How often can I use clarifier?

ellruss

Active member
Jun 22, 2010
39
FC=4
CC=0
PH=7.5
CYA=35

My numbers have looked great for several weeks, but my water has not! I don't think there is any algae but the water will not clear up. (I stopped shocking because there was no CC and no overnight loss.) I am pretty sure it is just dirt. I finally broke down and added some clarifier when the water kept getting cloudier and cloudier and it made a huge difference overnight. I added a full dose on Saturday and another half dose 2 days later which helped some more. The bottle said overuse will cause more cloudiness, so my question is how many times or how frequently can I add clarifier, or do I just need to wait it out now? Does the clarifier get used up when it binds the particles, or does it stay in the water?
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
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Jun 22, 2009
23,626
SouthWest Alabama
You've come to the wrong place to ask that question! :-D :-D

My answer is never! If your chems are in balance and your filter is operating as designed, you don't need clarifier. If you "need" clarifier then you should look at all the equipment to make sure it's doing it's job efficiently and to the best of it's ability.

Please post the rest of the test results too.
TA
CH
 

ellruss

Active member
Jun 22, 2010
39
TA is 80. I did not test CH but can do that tonight. The sand filter seems to be working. There is plenty of dirt when we backwash which we have been doing every couple of days. I have been trying to stick with BBB but got impatient. Also my hubby installed an inline chlorinator and we started using the trichlor tabs that came with the pool. I switched back to bleach at the same time I added the clarifier.
 

bk406

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2009
2,690
Central Massachusetts
Actually, I have found a clarifier useful on occasion. If you have quite a bit of dirt, pollon, or other material that get blown into the pool, the water can be a bit dull from some of the finer particles. This can be especially true if you have a sand filter. Sand will filter particles down to about 30 microns or so. Normally, this would be fine since you cant see particles that size and below by eye. However, you can start to see dull water if too many of that particulate matter is present. If thats the case, then even perfect chemistry will still result in dull appearing water. This doesnt hurt anything, but it can be annoying if "sparkly" water is desirable. The same effect can be accomplished by adding a bit of D.E. to the sand filter. The method is described in pool school. I've never done that, but I have used a clarifier on occasion.
All that being said, if the water is really cloudy, there may be something else that's causing it that a clarifier may not help, or actually make worse. And....you can overdose it, and casue more cloudiness, but that usually clears up in a couple of days.

So..i'll disagree a bit with Bama in that, IMO, there are uses for a clarifier, but a good set of test results are needed to rule out things a clarifier may or may not help. Really, the idea of BBB is to be able to test the water, and know what to do with the test results. The other basic tenent is to not add anything that is not needed to your pool. Some take that to the point of not adding anything other than chlorine, borax/acid/ baking soda, and stabilizer. I feel there are uses for a clarifier sometimes if all the water test indicate nothing else is occuring.

Lastly, get the CH number. That would give us an idea if the cloudiness is due to high calcium levels. If thats the case, a clarifier wont do much good.
 

Bama Rambler

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Jun 22, 2009
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SouthWest Alabama
Sounds like you need a little more POP (pool owner patience). Backwashing your sand filter "every couple of days" is too much unless you're clearing a "swamp". A slightly dirty filter actually filters better than a clean filter. There's a point where the pressure rises that that's not the case.

How long are you running your pump per day?
What size is your pump?
Is your pump 2-speed?

BK -- I don't mind being disagreed with! :) Disagreeing with the pool store is how I found this place. If we all agreed all the time we'd never learn anything new! :)
 

ellruss

Active member
Jun 22, 2010
39
The pump is 1.5 hp and we have been running it 6-12 hours per day. I don't think there is channeling though I am not sure what to look for. The surface of the and is flat when I take the top off the filter. I am definitely running out of POP. I want some sparkly water before I have to close the pool for the winter!
 

solarboy

Well-known member
Aug 1, 2010
337
Europe
I had a similar problem to this once. Turned out to be not enough sand in the filter. One symptom was sediment returning into the pool even after rinsing, due to the large volume of dirty water in the space above the sand.
 

guamguy

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 26, 2010
388
Guam, USA
I remember once I "accidently" used a clarifier in my pool. My wife and I wanted to use some of that pool dye for a party we were having. I put the dye in the pool and it turned deep blue as expected, then after a day or so once the chlorine burned off the dye, my water chemistry was really messed up for about a week. After some further research, this "dye" also has a clarifier in it. Won't be using this stuff again anytime soon. Maybe I'll go for a darker color plaster when we replaster in the next few years...
 

anonapersona

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 5, 2008
2,598
Re darker plaster, be aware of what the darker color may do to pool temperatures. Dark color absorbs more heat from sunlight.