Pool Water Clarifier and Flocculant – How To Choose and Use (2020)

There’s nothing that can turn you off faster from swimming in a pool than dark, dirty, murky water.

Who knows what’s in it to make it look that way?

Why is it cloudy? Does it have algae floating in it? Or even worse, insects?

Now there is a quick and easy solution to murky water called pool clarifiers.

Let’s take a look at this quick fix for any cloudy pool problems you may be experiencing.

What exactly is a pool clarifier?

Pool clarifiers are a concentration of chemicals that when added to the pool will make any really small particles adhere to each other, forming into larger pieces or clumps.

These clusters or chunks of material will then be captured by your pool’s filter, or they could be picked up when you use your skimmer to clean leaves or debris blown into your pool.

Pool clarifiers are actually concentrates filled with polymers.

These polymers have the function of working like a coagulant for tiny particles floating in the water that may be too small for your pool filter to pick up.

Science explains that adding pool clarifiers is the same as adding charged ions to your pool, which act as magnets to any negative charges in the tiny particles.

The particles then form into bundles which can be more easily filtered by your pool’s filtering system, to clear pool water.

Pool flocculant and how it differs from pool clarifier

If you have someone who does cleaning and maintenance on your pool, they may have mentioned Pool Flocculant.

The two have similar functions, however, they react in different ways.

Flocculant and clarifier both bind together tiny particles, scum, or even oil.

However, clarifier will make these debris clusters float on the surface so that the pool filtering system can clean them out.

Flocculant, on the other hand, will make the debris clumps drop to the bottom.

The only difference is in which direction the unwanted debris clumps travel: up or down!

If you choose to use pool clarifiers, the pool’s filter will do most if not all of the work of debris removal.

For pool owners who decide to try pool floc, you, or someone you hire will need to be involved in removing the debris from the bottom of your pool.

You’ll have to get out and clean up the larger clumps of gunk lying at the bottom.

If you are in a hurry, flocculant will move rapidly to create the lumps of debris and move them to the bottom.

You’ll then need to drain your pool’s water and get down there to remove the debris manually.

Pool clarifiers require more time to work and remove the cloudiness from your pool floor.

If you’re planning on hosting a pool party later in the afternoon or tomorrow, flocculant would be a better and quicker choice.

The principal advantage of choosing to use pool clarifiers is that you don’t do any manual labor, which is a great time and energy saver.

Time and energy that can be used differently.

Why do I need a pool clarifier?

Most people will not want to swim in a pool with dark cloudy water, and other than it being a bit revolting, it could be dangerous.

Good reasons to use pool clarifiers include:

  • Environmental Concerns: Dirty water will attract insects like mosquitoes that can carry disease to you and your neighbors.
  • Prevention of illness: Unclean water could be harboring dangerous bacteria like giardia or E. coli that cause infection and even diarrhea.
  • Property Value: You don’t want a dirty pool to lower the value of your property.
  • Safety: If anyone has the courage to swim in cloudy, murky water, they may not be able to see other swimmers which will contribute to the risk of accidents.

Why does my pool water get so dirty – pool water clarifiers

If you have an uncovered pool outdoors, it’s pretty normal for the water to get cloudy every so often.

The first thing to check would be the chlorine levels.

If the chlorine levels are normal, tiny particles are probably the culprits.

Common particles that contribute to dirty water include:

  • Algae due to sunlight
  • Bacteria
  • Dirt or dust
  • Leaves, flowers, or grass
  • Pet hair or dander
  • Rainfall
  • Suntan oil, sunscreen or other lotions used by swimmers

Other things to check out would include how well your pool’s filter functions, or if the pH of your pool’s water is incorrect.

When should I use a pool clarifier?

The best time is at the very beginning of your summer season or in any case before you begin swimming.

If you experience exceptional algae growth due to the sun, pool clarifiers would be the obvious solution.

How do I use a pool clarifier?

The first step is to check out the pH balance of your pool.

Before you use a clarifier, pool water should be balanced, follow the manufacturer’s instructions about how much product to add to the water.

Keep the pool filter turned on 24/7 until the water is clear.

Now go do something else and above all be patient. Give the clarifier time to work.

Clarifier for pools FAQs

What does a clarifier do for a pool?

The clarifier captures tiny particles that render the water cloudy and turns them into clumps so they can be filtered by the filtering system.

How long does it take for the pool clarifier to work?

Pool clarifiers usually need several days to do the job. If you’re planning a get-together, plan to use the clarifier approximately a week ahead of time and then filter 24/7 until the water is clear.

Can you put too much clarifier in a swimming pool?

Absolutely. If this happens, you’ll need to filter it out.

Or you can drain the pool and then refill it.

You’ll also need to check your filtering system because too much clarifier could require replacing some components.

What is the best pool clarifier?

There are several very good products on the market.

The highest-rated product on Amazon is currently Clorox Pool & Spa Super Water Clarifier.

My pool is cloudy, but the chemicals are fine. What do I do?

The first thing to check out is the pH balance.

Secondly, check the level of chlorine.

Check out other chemicals including calcium content.

If your pool is still cloudy, use a clarifier or pool flocculant.

What causes cloudy pool water?

There are a number of causes of cloudy or murky pools.

These include:

  • algae growth
  • alkalinity
  • ammonia
  • excessive calcium hardness
  • low chlorine level
  • debris
  • filter that is damaged or clogged up
  • incorrect pH balance

Can I swim with floc in the pool?

This is not recommended, as it may reduce the effectiveness of the flocculant product.

Wait until the debris has settled to the bottom of the pool and removed through vacuuming.

Clarifiers for pools – The Bottom Line

Although a pool clarifier may take more time or even several days to work its magic on your pool water, this product saves you work.

You just follow this guide and the manufacturer’s instructions for the pool clarifier you’ve chosen, and you’re free to do other things while your pool is on its way to beautiful crystal clear water.