Adding hot tub sanitizers like bromine and chlorine to the water in your hot tub is a crucial part of hot tub safety. These sanitizers help to keep the water in the hot tub safe and clean but they have to be added in the right amount.
Having too much chlorine or bromine in the hot tub will cause corrosion on the shell of the hot tub and it will also lead to skin irritation.
Though it’s unusual to have too much chlorine or bromine in the hot tub water, it’s still a possibility. So how can you lower the chlorine and bromine levels in a hot tub? Let’s find out. First, let’s check out why chlorine or bromine is usually added to the hot tub in the first place.
What Are Chlorine and Bromine?
Chlorine and bromine are chemicals that are used as sanitizers. These sanitizers are added to the water in the hot tub to purify the water and keep it safe for soaking in. Unlike the water in the shower that is changed daily or every time you want to take your bath, the water in the hot tub can remain in the hot tub for up to 3 months depending on how frequently you use the hot tub.
Hot tubs contain gallons of water with some hot tubs being able to contain over 600 gallons of water. It would be very illogical to drain and refill the hot tub every time you want to use it. Not to mention the fact that it can take several hours to fill a hot tub.
That’s why the water in the tub is left there and can be reused for months but then comes a problem. Reusing the water in the hot tub every time for up to 3 months means the water will become very dirty and start to produce offensive smells.
Every time you use the hot tub, your body produces oils and you sweat. These bodily fluids serve as contaminants in the water. The sweat and oils released from your body combined with the body care products, hair products, and the effects of nature mean that the water will become murky and unsafe after a few days.
That’s where the sanitizers like bromine and chlorine come in. These sanitizers are used to get rid of the contaminants and bacteria in the water making the water clean and safe for a long time. As long as you have enough sanitizers in the water, you can use the hot tub for as long as 3 months before you will need to change the water.
Related Read >>> Do Chlorine or Bromine Expire?
How to Lower Chlorine or Bromine Levels in the Hot Tub?
Having sanitizers like chlorine and bromine in the water is needed for hot tub safety. But you might have been careless with the dosage of these sanitizers or maybe you accidentally spilled too much into the water. That can cause a case of too much chlorine in the water.
So you will need to reduce it, but how do you go about that
Test the Water
The first thing to do if you suspect you have too much chlorine or bromine in the water is to test the water to be sure. You can take a sample of the water to a lab or a local pool store to have it professionally tested. You can also test the water by yourself by purchasing hot tub testing kits.
The water test will indicate how much active or free chlorine or bromine is still in the water. The ideal chlorine level for hot tub water is between 1 part per million (1 ppm) and 3 part per million (3 ppm). Any reading more than 3ppm is too much chlorine.
For bromine, the ideal level is between 3 parts per million (3 ppm) and 5 parts per million (5 ppm). Any reading more than that is too much bromine in the water.
Other indicators of too much chlorine or bromine in the hot tub are dryness of the skin and hair after taking a soak in the hot tub, corrosion of the shell and metallic parts of the hot tub, deterioration of the headrests, and worn out filters. If you notice any of these, then you might have too much chlorine in the water but the best way to be sure is to have the water tested.
Related Read: How To Raise Chlorine Levels?
Vacate the Hot Tub for a While
When you are sure you have too much chlorine or bromine in the water, the next thing to do is to vacate the hot tub. This means leaving the hot tub for a while. If you leave the hot tub for a few days, the active chlorine or bromine inside the water will be used up over time and this will reduce the chlorine or bromine level.
If you have a chlorinator or any other device that automatically adds chlorine or bromine to the water at intervals, you should turn the device off or remove it from the water. The last thing you want is more sanitizer in the hot tub.
After a few days (2-3 days), have the water retested. Chances are the chlorine or bromine level would have reduced. If it hasn’t, don’t panic. There are still a few steps to carry out.
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Remove the Hot Tub Cover
The next step is to remove the hot tub cover. You should only do this if you have tested the water and you still have too much sanitizer (bromine or chlorine) in the water. You can also turn on the heater of the hot tub so the water is being heated while the cover has been removed.
By doing this, the heater will heat the water and as the water evaporates into the air, the excess chlorine and bromine in the water are evaporated alongside. You can leave the heater on for a few minutes and then turn it off. You can repeat this cycle for a few hours and then have the water retested again to check the chlorine or bromine level.
