How Do I Vacuum My Pool After Flocking? Find Out!

How Do I Vacuum My Pool After Flocking? You’re troubled by cloudy water in your pool, so you’ve applied a flocculant to help you clear it up. Now it remains to clear up the fine debris on the pool floor. If this is your first time flocking your pool or you can’t seem to vacuum your pool correctly after flocking, you’re probably wondering ‘how do I vacuum my pool after flocking?’ Well, we’ve got just the answer for you. 

First off, ensure that you do not use a robotic pool cleaner; a pool robot may not know to go slowly enough so as not to agitate the settled debris. Instead, go manual with your regular pool vacuum cleaner. To begin, turn on your pool vacuum and set it to ‘waste’ mode. Once set, you should move your vacuum head as slowly as possible so that you do not agitate the fine particles on the floor.

While vacuuming to waste, it is good practice to let your garden hose lay in the water so that the water level remains fairly constant. This is because the water level tends to go down a little when in a ‘waste’ setting. To achieve the best results, you may have to vacuum twice or as many times as you like to clear the floc entirely. Subsequently, you can top up the pool water to compensate for the volume lost during vacuuming.

How Do You Floc a Pool? 

If, however, you’re just hearing about pool flocculant for the first time or maybe because the guide is vague, you can’t figure out how to use it. We have outlined the steps in flocking your pool easily. Here’s how to go about it: 

  • Top The Water Level 

Remember when we said you would need to vacuum to waste? Now, you would need to first top the pool water so that the water level won’t drop below the filters while you vacuum to waste. This way, the pool pump can work correctly during the vacuuming process. 

Stabilize PH Level  

The PH level is a measure of how acidic or basic the pool water is. Ideally, the number should stand between 7.2  & 7.4- the closer to 7.0 the better. If you measure and find out that your pool’s PH sits outside that range, you should add the necessary pool chemicals to balance it out before applying a flocculant.

Dilute The Flocculant 

Read the instructions for diluting the flocculant; It should be written on the container. A good container to dilute the flocculant would be a 5-gallon bucket. 

Add to Floc Solution to Pool 

Next, you can add now add the dilute floc solution to the pool water. 

Run The Pump For 2 hours 

Doing this will allow the flocculant to mix thoroughly with the pool water for maximum effect. 

Turn Off The Pool Pump 

You want the cloudiness to condense and settle at the bottom of the pool, so it’s best to turn off the pool pump.

Turn On The Pump 

After 8 hours, set the filter to the ‘waste’ setting and switch on the pump so that it can start filtering. 

Use a Manual Vacuum 

Using a manual vacuum, clean out whatever is left behind after filtering. Move the vacuum head as slowly as you can or you might agitate the fine debris. 

Top The Water 

Water is usually lost when you vacuum to waste. You may need to top up the pool water to replace the volume lost during the cleanup. 

Backwash The Pool Filter

Lastly, backwash the pool filter to eliminate any remnant chemicals that they may have collected in the cleaning process. 

Note: Cartridge pool filters cannot backwash like sand or DE filters. Unless you have custom plumbing installed for backwashing, you cannot use a pool flocculant when the installed filter is a cartridge-type filter. 

When to Use a Clarifier Instead of Flocculants? (And Vice versa)

A pool clarifier is a chemical mixture that helps to combine the suspended particles so that they’re large enough for the pool filter to catch. They differ from pool flocculants only in their mode of operation. However, their objective is the same: to get rid of particles causing pool water cloudiness. 

While a pool flocculant will concentrate the fine suspended particles so that they’re heavy enough to sink to the bottom, a pool clarifier bounds the particles above the water so that the filter can grab them easily. If you can’t decide when to use either a pool cleaner or a flocculant (because they behave alike and it’s confusing), here’s a quick run-through to help you decide: 

When to Use a Pool Flocculant

  • Pool flocculants are fast acting so you do not have to wait for days before the pool clears. Typically, it takes around 6 – 8 hours for the pool cloudiness to clear out. This is ideal if you’re expecting guests and want to quickly clear a cloudy pool. 
  • After the suspended particles have clumped together, you will need to manually vacuum the pool. So if the extra work is something you can do, using a flocculant is no big deal. 

When to Use a Pool Clarifier

  • Pool clarifiers require less work. It is as simple as pouring the clarifier into the water and patiently waiting for it to work its magic. 
  • When you’re undecided about whether the water is cloudy and needs to be cleared, you could use a pool clarifier to clear it anyway. 
  • Use a pool clarifier when you’re not in a hurry. It usually takes between 2 and 3 days for the pool to clear completely. 

Can I Vacuum Pool After Adding Chemicals?

Balancing the chlorine level in your pool is vital to its hygiene. That’s why it is good practice to ‘shock’ the pool water as soon as its chlorine level goes out of balance. The best way to go about maintaining the pool is by vacuuming first and shocking later. This way, all the dirt that could have interfered with the added chlorine would have been removed, giving it room to work properly. 

You could use a manual vacuum to scrub and vacuum the pool walls and floor, or simply let a robot pool cleaner do all the hard lifting for you. However, if you’ve already added the chemicals, no worries. Simply run the pool pump and filtration system for at least 24 hours before vacuuming.  This is to allow the pool chemicals to mix thoroughly with the pool water and prevent them from being evacuated from the water.

