Should I use a clarifier?

moore887

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 14, 2018
311
CAPE CORAL
I have a couple of pools with cartridge filters and there's fine dust that blows out through the mesh bag of my bottom feeder cleaner and even the cartridge filter attachment doesn't help much. I've been brushing the dust up into the pool and.then advancing the mechanical timer so that the pump runs while the dust is in the air. I'm wondering should I use a clarifier and vacuum the old fashioned way? I also have an mx8 that I can drop in too and leave for a week.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,810
Bedford, TX
887,

I believe that clarifies are like glue and that once they end up in a cartridge filter they are there for good.

Let's see what some of our other members have to say...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
47,360
Tallahassee, FL
The ONLY time you should even think about using floc or clearifer is if you can vacuum to waster. It is like glue and can gum up a filter and there is NO way I would put a robot in there if you want to be able to use it again.
 

Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
1,209
West Palm Beach/Florida
I would double check your bottom feeder to make sure your cartridge filter piece is on right. It claims to filter out 20 microns which is really small. I dont know if you have another robot to drop in just to compare. But I have never seen any dust that my M500 could not clean up.
 

PoolBrews

Well-known member
Oct 16, 2019
260
The Villages, Florida
I have to inject my experience with clarifiers here as I see they are getting a bad rap :)

While I haven't used a clarifier in my new pool yet, I used clarifiers (Super Blue) weekly on both my 42K gallon pool in MI for 25 years, and in my 18K gallon pool in GA for 10 years. I had a DE filter on both pools, and used a robot in the GA pool for 10 years. I never experienced any issues over that time, and the robot (other than replacing a few part every 3 years or so) was still going strong when I sold the home in GA. Water was always crystal clear (other than when I opened every year).

Is it only bad for cartridge filters? Doesn't a good TSP soak and muriatic acid bath clear any of that out of the cartridge?
 

moore887

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 14, 2018
311
CAPE CORAL
I have done the tsp soak but not the muratic bath afterward. The filter cartridge did clean up but it was still slimy...
 

PoolBrews

Well-known member
Oct 16, 2019
260
The Villages, Florida
Interesting... I have a filter swap coming up - I may test adding a little clarifier and see how the filter looks when I swap it. I'm fairly new to cartridge filters, and I have to say, I really miss my DE filter.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
47,360
Tallahassee, FL
You should not use clarifier or floc unless you have a way to send it out of the pool BEFORE it gets to the filter. It can clog and mess up sand and could ruin a cartridge filter......Do NOT even try it on a DE filter. It will RUIN the grids.

They have their place so long as they are used with equipment that can go to waste some how.
 

PoolBrews

Well-known member
Oct 16, 2019
260
The Villages, Florida
I used clarifier (Super Blue) regularly (on a weekly basis) on both of my last two pools that had DE filters for 35 years. I did this because the pool store had me do it - it was before I ever found TFP.

However, I never had an issue with the grids. I had to replace a grid on my pool in MI once because I stupidly used a pressure washer on it and it shredded the fabric. But over 35 years, I never saw any build up on the grids, and it certainly didn't ruin any of them. They were both still going strong when I sold the homes.

Based on my personal experience of using Super Blue over 35 years, I don't see any issues - at least with a DE filter. I did add some yesterday to my pool - this morning, the haze is gone and the pool is crystal clear and sparkly. I'll pull the filter later today to look at it once this storm goes by and let you know what it looks like (pics and everything!). If it rains hard, I may wait a day to make sure I don't have to add anything before I swap the filter.
 

RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
1,003
Cabool, Mo
I was taught that clarifiers were made for sand filters to clump up and catch the small particulate that would normally blow through the sand, and that DE and cartridge filters already filter such small particulate that clarifiers are unnecessary. I was also taugh that a bit of DE in your sand filter will do the same job with no mess.
If it's more than just your average weekly vac, I always vac to waste if the system allows. No need to put that stuff in the filter at all.
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
34,475
Sebring, Florida
TFP rule of thumb..........Never put anything in your pool that you don't need or that you don't know what will happen.

You don't need clarifiers and you don't know if they will gum up a filter or not.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RDspaguy

red.32

Silver Supporter
Jul 7, 2015
36
CA
Clarifer is supposed to lump the finer particles together so they get filtered out easier. I used it on occasions, well, usually when I messed up. One time I got lazy and instead of cleaning the filter grids, I just back washed. When I turned the water back, all kind of fine dirt and stuff blew into the pool. I added couple bottles, and it helped clearing the water up. You are supposed to clean the filters after.