if the test reads anything above 5ppm. It is an indication that the bromine in your hot tub is high. Follow these simple steps to test for bromine level in your hot tub:
- First, read the instructions on the test strip pack.
- Open the pack and pick one test strip.
- Dip the test strip in your hot tub water for 2 seconds.
- bring the test strip out of the water and flip to remove any excess water.
- Then hold the test strip up to the color chart on the pack and know the level. It should not be above 6ppm or below 2ppm. But we recommend 4ppm. However, some test strips will show you the best position where the ideal level should be. Some will write “OK” on the mark.
Effects of having high bromine in your hot tub
Having high bromine in your hot tub can lead to breathing difficulties. You can have irritation of the mucous membranes and a buildup of chemicals in the central nervous system. It can also make you have watery eyes and elicit a serious cough
This is another issue that might arise if you have a high level of bromine in your hot tub. Having this chemical on your skin can cause skin burns and itches.
If you mistakenly swallow the hot tub bromine water, you may experience gastrointestinal problems like vomiting and nausea
You might be undergoing bromine toxicity if you expose yourself to high levels of this chemical. The chemical will become toxic to you and bring about the following: loss of appetite, metallic taste in the mouth, severe acne, skin rashes, abdominal pain, and fatigue.
Bad effects on bathing suits
You can get your bathing suit damaged too if the level of bromine in your hot tub is high. With the volatile nature of bromine, it is bound to bleach bathing suits at a high concentration. You would also be risking your hot tub surfaces since this high level of concentration will bring rusting of metals and even the circulating system.
Another reason not to indulge in high bromine levels in your hot tub is its awful odor, especially when the water has been used for a while.
Why you should lower the bromine in your hot tub
Bromine which is a good chemical disinfectant just like chlorine can be used in the hot tub to have a purifying effect as needed. But the issue here is that the quantity to be used must be as recommended. When the right level is used, it will better withstand heat even better than chlorine.
Even though bromine is said to be the best for sanitizing hot tubs, caution should be applied to why using it. As earlier discussed high bromine level is hazardous. Below are more reasons why you need to lower the bromine in your hot tub.
Makes the water safe
I think this is your initial desire when you thought of a sanitizer like bromine. So when you have the recommended level of bromine in your bathtub, your hot tub automatically becomes very safe for you to sit in. You no longer need to worry about a watery eye, skin irritation, or difficulty in breathing.
Remains stable at higher temperatures
This is one benefit you would enjoy when your bromine is at a range that is appropriate for your hot tub. It remains stable even when the temperature is high unlike its instability at a higher level.
It helps to maintain the pH balance
For you to enjoy your hot tub safely, the pH levels of your hot tub need to be balanced. Of course, you would easily achieve this when the bromine in your hot tub is at a standard level. This will help balance the pH
The fact is that bromine is a chemical with a bleach-like smell, so this is the smell that one will be perceived when it is applied in the hot tub at the right proportion. But if it is in the high range, it gives a very strong awful smell. The remedy will be that, you lower the amount of bromine in your hot tub
Kills bacteria and viruses effectively
This is another good reason why you would need to keep your bromine level low if you want it to work effectively. This is the main duty of this chemical and it will be most effective when it is applied in its right proportion. You would have hot tub water that is clean and safe.
Good with sensitive skin
Unlike a high level of bromine that can be harmful to the skin, especially the sensitive ones, you wouldn’t have any health issues when your bromine level is right. So to avoid having issues with your skin when sitting in your hot tub, you should maintain the recommended amount of bromine in your hot tub.
How to lower the bromine in your hot tub
As already stated, the amount of bromine you need in your hot tub to be safe is 3ppm – 5 ppm. So, to know if you need to lower your bromine, you first need to know the current level of bromine in your hot tub. To ascertain this you need a bromine test kit. You can quickly get one from the spa nearest to you, and then follow the instructions on the pack. If you have determined the range to be high then, you can use any of the methods to lower it.
Method 1: Diluting your hot tub water
This is the quickest method of reducing bromine in hot tubs. You just have to keep on diluting the water, till the bromine level in it is low. It is quick because it doesn’t take long to achieve the result. You will achieve this by doing the following:
Dilute the water
- Drain some water from the hot tub
- Replace the water again with fresh and clean water.