When chlorine combines with debris, sweat, and bacteria in the pool water, they form chloramines which are responsible for the chlorine smell of pools and can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, or skin. You can reduce this by regularly vacuuming and cleaning your pool so that the added chlorine doesn’t immediately bond with bacteria to form chloramines. With this, your pool water will remain clear all the time. 

Can You Use Too Much Flocculant? 

Flocculants are polymer substances used to bind fine, suspended particles in the pool water so that they can sink to the ground and get vacuumed normally. They usually come in block or powdered form and have to be diluted in a container first before use. You can, however, use too much flocculant in your pool, making the water even cloudier. The best way to reduce this occurrence is by following the instructions that came with the flocculant product. 

Generally speaking, the amount of floc to use depends on such factors as pool PH balance, volume, and temperature of the water. If your pool water’s PH is unbalanced, you can add the necessary pool chemicals to balance it before you start flocking. If you need help balancing your pool’s PH, this article is a handy guide. However, you would still need to follow the specific usage instructions of the flocculant product in order not to overuse it.

If you think you’ve added too much floc into the water, and now the cloudiness is looking permanent, here’s what you should do: 

  • Try lowering the water temperature. If the water is too warm, it may interfere with the flocculant, preventing it from bonding with the suspension.
  • Top up the pool water to dilute the excess flocculant. This way, the amount of floc in the pool evens out, and you can drain the water to a suitable level once it starts to clear. 

Will Floc Clear a Green Pool?

If the pool hasn’t been used in a while, there’s a tendency for it to grow algae and turn green. The algae particles will tend to be suspended everywhere in the water and on the wall. Flocking the pool can help to clump together the suspended algae so that they sink to the bottom, after which they can easily be vacuumed. 

However, you will need to shock the pool before you can add the flocculant. Adding shock(granular chlorine) can help to eliminate most of the green coloring of the algae in about 5 minutes. After that, you can then add a pool flocculant to finish up the job. This will bind the remaining algae particles in the water so that they sink to the floor for vacuuming. 

If your pool is particularly filthy, the walls may have some dead algae on them. Ensure that you scrub the walls and other corners that the pool vacuum might have problems cleaning. After that, you can then vacuum the entire pool to restore it to its sparkly state. 

Why Is My Pool Cloudy When Chemicals Are Balanced? 

The major cause of cloudy water in a pool is unbalanced water chemistry. But if all pool water levels readings are within range, we can safely tick water chemistry off our suspect list. The other two suspects are environmental factors and poor filtration systems. 

If your water chemistry is balanced, be sure that severe weather is not messing with your pool. The surroundings of your pool matter a lot in case you were wondering. Wildlife, construction sites, harsh weather, insects, and so on, can contribute negatively to your pool’s hygiene. Covering your pool when it’s not in use is great to help for keeping all manner of things out of your pool. This, in turn, helps to keep your pool clear. 

Lastly, is your pool filter in top condition? If your filter media Is clogged you might be pumping fine filth into your pool, and that’s probably why the pool water is cloudy. Change your filter medium. Sand filters usually need to be changed after 5 years of use; cartridge filters should be replaced after 2 years. 

Are Pool Flocculants Toxic?

Before any pool flocculant can be rolled out, the manufacturing company must first subject the product to rigorous toxicity tests. The pool flocculant can only go into production once it is certified safe for use in pools. So yes, pool flocculants are safe to use and are non-toxic; just follow the instructions on the product label. 

However, it’s best not to swim in the pool if you just added a flocculant to it. This is because of the presence of the working chemicals in the flocculant. While they might not be toxic, they may be harsh enough to cause skin or eye irritation. Also, accidentally ingesting the pool flocculant is a risk you don’t want to take as it might cause mucosal irritation, and may require medical attention. 

What Is The Best Pool Flocculant to Buy? 

If you’re looking to clear your cloudy pool, or just trying to get a flocculant ready for when you would need it, you need to make sure it’s effective at coagulating the cloudiness. Not to worry, we have done the research and brought you the most effective flocculants on the market. Take a look: 

Pool Basics Drop Down Liquid Flocculant 

Dropdown pool flocculant is effective for binding together both organic and inorganic fine particles in your pool water, making it appear cloudy. Once it coagulates the pool particles into large chunks, they sink to the bottom, waiting to be vacuumed. 


  • Effective for organic and inorganic particles.
  • Fast-acting. 


  • You have to vacuum the pool after use.

PowerFloc Pool Flocculant

PowerFloc Pool flocculant is effective for clearing debris from your pool by binding them together so that they sink to the bottom. Now you only have to worry about one thing- vacuuming.

This result leaves your pool sparkling clean. 


  • No PH requirements- just use. 
  • Takes 6 – 18 hours to bind debris.
  • Safe for cartridge filter.
  • Easy to use. 


  • Will not reduce pool water hardness. 
  • Now you have to vacuum.

Final Thoughts on How Do I Vacuum My Pool After Flocking

Every pool owner will have to flock to his pool at different points in time. This is necessary to keep your pool crystal clear at all times. However, flocking the pool is only half the battle, what you do afterward is equally important.

Understandably, many people think pool flocculants and clarifiers are the same(they’re not), they tend to go about using the wrong procedure which, of course, yields disastrous results. To get the best results, It is imperative to follow the right process as illustrated in this article.

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