Pool Clarifier vs Flocculant

Shocking your swimming pool should be part of the weekly or bi-weekly maintenance program during hot summers and heavy usage. After shocking your pool you need to add a  small amount of Clarifier that will polish and help your filter clear the Pool H2O along with a good quality pool Flocculant that will work during those times of trouble. What is the difference between Pool Clarifier and Pool Flocculant?

Pool Clarifiers collect tiny particles in suspension after shocking or when the pool’s H2O has other issues-binding them together making them bigger trapping them in the filter. Pool Flocculants help particles clump together & settle out onto the pool floor with the filter off then vacuumed & removed

Using a Clarifier product along with Pool Flocculants should be part of the regular maintenance program and the best way to keep your pool and filtering system’s overall condition and health operating smoothly when you need your pool open during those hot summer days that are coming.

Why Is My Pool Still Cloudy After Shocking It


There are a few reasons that your swimming pool might turn cloudy. But if you have a pool no matter what size it is you’ll find that if you super-chlorinate or shock your swimming pool the water tends to cloud up when the Shock Chlorine is initially added into the water. On a regular cycle of super-chlorinating your pool, your pool water will be somewhat clear and if you shock it will cloudy up because of the inert materials involved with chemicals even if it’s well maintained. Sometimes the symptoms of cloudy water are often caused by more serious problems:

  • Poor H2O chemistry causes most cases of cloudy water. Testing the pool water will ensure it’s properly balanced.
  • Chlorine issues often cause cloudy water. Adding a recommended dose of shock chlorine to your pool can clear it then a Pool Clarifier
  • Poor circulation or filtration can contribute to cloudy water. Make sure your pump and filter are working properly and the sand is no more than 5 years old. Check your skimmer baskets, pump baskets, and pressure gauge on the filter systems. Check to see if the pressure is running too low or high which will indicate issues.
  • Rainstorms, Pollen, or increased swimmer usage can cause cloudy water during the hot summer months.



What is Pool Clarifier


Pool clarifier products are polymers that act as coagulants on suspended particles in the water. Specifically, clarifiers impart cations or positively charged ions to the pool, which are attracted to negatively charged suspended particles.

opposite-charges-attract-smOpposites Attract, and when adding a clarifier to a pool, the positive (+) polymer molecules immediately bond with the negative (-) particles that make pool water cloudy. As attraction continues, the particle quickly grows from microscopic size to a larger clump that can be removed by your pool’s filtering system

An important distinction to make with most pool clarifiers is that do not destroy particulate matter or consume colloidal solids that you see in the pool. They simply gather them up by clinging them together making larger and larger clumps, to a size that will be trapped in your pool filter. A properly operating pool filter is of paramount importance, to a clarifier’s success.

Use the Clarifier as part of your Maintenance Schedule. Like this really good product available through Amazon called SeaKlear Chitosan Clarifier for Pools | 1 qt | 12 Pack that will last the entire season.

What is Pool Flocculant


The 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.

A Pool Flocculant will attract suspended particles to itself, resulting in marble-sized clumps that sink slowly to the bottom of the pool. The filter pump remains off during treatment, and after 8-12 hours or the longer the better-a thick white carpet needs to be slowly vacuumed – to waste. If it doesn’t work completely the 1st time do it a 2nd time.

Use the Flocculant when you have a pool water quality issue. Like this quality Flocculant, available through Amazon called BioGuard PowerFloc (32 oz) (12 Pack) that will last the entire season.

How To Add Clarifier To Pool

  • Read and follow label instructions on the Clarifier product exactly, in regards to pool water balance requirements, correct dosage, application method, and pool filtration following treatment.
  • Don’t Overdose the pool with polymer Clarifiers can change the charge of the suspended particles from negative (-) to positive (+), resulting in increased water turbidity.
  • If pool clarity problems began with an algae bloom, be sure to kill algae before clarifier treatment. This requires 10-30 ppm of chlorine, with a suitably low pH of around 7.2.-7.4
  • Operate the filter 24 hours per day during treatment, or as long as possible each day and night to improve circulation and filtration.
  • Resist the urge to over-clean the filter. Backwash or clean the filter only when the pressure gauge has risen 7-9 lbs.
  • Always maintain proper water balance and chlorine levels following treatment. Some clarifiers may increase pool pH levels.



How To Use Pool Flocculant


  1. Adjust the pH to 7.4-7.6
  2. Test pool chemistry (balance water chemistry)
  3. Dilute Pool Flocculant-Read the directions on the bottle to find out how much water to add to the product to dilute it
  4. Add the flocculant-Use a five-gallon bucket to mix it up in. Pour the mix around the edge of the entire pool.
  5. Run your pump for 2 hours(without the Filter)
  6. Let the pool sit still for at least 8 hrs. or better let sit still overnight
  7. Vacuum your pool to waste by removing the blanket of debris from the pool floor
  8. Backwash the filter-for any sediment that made its way into the vessel
  9. Test the Pool chemistry for balance


There are other Pool Flocculant products that you pour directly into the pool skimmers that are pre-measured and very convenient. There are also combination Clarifier/Flocculant/ H2O Polishers products that work at different levels and degrees of cloudiness. Find your specific need I would recommend after 30 years of operating my 45,000-gallon inground pool that you use both a Clarifier for regularly scheduled maintenance and a Pool Flocculant that will turn over a green pool faster! 



JimGalloway Author/Editor






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