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Bromine Start-up & Maintenance Instructions

Knowing about the bromine and chlorine you are adding to your spa will help you to always add the right amount and additionally help to protect you from damaging your spa by adding too much.

Chemical precautions:

  • After adding chemicals always allow for at lease 30 minutes to ensure all chemicals are able to dissolve and disperse, then retest your spa water to ensure it is balanced.
  • Take the time to read all chemical labels prior to use, to get a full understanding of what the chemicals do and protect yourself from accidentally adding too much.
  • When you are diluting, do not mix chemicals. If you mix the chemicals reactions can happen that will generate heat and liberate noxious, irritating fumes.
  • When you are diluting be sure to always add chemicals to the water, NOT water to the chemicals.
  • Be sure to accurately measure the quantity of chemicals called for on the label. If you overdose your spa with chemicals it can cause damage to the hot tub and make the water irritating to the body.
  • Remember to always store chemicals in a cool dry location, keeping containers closed when not in use.
  • Never let chemicals come in contact with eyes, nose, or mouth, and do not inhale fumes.
  • If the chemicals do come in contact with an area of the body or are swallowed follow the emergency directions on the label and call a doctor if necessary.
  • Appropriate protective gear is suggested when applying chemicals to a spa.
  • If a chemical spills, clean it up immediately.
  • If you are using liquid chemicals they may be added directly to the spa water, simply pour slowly just above the water level to avoid any splashing as the chemicals enter the spa.
  • If you are using dry chemicals they should be dissolved and diluted before adding to the water. To dissolve the dry chemicals, dip a clean plastic bucket of water out of the hot tub and add the proper amount of dry chemical to the water in the bucket. Mix the bucket with the chemicals well until completely dissolved, then finally lower the bucket back into the spa.
  • Keep all chemicals out of the reach of children. If a child comes in contact with the chemicals or consumes them follow the emergency directions on the label and call a doctor if necessary.

Testing the pH and Alkalinity:

Appropriate pH 7.2 – 7.8 PPM; Appropriate Alkalinity 80-120

To test the pH and alkalinity of your spa you can use spa test strips when you start up your hot tub daily. (Try to check the pH and alkalinity of your spa at least 3 times weekly.) It is crucial to keep your spa pH and Alkalinity in balance for several reasons. *Be sure to always balance your alkalinity first! Here are some key reasons why you should test the pH & Alkalinity in your spa regularly:

  • Low pH & Alkalinity can cause burning eyes and corrosion of the spa equipment.
  • High pH & Alkalinity can cause scaling and build up on the spa walls and around the spa plumbing.
  • The effectiveness of your sanitizer (which is Bromine) is greatly reduced when the pH & Alkalinity are not in proper balance. So, in other words you will need to use more Bromine when your pH & Alkalinity are not balanced, causing you to have to spend unnecessary amounts of money on extra bromine.

Testing the Bromine:

Bromine 2-4 PPM on the test strips:

To test the bromine in your hot tub you can use your spa test strips, test your bromine levels 24 hours after your spa is first heated and then test the bromine levels every other day or at least 3 times weekly. It is very important to make sure you have the correct levels of bromine in your spa. Bromine is what is used in spas as a sanitizer. Bromine kills bacteria that may be present in the water. Keep in mind that over time bromine will lower the pH and alkalinity levels in your spa, through a natural process. Here are some key facts about using bromine in your spa:

  • Most spas using Bromine will require between 2-4 tablets per week. You can add as many tablets as it takes for your spa to register a proper bromine reading.
  • Some spas may require more or less bromine depending upon several factors:
    • Bather load: The number of people using your spa and how often they are using it. The more people that are using your spa the more bromine will need to be added to ensure that it is properly sanitized.
    • Temperature: The warmer your spa is the quicker the bromine is used.
    • Gallons of water in your spa: If you have a 500 gallon spa it will take twice as many bromine tablets as a 250 gallon spa.
  • Alternative purification units: Perma-Clear Ozone, Sunzone, Nature II; these all can help reduce the amount of Bromine that will be needed in a spa, but you will still need to use bromine to ensure your spa stays sanitary.

Metal Protector/ Stain & Scale:

Metal protector is only added at start up, when you are filling up your spa with fresh water. You simply add 4 ounces of the metal protector to the spa. This product can precipitate metals such as iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium, out of the hot tub water. It is important to use this product for both the protection of the equipment as well as for the effectiveness of the sanitizer in your hot tub.

Bromine Tablets:

Most spa users that choose to use bromine in their spa will require between 2-4 bromine tablets a week. You can add as many tablets as it takes for your spa water to balance according to the spa test strips. You may have to use fewer or more bromine tablets in your water depending on your spa’s water volume, amount of use and number of users, and your degree of regular spa upkeep.

Sodium Bromide:

Sodium bromide is not the same product as bromine tablets. This product is meant for bromine users only, used in conjunction with bromine tabs. Sodium bromide is a product you use at the start up of your spa, or every time you decide to drain and refill your spa. When using this product, you add 2 ounces to the water and let it circulate then proceed to add the rest of your chemicals.


