What Are Pool Clarifier & Pool Flocculant
A Pool Clarifier is a liquid substance that contains polymers chain-like molecules that act as coagulants on tiny particles that are too small for your filters to catch. Adding a clarifier causes these tiny particles to clump together and allows your filter to remove them through its regular process.
A Pool Flocculant, otherwise known as pool floc, is a powdered substance. Like a clarifier, it also causes particles to thicken and clump together, but they are larger and will sink to your pools floor instead of running through the filter.
We realize these options sound pretty similar. But there are some key differences when youre considering whether to use a flocculant or clarifier. Lets review how each pool additive is used.
Warning:Flocculant will not work with a cartridge filter unless you have a custom plumbing setup that allows you to bypass the filter.
Whats The Difference Between Flocculant And Clarifier
Flocculant and clarifier have similar functions so there may be some confusion here. Lets clarify:
- Both of them bind to suspended debris, oils, scum, and excess metals that may be lurking in your pool.
- Clarifier clumps them together and leaves them floating on top to be absorbed by the pools filter.
- Flocculant grabs all the cloudy-causing particles in your pool, bundles them together, and sinks them to the bottom.
Should I Use A Pool Clarifier
When should Pool Clarifiers be Used? Pool Clarifiers are not meant to be used all season long, but are quite helpful at pool opening, after an algae bloom, or battles with cloudy pool water. Follow label directions, but most pools can be retreated after 5-7 days, with a lower dosage than initially used.
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How To Use A Clarifier In Your Hot Tub
There are different ways you can use clarifiers in your hot tub. Three methods are discussed below. It is up to you to choose any one that you fancy. But then again, it is advisable to use the instructions given by the manufacturer of the clarifier you are using.
- Measure out 1-2 ounces of the clarifier.
- Pour it into your hot tub water.
- Turn the jets on and allow it to run for about an hour to collect all the particles making the water cloudy.
- Then remove your filters and them too, this will enable whatever was taken out by the clarifier to be removed from the hot tub.
- First, balance the pH in your hot tub. The pH should be between 7.4 and 7.6
- Next, get the guidelines from your products label. It is always good to follow the manufacturers instructions.
- Determine the correct volume of your hot tub you can use the calculator online if you do not know.
- Now, add the correct amount of clarifier according to your hot tubs water volume.
- Put on the pool filter, and run it for about the time you can until you have clear water in your hot tub.
- Check your hot tub pH levels to be sure it is balanced, if not you need to balance it.
- You are done. Wait for about 30 minutes before taking a dip.
What If Your Pool Is Still Cloudy After Clarifying
If you still have cloudy water after using a clarifier, you may need to do a little deeper cleaning.
When was the last time you scrubbed the bottom and sides of your pool to remove built-up gunk?
How about those filters?
Have you checked to see how well theyre working and if theyre clogged lately?
A lot of people make the mistake of continuing to add more clarifier in these situations and that is not usually a good solution. Just like with chemicals, overdosing with clarifier can throw off your pools pH balance, making the water murkier than it was before and creating the opposite effect.
Check all the other possible culprits before purchasing more chemicals or cleaners.
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Pool Clarifiers What Are They
The most common type of pool clarifier chemical sold and used is known as a PolyDADMAC, an ammonium chloride with a highly positive charge density. Different concentrations of 10% to 40% are useful for nearly any negatively charged colloidal particles.
Another common and very effective type of pool clarifier makes use of the natural cations known as Chitosan, or Chitin. Extracted from crab shells, chitosan is bottled in low concentrations of around 10% and are usually labeled as a Natural clarifier.
Another natural chemical used as a pool clarifier are Enzymes, positively charged particles that actually do consume organic and inorganic colloids, or suspended material. Especially useful for oils and organics.
A group of clarifying agents known as Polyacrylamides, or PAM, makes another fine ionic polymer. For pools, youll find these packaged in the form of a Gel or Cube. Long lasting and easy to use, but the gel can clog the fine pores of DE or cartridge filters.
And there are Aluminum Sulfate products, called simply Alum by those in the know. Alum is used as a flocculant, as it can clog pool filters. After adding a Pool Floc product the filter is shut off, to allow the heavy particles to sink to the pool floor, usually overnight. A slow vacuuming to waste the following day will expel the gel-like material, which has the consistency of wet toilet paper.
What Is A Swimming Pool Clarifier
Lets get started by talking about swimming pool clarifiers. Swimming pool clarifiers are products that are designed to help the floating particles in your pool clump up, allowing them to be disposed of by your pool filter, and clearing up your water to ensure that it is not cloudy or otherwise dirty.
