What Does Clarifier Do For A Swimming Pool

What is a Clarifier?

A clarifier is an essential tool for maintaining the clarity and cleanliness of swimming pool water. It works by coagulating and removing small particles, debris, and other impurities that can make the water appear cloudy or dirty. Using a clarifier in your pool can greatly improve water quality and enhance filtration efficiency.

Definition and Purpose

A clarifier is a chemical product designed to clarify swimming pool water by gathering together microscopic particles, forming larger clumps that can be easily removed through filtration. Its purpose is to eliminate these unwanted particles from the water column, resulting in clear, sparkling pool water.

How it Works

When added to the pool, a clarifier acts as a binding agent that attracts tiny particles such as dust, pollen, dead algae cells, and other organic debris. These particle clumps become larger and heavier due to the effects of the clarifying agent. As they grow in size, they are more effectively captured by the filter system or sink to the bottom of the pool for vacuum removal.

Benefits of Using a Clarifier in a Swimming Pool

Using a clarifier offers several benefits for maintaining optimal swimming pool conditions:

Improved Water Clarity

The primary benefit of using a clarifier is improved water clarity. By effectively eliminating small particles from your pool’s waterscape, you’ll enjoy crystal-clear blue waters that are visually appealing.

Removal of Small Particles and Debris

Clarifiers excel at removing even microscopic particles from your swimming pools such as dirt,dust,pollen,and dead algae cells which cannot be removed solely through regular filtration processes . This helps maintain overall cleanliness levels within your swimming pools

Enhanced Filtration Efficiency

By working hand-in-hand with your existing filter system,a good quality cclarfier boosts its effectiveness , allowing it better catch smaller debris normally missed during normal filtering cycles .

With increased efficacy ,pool filters are less likely overburdened by an excess of smaller particles and will function optimally for a longer duration.

Prevention of Cloudy Water

Clarifiers play a crucial role in preventing cloudy water. By removing small suspended particles that can cause cloudiness, clarifiers keep your pool’s water crystal clear even under heavy use or after extreme weather conditions.

Types of Clarifiers

There are two main types of clarifiers commonly used in swimming pools: polymer-based clarifiers and flocculant clarifiers. Each type works differently and is effective for specific situations.

Polymer-Based Clarifiers

Polymer-based clarifiers are the most common type used in swimming pools due to their ease of use and effectiveness in clearing cloudy water.

  1. How They Work:

Polymer-based clarifiers work by attracting tiny particles suspended within the pool water, causing them to clump together into larger masses known as flocs. These flocs become easier to capture through filtration or sink to the bottom for vacuum removal.

  1. Effectiveness in Clearing Cloudy Water:

Polymer-based clarifier is highly effective at improving clarity in cloudy pool water by eliminating microscopic debris that causes haziness.

  1. Recommended Dosage and Application:

To achieve optimal results, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on dosage rates provided on the product label; these usually depend on your pool size.
Typically you should pour directly into skimmers based upon recommended amounts from packaging . Run your filter system continuously 8-12 hours so that it properly clears up all impurities .

Flocculant Clarifies

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Flocculants are more powerful than polymer based counterparts ,and effectively remove very fine particulates such as dead algae cells along with some bacteria present within your swimming pools .While not typically recommended ,these may be necessary when dealing with particularly stubborn cloudiness

1.How they work :
Unlike typical cclarfiers which bind contaminants together,flocculants create dense particles that are too heavy for the pool filter to capture , forcing them to settle at the bottom of your swimming pools. The flocculants essentially clump together fine particles, resulting in larger and denser masses that can be easily removed through vacuuming or manual cleaning .

2.Effectiveness in Removing Fine Particles :
Flocculant clarifiers are highly effective in removing very fine particles such as dead algae cells and bacteria which cannot be captured effectively by regular filtration systems.

3.Recommended Dosage and Application:
Use Flocculant only if it is absolutely necessary, Follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully on dosage rates for proper application of this powerful clarifier.