Anytime your spa water becomes foamy or produces excess bubbles, defoamer is the appropriate product to add to your spa to relieve the problem. Defoamer should only be used as needed to control foam in a spa. Water in your hot tub may get foamy occasionally as a result of having too much chemical build up or presence of soap products in the water. Laundry soap and body soap that are left on our bodies and in our bathing suits can come off in the spa and cause the foam to build up. Spa defoamers can be added and will take care of the extra foaming.

pH & Alkalinity Up:

This product is used to increase the pH & Alkalinity in your spa's water. You should add this product in 2-3 tablespoon increments on an as needed basis to help raise the pH & Alkalinity to the proper levels that are indicted on your spa test strips.

pH & Alkalinity Down:

This product is used in spas to help decrease the pH & Alkalinity in the spa water. It should be added to the spa as need to help lower pH & Alkalinity as indicted as the 3 in 1 test strips. (Look to the directions on the side of the bottle for the proper dosage and mixing instructions for your spa.)

Non-Chlorine Shock:

Non-chorine shock can be added to your spa once to twice a week on a day that you are not adding a clarifier or enzyme cleaner to your spa. Non-chorine shock burns up and oxidizes any by-products of bromine otherwise known as bromamines. This product can help your bromine to be more effective in your spa. Non-chlorine shock also burns up the “food” that bacteria are waiting to feed on and is a very effective product on all spas.


Add 2 ounces of clarifier to your spa each week, on a day when you are not adding non-chorine shock. Clarifiers can be used to help keep your spa water clear by coagulating oils and microscopic particles that are too small for the filter to catch into larger particles that are easy for the filter to remove from you hot tub.

Scum-Out or other Enzyme products:

Use scum-out once a week instead of a clarifier for exceptional water clarity and cleanliness. Scum-out and other enzyme products are used to accomplish the same thing as clarifiers they just work in a different way. Enzyme cleaners use all nature enzymes that instead of coagulating oils and particles actually eat and dissolve the oils and particles in the water. This allows the spa's filter to stay cleaner and becomes more effective. *Note: Do not overdose or use more than the recommended amount for you spa.

Spa Defender/ Spa Stain & Scale Defense:

Use spa stain & scale defense per the instructions on the container once per week, making sure not to use it in your spa on a day when you are not adding clarifier or enzyme cleaner. Spa stain & scale defense are used to prevent staining and minerals to build up on your spa's equipment and walls. Spa Stain & Scale defense are not needed for your spa but if you have hard water or it comes from a well this product is strongly advised.

Rinse filter:

Spa filters need to be rinsed out once per month. Oils and particles picked up by the filter can clog up the spa filter over time, reducing its ability to effectively keep your spa water clean. To rinse a spa filter you simply flush the filter with either a garden hose or you can even use your bathtub filled with hot water. The hot water tends to help loosen the oils better further cleaning the filter. A clogged filter can cause your spa not to heat properly and even cause the jets to feel weak. There are also products we highly recommend using to clean your filter for the best clean possible. Products like filter clean and instant cartridge cleaner will perform effectively and keep your filter in tiptop shape. .

Treat Cover with cleaner:

You should always hose your spa cover down at least once a month just to keep particles from building up and corroding your spa cover. To keep your cover in the best shape possible, we recommend treating the vinyl with cover cleaner and conditioner or our favorite 303 protectant. Taking proper care of your spa cover is the key to helping it last. Sun, chemicals and harsh weather can cause the vinyl cover to fade and deteriorate and we offer products to help you slow this process down and get years of use out of your vinyl cover.

Replace the spa filter:

When you are replacing your spa's filter you should always consult your owner's manual on the expected life of the filter. Filter life is also based in part on how well it is maintained, proper water balance, bather load, ect. It is recommended that you have two filters that you rotate between cleanings to maximize their longevity. Also consult with a Hot Tub Things sales associate or consult your owner's manual for details if you are questioning replacing your spa's filter.

Chemical Usage Guide

At start up

  • Test pH/ Alk (pH 7.2-7.8; Alk 80-120)
  • Test Bromine
  • Add Metal Protector/ Stain & Scale
  • Add Bromine Tablets (2-3)
  • Add Sodium Bromide (or Go Brom)
  • Add Shock

At start up, day 1, day 3, day 5

  • Test pH/ Alk (pH 7.2-7.8; Alk 80-120)
  • Test Bromine

As needed

  • Add Defoamer
  • Add pH/Alk Up
  • Add pH Down
  • Bromine Tablets


  • Add Shock
  • Add Stain & Scale Defense
  • Add Clarifier
  • Option: Scum Out instead of Clarifier


  • Rinse Filter
  • Treat Cover w/ cleaner
  • 4-6 Months

    • Replace Filter (see manufacturer’s recommendation)
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