Why Does My Hot Tub Water Turn Green Or Yellow After Adding Bromine?

As a hot tub owner, one thing you don’t want to see is your clear, sparkly tub turning a hue of green or yellow.

One of the reasons for your tub turning green or yellow could be algae. The presence of metals could be another reason.

In this article, I will delve into what could cause all these and show you how to deal with them.

Why is my bromine hot tub green?

It is quite unpleasant to open your hot tub and discover that the water in it is green. All thoughts of relaxation or cooling off can dissipate in seconds. Nobody enjoys entering such waters. The aesthetics are off.

Also, the uncertainty about what could be lurking in that water could be quite a turn off. There are two major reasons why your hot tub water could be free. Let’s look at them below.

  • Algae growth: Yeah, those characteristic algae could be responsible for that green discoloration. The leading factor for algae proliferation is usually a lack of sanitizer in your tub. When the sanitizers(bromine or chlorine) are insufficient in the spa, it gives room for different forms of algae to grow unchecked. These different forms of algae can be light green, dark green, or black-green. There are other reasons why algae could grow in your tub:
    • Algae was introduced from a foreign environment: Most of the time, algae starts to grow in your pool when it is brought in from an external source. Your swimwear could carry algae from an already algae-infested hot tub. Dipping in your tub with that swimwear already kick starts a new colony.
    • You leave your tub open when not in use. Doing this can leave your water exposed to the sun. The sun provides a constant source of energy to help them grow.
    • Your hot tub’s filters are faulty. If your hot tub filters are unable to remove debris effectively from your tub, issues can arise. This debris can give room to algae growth.
  • The presence of excessive metals: Algae might not be the cause of that green discoloration in your spa. Your water may turn green if it contains metals like copper, iron, or manganese. These metals could be introduced from copper pipes themselves, corrosion, or even from your own household water. These metals may cause the water to turn green when they interact with either chlorine or bromine.

Can too much bromine make water green?

Yes, it can. This can happen in cases where the bromine is not properly balanced with the other hot tub chemicals. When bromine is used in conjunction with biguanide and chlorine, it forms a substance known as chloro-bromo amines. This substance is quite an irritant and can give the water a slight green tint.

This green tint forms because, in that scenario, the bromine could be in greater proportion to the other chemicals. So you must make sure that the chlorine and biguanide are in the correct proportions.

Why does my hot tub water turn yellow when I add bromine?

If you see your hot tub water turning yellow, don’t panic. It could be for any number of reasons. However, out of all of them, copper and ferric ions in your water are the most responsible. These ions react with either the chlorine or bromine you have added to give that yellow coloration.

Another reason could be where you fill your spa. If you source water from the well, it could contain some iron oxides. These iron oxides could give your water a yellowish tint. This tint or shade is even more pronounced when you shock your pool.

Additionally, your hot tub water could turn yellow as a result of excess pollen grains in the springtime. This is likely to occur if you are the one who frequently forgets to close the hot tub cover. Pollen grains are very light and wind can carry them over large distances.

If you have a garden close to the flowers, they could be releasing these pollen grains. They could settle on your tub water and cause it to have a yellow coloration.

Lastly, an extremely high level of bromine can give your water a yellow-red color. You should not be swimming in that kind of water anyway. The effects can be harmful to you.

How do I get rid of green water in my hot tub?

To get rid of green water, you have to combat the root cause of that problem. In the case of algae, this is what you do.

  • Shock your spa: Remember that one of the major causes of algae proliferation is the lack of sanitizer, or inefficiency of the sanitizer. The reason for the shock is to bring the sanitizer level to a very high level and also to free bromine into the water. When shocking the hot tub, your goal is to bring the concentration of bromine to at least 10 parts per million. To do this, follow these steps.
    1. You add a 50g dose of shock to every 1000 liters of water.
    2. Allow the filters to run so that the shock can effectively circulate.
    3. Leave the cover open for about 20 minutes. This is because chlorine and bromine vapor can cause damage to the cover and pillows.
    4. After a few hours, monitor it. Watch to see if it has started to clear. Now you can remove the filters and wash them. This will guarantee that all dead algae are eliminated.
  • Drain and refill: If after doing the steps above, your tub remains green, then you must drain the tub completely and refill it. Follow these steps.
    1. Attach a hose to the drain plug and then drain the water in a suitable location.
    2. Now clean the interior of the tub thoroughly. You can make use of a soft-bristled brush to remove any lingering algae.
    3. Refill your tub with fresh water.
    4. Now remove the filters and clean them thoroughly.
    5. Add your sanitizer and other chemicals to balance the pH.

Metal sequestrants can be used in cases involving metals. These will remove metals such as copper and iron from your water. There are sequestrants such as Spa Metal Free which you can use.

What do I do if I put too much bromine in my hot tub?

If the bromine level in your tub is high, you can simply do the following.

  • Wait it out: Yes, you read it right. In natural circumstances, bromine will gas off from your tub. Just push the hot tub cover aside and let it evaporate. If it is possible to expose it to the sun, do that. In a day or two, the levels of bromine will go down to normal.
  • Drain and dilute: If you want to reduce the bromine level faster, you can go for this option. Simply drain the pool to the desired level, then fill the tub with water. If you want to drain the tub completely, you can do that. However, ensure that when refilling, you test properly for other chemicals and ensure they are properly balanced.
  • Use neutralizers: The level of bromine can be effectively neutralized by using neutralizers like sodium thiosulfate. They react with the bromine and take it out of the water. However, you must be careful when using them. Neutralizers stay in the water until they are used up. This means that they will keep on neutralizing the bromine. If you are not careful, they can take it to a level way below what is recommended.

Can too much bromine damage a hot tub?

Yes, it can. High bromine levels can cause damage to the delicate parts of your tub. It can also build up under your hot tub cover.

How many bromine tablets should I put in my hot tub?

The dosage you will apply will be proportional to the size of your hot tub. Follow these directions below.

  • For a 150-200 gallon spa, add 2 bromine tablets.
  • For a 200-300 gallon spa, add 3-5 bromine tablets.
  • For a 300–400 gallon spa, add 4–7 bromine tablets.

How long does bromine take to work?

Bromine tablets dissolve more slowly than their chlorine counterparts. Hence, it could take up to a week or even months for effective levels of bromine to be built up in your spa.

How long after adding bromine can I use a hot tub?

An ideal timeframe is 2-4 hours. However, to be on the safe side, only enter the hot tub after you have properly tested the water. Only enter the tub when the bromine levels are below 5 ppm.

How do you shock a hot tub with bromine?

Add sodium bromide in the required quantity. Now add a spa shock treatment that will catalyze the bromide ions and turn them into sanitizing bromine.

Can you use bromine and chlorine together?

No! Bromine and chlorine mixed in water can cause a dangerous reaction. You must also avoid mixing them both in their powdered form.

Which is better for a hot tub: chlorine or bromine?

For a hot tub, the preferred choice is bromine. The skin won’t become as irritated by bromine as it will by chlorine because it is kinder to the skin. However, most importantly, bromine is more stable under higher temperatures.

The hot tub temperatures can reach 104°F, as opposed to a normal swimming pool. Under such temperatures, chlorine will easily dissipate and gas off. On the other hand, bromine will remain and still continue its sanitizing work.

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