Steps to Using a Clarifier in a Swimming Pool

Using a clarifier correctly requires following several important steps:

Testing and Balancing Pool Water

Before adding any chemicals or treatments, test your pool water using reliable testing strips or kits. Ensure the pH levels, chlorine levels, alkalinity levels,and calcium hardness all fall within recommended ranges. Balancing your pool water chemistry ensures optimal results when using a clarifier.

Choosing the Right Clarifier for Your Pool

Consider factors such as your pool size,type of impurities present ,and specific requirements while choosing between polymer-based cclarfiers or flocculants.The right choice will depend upon individual circumstances .

Determining the Correct Dosage

Dosage guidelines vary depending on both product type and manufacturers specifications.
Always follow label directions precisely to determine how much product should be added based upon gallons of water you have . Overuse may lead to unwanted side effects .
Additionally,you may use online tools like “Pool calculator” available at Swim University website (www.swimuniversity.com)which provides quick guidance on dosage rates based upon gallon capacity for different brands available

Application Methods

There are two primary methods commonly used :
1.Directly into skimmers :
Pour required amount of clarifier directly into the skimmer basket.
2.Pre-Dissolving in a Bucket of Water:
Mix the recommended dosage of clarifier with water in a bucket and stir it until it fully dissolves. Once dissolved,pour the solution evenly around the perimeter of your pool .

Circulating The Water

After adding a clarifier, run your pool’s circulation system continuously for 8-12 hours or more depending upon severity of cloudiness . This ensures that all impurities are effectively captured by filtration processes or settled at bottom.

Monitoring and Adjusting as Needed

Monitor your pool water clarity closely during and after treatment to determine if further adjustments are necessary. If cloudiness persists, additional treatments may be required.

Common Misconceptions about Clarifiers

Despite their benefits, there are some common misconceptions about clarifiers that need to be addressed:

Clarifiers as a Substitute for Proper Filtration and Maintenance

Clarifiers should never be seen as a substitute for proper filtration systems ,chemical balance,and regular maintenance routines within swimming pools.Regular use of cclarfiers is not an alternative when basic pool care steps aren’t followed . Regular vacuuming ,brushing,filter cleaning etc alongwith ensuring correct chemical levels ensures clean clear swimming pools .

Overuse of Clarifies Leading to Negative Effects

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Overusing clarifies can lead to negative effects on both water quality and equipment.Extreme overdose may cause filter clogging,reduced efficiency or even damage leading unexpected expenses therefore its very important carefully follow manufacturer guidelines regarding dosage rates provided on product packaging .
Additionally,you must also remember that these chemicals do add strain onto environment by creating unnecessary waste.If there isn’t any visible signs you must always refrain from using them

Troubleshooting Tips For Using Cclarifers

Dealing with Persistent Cloudy Water

If persistent cloudy water occurs despite treatment with cclarfier,multiple issues might be at play including improper filtration,insufficient chemical levels or even underlying issues with the swimming pools surface.
Firstly ,ensure that filter is functioning properly and clean it regularly .
Additionally, consider testing your pool water balance to ensure pH,alkalinity,cyanuric acid,and calcium hardness are within recommended ranges.

Avoiding Excessive Foaming

Excessive foaming may occur if excessive amounts of clarifier are used or if other factors such as excess debris or organic matter in the pool exist . Keep an eye on proper dosage rates and make sure not to overdose while using cclarifiers .

Regular Maintenance and Cleaning of Pool Filter

Regular maintenance routines for your pool’s filtration system will help keep it running optimally. Clean your filters according to manufacturer instructions,don’t forget regular backwashing routine
When cleaning cartridge filters use a high-pressure hose nozzle for removal of larger debris particles.


