Bromine v Chlorine: Picking The Right Chemicals for Your Pool

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Practically every person in the country will have returned from the local swimming pool with their skin having that distinct smell that most people associate with chlorine. As it turns out, there are actually two chemicals that are commonly used to treat pools and while chlorine is one of these, many people also forget that bromine is another popular choice. If we look at the use of the chemicals from a statistical point of view, chlorine is probably the more popular option. Nevertheless, there are certainly advantages to bromine, as we look at all of the factors that should be considered as you make the decision on what to use for your pool’s primary sanitizer.

How They Function

Even though both chemicals are charged with the same task of cleansing a pool, they go about the process much differently. In the case of chlorine, this works by dissolving any bacteria that it finds before eventually dissolving itself. Bromine on the other hand stays in the water for much longer periods of time and instead of eradicating the bacteria, it will simply neutralise it. With the bromine being present for a much longer period, it naturally means that not as much is required in the first place.


As we mentioned previously, chlorine is widely associated with that famous smell that attaches to your body immediately after swimming. In contrast, bromine doesn’t really have a noticeable odour meaning that it is easy to realise when a pool has been treated with this chemical.


One of the drawbacks with chlorine is that it can react badly with some types of skin and cause dryness or a rash. This is seldom the case with bromine, which is regarded as being a much safer option when people with sensitive skin will be using the pool. The main reason for this is because chlorine contains traces of bleach, while this does not exist in bromine.


If you are planning to base your decision on cost, then chlorine generally triumphs. This chemical is regarded as being slightly cheaper, although you also have to consider that it doesn’t last quite as long as bromine which stays in the water for longer. Furthermore, if you look at Chemsol’s bromine tablets, you’ll see that the gap is certainly closing in this respect and the two chemicals are becoming almost comparable in terms of price.


Those pool owners that don’t base their decision on cost instead usually take into account how easy chlorine is to apply to the pool. Most of the time the chemical is inserted straight into the pool in one of its many forms, although most people opt to purchase the liquid version which is simply poured in.


The process of inserting bromine into the pool is slightly more complicated and due to its strength, it must only be applied slowly. This means that you will usually have to use some sort of automatic feeder – which most people will use an expert to install for them.

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