If you have your hot tub installed indoors, ensure to provide enough ventilation before doing this. This is because if you keep the doors and windows closed, the chlorine and bromine that is evaporated will not escape. It will just stick to the ceiling and walls of your room. That can weaken and damage the walls and ceiling in the long run.
The step above where you heat the water and leave the cover open will get rid of excess sanitizer (chlorine and bromine) through evaporation but it will also reduce the water level in the hot tub since the water is evaporated with the chlorine and bromine. So you will need to add fresh water to the hot tub.
If the water level in the hot tub didn’t drop too much, you can remove some of the water in the hot tub and replace it with fresh water. Another alternative is to open the drain valve at the base of the hot tub and let some of the water escape. As the water escapes, so do the chlorine and bromine in the water.
After removing some of the water, you should add fresh water to the hot tub. This will dilute the remaining water in the hot tub and reduce the concentration of chlorine and bromine in the tub.
Turn on the Jets
After adding fresh water to the hot tub, turn on the jets for about 30 minutes so the water and sanitizers can be circulated (or mixed). After this, take a sample of the water and have it retested. You should notice a considerable drop in the chlorine or bromine levels in the water at this point.
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If you test the water and the water chemistry is still off or you are finding it difficult to balance the chlorine or bromine level, that usually means it’s time to drain and refill the hot tub. Chances are you haven’t drained the hot tub in a while. That’s why it is difficult to balance the water chemistry.
When this happens, drain the tub completely and have it thoroughly cleaned. You should use this opportunity to also clean the plumbing lines and the filters of the hot tub. After cleaning and rinsing the hot tub, refill it with fresh water and add the right amount of chlorine or bromine to the water. This should fix the problem.
As an expert tip, you should stay out of the hot tub while fixing the chlorine or bromine levels. Even when you are sure you have fixed the problem, you should still leave the hot tub unused for at least 24 hours so the sanitizers can be fully absorbed by the water.
So now you know how to lower the chlorine or bromine level in your hot tub. But how can you prevent having too much chlorine or bromine in the first place? Let’s find out.
Related Read >>> Can You Use Chlorine Shock in a Bromine Hot Tub?
How Much Sanitizer You Actually Need
A good rule of thumb is to add the chlorine between 1 ppm and 3 ppm (parts per million) and the bromine between 3 ppm and 5 ppm (parts per million). This will prevent too much sanitizer in the water.
How to Prevent Having Too Much Chlorine or Bromine in the Hot Tub?
Follow the Instructions
The best way to prevent having too much sanitizer in your hot tub is to follow the instructions regarding the addition of the sanitizers.
Either you are using bromine, chlorine, or any other sanitizer to purify the water in your hot tub, your best bet to maintaining the perfect water chemistry is to follow the instructions regarding the application of the sanitizers.
Related Read >>> Can You Use a Hot Tub With Too Much Chlorine or Bromine?
Test the Water Chemistry and pH Levels
Another good measure is to regularly test the water chemistry and pH levels before adding chemicals. Don’t just add sanitizers based on intuition. Test the water first with your hot tub water testing kit. If you are sure the chlorine or bromine level is low, then you can add more.
If you add sanitizers based on intuition or because you can notice dryness of skin or any other symptoms, you may be adding too much chlorine or bromine. While some symptoms and indicators can tell if you have too much chlorine or less chlorine, these indicators are not usually accurate.
Most times, the problem might not be low levels of chlorine or too much chlorine. The symptoms might be caused by other issues concerning water chemistry. So the best way to be sure is to test the water regularly.
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Drain the Hot Tub When Due
Look, we get it. Draining, cleaning, and refilling the hot tub is much work but it’s the best way to keep the hot tub safe and clean. Adding sanitizers to the water or shocking the hot tub is never a good substitute for draining, cleaning, and refilling the hot tub as when due.
Don’t just add a new dose of sanitizers hoping it will clean the water. While this might work, it is only a temporary solution, and it would even guarantee a high level of chlorine or bromine in the long run. So when it’s time to drain the tub, just do so. You will be saving yourself a whole lot of trouble and unnecessary spending later on.