In conclusion ,using a clarifier in your swimming pool offers several benefits including improved water clarity,removal of small particles enhanced filtration efficiency as well prevention against cloudy water. When choosing between polymer-based clarifiers flocculant cclarfiers choose based upon specific circumstances at play .
Follow the steps outlined in this article for proper application: testing and balancing pool water , choosing the right product,determining correct dosage,application methods,circulating water,and monitoring results.The tips mentioned above should be helpful when troubleshooting any potential issues related to cloudiness.Always remember that regular maintenance alongside balanced chemical levels ensures optimal cleanliness standards within your beautiful crystal-clear swimming pools.

For more information on maintaining healthy clear swim sessions you can visit Swim University website (www.swimuniversity.com) which provides downloadable guides,videos,tutorials alongwith useful FAQ section


Q1: Can I use a clarifier instead of regular filter cleaning?
A1: No, a clarifier should never replace regular filter cleaning. While it aids in improving water clarity, regular filter cleaning is essential for proper filtration and should not be neglected.

Q2: Can I use a clarifier to fix all water clarity issues?
A2: No, clarifiers are effective in removing small particles and improving overall water clarity. However, they may not solve all underlying issues that can cause cloudiness in your pool. It’s important to address any potential problems with your pool’s filtration system or chemical balance.

Q3: How often should I use a clarifier?
A3: The frequency of using a clarifier depends on various factors such as the size of your pool and its usage. As a general guideline, it is recommended to use a clarifier once every week or two during the swimming season. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding dosage rates.

Q4: Can I swim immediately after adding a clarifier?
A4: It is generally safe to swim after adding a clarifier as long as you have followed the recommended dosage and allowed enough time for circulation (8-12 hours). However,it would still be advisable to consult product label directions before jumping back into your swimming pools


Pool clarifiers: Chemical products used in swimming pools to improve water clarity by causing suspended particles, such as algae particles or heavy matter, to clump together for easier removal.

Algae bloom: An overgrowth of algae in a swimming pool, resulting in greenish appearance and poor water quality.

Pool Water Clarifier: A specific type of clarifier designed for use in pool water to eliminate cloudy or hazy appearance.

Pool floor: The bottom surface of a swimming pool.

Pool chemicals: Various substances used to treat and maintain the cleanliness and balance of pool water.

Pool owners: Individuals responsible for the maintenance and care of their own swimming pools.

Swimming pool clarifiers: Products specifically formulated to improve water clarity in swimming pools by removing unwanted particles.

Sand filters: Filtration systems that use sand as the filtering medium to trap debris from the pool water before it is returned back into the pool.

Pool flocculants: Similar to clarifiers, but these chemicals cause larger particles (floccules) to sink or settle at the bottom of the pool for easier vacuuming/removal.

Types of Pool Clarifiers: Different formulations available on market with varying effectiveness against different types/sources/forms/colors/amounts/severities/stages/maturities/etc.

Quick guide / Quick video / Step-by-step videos / Swim University YouTube Channel / Pool Care Cheat Sheet / Pool Care Course : Resources/tools aimed at providing helpful instructions/tutorials/advice/tips/guidance regarding various aspects related to maintaining a clean and safe swimming environment.

Tablet form : Some clarifiers are available in tablet form for convenient dosage application directly into skimmers/baskets/pool circulation system/etc.

Stains : Discolorations/marks/blemishes on surfaces inside/outside/around/swimming-pool-area due-to/due-to-stained-material-such-as-minerals/metals/rust/calcium/water-chemistry/etc.

Heavy rain: An intense precipitation event that can impact pool water chemistry and clarity.

Pressure gauge: A device used to measure the pressure within a pool’s filtration system, which helps indicate when maintenance or backwashing may be required.

Water levels: The height/depth of water in a swimming pool, which needs to be maintained at appropriate levels for proper functioning of the equipment and circulation system.

Confusion of pool maintenance : Difficulty or lack of understanding regarding proper care and upkeep of a swimming pool.

Pool Shock: A chemical treatment method used to rapidly increase chlorine levels in the pool water for disinfection purposes or to combat algae growth.

