What’s the difference? Which one should you choose?
Both Chlorine and Bromine are effective sanitizers for your hot tub. Bromine tends to work better (it’s more stable) in warmer temperatures than chlorine, and is usually gentler on the skin. Bromine produces less of the chemical smell than chlorine; however, it can be harder to wash away the chemical scent from your skin. They are both chemical compounds that will destroy bacteria and germs efficiently. Just remember, bromine is chlorine-based therefore, not a good alternative to those that are allergic to chlorine. Both bromine and chlorine are available in puck form to use in a floating dispenser.
Chlorine oxidizes contaminants in your water, and your filters collect them. When contaminants combine with the chlorine, the chlorine molecules essentially become inactive and inefficient in sanitizing your water. This “combined chlorine” and the contaminants are burned away when you shock your hot tub water and removed via the filters. Bromine combines with contaminants to neutralize them in a similar way as chlorine, but a good amount of bromine still stays active even after combining with the contaminants. Again, a weekly shock treatment will burn off the contaminants and remove them via the filtration system, however; a lot of the bromine stays behind in the water to continue its job. This could mean you won’t run through bromine as fast as chlorine.
Chlorine is more cost effective and acts fast in your hot tub, whereas bromine is a bit more expensive and reacts a bit slower. Chlorine’s pH value is higher, meaning you may have to keep a closer eye on the water balance; bromine’s pH value is lower so you shouldn’t have the balance issues.
At the end of the day, both chlorine and bromine are very effective sanitation methods and will both keep your water clean. If you live a busy life, and sometimes forget to add sanitizer, chlorine might just be the right one for you. On the other hand, if you have sensitive skin, bromine may be the better choice. Regardless of the one you decide to go with, just stick with it, and keep on top of the water balance regularly, as well as routine maintenance, so your hot tub is ready to go when you are!