What are Chloramines & Bromamines?

by Tony Turbo.

A common misconception among pool and spa owners is that smelling chlorine is a good thing – means you have plenty of chlorine sanitizer.
Actually, this is not true for a couple of reasons. First, what folks usually think is the smell of chlorine is really chloramines, essentially the combination of chlorine and ammonia. They have a rather unpleasant smell and are the product of chlorine combining with waste material in your pool or spa water. Second, chloramines do not kill bacteria and other pool / spa pathogens, so smelling what some think is chlorine is actually a sign the pool or spa is not well sanitized. In fact, the reason you shock a pool and to break up the chloramines, releasing “free” chlorine and oxidizing (removing) these waste materials.
Chlorine is by far the most common sanitizer in pools. It is also commonly used in hot tubs; however, bromine is also often used in spas. As you might guess, we also have bromamines, the combination of bromine and ammonia. Here it gets a bit more interesting because, unlike chloramines, bromamines are effective sanitizers – almost as effective as bromine itself. This explains one of the three reasons, many spa owners prefer bromine over chlorine as a sanitizer. The other two?

  1. Bromamines have a far less noxious odor than chloramines
  2. Unlike chlorine, bromine’s bacteria killing efficacy is relatively unaffected by spa water pH.

Since we manufacture and market our Serum products, perhaps you wonder why I bring this topic up. There are several reasons but primarily it is simply this. Your spa sanitizer is not always doing its job. However, the great news is, Serum is and always assisting your primary sanitizer, no matter what sanitizing regimen you use.

  1. Regardless of the sanitation method you choose for your hot tub, ALL hot tubs develop harmful biofilm in their plumbing.  Standard sanitation regimens simply will not prevent this.  Hence, we advise you purge your spa with our Serum Total Cleanse at least annually – and frequent hot tub users will often purge their spas with Total Cleanse with each drain & refill, typically every 4 months or so.  You might consider it a bit like changing the oil in your car on a regular basis.
  2. Serum Total Maintenance (and Swim Spa Serum) is a very strong pH Buffer, meaning it helps prevent changes to acidity (pH) in your water.  If you are using chlorine to sanitize your spa water, Total Maintenance can be a big help to ensure the chlorine is doing its job.
  3. Lastly, we all get busy and may at times allow sanitizer levels to drop too low in our hot tubs.  Here is where Total Maintenance (and Swim Spa Serum) really shine.  Just as chlorine and bromine, Total Maintenance is an effective biocide. And just as they are, Total Maintenance is EPA Registered, proving its effectiveness and safety when used as directed.  By the way, none of our competitors are EPA Registered – only Serum Total Maintenance.

Thanks for reading,
Turbo Tony

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