Size Pool : Refers to determining the volume/capacity/gallons-of-water inside an average backyard inground/swimming-pool with respect-to chemicals dosage/application-rates/instructions/products/equipment/maintenance/etc., since it affects many aspects related-to/pertaining-to/related-with overall management/regimen/planning/etc.

Cloudy pools / Hazy water / Pool Water Cloudy : Refers-to/hints-at/implying/suggesting improper balance/unwanted particles/contamination/excessive debris/water-quality issues/dirty/faulty filtration/wrong-chemicals/application-problems/etc.-resulting-in-murky/turbid/opaque/turbidity-worse-than-usual appearance/state-of-the-swimming-pool-water.

Natural clarifiers: Alternative options made from natural ingredients/enzymes/bacteria etc., that aid in improving water clarity without using harsh chemicals.

Filter pump / Filter systems: Equipment responsible-for/removing-particulates-from-pool-water-by-passing-it-through-a-filter-medium (such as sand) using-a-pump-and-circulation-system setup/commonly-used-in-swimming-pools-filters-as-standard-equipment/or-bought-separately/as-an-upgrade-option-or-additional-component/replacement-part-for-filter-systems.

Improper chemical balance: When the levels of chemicals, such as chlorine, pH, alkalinity etc., in a swimming pool are not within their recommended ranges for safe and effective water treatment.

Manual vacuum / Automatic pool vacuum : Different methods of cleaning the pool floor/walls/surfaces using manual tools or automatic devices respectively to remove debris and maintain cleanliness.

Step-by-step downloadable/Step videos: Instructional materials that provide a series of sequential steps/tutorials to guide users through specific tasks or processes related to pool maintenance and care.

Poor filtration / Poor circulation: Issues with the performance/effectiveness/operation/maintenance/set-up/etc.-of-the-pool-filtration/circulation system which can result in inadequate removal/distribution-of-contaminants/particles/bacteria-algae/etc., causing problems like cloudy water/unwanted appearance/reduced effectiveness/of-chemical-treatment-unhealthy-water-condition-slow-cleaning-processes-worse-maintenance-efficiency-and-other-related-issues.

Quaternary ammonium chlorides : A type/group/classification/category-of chemicals used-in-swimming-pools-as-an-active-component-or-disinfectant-to-help-with-killing/pathogens/harmful-bacteria/viruses/microorganisms/fungi/algae/plankton-and-various-other-types-of-contamination-that-can-affect-water-quality-health-safety-cleanliness-sanitation-natural-balance-and-more.

Swimming pool chemicals : Broad term referring-to/a-generic-term-used-for-all-substances/products-compounds/substances-formulations-compositions-materials-available-on-market-designed-intended-developed/manufactured-specifically-for-use-in-swimming-pools-based-on-those-items-properties-characteristics-functionality-applications-effective-range-purpose-it-is-meant-to-accomplish-support-provide-deal-with-improve-address-regulate-manage-control-adjust-monitor-ensure-optimize-prevent-promote-etc.-in-pool-water.

Saltwater pool : A type of swimming pool that utilizes a salt chlorination system to produce chlorine from the dissolved salt, providing sanitization without the need for traditional liquid or tablet chlorine.

Algae particles / organic particles : Microscopic plant organisms present in water that can cause discoloration and cloudiness in swimming pools.

Fast-acting product / Effective chemical products : Clarifiers or other chemicals that work quickly and efficiently to improve water clarity and quality within a matter of hours.

Choice of product: The selection/make-up/preference/decision made by an individual regarding which specific clarifier or chemical product to use based on factors such as effectiveness, ease of use, availability, personal preference etc.

