Flocculant (Floc) and Clarifier work in similar ways to help clear cloudy water. The main difference between flocculant and clarifier is that flocculant works more quickly by causing particles to coagulate into larger clumps and sink overnight so they can be removed by vacuuming. Clarifiers on the other hand cause particles to form in smaller clumps that need time to circulate through the filter where they will be trapped.
Comparison of Clarifier and Flocculant
- Clarifier and flocculant are both easy to apply and are both effective.
- A clarifier is good for mild cloudiness whereas flocculant works better for more severe cases.
- Clarifier saves water because you do not have to vacuum the particles to waste.
- Flocculant works much more quickly, within hours vs days for clarifiers but is a little more labor-intensive as contaminants have to be vacuumed once they sink to the bottom.
- Flocculant should only be used with sand and diatomaceous earth (DE) filters where you can bypass your filter to recirculate and avoid getting it in your filter. If used in a cartridge filter it can gum up the filter and potentially damage it. Likewise, water that has been treated with floc shouldn’t be allowed to enter sand or DE filters until it has had a chance to work. Filters should be set to waste when vacuuming.
- As a result of vacuuming to waste you will have to replace some water and likely experience dilution of key chemicals when using floc.
Should you use Flocculant or Clarifier?
If you have a need to clear your pool of small particles quickly, say for a party the next day, you should use flocculant.
If your water is only slightly cloudy after rain or other events or you are unable to bypass your filter then you should use a clarifier.