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When a pool’s pH is balanced and the chemicals are at the correct levels, cloudy water may be due to extremely small particles passing through the filtering system. In this situation, a flocculent may be helpful in clearing up the water.

A flocculent is designed to bulk up tiny debris. The flocculent is a positively charged polymer, which allows it to attach to dirt particles. This forms a larger substance that falls to the bottom of the pool, where it can be vacuumed up.

Before using a flocculent, it’s important to rule out pH imbalance or chemical problems. Take samples of the water to two different testing sites to be certain that the pH is balanced and chemical levels are correct. If so, it may be a good idea to try a flocculent.

Start with a very clean pool, free from large debris, like leaves, as well as noticeable algae. Scrub the walls and floor of the pool. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific filters. (Systems with cartridge filters should be set to recirculate to bypass the filter.) Add the flocculent to the skimmer and allow the filter to run for about an hour. Then turn off the pump for about 48 hours. At the end of that period, a thin layer of debris will have fallen to the pool floor. Vacuum the pool carefully, with the vacuum system set to waste. It may be necessary to vacuum more than once.