Cloudy water can obscure visibility when swimming, which makes it more difficult for swimmers to stay safe in the water. Its also unappealing, and makes swimming a bit less fun. However, it is important to note that, even if the water is cloudy, it is perfectly safe to swim in if the chlorine levels are adequate, and the water is otherwise in good condition.
Because swimming pool clarifiers are used to clear up your pool, they are often confused with flocculants. However, the two products are completely different.
Well explain in further detail later on. But for now, well just say that swimming pool clarifiers tend to be better for the hands-off, long-term maintenance of your pool, while flocculants are better at getting rid of a large number of particles at once, but require more elbow grease to do their job properly.
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What Is A Hot Tub Clarifier
A hot tub clarifier is a chemical that helps in removing contaminants like natural oil, inanimate scum, deodorant, soap, make-up/cosmetics, debris, and other residues that have turned the water in the hot tub either foamy or cloudy. It will help to make the water clear again and also helps in keeping the filters functional.
How Do I Use Pool Clarifiers
The specific method of using your pool clarifier may be somewhat different, based on the brand and type of clarifier that you have chosen to use in your pool. You should consult the instructions on the packaging to make sure that youre using it properly.
However, the basic method of using a pool clarifier will likely consist of the following steps:
Balance your pool water First, you want to make sure the chemical balance of your water is appropriate, and safe for swimmers. Check it and shock your pool or add more chlorine tablets, if necessary.
Read the instructions When it comes to adding your swimming pool clarifier, you need to follow the manufacturers instructions to the T. This is because if you add too little, it wont work properly. And if you add too much, some swimming pool clarifiers can actually have the opposite effect, and work as a dispersant, failing to pick up particles from the pool water.
Run your pool filter as much as you can Because clarifiers are meant to boost the performance of your pool filter, you should be running your pump for 16-24 hours per day while treating your water with a clarifier. This will ensure the best results.
Dilute the clarifier into a bucket and pour around the edge of the pool An even distribution of clarifier will help it spread through the water more thoroughly, enhancing its performance and ability to catch small particles.
Follow these steps, and your swimming pool will look clear and beautiful in no time!
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How To Use Pool Flocculant
You may have extra labor to floc the pool, but the step-by-step process is straightforward. First, you should raise the water level a little extra since you will be losing pool water when the process gets completed. Next, you should ensure that the pH level is balanced to 7. Flocculants can alter the pH level, so you need to keep this consistent so that it can work effectively.
After diluting the flocculant and following the instructions, you can then add the product to the pool. Much like the pool clarifier, you can pour it around the edges of the swimming pool. To spread the flocculant solution evenly around the pool, go ahead and run the pool filter for a couple of hours. Then, you can shut the filter off overnight so that the flocculant can officially perform the job.
After letting the water settle for about 6-8 hours, you should set the filter setting to waste. If you see sediment towards the bottom of the swimming pool, you can also turn the pump back on briefly to ensure that this gets filtered out. You can then do the toughest part and vacuum the bottom of the pool to get the final clumps out.
After replacing the lost water immediately, you can complete the process by backwashing your pool filter. You can also clean out any straggling chemicals or sediment that have been collected here.
When Should I Use A Clarifier Vs A Flocculant The Pros And Cons Of Each
As a rule, clarifiers are the best to use when you dont need to clear out the water of your pool in a hurry. That means that if youre not planning on swimming too much in the near future, or you dont mind slightly cloudy water, a clarifier will be the simpler, easier way to clear up your water.
The primary advantages of clarifiers are that they work to augment your pool filter, provide consistent results, and take less work than flocculants. However, their disadvantages include a longer time to clear your pool, and the potential for over-using the product, nullifying its beneficial effects.
Flocculants are best for when you need to remove the debris and particles from your pool fast. Just got back from vacation? Hosting a pool party the next day? A flocculant is what you want to use.
This is because flocculants work in just a few hours, and can clear your pool almost immediately, both of large debris and smaller particles.
The main drawback of a flocculent is that you will have to spend quite a bit of time vacuuming your pool. Youll also need to use the waste setting, so youll actually be removing water which must be replenished and treated with chemicals.
Both flocculants and pool clarifiers are very useful. To figure out which one to use, simply consider the amount of work youre willing to put in and how soon youll need to clear up your water. Theres no wrong choice!
