There are many advantages to using bromine to sanitize your pool, but cost isn't one of them. Though more expensive, bromine is milder on skin and eyes than chlorine and has almost no smell compared to the strong odor of chlorine. However, even in a bromine pool, you use some chlorine to activate the bromine, so those with allergies to chlorine will still have issues with a bromine treated pool. The sodium bromide must be converted to hypobromous acid to kill the bacteria in the pool.
Test the water for pH and total alkalinity (TA) using a test kit. Different test kits have varying instructions; however, generally speaking, kits work in a similar manner. You fill each test vial with pool water, add a few drops of reagent, wait a few minutes and compare the color of the test sample to a color guide provided with the kit. Some test kits use test strips that you dip into the water and check against the color key that comes with the kit after the prescribed amount of time.
Adjust the total alkalinity until it is between 80 and 120 ppm. Add no more than 1.3 lbs. of sodium bicarbonate per 10,000 gallons every four days to increase the alkalinity. Add a small amount of hydrochloric acid, diluted 1 part acid to 10 parts water, every three days to lower the alkalinity. Retest the alkalinity before adding more. Programs to calculate alkalinity adjustments come with some test kits or you can find one online.
Adjust the pH of the pool using diluted acid to lower the pH and sodium carbonate to increase the pH. Use a calculation table that came with the test kit or find a table online to estimate how much acid or base to add to reach the desired pH range of 7.0 to 7.6. Use the same schedule for adjusting the pH as you did for the total alkalinity.
Add powdered sodium bromide to the water according to the manufacturer's instructions calculated for the size of your pool to reach 30 ppm of bromide. When converting from chlorine to bromine you do not have to drain the pool as chlorine activates the sodium bromide.
Add 1 cup of 5.25 percent chlorine bleach per 300 gallons of water in your pool to shock it. Continue this treatment, once a week, to keep the bromine activated.
Add a bromine floater to the pool filled with sodium bromide tablets. Test the pool daily for bromine and pH, adjusting the bromine floater to increase or decrease the release of bromine to keep the pool between 4 and 6 ppm.