In The Swim Knowledge Pool: Pool Chlorine & Bromine
America's Most Popular Pool Chlorine!
According to the CDC, free chlorine kills most bacteria in less than a minute if concentrations and pH level are maintained properly. Swimming pool chlorine is the most widely accepted pool sanitizer available, and for over 75 years, pool chlorine has been the most popular method to disinfect and sanitize pool water. Pool bromine can be used as an alternative pool water treatment, yet chlorine tablets and granular chlorine remain America's first choice for maintaining clean and clear pool water.
Pool Chlorine or Pool Bromine?
The general rule is that bromine is more often used in spas and hot tubs, and chlorine is more often used in pools. Although they are close cousins and adjacent to each other on the Periodic Table, bromine and chlorine have distinct differences, and unique benefits to offer pool owners.
- Bromine can be reactivated to reduce cost.
- Bromine is more stable in hot water, to provide longer lasting sanitation, even during full use.
- Bromine is more stable in a wider pH range, remains strong under rapid pH swings.
- Bromine has less odor in the water, and less irritation to skin and hair.
- Chlorine is the most economical way to sanitize a pool.
- Chlorine is sun-stabilized in our 1" or 3" slow dissolve Trichlor tablets and 8 oz. sticks.
- Chlorine tablets and sticks dissolve rapidly enough to treat larger pools effectively.
- Chlorine granules react instantly for rapid super-chlorination or shock treatments.
Swimming Pool Chlorine Types and Use
In The Swim pool chlorine dissolves fast and almost instantly begins to sanitize your pool water. In The Swim 3 Inch Chlorine Tablets are 8 oz. stabilized pool tablets, and are also available as a 0.5 oz. pellet, in our 1 Inch Chlorine Tablets, for very small or very large pools. In The Swim 8 oz. Slow Dissolving Chlorine Sticks work fast and last longer. Our 3-inch Super Multi-Tabs are unique chlorine tabs with stabilizer, algaecide and clarifier added. Sticks or tablets can be used in chlorine floaters, or place the pucks into an in-line or off-line chlorine feeder, to provide a daily sanitizer level that is consistent and constant.
In The Swim granular chlorine like the economical Cal-Hypo granular chlorine and stabilized Di-Chlor chlorine granules are both available loose in buckets and also sold in 1-pound bags, as Pool Shock, Super Shock and Di-Zap. Pre-dissolve chlorine granules into a large bucket of water for vinyl pools, or sprinkle the powder directly into concrete pools, spas and fountains to maintain sanitizer levels, to raise low levels rapidly, or to super-chlorinate the pool. Granular chlorine is used regularly to quickly kill algae and bacteria, and to oxidize microscopic particles and contaminants in the water.
Pool Chlorine Chemistry
Chloramines form when a chlorine molecule has combined with ammonia or nitrogen to produce the familiar scent often associated with swimming pools - that’s not the smell of free chlorine, but of combined chlorine. As chloramines build up they reduce the effectiveness of your sanitizer. When the chloramine level (Total - Free Chlorine) is greater than 0.3 ppm, (TC-FC=CC), this is time to add pool shock to your pool to remove the chloramines.
UV rays from the sun breakdown chlorine which makes your sanitizer less effective. Although In The Swim pool chlorine tablets are stabilized, it takes some time for a residual to build up. Pool stabilizer (aka conditioner) contains cyanuric acid to reduce sunlight degradation. It’s like sunscreen for your chlorine, and will save you money in the long run.
The pH of your pool water has a large effect on the efficacy or potency of your chlorine. In addition to maintaining stabilizer levels in the 30-50 ppm range, keeping a close eye on pH will reduce your chlorine costs, and also help ensure clean and clear pool water. At a high-pH level of 8.2, over half (+50%) of your chlorine is wasted. Pool chlorine works best at low pH ranges of 7.2-7.4, and becomes less active in higher pH pool water.
Bromine for Swimming Pools
In The Swim Bromine Tablets are slow-dissolving by nature, and can take longer to build up a residual, although bromides can be added to quickly boost levels. Bromine is also un-stabilized, so it does not stand up well to bright sunlight. However, bromine tablets are popular for indoor pools or heavily shaded outdoor pools. Bromine pools have a softer smell of pool bromine, and can re-activate bromides into bromine, simply by shocking the pool (with chlorine!).
To use bromine in a pool, you will need to have a bromide ion 'bank' built up, or a preexisting level of bromide ions (the reduced form of bromine). Many bromine users add Brom Booster to raise levels quickly when converting a pool to bromine. Then you simply use the bromine tabs in a brominator (bromine floaters are not as effective). In The Swim Bromine is a BDCMH formula that stands up to sun degradation better than other bromine tablets, and contain no cyanuric acid.