What Are Bromine Tablets? Here’s How to Use Them

Written by Michael Dean
February 7, 2024

bromine tablets next to a swimming pool

If you’re a swimming pool owner interested in exploring bromine tablets to keep your water clean and want to learn more about what they do, you’re in the right place. Understanding bromine and whether it can sanitize your pool effectively can help you make the right decision for your pool water maintenance.

In this article, I’ll explain what bromine is and also explore the differences between bromine and chlorine so that you can make a more educated decision.

Main Takeaways

  • Bromine is an alternative to chlorine in a pool. It is algaecide and oxidizing and sanitizing agent for pools.
  • Bromine comes in both liquid and tablet form, and it generally comes in 1″ tablets.
  • Add 17 bromine tablets per 10,000 gallons of water.
  • Some brands that produce bromine tablets are In The Swim, Leisure Time, Spa Depot, and Spa Choice.

What is Bromine?

While most people are familiar with chlorine, bromine is a formidable alternative to chlorine in the pool. Bromine is an excellent algaecide as well as an oxidizing and sanitizing agent for swimming pools.

Bromine is the cleaner of choice for hot tub owners and spa establishments because it performs better in higher temperatures. This chemical rids contaminants in your water and kills bacteria by reacting differently from chlorine when you have warm to hot water, like in hot tubs. It cleans more thoroughly than chlorine does in these conditions.

Bromine comes in liquid and tablet form. As a safety precaution, bromine in liquid form must be diluted with water because it can harm the eyes and your skin.

When to Use Bromine Tablets

A few signs will tell you when it’s time to clean your pool with bromine tablets or if it’s time to switch over from chlorine.

If you notice any of the following in your pool water, it means that it’s time to do a deep cleaning:

Also, if you get in the pool and the water feels slimy, you should exit immediately because it’s a sign that the water has bacteria and could cause infection or adverse reactions. Additionally, itchy skin and irritated eyes are other signs that your water is contaminated.

Aside from the signs that the swimming pool gives, your reaction to chlorine indicates that you may want to consider making the switch to bromine tablets or granules. If the smell of chlorine is too strong for you, or if chlorine irritates your skin, you should try bromine instead.

How to Use Bromine in the Pool

Bromine comes in 1″ tablets, and it’s best to use the tablets in a skimmer basket, floating dispenser, or a feeder due to the slower time of dissolution. It helps the tablets to dissolve when the water can rush over them via the bromine feeder.

For a home pool, it’s necessary to add 17 bromine tablets to every 10,000 gallons of water. Do this once a week or as often as needed to ensure that your bromine residual stays at 2-3ppm. You must maintain this level at all times for a safe and clean pool. You can use my pool volume calculator if you don’t know how many gallons of water are in your pool. You can also read my research on lowering bromine if you add too much.

Note that you should never mix chlorine and bromine, as it can cause a dangerous chemical reaction.

Chlorine vs. Bromine

Chlorine quickly dissolves to begin sanitizing the water. Chlorine can get applied to water in different ways. You can use chlorine sticks or tablets in floating dispensers or place them in the skimmer basket. You can even use online or offline chlorine feeders.

As the chlorine begins to work by disinfecting the water and killing that algae, compounds known as chloramines begin to form. This chlorine molecule combines with Nitrogen and Ammonia to produce the recognizable chlorine smell we’ve become accustomed to.

Over time, as these compounds continue to build up, the chlorine’s efficacy and killing power get reduced. At this point, a shock treatment is needed to burn off the inactive chloramines.

Reaching breakpoint chlorination is essential to shock the pool because it oxidizes all of the water, and the strong chlorine bond gets broken, revitalizing the pool.

On the other hand, bromine only comes in 1” tablets or granules. Since bromine dissolves slowly, it can be difficult to raise it quickly if the bromine levels drop. However, bromine boosters can get used to raising the level of bromide ions when needed rapidly.

As bromine works, bromines get produced as it disinfects the pool. However, unlike chloramines, they continue to disinfect and do not burn your eyes or have an odor. Bromines can reactivate via a shock treatment, but chloramines are merely burned off and removed from the pool.

People with sensitive skin may prefer bromine over chlorine because it causes very little skin and eye irritation. Bromine is far more effective and stable in extreme temperatures, which is why they are better in hot tubs and spas.

For more, you can read my complete guide on chlorine vs. bromine.

Where to Get The Best Bromine Tablets For Your Hot Tub or Pool

As you can see, bromine tablets are very effective and if you need to know exactly where to go to get them, below are some great brands to get you started!

In the Swim Tablets

Bromine tablets from In the Swim are available in an easily storable, small, sealable bucket equipped with a safety latch.

This particular brand is softer and dissolves a little faster than the other brands, allowing you to quickly balance the chemicals in your pool.

In The Swim Bromine Tablets
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Leisure Time Tablets

With 10% more active sanitizer than the other brands, Leisure Time Tablets may be the brand for you.

Moreover, they’re specially formulated to be low-dust, meaning that most of the chemical dissolves into the water rather than the air.

These tablets dissolve slowly and at an even pace and can fit all floaters.

Leisure Time Brominating Tablets
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Spa Depot Tablets

Spa Depot tablets are almost odorless and made with 98% active ingredients.

The small bucket they come in helps the bromine tablets stay fresher for longer and dissolve slowly and even faster for better efficacy.

Spa Depot Bromine Tablets
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Spa Choice Tablets

Spa Choice bromine tablets contain 98% effective ingredients. Spa Choice may be your option if you appreciate quality and convenience. This brand is reliable, and it delivers time and time again.

These slow-dissolving and sturdy tablets can withstand all the movement involved in shipping without crumbling, and you don’t have to worry about them dissolving along the way.

Spa Choice Bromine Tabs
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Final Thoughts

Let’s face it, chlorine can be too strong at times, and it’s nice to know that there’s a viable alternative to chlorine in the form of bromine.

Although bromine is the alternative to chlorine, it’s not the lesser option by any means. Despite dissolving at slower speeds, bromine can be a bit more beneficial than chlorine, especially if you struggle with itchy eyes and irritated skin.

Additionally, bromine and its stability in high temperatures make it a better choice than chlorine altogether if you have a spa. They may be the very solution to many of the complications with your pool.

Questions? Drop me a line; always happy to help.

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