Swimming Pool Chemicals: Algaecides & Clarifiers

by Pool Builders on 11-17-2005 in Articles

Most pool supply distributors can offer an astounding selection of algaecides and clarifiers for your swimming pool, and if you do not understand how they work, or what their uses are, it can be difficult to make the right choice.

Pool algaecide should be added to your swimming pool on a daily basis if you regularly experience problems with algae growing in your pool. If you have not ever had an algae problem in your swimming pool, there is no need for the algaecide pool chemical. Local pool stores and less honest pool supply dealers will sell an algaecide chemical to treat an existing algae growth. Once algae has grown in your swimming pool, the only pool chemical that will kill it is pool shock. Algaecide is only a preventative measure, and will do nothing to treat an existing problem.

Pool algaecide is either a copper based formula, or what is commonly referred to as a "quat" or "polyquat" algaecide. Copper based algaecides use copper to treat and prevent algae growth, and can be used against all types of algae. Copper algaecides will not cause foam in a swimming pool, which can be a problem when using "quat" algaecides. Although they are effective against many forms of algae, copper algaecides can cause stains on the surface of a swimming pool if the product is not used properly. Copper algaecides cannot be used in a swimming pool on a biguanide based sanitizing system (such as Baquacil or SoftSwim).

The "quat" or "polyquat" algaecides are quaternary ammonium compounds, which treat and prevent algae growth in a different way. These algaecides are safer to use than a copper based algaecide because they will not stain a swimming pool. If you have experienced any pool stains caused by metals in the past, you should use a quat or polyquat algaecide to treat your swimming pool. Although quats cannot cause staining, these algaecides may cause foaming if not used properly. Polyquat pool algaecides cannot cause staining or foaming, and are typically more expensive than the other forms of algaecides.

When pool water becomes dull or cloudy, and is not cleared by 12-24 hours of filtration, a pool clarifier chemical may be necessary to help the pool filter improve water conditions. If all chemical levels are properly balanced, the source of the problem is most likely fine debris suspended in the swimming pool water. Dust or debris particles are sometimes too small for the pool filter to remove from the pool water, and may pass directly through the pool filter. A sand filter provides the least efficient filtering of pool water, and this problem is more likely to occur when using a sand pool filter. A pool clarifier chemical will group together very fine particles of debris into larger bunches, which can be more easily trapped by the pool filter. Most pool clarifier chemicals cannot be used in a swimming pool with a D.E. (diatomaceous earth) filter.

Please visit In The Swim Discount Pool Supplies for a complete selection of quality pool supplies, including algaecide and pool clarifier.

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