How Long Should You Run Your Pool Pump

How Long Should You Run Your Pool Pump1
How Long Should You Run Your Pool Pump1

How Long Should You Run Your Pool Pump? I get this question a lot.How long should you actually run your pool pump?

Well, my answer is very very simple. All day, every day, every hour, and forever.

Obviously that’s not realistic, so let me give you a better answer, but let’s roll the thingy real quick.

Do it.

Okay, so seriously, ideally you would want to run your pool pump all day every day because the more you run your pump, the more the pump is pumping water through your filter, the more the filter is filtering out bacteria and other debris, and everything
is going the be great.

But that’s gonna make your electric bill like, I don’t know, a million dollars a year or something?

I don’t know, some ridiculous amount of money.

So we don’t actually want to run your pool all day, 24 seven, so let’s think of a better option.

What is the ideal time to run your pool?

And that’s eight hours a day, at least eight hours a day.

If you can run it more, more is always gonna be better, really.

How Long Should You Run Your Pool Pump

Okay, so what does a pump actually do?

So a pump pulls water in from your swimming pool and pushes it through your filter and then back into your swimming pool.

That’s really it.

It’s like the heart of your entire pool.

And depending on what kind of filter you have, whether it’s sand, DE, or cartridge, your pump is going to be pushing the water through that at a certain speed and your filter is going to either filter it or not.

And so we’re trying to create the ideal situation where you’re pulling in enough water from your pool and pushing the right amount of water through your filter system so that it can work effectively and then push that clean water back into your pool.

Now ideally, we want to move all of the water from your pool through your filter system and back into your pool at least once a day.

And that is called turnover rate.

So the turnover rate is what we need to calculate in order to find out if you have the right size pump and the right filter for your pool.

So let’s calculate some (beep).

So the first thing we want to know is how many gallons are actually in your swimming pool.

We’ll just put the link on the bottom, you can find out how many gallons your pool is by simply entering the size of your pool, length, and width and what kind of pool you have, and it’ll give you the number of gallons.

So now once we have the number of gallons that are in your swimming pool we need to divide that by eight, which is eight hours, and that is going to give us the gallons per hour.

So then once you have that when you buy a pool pump it’s usually calculated in gallons per minute, so we’re going to have to do some more calculations which means take that gallon per hour number and divide it by 60 which is 60 minutes in an hour, and that will give you your gallons per minute.

Okay, now that you have the gallons per minute, if you’re looking for the right pool pump, there’s one more calculation you need to do, and that’s called the feet of head.

And what you’re going to do to calculate that determines all of the lines that are going into your pool.

So you might have a main drain line, you might have a line from your skimmer, you might have a line from two skimmers.

If you have an above ground pool, you just have one line, and so you measure the length in feet to the skimmer or the main drains all the way into your pump, and then if you have multiple things, so let’s say you have a main drain and you have two skimmers.

So that’s three different things and you’re going to take all of those, you’re going to add them all up in feet, and you’re going to divide it by three because you have three things.

If you have two things, maybe you just have a main drain and a skimmer, then you’re going to take the length of those two going from those places back into your pump and you’re going to add them together, divide by two because you have two things.

If you have an above-ground pool and you just have one line from your skimmer, you just measure that and that’ll give you your feet of head.

So now that you have the gallons per minute and your feet of head calculation, you can go online, or you can go to your local swimming pool supply store, and you can figure out which pump is going to work best for your swimming pool to turn over all that
water into eight hours.

Now there are a couple of different types of pumps you can choose from, and those are single speed, dual speed, or yeah, dual speed, and variable speed pumps.

Now I think in California and Arizona they actually forbid adding in single-speed pumps to your brand new pool or if you’re buying a brand new pump and the reason is that it just goes one speed.

And it’s not very efficient or you know, energy-saving, and so they make dual speed which is you have your high setting which is your max speed, and you have your low setting.

But even better than that, you have variable speed pumps which can do all types of different flow rates, and we have an entire article on that so just check out again, the link below.

You know you have your pump, you know your gallons per minute, you got your feet of head, you have the perfect pool pump,in horsepower, you know that it’s the right pump, you’re turning over that water in eight hours.

So, the question is how long do you run your pool pump?

The answer is eight hours.

Now, do you have to run it in eight hours consecutively like just an eight-hour period?

No, you don’t have to do that.

In fact, you can run it multiple times a day, and as a little tip, sometimes in the middle of the day, when it is hot out in the summer and everybody around you running off the same electrical grid is all running their air conditioning, that’s gonna raise the price of your electricity.

So if you’re running your pump during the day, you are running it at the peak electrical hour.

So you are running it and you are going to pay the most for that.

Now, if you have a bunch of people in the pool, and you’re running it while they’re all in there, that’s great, but we actually like to run it at night, sometimes.

Okay, so you add chemicals to your pool, and when you add chemicals to your pool, you need to run your filter system to mix them in.

So that means you need to run your pump, and when we add something like a shock to the pool we want to add that at night.

And so the reason we add it at night is that the sun’s gonna burn off like one part per million every hour because if you’re doing shock it’s unstabilized chlorine, and that’s just a waste of money.

So if you’re gonna shock your pool, you want to shock at night.

You’re going to do it at night.

So, therefore, you should run your pump at night and so you need to run it at least eight hours then, so you can run your pump at night.

And when people are swimming, no pump is running.

Or you can split it up.

You can buy yourself an automatic pool timer and you can have your pump turn on maybe four hours during the day, four hours at night.

Seven hours during the day, one hour at night.

Whatever, you can split it up.

You can have it run you know two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon, two hours in the evening, and two hours in the middle of the night.

It’s totally up to you as long as you run it at least eight hours a day, you should be good to go.

As much as you should run your pool pump 24 seven, you really don’t have to.

You can run it just eight hours a day as long as it’s turning over all the water in your pool.

Make sure that you have the right horsepower for the size pool that you have, doing all the things that we talked about when it comes to calculating the turnover rate.

And make sure you got a good filter system that’s filtering the water, and you can run it eight hours a day.

If you have a lot of activity in the pool, I mean, or if you don’t want to calculate the turnover rate, you’re just like hey, I have
what I have, that’s fine, then maybe bump that number up.

So minimum eight hours a day, but maybe if you’re a little bit unsure, what’s the harm in going to 12 hours a day?

So you could bump it up to 12 hours a day.

Maybe six in the afternoon, six in the middle of the night, should be good to go.

So that’s it.


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