Form of algae: Different types/forms/species/breeds/kinds/colors/varieties-of-algae-that-can-exist-in-swimming-pools-such-as-green-black-mustard-bluegreen-and-more-different-types-of-algaes-may-have-different-responses-to-treatments/filters/chemicals/environmental-factors/etc./

Source for algae: The origin/cause/reason-for-the-introduction/appearance/proliferation-growth-development-presence/existence-expansion/spreading-spores/seeds/hatchlings/cysts/endospores/algae-hosts/water-quality-imbalances/inadequate-sanitation/practices/poor-circulation/unwanted-contamination/etc. – which can be different external/internal contributors/environments/situations/suppliers/distribution-channels/aquatic-system-interactions-biofilm-fungi-conditioners-birds-plants-light-carrier-material-human-actions-skin-oil-cosmetics-wind-rainstorm-equipment-problems-infestations-runoff-unwanted-contaminants-or-various-other-reasons-related-to-environment-or-overall-management.

Type of algae / form of algae : Different types/forms/species/breeds/kinds/colors/varieties-of-algae-that-can-exist-in-swimming-pools-such-as-green-black-mustard-bluegreen-and-more-different-types-of-algaes-may-have-different-responses-to-treatments/filters/chemicals/environmental-factors/etc./

Alkalinity balance / Alkalinity imbalance: Refers to the proper or improper levels of alkaline substances in pool water, which can affect pH and overall water chemistry.

Slow release tablets / Clarifier tablets: Specific forms/presentation-methods/delivery-options/products-which-release-clarifying-substances-or-active-ingredients-over-time/at-a-controlled-rate/slowly-dispersing-effective-components-releasing-them-at-steady-rates-for-prolonged-action/extended-duration-period.

Clarifier dosage: The recommended amount/volume/measurement/concentration/application-rate/instruction/guideline-regarding-the-right-quantity-to-use-or-add-of-a-specific clarifier product for effective treatment/improvement-results/handling-compliance/completion/application-appropriate-level-efficiency-purpose-intended-target-depth-volume-capacity-gallons/liters/peripheral/tolerance-range/etc.-of-water-condition.

Hydrochloric acid : A strong chemical substance used in pool maintenance to adjust pH and total alkalinity levels. Must be handled with caution due to its corrosive nature.

Greenish appearance : The coloration/aesthetic-resultant-from/due-to chlorophyll-contained-inside/participating-present-contributing-giving-colonial-blooms/or-produce-waste-byproduct-product-found-within-certain-forms-types-species-kinds-breeds-varieties-environments-concentrations-chlorophyll-like-pigment-compounds-nutrient-status-light-level-temporary/transient-planktonic-free-floating-viable-cells/of-algae-in-water-resembling-color-characteristic-shade-associated-with-sunlight-wavelength-photosynthetic-processes-cellular-metabolism-growth-and-life-cycle/stages-typical-green-algaes-cyanobacterias-whatever-can-caused-unwanted-green-color-tone-pool water.

Quality clarifier : A high-quality clarifying product that effectively improves water clarity and removes unwanted particles without causing any harm to swimmers or pool equipment.

Afternoon cleaning / Pool on weekends: Specific time/duration/schedule when regular pool maintenance tasks, including cleaning/vacuuming/adjustments/water-testing/etc., are performed in the afternoon/on weekends/by individuals due to their availability/convenience/preference/work-commitments/personal-time/resources/other-factors-affecting-routine-activities.

Amounts of debris: The quantity/volume/quantity/particles/matter/materials/nature-of-dirt-grime-leaves-twigs-dead-insects-pollen-spores-oils-lotions-sunscreens-hair-feathers-bird-nests-seeds-trash-construction-materials-dust-sludge-scale-hard-water-stains-mold-algae-or-any-other-type-of-solid-contamination-found-inside-outside-around-pool-that-needs-to-be-removed/cleaned/disposed-for-cleanliness-health-sanitation-functionality-regulation-aesthetic-appearance-optimal-performance-compliance-efficiency-prevention-presence-control-protection-related-reasons.

Please note that some terms may have similar meanings but are used interchangeably based on context, brand names mentioned here are for illustrative purposes only and do not imply endorsement or recommendation.

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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