If you’re struggling with cloudy pool water and want a simple solution, pool clarifier might be the answer. It’s an effective method for clearing up cloudiness in your swimming pool. However, it’s important to understand when to use a clarifier and when to consider a flocculant instead. In this article, we’ll explore the difference between these two treatments and provide a comprehensive tutorial on using pool clarifier for crystal clear water.
What is Pool Clarifier?
Pool clarifier works by clumping together small particles and contaminants in the water. By adding a clarifier to cloudy water, these smaller particles coagulate into larger particles that can be captured by your filter. It’s important to note that clarifiers do not destroy the particles, but rather bond them together into larger clumps. Without a water clarifier, these small particles would pass through your pool pump and filter and return to your pool water.
Benefits of Pool Clarifier
There are several reasons why pool clarifier is a good choice for mildly cloudy water:
- Pool Clarifier is less work: Unlike other treatments, there’s no need to remove or vacuum out the clarifier. Simply add it to the water and let it do its job.
- Pool Clarifier is suitable for mild cloudiness: If you can still see the pool floor, a clarifier is the right choice. It’s also a great option after a pool party.
- Pool Clarifier saves water: Utilizing the natural function of your pool filter, a clarifier does not require removing any water from the pool.
- Pool Clarifier can be used anytime: Even when your pool doesn’t appear cloudy, adding a little clarifier can give the water an extra boost and make it look extra sparkly.
Downsides of Pool Clarifier
Despite its benefits, there are a few scenarios where pool clarifier might not be the best option:
- Pool Clarifier works slowly: Depending on the severity of cloudiness, it may take two to three days for your pool to be completely clear.
- Cleaning the filter is required: Once the clarifier has worked, the clumped particles will be in the filter. You’ll need to clean or backwash your filter accordingly.
- Less powerful than flocculant: Pool clarifier is not as effective as flocculant when it comes to clearing extremely cloudy water. It is better suited for mildly cloudy water.
How Long Does it Take for Pool Clarifier to Work?
Clearing up cloudy water using pool clarifier can take approximately two to three days, depending on the level of cloudiness. It’s important to balance your water and continuously run your filter 24/7 while the clarifier is at work. If you have an algae problem, address that first before adding clarifier.
How To Use Pool Clarifier
Using pool clarifier is straightforward, but it’s crucial to follow the correct steps in the right order for optimal effectiveness. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
1. Skim, Brush, and Vacuum Your Pool
Start by removing any large debris with a skimmer net. Then, brush the pool walls with a stiff pool brush and vacuum the pool manually.
2. Test and Balance Your Pool Water
Using test strips or a liquid test kit, measure and adjust the pH and alkalinity levels accordingly. The pH levels should be between 7.4 and 7.6, while the alkalinity levels should be between 100 and 150 ppm.
3. Shock Your Pool Water
If you have any algae or high levels of combined chlorine, shock your water first. Add a high dose of chlorine to kill any contaminants. Allow the shock to dissolve overnight or for at least 8 hours, then retest your water.
4. Keep Your Filter Running 24/7
To clear up cloudy water, continuously run your filter over the next few days. The speed of clarification depends on the type of filter you have. D.E. Filters have the highest filter capacity and clear up cloudy water quickly, while sand filters take the longest.
5. Increase Your Pool Circulation
Ensure proper water circulation by directing your return jets downward at a 45° angle and in the same direction. If you have an inground pool, make sure the main drain is pulling water from the bottom into the filter system. If there is no main drain, use a manual vacuum cleaner placed upside down at the bottom of the pool to act as a main drain.
6. Add Clarifier
Once the pool shock has dissipated, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and add the appropriate amount of pool clarifier for your pool size. Use a pool calculator if needed. Keep the filter running 24/7 while the clarifier is working.
7. Clean Your Filters and Retest Your Water
After two to three days, your water should be clearer. Clean or backwash your filters and retest your water chemistry. Some pool clarifiers may increase pH levels, so use a pH decreaser if necessary.
Should You Use Clarifier or Flocculant?
If your pool is only mildly cloudy or you have a cartridge filter, pool clarifier is the recommended choice. It can be used in any situation with any filter setup. However, if your pool water is extremely cloudy or you want a fast solution, pool flocculant is more effective at clumping particles together. Keep in mind that using flocculant requires manual vacuuming while bypassing the filter.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pool Clarifier
If you have more questions about using pool clarifier, here are some common queries:
When should I add Pool Clarifier to my water?
You can add pool clarifier if your water chemistry is balanced and your filters are clean. It’s recommended for opening your pool or treating mild cloudy water. However, make sure to address any algae issues before using clarifier.
Can I put too much Clarifier in my pool water?
Using too much clarifier can create additional problems, including murky water and bacteria growth. It’s safe to use clarifier once a week, but be cautious if you use a metal sequestrant in your pool water as these two products can counteract each other.
Can you use Pool Clarifier and Algaecide together?
No, you should not add two chemicals to your pool water simultaneously. Treat any algae in your pool before using clarifier. While pool flocculant can help clump floating algae particles for easier vacuuming, it’s best to shock your pool first.
Can you use Clarifier in a Saltwater Pool?
Yes, clarifier works in any type of pool. Ensure that your pool’s chlorine, alkalinity, and pH levels are within the appropriate range.
Can you swim in cloudy pool water?
Swimming in cloudy pool water is not recommended. Cloudy water contains debris and contaminants that can cause eye irritation. Additionally, limited visibility increases the risk of accidents and drowning. Wait until your water is clear before swimming.
What causes cloudy pool water?
Cloudy pool water is typically caused by poor filtration, low chlorine levels, imbalanced water chemistry, or contaminants such as debris or algae. While pool clarifier can help clear the water, it won’t resolve underlying issues. Ensure your filter system is functioning properly, and maintain balanced pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and chlorine levels.
Need More Pool Maintenance Help?
For additional assistance with pool maintenance, we offer the following resources:
- Download our free Pool Care Cheat Sheet, a comprehensive guide to pool maintenance.
- Subscribe to our Swim University YouTube Channel for free video tutorials throughout the pool season.
- Check out our Pool Care Course, which provides step-by-step videos and a downloadable guide covering all aspects of pool maintenance.
With these resources, you’ll have the knowledge and tools to keep your pool in top condition. Enjoy crystal clear water all season long!