How Long To Run A Pool Pump For?

Have you recently bought a new pool pump and are unsure how long to run it for? Or have you found that your pool isn’t as clean as you would like and are unsure how to solve the issue?

Whatever question brought you to us today, we bet it's causing you a lot of grief. 

Working out that time can be a challenge, though, and leaves many of us scratching our heads, struggling to know what’s best for our pools.

How Long To Run A Pool Pump For

After all, no one wants a dirty or green pool, do they?

And with our pumps responsible for filtering the water and keeping bacteria at bay, we want to ensure that our pools are clean and that our pumps are running for the correct time. 

Well, wonder no more! Today, we will walk you through how long your pool pump should run and when the best time to run it is to help keep your pool clean and safe for use. 

How long to run a pool pump

Let’s get straight into it; how long you should run your pool pump will depend on a few factors, such as the size of your pool and the pump itself.

No matter the size of your pool and the pump, it will need to be run to filter the water and keep your pool clean and safe for use. 

It’s recommended that you run a pool pump every day for the water to be circulated, filtered and the chemicals distributed across the pool.

But the amount of time it needs to be run for will vary, and thankfully can be worked out easily! 

First, you need the number of gallons of water in your pool. You can work it out using one of our calculations below, depending on the shape of your pool and if it has a single or variable depth. 

Round Pools: 

  • 3.14 x Radius x Radius x Average Depth x 7.5 = Volume

Average Depth applies to pools that have a shallow end and a deep end. Add the two depths together and then divide by 2 for the average depth of the whole pool. 

Oval Pools: 

  • 3.14 x length x Width x 0.25 x Average Depth x 7.5 = Volume

Kidney Shaped Pool: 

  • (A+B) x Length x 0.45 x Average Depth x 7.5 = Volume

A and B are the width at the two widest points of the pool. 

Square and Rectangle Pools with Single Depth: 

  • Length x Width x Depth x 7.5 = Volume

Square and Rectangle Pools with Variable Depths: 

  • Length x Width x Average Depth x 7.5 = Volume

Irregular Shaped or Free-Form Pools: 

  • Longest Length x widest Width x Average Depth x 5.9 = Volume

Once we have the volume in gallons, we can work out the turnover rate.

The turnover rate is calculated by using the flow rate of the pump (measured in gallons per minute - GPM) and the gallons per hour. To get the turnover rate, use the following calculation: 

Total Pool Volume divided by 8 = GPH

GPh divided by 60 = GPM 

Once you have these, we can do the final calculation and work out the run time of your pool pump. You will need all the measurements that we have worked out earlier and your calculator to do so.

Remember, you can find the volume of your pool and the flow rate of your pump by checking the box or manual of your pool and its pump. Alternatively, you can search for the make and model online to find your answers. 

Let’s say you have a 20,000-gallon pool and a pool pump with a GPM rating of 40 and use the calculation below: 

40 (GPM) x 60 (mins per hour) = 2,400 gallons per hour 

20,000 (gallons) / 2400 (gallons per hour) = 8.3 hours. 

Our calculations show us that the ideal run time for your pool pump is 8.3 hours per day. Eight hours is the average usually given too and can be a handy number to use if you don’t want to complete your calculations.

It will allow for one circulation or turnover of water and make your pool safe for use. Simply swap in your numbers to work out how long your pool pump needs to run for! 

Should I run my pool pump at night or during the day?

For best results, run your pool pump during the day. When the sun is at its hottest, it can destroy the chlorine in your pool, burning it and rendering it useless.

Without chlorine, your water won’t be as clean, and algae can even grow faster! 

Although energy rates are more expensive in the day, running your pool pump keeps the chlorine moving in your water and protects it from the sun.

It also makes sense to have the pump running on the day when the pool is being used. It helps filter out any dirt and debris and ensures the water is clean and safe for everyone to enjoy. 

Alternatively, if your pool is not in use, you could cover it and run your pump in the night.

Some energy providers offer lower rates in the night and evenings, meaning you can save yourself some cash and clean your pool simultaneously. 

It’s worth noting that using your pool pump overnight means that your chlorine levels could be depleted by the afternoon sun when you use the pool during the day.

Consider these factors carefully before deciding when the right time to use your pool pump is for you. 

Can I run a pool pump for 24 hrs a day?

While you could run your pool pump for 24 hours a day, it is not necessary.

While it will keep your pool clean and ensure the chlorine is moved around the pool, it will rack up heft energy bills, and there is little evidence to prove that the pump needs to be in constant use, even if your pool is used daily. 

Instead, it's best to use the pump for either the time specified in the user manual or the time given from the earlier calculations.

This ensures that your pool is cleaned and that the chemicals are appropriately moved around the pool. Be sure to check the water clarity and chemical balance regularly and adjust your pump and cleaning methods accordingly.

Final Word 

And just like that, we have come to the end of our pool pump journey today!

As you can see, how long your pool pump needs to run varies depending on the size of your pool and the flow rate of your pool pump.

You can work it out easily using the above calculations and ensure that the pool is clean and safe for use.