If you’re considering using bromine tablets as a means of sanitizing your pool, you should be aware of the differences between bromine and chlorine.
Both kill harmful bacteria, but you should use bromine if chlorine is irritating your skin or if you can’t stomach that “chlorine smell”.
In this guide you’ll learn what bromine is, how it differs from chlorine, and the best bromine tablets to use for your pool.
What is bromine?
First of all, bromine is an element, just like chlorine is.
It’s the only “nonmetal element to exist in liquid form at room temperature” and is used in chemicals for agriculture, pesticides, flame retardants, extinguishers and pool sanitation.
But that is probably more than you ever wanted to know, right?
Bromine vs chlorine
So, here’s what you really want to know…what’s the difference?
Let me break it down for you.
Chlorine is the most common pool chemical available and is more widely available.
It dissolves quickly to sanitize quickly and has several methods for distribution.
Its cleaning power is easily diminished with UV rays or very hot conditions so it needs to be used with a stabilizer (usually cyanuric acid).
Also know that certain forms of algae can only be killed with chlorine.
Chlorine also produces a compound called chloramines, which put off that distinctive strong “chlorine smell” and render the chlorine useless at a certain point.
They also can cause skin and eye irritation at high levels.
You can only buy bromine in tablet form so there’s only one way to distribute it into the water: a feeder.
It also dissolves slowly, taking it longer to disinfect.
Instead of chloramines, bromine puts off bromamines, but they do not make the bromine ineffective. You can also reactivate bromine with a shock treatment, unlike chloramines which simply disintegrate over time.
Bromine is much more stable in high temperatures than chlorine, making it ideal for hot tubs.
It’s also not affected as adversely as chlorine by high or low pH levels.
Which is better for your pool?
So, which is better? Well, it really depends on your specific situation.
They’re both extremely effective sanitizers, but there may be reasons to choose one over the other. Here are a few:
Choose chlorine if …
- You tend to forget to add sanitizer to your pool. Chlorine acts faster, so if you tend to forget to add sanitizer to your pool as often as you should, you should probably stick with this one. Why? Because if your pool chemistry gets out of whack, you can get it back in balance faster with chlorine than bromine.
- Cost is an issue. Chlorine tablets are much cheaper than bromine.
- You have an outdoor pool. Chlorine can be stabilized with cyanuric acid to protect if from UV rays. Bromine cannot.
Choose bromine if …
- You have a hot tub. Because bromine is more stable in high temperatures, it is usually the preferred sanitization product for hot tubs.
- Chlorine is irritating to your skin. Some people have adverse reactions to even low levels of chlorine and need a chemical that reacts differently with their skin.
- Smell is an issue. Bromine is practically odorless, whereas the chloramines that build up from chlorine can get pretty harsh, especially in indoor pools and spas.
Best bromine tablets
In The Swim Tablets
These bromine tablets from In The Swim (click here to check the price on Amazon) come in a small, easily storable, sealable bucket that latches for safety.
They’re softer and made to dissolve a little faster than other brands, making it easier to balance your pool chemicals more quickly.
Leisure Time Tablets
These Leisure Time tablets (click here to check the price on Amazon) are formulated to provide 10% more active sanitizer than other brands.
They’re also created to be low-dust so that more of the chemical goes into the water than the air.
They’re made to fit all floaters and dissolve slowly at an even pace.
Spa Depot Tablets
These bromine tablets from Spa Depot (click here to check the price on Amazon) are made with 98% active ingredients and are virtually odorless.
They come in a small bucket so that they stay fresher longer and dissolve at a slow and even pace for longer effectiveness.
They’re also made sturdily so there is no breaking or crumbling in the container.
Spa Choice Tablets
Unlike a lot of other brands, these tablets from Spa Choice (click here to check the price on Amazon) are made with 98% effective ingredients.
They’re slow-dissolving for even distribution and longer life, and are made to stand up to movement or shipping without crumbling or dissolving in the container.
Either sanitizing chemical you choose should keep your pool clean and relatively worry-free, but be sure to consider the pros and cons of each when you decide.
Changing your mind later and swapping out chemicals is doable, but it does take some time and effort.
Choose the chemical based on your needs and stick with it unless you have a good reason to change.
Either way, your pool will be bacteria-free if sanitized consistently.
Hi, I’m Matt Harper, the founder of poolcareguy.com, a site I started with one simple mission: to help people around the world clean and take care of their pools and hot tubs on their own, without the hassle.
I’m not a professional pool cleaner and don’t have any formal training, I’m just an average guy who loves hanging out by his pool and hot tub and taking care of it. After many years on the job, I’ve become quite good at it.
On this website I will be teaching you absolutely everything I know about pools and hot tubs.