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Chlorine vs bromine

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In this article we will look at chlorine vs bromine so you can get a better understanding of which is best for your pool or water treatment. You will also be able to see what advantages they have over each other.

Chlorine has traditionally been the most widely used, widespread and known method in the world of swimming pools. Chlorine has had it easy since it is cheap, easy to obtain and it is very cheap.

On the contrary, it is a very aggressive product, it smells very strong, it is easy to irritate eyes and skin after bathing and it causes deterioration in the tissues. There are also cases if the water is not just treated, which prevents a natural breathing of bathers. The chlorine and trichloro is a chemical oxidizer  is oxidizer in combustion.

Professional swimmers and many amateurs prefer pools treated with bromine since it facilitates a more natural breathing. Athletes say that they achieve higher performance because they oxygenate more by having a more natural breathing.It has always been said: “chlorine is for swimming pools and bromine for spas”, a statement that is true many times. Although there are times when bromine will be the winning option.

Disinfection

Both are excellent disinfectants since they generate an oxidation in the living material that causes it to decompose, sterilizes the water. The advantage of using bromine over chlorine is that bromine does not smell, does not irritate skin and eyes, does not affect textiles. If we have a more alkaline water, the disinfection goes down, that is to say, more alkalinity of the water, less disinfecting power. This happens to both of them but more to chlorine. If the pH of the water rises above 7, 4 the chlorine begins to not work well, while the bromine can stand with a pH of up to 7.8.

Bromine has a greater algaecide capacity than chlorine and effectively prevents algae from proliferating. The algae at the organic level can not be seen with the naked eye but they begin by giving a greenish and dull tone in the water, which can generate real algae in extreme cases.

Warm or hot waters. Bromine is very indicated in indoor pools or spas since the water temperature tends to be higher than in outdoor pools. The water temperature of a SPA can reach 40ºC. At these temperatures, bromine is more effective than chlorine.

The UV rays (Ultra Violets) of the sun degrade the chemical agents and affect both rivals, but to a lesser extent the bromine that holds the type better against this radiation.

The waste left by bromine in water is called bromamine . These residues are less in number than those of chlorine, so we will have a water with less residual chemical agents that affect mucous membranes and skin. This causes that the water treated with bromine requires less additional treatments. This is a factor that few people confess. Less maintenance

Chloramines have a very low biocide / oxidant power and are quite stable. Among them can be nitrogen trichloride, the main cause of bad odor and irritation of skin and eyes that is unfairly associated with the use of chlorine as a disinfectant. It is commented then that the pool has a lot of chlorine and stinks. Actually, chlorine is not the culprit, but insufficient oxidation. Because the solution is simple, the chloramines are eliminated by superchlorination or non-chlorinated shock (MPS), consisting of adding extra chlorine to the water until obtaining a free chlorine concentration ten times higher than the combined chlorine concentration, that is, if we measure 1 ppm of combined chlorine, bleach is added until a concentration of 10 ppm of free chlorine is obtained.

Why is bromine not used as much as chlorine ?

The bromine is more expensive than chlorine, this can be a determining factor when deciding to buy disinfectant for water pool and spa.

Disinfection with bromine causes less waste in the water and as a direct effect, water requires less maintenance additives. Consequence, less sale of chemical products. Then, many stores continue with the classic chlorine to then include pH stabilizers, clarifiers, algaecides and other complementary products.

 

Advantages of bromine over chlorine:

1. Bromine is more effective than chlorine when pH levels rise. It is said that the effectiveness of chlorine decreases beyond a pH of 7.4, while the disinfecting power of bromine remains in force even at pH 7.8 .

2. Bromine stays more stable at high temperatures . This is why it is indicated as ideal for spas and hydromassages, as it retains its effectiveness in temperatures of up to 40º .

3. When free bromine and free chlorine are consumed and combined with the other components of water, they are called what we know by bromamines and chloramines. The disinfectant power retained by chloramines can not be equated with that of bromamines, which, moreover, are less odorless and produce less irritation.

4. Bromamines do not release gases to the water surface as chloramines do.

5. Bromine can be reactivated or reused by shock treatment.

6. Water disinfected with bromine does not smell or irritate , it is true that it can produce bromamines but this by-product, the result of the combination of bromine and organic matter, unlike chloramines, has almost the same disinfection capacity as free bromine. In fact, when using this disinfectant it is not worth distinguishing between free bromine and bromine combined as it happens with chlorine, since all the bromine present in the water acts as a disinfectant.

7. It has a high algicidal capacity , in fact the bromine even in concentrations lower than chlorine exceeds in the control and elimination of algae. If you usually have algae problems in your pool and suffer from some of the problems mentioned above, you should seriously consider using this chemical for disinfection.

Advantages of chlorine over bromine:

1. It is much cheaper than bromine.Because of its effectiveness and cost many consider bromine as a disinfectant for high-end pools , however it is more practical to see it as a quality product that requires more investment, but that certainly compensates given the quality of water that we can enjoy .

2. Chlorine can be protected from UV rays by a stabilizer, bromine can not.


3. Chlorine is both oxidizing and disinfecting , while bromine is used only as a disinfectant.

So, can bromine be used in outdoor swimming pools ?: Yes. The problem is that it can not be protected from the sun. In outdoor pools that receive direct sunlight, bromine levels can be depleted at high speed, which will be a significant expense if we want to maintain a healthy water.

By adding cyanuric acid to a chlorinated pool, it will protect the chemical from the sun, almost tripling its life in the water. Unfortunately, this does not work in the case of bromine.

For indoor pools that receive very little sunlight, the recommended option is bromine. The reason is that the bromamines do not “gas” the surface of the water as if chloramines do, which tend to rise to the surface where swimmers take in more force.

In addition, if the chemical mixture is not perfect and the ventilation of the building is not adequate, the chloramines will search our furniture for anything that can rust under their influence.

We hope that this information could have helped you in the declaration of the winner of this epic duel.

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