Should I Treat My Swimming Pool with Bromine or Chlorine?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 February 2019
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A swimming pool can be a fun and relaxing place to improve one's fitness or simply enjoy the sunshine, but it can also be a breeding ground for bacteria. You will need to treat your swimming pool regularly with shock chemicals that help kill dangerous bacteria, and you can use either bromine or chlorine to do this job. The most commonly used chemical is chlorine because it is very efficient, but it can also be an eye and skin irritant. If you or your family members have allergies or are sensitive to chlorine, bromine may be a good alternative. Either bromine or chlorine will shock the pool water effectively if the process is done correctly.

While either bromine or chlorine will effectively clean your pool, the process of adding the chemicals to the water may differ. You will need to consult the instructions printed on the chemical's bottle, or any other paperwork included with the purchase of the chemical, to ensure proper use. When chlorine is added to the water in a concentration that is too high, there will be a noticeable chemical smell that may be unpleasant to many swimmers. The smell will be increased if the pool hosts a high number of swimmers or bathers regularly. Bromine does not have an overwhelming smell in most cases.


The pH level of your pool can be affected by either bromine or chlorine. The pH level is the measure of acidity in the pool water; if the water is too acidic, the pool lining and the filtration components can be damaged. If it is too basic, the amount of time it takes to kill bacteria can be increased. Bromine or chlorine can be used to adjust the pH level of the pool. Chlorine tends to be more acidic, while bromine is more basic. Many pool owners prefer to use bromine because it is less acidic and therefore less caustic to both humans and components in the pool, though bromine may take longer to kill bacteria than fast-acting chlorine.

If the pool is used regularly by many swimmers and bathers, chlorine may be the best bet to keep bacteria at bay. If, however, you are treating your own personal swimming pool and do not want to deal with the burning or itching sensation chlorine can cause, choose bromine instead. If your pool lining is beginning to deteriorate, or if you are having issues with components rusting or otherwise corroding, consider using bromine.



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