What is the Difference Between Clarifier and Flocculent?

Share This Post

Flocculent is a very ­handy chemical to have at your disposal in your swimming pool arsenal when you want to clear a pool fast. However, flocculent isn’t going to always be the number one choice for clearing your pool.

In this article, we will explain what the difference is between flocculent and clarifier, along with the directions to use both.

What is Clarifier?

Although the sand filter in your pool filtration does much of the heavy lifting when it comes to clearing a cloudy pool, sometimes your sand filter needs a little help to do the job.

The sand in your sand filter will catch 95% of particle in your water up to 4 microns. Clarifiers work as a coagulant and binds particles together to form a bigger particle which is more readily filtered by the sand filter. Since clarifier only works when your pool is running water through the filter we recommend running your pool filtration for as long as possible (if not on constantly) to help filter out the particles in the water.

Here are some basic tips to help your clarifier and pool filter clear your cloudy pool more efficiently:

  1. Always turn on your main drain suction when using clarifier. Draining water from the bottom of the pool capture particle in the whole pool and not just at the top.
  2. If you don’t have a main drain use your vacuum. If you pool does not have a main drain, plug in your pool vac and turn it upside-down on the bottom of the pool.
  3. Use your pool cleaning robot. If you own a pool cleaning robot then put the cleaner in the pool and run it for as long as possible. The cleaner will kick up particles from the bottom of your pool and get them moving into the filtration system. If you don’t have a cleaner you can always jump in the pool yourself and help kick up the particles.
  4. Backwash your filter every 24 hours. When you are actively trying to get rid of cloudy water, your filter will be getting clogged up quicker than typical operation. Be sure to backwash the filter as regularly as 24 hours to ensure the filter is working at optimum pressure.

What is Flocculent

Flocculent or as it is commonly called “floc”, is the fastest way to clear a cloudy pool. It is used as a remedy and not a preventative measure.

Floc is dosed directly to the pool water like seed sewing. Sprinkling the powder across the pool water. The floc grabs all of the particles making your water cloudy and binds them together making them heavy, slowly sinking them to the pool floor. The result is within a few hours you will have a perfectly clear water. The catch is that all those particles are now sitting on the bottom of your pool and need to be vacuumed up. This is not a job for a robotic cleaner unfortunately as the job needs to be done carefully and methodically.

Here are the directions for using flocculent:

  1. Firstly, turn your multiport valve on your filter to recirculate. We DO NOT want any floc to enter the sand filter.
  2. Take your flocculent and hand feed it in a scatter fashion (like chicken feeding we call it) over the pool water.
  3. Run your pool pump for 2 hours after dosing and then shut the pump off for 8-10 hours.
  4. After 10 hours you will find that the pool water is crystal clear however the pool floor will now be white with particle matter that has sunk to the floor.
  5. Connect your manual swimming pool vacuum and turn the multiport valve on you filter to waste. This means that you will be getting rid of the water you are vacuuming up along with all of the particle matter. It is recommended that you have a hose running in the pool while doing this.
  6. Being mindful about the level of the water and making sure not to run the water below the skimmers, slowly and methodically work your way around the pool with your vacuum being sure to not go too fast as to kick up the particle from the pool floor.
  7. If particle does start to kick up and the pool starts to become cloudy again take a break (remembering to turn off the pump) and return to it in 30 minutes, the cloud will have resettled and you can carry on.
  8. Once the pool is clear you can remove the vacuum, turn the multiport valve back to filtration and reassume typical use. Remember to keep you hose running till the water level is back to it’s regular level.
  9. Check the balance of your pool for chlorine, pH and Alkalinity. In refilling the pool your water is likely to be unbalanced and will require adding some chemicals.

When to use a flocculent or clarifier

Ultimately difference of use between flocculent or clarifier is time. If you need your pool up and running for the weekend and it’s Friday, floc is by far, the way to go. The downside? It requires a lot of work. If have a bit more time, then clarifier will give you the same result but can take up to 3 days to get fully cleared. It also cheaper as you will not have to add extra water to the pool and chemicals from to replenish those lost from vac’ing to waste.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

Swimming Pool Guides

Swimming Pool Buyers Guide

The Swimming Pool Buyers Guide

When choosing to purchase a swimming pool you may get overwhelmed with the amount of choices you have. This guide to help you understand the swimming pools and help you decide what pool you need.

Fibreglass Pools Guide

The Fibreglass, One-Piece Swimming Pool Guide

A comprehensive guide on fibreglass one-piece swimming pools and what you should expect. A pool is an investment, so we have written this guide to help you understand the process.

Swimming Pool Installation guide

The Swimming Pool Installation Guide

Buying a pool is an investment, so we have written this guide to help you understand the process. This guide covers building a pool and how we minimise disruption to get your pool built in as little time as possible.

Explore More