Pool Clarifier After Shock: Why it is Not a Great Idea?

Can You Add a Pool Clarifier Right After Shock?

Adding pool clarifier after shock is not recommended. Shock spikes the chlorine level 10X. The idea is to overwhelm & kill the harmful pathogens very quickly. Adding pool clarifier with or right after shock will be counterproductive. The clarifier will help the contaminants to clump together and resist the action of shock.

Shocking your pool is possibly the most important thing you can do to keep your pool free of harmful bacteria and algae. More often than not the aftermath of shock is a cloudy pool.

The murkiness in the water is caused by neutralized contaminants floating around. So can you add a pool clarifier right after shock to clear your pool fast? 

More often than not, shock will result in a cloudy pool. A cloudy pool, after a shock, is actually a good thing. It is a confirmation that the shock has worked.

The pool has become cloudy because all the broken down contaminants and dead microorganisms are floating around as microparticles.

Pool Clarifier After Shock

How Long After Shocking Should You Add a Clarifier?

Correct sequence and proper timing are critical when it comes to adding pool chemicals. Only then can you get optimal results.

The best practice is to wait at least 24 hours after shocking your pool. This allows the shock treatment time to do its job and fully break down any contaminants in the water. Sometimes it may take longer. 

During this period run your pool filter continuously and ensure good water circulation. The pool filter will trap the bigger clumps of contaminants and dead algae.

Before you can add the clarifier to your pool you have to be sure that the shock has successfully eliminated all the algae and other contaminants. To find out you must conduct the “Overnight Chlorine Loss Test”.  

Test the FC level in the evening after sunset and again in the morning before sunrise. If the levels are the same then the shock is complete and there is no additional chlorine demand. However, if the overnight chlorine loss is greater than 1 ppm you may need to shock your pool again.

You can add the pool clarifier only after the shock has fully dissipated and the chlorine level has dropped to below 5 ppm. Test the pH of the water too. A slightly high pH level of 7.5 – 8.0 is good as it makes the clarifier more effective.

When it comes to pool chemistry, the correct sequence and spacing of chemical addition is very important. There are no shortcuts. Rushing to add chemicals may become counterproductive. Remember, a little patience can go a long way in keeping your pool clear and healthy.

The takeaway is that the clarifier must be added only after the shock has completely eliminated the contaminants and there is no further chlorine demand.

Moreover, the pool chemistry should be in the range recommended above. So, you may need to wait 24 – 48 hours before you can add the pool clarifier after shocking your pool. 

How Long Does It Take for a Pool Clarifier to Work?

A pool clarifier can take between 48 to 72 hours to clear up your pool. Of course this is only a general estimate and the actual time taken will depend on several factors.

The level of cloudiness will certainly determine the time the pool clarifier will take to work. In fact if the quantity of microparticles in the pool are abnormally high you may need to floc your pool before using the pool clarifier. 

A pool flocculant coalesces the microparticles in the pool into large clumps that sink to the bottom and must be vacuumed out. This will add another couple of days to the process.

A pool clarifier, on the other hand, coalesces the microparticles into small clumps that are trapped by the pool filter. The time taken to filter out all the clumps created by the clarifier depends on the pool filter type. Typically DE filters are more effective than sand or cartridge filters.

You also need to run the pool filter continuously while the clarifier is at work. Running the filtration system intermittently will not only slow down the process, but will also give some of the clumps a chance to settle. You may need to vacuum the pool floor in that case.

And of course the efficacy of the pool clarifier will also determine the time required to make your pool crystal clear. Choose a reputed brand of pool clarifier.

How to Shock and Then Clarify a Pool?

The process of shocking your pool and then clearing up the cloudy water with a pool clarifier needs to be done right. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get your pool sparkling clean.

Step 1: Test Your Pool Water

Testing pool water is critical before you shock your pool. It is the key to determining how much shock you will need. You can use a test kit or take a sample of water to your local pool store for analysis. 

Step 2: Shock Your Pool

The next step is to shock your pool. The best time to start this process is in the evening. For one you can not use the pool after you have shocked it as chlorine levels will be dangerously high. The more important reason is that chlorine will not get depleted by the UV rays of the sun.

Once you have added the shock, run the pool pump continuously, for at least 24 hours to circulate the water and allow the shock to do its job.

Step 3: Wait for the Shock to Work

After adding the shock to your pool, you’ll need to wait for it to work its magic. This process can take up to 48 hours, depending on the severity of the contamination and the chlorine demand. 

Conduct the overnight chlorine loss test to determine if the shock process is complete. Repeat if required. You must make sure that all contaminants have been neutralized, chlorine level is below 5 ppm and pH is within 7.5 – 8.0, before adding the clarifier.

Step 4: Add Pool Clarifier

If the level of cloudiness is too high you may need to use a pool flocculant first. Check out my article on how to use a pool flocculant to clear cloudy pool water.

In case the level of cloudiness is reasonable, you can add the pool clarifier. Make sure that the pool pump and filter run continuously to allow the clarifier to work effectively.

You have to keep an eye on your pool filter during the process. Clean or backwash the filters if necessary. 

The entire process should take 2 – 3 days. You will know when the pool water has become crystal clear again!

Step 5: Test the Water Again

Before diving right in, you must test the water’s chemical levels again to ensure that everything is balanced. Rebalance the pool chemistry to ideal levels!

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