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A dip in the hot tub is nothing but a great experience for most people, but any hot tub owner knows that owning a hot tub requires a fair amount of maintenance. Chemicals must be used to clean the tub regularly to ensure the water stays free from bacteria; one such chemical is hot tub bromine, which is an alternative to chlorine as a way to sanitize hot tub water. Some hot tub owners choose to use hot tub bromine instead of chlorine because it does not give off as much of an odor when the water in the tub is heated.
Hot tub bromine works well to sanitize, but it must be activated in order to work correctly. To activate the hot tub bromine, other chemicals must be used to trigger it; chlorine can be used to do this, as can other non-chlorine chemicals. Most packages of hot tub bromine will indicate the proper chemicals to use for activation. Like chlorine, using bromine in a hot tub has both its advantages and disadvantages, and if the chemical is not activated properly, the disadvantages can be devastating on hot tub equipment. One should be sure to read directions carefully before adding bromine to a hot tub.
Chlorine as a sanitizer is very effective, but it can also be quite harsh on the skin and eyes. Many hot tub bathers complain of dry, itchy skin and irritated eyes after bathing in a hot tub treated with chlorine, especially if too much chlorine is used. Hot tub bromine is less caustic and very often does not cause the same problems that chlorine causes, but if not carefully controlled, bromine levels could rise and cause skin and eye irritation. When using bromine in a hot tub, it is important to monitor the level of bromine in the water carefully to avoid such problems.
Using bromine in conjunction with a device called an ozonator can help reduce the amount of bromine needed to sanitize the water. An ozonator helps to add ozone to bacteria in the water much more quickly than chemical sanitizers, meaning it is effective in killing bacteria quickly. It should be used in conjunction with sanitizing chemicals, not in place of it, but it can also help the chemical sanitizers do their jobs more quickly and effectively by complementing the process of killing bacteria. Bromine should be used in conjunction with an ozonator whenever possible.