There’s a lot more to owning a swimming pool than filling it up with water and using a skimmer to remove the bugs that get stuck in the water. In fact, ensuring that your pool is cleaned and maintained properly is a more complex process than you may think.
One of the main components of your pool will be the pool pump, but for those who’ve never had a pool before or aren’t familiar with this sort of equipment, it can be difficult to know how long to run the pool pump for.
This article will guide you through everything you should know about your pool pump and how long you should run it depending on the size of your pool.
What Does Your Pool Pump Do?
A pool pump circulates the water in your pool to help disperse the chemicals throughout it to keep it clean and to also filter out certain things in your pool (i.e bugs or even urine) to ensure that the pool water is safe and clean to swim in.
The pump pulls in the water from the pool and pushes it through the filter and then circulates it back out to the pool when it’s clean again.
Many people think that the filter does all the hard work, but without the pool pump the dirty water won’t be able to reach the filter and come out clean again.
Good circulation in your pool via your pool pump will prevent algae build up in your pool and prevent the water from turning green.
However, whilst pool pumps are a necessity to keep your pool looking fabulous, they can quickly ramp up your electricity bill which entices people to want to turn it off to allow them to save a few extra bucks.
How Long Should You Run Your Pool Pump Every Day?
So you’re conflicted between wanting your pool to look beautiful and also not spending extortionate amounts of your electricity bill to run the pump.
In an ideal world, you would keep your pump running continuously, but everyone’s feeling the pinch these days and that’s not realistic.
So how do we work out how long we should run the pool pump to effectively keep your pool clean but without costing too much?
You’ll need to consider the below factors to be able to work out how long to run your pool pump for:
- The size of your pool
- How often do you use the pool
- The power of the pump
- How much dirt and matter gets into the pool
First, you’ll need to find the flow rate of your pool pump, it’s sometimes called the circulation rate and will be located on the manufacturer’s instructions. The flow rate is how much water your pool pump will filter in a certain amount of time. It is measured in gallons per minute or per hour.
Your pump may have two-speed options which will allow you to turn over the pool more quickly. Lower speeds mean less noise, which is great if you’re looking to do it overnight and save money.
Now it’s time to figure out the turnover rate. The turnover rate is the time it takes for your pool pump to cycle all of the water in your pool through the filter and out clean into the pool again once over.
To work out how long it’ll take your pump to turn over the water in the pool, you’ll need to divide your pool volume (gallons) by the flow rate of your pump.
This time is normally around 8 hours but it can vary depending on pumps and the size of the pool.
However, if a large group of people has been using your pool all day and they’ve been running barefoot from grass and dirt into the pool, then you may have to run the pump for longer to ensure the water is thoroughly cleaned.
You don’t need to run your pool pump for 8 hours straight for the water to be effectively cleaned, you could do it for 4 hours early in the morning and then the other 4 hours when peak hours have ended to keep your cost down. As long as you’re giving your pool the full turnover time within 24 hours.
In the winter, if you have a solid cover for your pool, then you may only need to run the pump for an hour every day to help keep the chemicals and water in order. If you have a soft cover for the pool, then 2 hours a day will be more sufficient to keep the water clean.
What Is The Best Time To Run A Pool Pump?
If you want to keep your costs to a minimum, try running your pool time at off-peak hours so electricity will cost you less. Off-peak hours are usually after 8 pm and before 9 am, so it might be best to run your pool pump overnight.
If you’re going to add chemicals to your pool, or you’re going to shock it, then we recommend running your pump whilst doing so. This will help disperse the chemicals everywhere in the pool so it can be effectively cleaned.
In the winter, if you don’t have a cover for your pool then you’ll need to run the pump occasionally to remove the debris from the water, otherwise, you may be spending hours doing it manually when summer rolls back around.
You now know that a pool pump will need to run for 8 hours a day on average to effectively clean the pool and keep it maintained, however, this will be less in the winter when the pool is getting used less and more in the summer when the pool is getting heavily used.
However, if you’re running your pool pump enough every day but you’re still experiencing issues with your water, then this could be down to an imbalance in your chemicals and this isn’t anything that a pool pump can fix.