Too Much Clarifier

I Put Too Much Clarifier In My Pool - What Should I Do?

Pool clarifier is a bonding agent that allows tiny particles of debris in your pool to stick together and form clumps. In normal circumstances, these clumps are slowly removed by your filter system over the course of a few days, returning your pool to its former clarity.

But can accidentally add too much clarifier to your pool? What happens if you do?

Read on to learn more about what happens in your pool when you add too much clarifier, as well as what steps you can take to remove any excess clarifier.

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Effects of Using Too Much Clarifier

Because pool clarifiers are coagulants, their effect is further strengthened as the concentration of active ingredients increases. In your pool water, this means that they become exceptionally sticky, forming much larger clumps than are intended.

These clumps may become heavy and sink to the bottom, which is a common occurrence when using flocculants, or they can also become too large for your filter system to adequately remove without becoming clogged.

Excess amounts of clarifier are also known to cause your product to become ineffective. It may cause clumps to form that contain no debris, or clumps may resist forming altogether.

How to Remove Excess Clarifier

In many cases, leaving the filter running for an extended period of time can resolve the problems caused by using an excess of clarifier. We recommend that you make efforts to manually net out as many large clumps as possible to further speed up this process.

During the period that your filter is working to remove the coagulated debris and excess clarifier, it will likely become clogged or otherwise partially obstructed.

Keep an eye on the pressure drop over your filter and clean or backwash it as necessary.

If you have a cartridge filter, you will need to rinse the cartridge to improve its waste capturing capacity. If you have a sand filter, you will need to run the backwash setting on your pump to clean out the filter sand.

If running your filter to remove the excess clarifier does not work over time, or if you are seeking a faster-acting solution, it is necessary for you to perform a partial drain and refill of your pool’s water.

We recommend exchanging around 10% of your pool’s total volume with fresh source water. In a pool of 50,000 litres, this would be equivalent to 5,000 litres, but you may opt to do a larger amount if you suspect that your problem is severe.

Draining and adding fresh water to your pool works in two ways. First, it works by directly lowering the concentration of the clarifier in your water, which allows the clarifier to return to functioning more normally.

Second, the fresh source water you add will typically contain trace amounts of tiny debris, which gives any remaining, excess clarifier in your water new particles to attach to.

Because adding fresh water will allow your clarifier to resume producing clumps of debris that are the appropriate size, it is a very helpful way to rid your pool of excess clarifier, and it is a much more proactive approach than waiting for your filter to remove everything.

Remember that adding fresh water to your pool will drastically alter your water chemistry. After replacing some of your pool’s water, you should use a test kit to make sure your pool’s pH, chlorine, total alkalinity, and calcium hardness are all within the ideal ranges.

Expect to see low chlorine, low alkalinity but relatively unchanged pH. You could also have low hardness or high hardness depending on where you live in Australia.

If you use bore water that is not sanitised by a public drinking water municipality, you may want to use a shock treatment to eliminate the risks of any waterborne bacteria or algae. Otherwise, make any appropriate adjustments to your pool’s chemistry once your pool starts showing signs of improvement.


Adding too much clarifier in your pool can cause your pool water to stay cloudy, and may even make it appear more dirty. Over time, excess clarifier can be removed by your filter system as long as it is regularly cleaned out to ensure that it is properly functioning.

If you are looking for a faster solution to your excess clarifier problem, you can perform a water change on your pool to remove the excess chemicals manually.

All in all, yes, you can use too much clarifier in your pool and it will likely cause problems if not handled proactively.

Do you have any questions about what to do if you add too much clarifier? Drop a question in the comments, we’d love to help you out!

Louis from Pool Advisor


A chemical engineer by trade, Louis is committed to debunking myths in the pool industry by explaining the underlying chemistry and making it accessible to all.