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Can You Put Too Much Clarifier Or Flocculant In A Pool
The simple answer to this question is yes, and that is why it is so important to read the instructions on any brand of pool clarifier or flocculant you use. Too much clarifier can compound your water problems and cause murky water that becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. You can reuse a clarifier after 5-7 days, but if youre constantly seeing cloudy water, there may be other problems.
Adding too much flocculant can cause its own issues. Flocculant is aluminum sulfate, which is designed to clump with the particles youre trying to remove. But if you add too much, the flocculant will start to agglomerate with itself instead of those particles. These flocculant clumps will not drop to the pool floor and can clog up your filter. Too much of this product can also cause damage to your pools surface and may even injure your skin.
Prevent Algae From Returning
All the algae should be dead and sitting at the bottom of your pool at this point. The dead algae is likely too fine to be vacuumed through your sand filter, therefore owners of sand filters must vacuum on the waste setting. Cartridge filter owners can vacuum up the dead algae but need to clean the filters thoroughly after doing so.
In the evening, chlorinate your pool with HTH Extra followed by adding a Phosphate Eliminating product to your skimmer to prevent algae from returning.
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The Best Brands Of Pool Clarifiers And Pool Flocculants
There are many different types of both pool clarifiers and pool flocculants. In this part of our guide, well discuss some of the top brands of both clarifiers and flocculants, to help you find the right product for your pool.
Robarb Super Blue Clarifier This clarifier is super-concentrated, treating 10,000 gallons with just 1 oz of product. It can also be used with all filter types, including sand filters, and even with saltwater swimming pool designs. It can destroy algae and remove all other tiny particles from the water and its non-toxic and non-irritating.
Scum-Ball Pool Water Clarifier This product is in a solid, convenient ball, and is designed to attract oils, soap scum, and other such particles from both pools and spas. It can simply be placed in the pool and left alone it will absorb about 40x its weight in oils and particles, before it loses effectiveness.
Arch Chemical HTH Super Concentrated Clarifier This clarifier treats about 5,000 gallons per oz of product, and is compatible with salt systems and all pool filters. Its also completely non-toxic and safe to swim in after its been added.
Clorox Pool & Spa Sink To Clear Flocculant Clorox has a history of making affordable and effective flocculants and pool products. This flocculant is highly effective at removing debris of all sizes, and can clear even the murkiest, cloudiest pools with ease.
What Happens When You Add Too Much Flocculant
If you think its possible to add too much of floc, the answer is YES. It is possible to over-floc your pool if you dont read the manual.
Since flocculants are made with aluminum sulfate, there is a chance that things could go wrong if you dont apply appropriately. Aluminum sulfate from the floc is made to clump tiny particles and sink them into the pool.
However, if you add too much floc, the flocculant will fold itself into shapes, leaving the debris and float on the surface instead of sinking. When this happens, your filter will pick it up, thus clogging the filter.
Also, too much floc can cause irritation to your eyes, skin and cause possible damage to your pool walls and equipment.
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How Do You Use A Swimming Pool Clarifier
If your pool is just mildly cloudy and you are not in a rush to clean it out, a clarifier may be your best bet. A clarifier requires less work and less water but can take to two to three days to achieve the results you are looking for.
The process of using a clarifier is simple, as long as you follow this step-by-step process. Here are the 5 key points in using a pool clarifier:
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Swimming Pool Flocculant Tips
Here are few tips to help you get the best result after floc-ing your pool:
Tips On Using A Pool Clarifier
Need some extra tips on how to make your pool clarifier work even more effectively? Youre in the right place. Here are a few of the ways you can turbocharge the performance of your pool filter and clarifier.
Turn your main drains on If you have a main drain, open it up to ensure that the pool water on the bottom of your pool can reach the filter. Dont have a main drain?
You can use a manual vacuum to achieve the same effect! Set it up as if you were going to vacuum, and leave it turned on on the bottom of the pool. This will help remove sinking particles.
Swim! Over the next several days, after you add pool clarifier, you should swim in your pool! Swimming helps kick up particles and move them around, and improve the circulation of water to your pool filter.
Keep that pool filter running If you can, keep your pool filter going 24/7. The longer it runs, the more particles will be filtered away!
Buy a filter enhancer If you have a DE filter, a filter enhancer can help increase its effectiveness even more! The most common filter enhancers are diatomaceous earth . If you have a sand filter, try using BioGuard Sparkle Up. Follow the manufacturers instructions to add it to your filter, and youll be able to catch even the tiniest particles that your filter may otherwise miss.
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