- Run the hot tub for some minutes to allow for proper circulation.
- Retest the water to ascertain its bromine level.
- Repeat the process if the bromine level is still high.
Method 2: Allowing for evaporation
This method can be said to be the best and natural since you don’t need to do much about the reduction. You just reduce the bromine of your hot tub over time. This is allowing the bromine to evaporate naturally after a while.
The truth is that bromine is volatile and as such it evaporates very fast from the surface of a hot tub. It even becomes faster when it is exposed to the atmosphere. Just leave your hot tub uncovered for a while and wait for the chemical to evaporate on its own. But if you want it to speed up more, you can run the circulation pump with it to quicken the process
Method 3: Using neutralizers
This is the addition of neutralizing chemicals to the water to reduce high bromine in your hot tub. The following neutralizing chemicals are recommended in case you want to go this route:
This is one outstanding chemical that you can use for neutralizing bromine in your hot tub. When added to the high bromine water, it reacts with it to remove bromine from the solution. So, it’s one chemical that is safe for bromine neutralization.
The Applied biochemists thio-trine:
This is a good product that you can also use to neutralize a high level of bromine in your hot tub. It is very effective and comes with quick action. You can be rest assured to get the best from this product as it also contains 100% sodium thiosulfate crystals
This is a good neutralizer for a high level of bromine in water as well. It helps to reduce active bromine levels in hot tubs. Using this product will leave your hot tub friendlier to your skin and your hot tub will be safe as well.
Is it safe to go into a hot tub with high bromine?
No, you will be causing great harm to your body and your bath suits. Moreover, it’s not safe for the surfaces of your hot tub. So, you need to regularly test your hot tub water to detect when there’s a high bromine level to reduce it. You will sit more comfortably in there when you use the recommended level of bromine in your hot tub.
Why is a high level of bromine dangerous?
A high level of bromine is unsafe because it is damaging to human tissues, especially in its liquid state. Even its vapors irritate the eyes and the throat. This shows how toxic it could be to humans. So it is pertinent to lower its activeness to avoid health issues.
What if the bromine level is low?
Yes, the bromine level of your hot tub can below. This happens when it is below 3ppm. The best thing to do in such a situation is to add more bromine to the hot tub. While reducing the bromine level of your hot tub when it becomes high, we should be conscious of the recommended range. it’s better to target 4ppm.
Just like a high bromine level, having a low bromine level is unsafe for your health. The main purpose of adding bromine or chlorine to a hot tub is to prevent microbes and contaminants from invading the hot tub. So, if the amount of bromine is too low, it will make your hot tub a conducive environment for germs. You don’t want this as it could be detrimental to your health.
Effects of low bromine level in a hot tub
Like we pointed above, low bromine levels can attract bacteria like pseudomonas folliculitis, and even more so, lead to conditions such as cloudy hot tub water and bad odor. Then you will need to spend extra maintenance costs to resolve the issue.
So, the best thing to do is to increase the level of bromine in your hot tub once you notice that the level is low.
How do you fix low bromine in a hot tub?
To fix low bromine levels in a hot tub you need to add more bromine to the water until it gets to the recommended level which is between 3ppm and 5ppm. But before you do this, it is advisable to troubleshoot to know the root cause of the low bromine level.
If the issue arises while reducing the bromine level, then you simply need to add more bromine to the hot tub. The problem could be difficulty in establishing the right bromine level. If you find it difficult to reach the recommended level, you will need to oxidize (sanitizing shock) the hot tub to remove any contaminant that is responsible for the problem.
But sometimes, the problem could be bromine level maintenance. Your hot tub may not be able to maintain the bromine level in the water. In such a case, you will need bromine tablets to solve the problem. Use the required amount that will help to maintain the level between 3ppm-5ppm.
Bromine can be effective for you if you need a good sanitizer for your hot tub. But like every good thing, it comes at a price when you have a high level of it in your hot tub. To avoid all the side effects you might encounter when it is high, you need to know how to test and lower it.