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Bromine Too High? How to Easily Lower Bromine in a Hot Tub

By Matt Giovanisci | Updated: November 1, 2023

Too much bromine in your hot tub can corrode your hot tub components, damage your pump seals, and even cause respiratory issues. Thankfully, lowering your bromine is an easy process. And depending on your levels, you might not even have to do anything at all.

Here’s a quick guide on how to lower bromine in a hot tub.

How to Tell if There’s Too Much Bromine in Your Hot Tub

The most reliable way to know if you’ve got too much bromine in your hot tub is to test your water with test strips. Most test strips come with both bromine and chlorine readings, but make sure you confirm this before purchasing.

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Tests for 7 important chemistries in seconds: Total Hardness, Total Chlorine, Total Bromine, Free Chlorine, pH, Total Alkalinity, and Cyanuric Acid.

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If you’re not sure how to test your water accurately, check out our guide on Hot Tub Water Testing.

Testing your hot tub water once per week (and more often if you use it frequently) will ensure you’re not over-sanitizing your water with bromine. High bromine levels can ruin your hot tub equipment over time and be unsafe for hot tub users. So however you’re adding bromine to the water (granules, tablets, floaters, or an automatic feeder), make sure you’re dosing the water properly and testing after adding chemicals.

Also, be sure you’re testing and balancing your other levels, like pH and alkalinity, regularly too, since these can affect your bromine.

By the way, if you’re feeling confused about hot tub chemistry, check out our Hot Tub Course. It’ll help you save time and money on chemicals and hot tub maintenance headaches.

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What’s the Right Bromine Level for a Hot Tub?

Your hot tub bromine levels should be between 3 ppm and 5 ppm. If you use a mineral floater or dispenser, you only need 1 PPM of bromine. But keeping your bromine levels in check is just one piece of balancing your water chemistry. Here are the right chemical levels for a hot tub.

Hot Tub Chemical Levels

How to Lower Bromine in a Hot Tub

Bringing down your bromine levels is one of the simplest problems to fix in a hot tub. All you need is patience and some fresh water.

1. Stop Adding More Bromine

It seems obvious, but if your bromine levels are too high, stop adding new doses of bromine to your water.  That means turning off your automatic chemical feeder, removing your floater, or stopping any source that’s adding bromine.

2. Run Your Hot Tub (Cover Off)

Once you’ve stopped adding bromine, your bromine levels will naturally decrease over time. This usually takes a day or two, but you can speed up the process by helping the water evaporate.

Remove your hot tub cover and turn on your jets to help the bromine evaporate. As the water evaporates, you’ll notice your water water level drop. Make sure your water level doesn’t drop below the skimmer port while your hot tub is running. And be sure to stay out of the hot tub while your bromine levels are high.

3. Dilute Your Water

Once your water level has dropped a few inches, it’s time to add new water. Refill your hot tub with fresh, filtered water and let the water circulate. Then, test your water again. Your bromine levels should have dropped.

Keep in mind that all of your other levels (like pH) will drop, too. So test and rebalance everything.

If your bromine is still too high after this process, consider removing some of the water manually. You can use a bucket, a hose siphon, or a submersible pump (sump pump) to remove more water. And if you need help draining your hot tub water, be sure to check out our other guide on How to Drain a Hot Tub.

How to Lower Bromine with a Bromine Neutralizer

If you don’t want to drain your hot tub or wait for your water to evaporate, you can use a chemical called chlorine or bromine neutralizer. It helps reduce the bromine in your water. But this chemical will continue to destroy bromine in your hot tub until the neutralizer is completely used up. It’s easy to use too much, so we recommend only to use it in a pinch.

While these products are usually labeled as chlorine neutralizers, their active ingredient (sodium thiosulphate) works in bromine hot tubs, too.

How to Keep Your Bromine Levels in Range

Keeping a simple, weekly hot tub care routine is the best way to keep your bromine levels from fluctuating up or down.

  1. Test and balance your water weekly: Test your alkalinity, pH, and bromine once a week and adjust your chemicals as needed. Test more often if you have high hot tub usage.
  2. Watch your bromine dosing: Make sure your bromine dispensers, like floaters or chemical feeders, are adding the proper amount of bromine relative to your hot tub’s size. Always accurately measure your bromine if adding granules by hand.
  3. Regularly run and clean your filter. This will keep your bromine properly circulating in the water. Here’s a quick guide on how to clean hot tub filters.
  4. Use an oxidizer (non-chlorine shock) once per week or after each soak. Adding an oxidizer (a.k.a. non-chlorine shock) will help keep your bromine refreshed and active so you don’t have to keep adding new bromine to your water.
Oxidizer (Non-Chlorine Shock) for Hot Tubs

Also known as oxidizer, non-chlorine hot tub shock helps revitalize your chlorine or bromine so it can actively sanitize your water. Use an oxidizer at least once a week but ideally after each hot tub soak to keep your water sanitized.

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Need More Hot Tub Maintenance Help?

Matt Giovanisci, Founder and CEO of Swim University
Matt Giovanisci is the founder of Swim University® and has been in the pool and spa industry since 1995. Since then, his mission is to make pool and hot tub care easy for everyone. And each year, he continues to help more people with water chemistry, cleaning, and troubleshooting.

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