how long to run pool pump

How Long To Run Pool Pump? All Facts You Should Know

How long to run the pool pump? Every pool must turn over at least once a day, so most pool pumps should run approximately 8 hours a day. But here’s the thing—you don’t have to run your pool pump continuously. You can decide to run it for three hours in the morning before you leave for work and for an additional five hours in the evening. Continue reading, you will learn more facts about pool pump time.

How Long to Run Pool Pump?

To keep all the water in the pool clean and clear, plan to run your pool pump long enough to filter the entire volume of water in your pool at least once a day. The number of hours it takes for all the water in the pool to go through the filter is called the “turnover rate.”

Generally speaking, the rule of thumb is eight hours, but depending on the size of your pool, it could be anywhere from six to twelve. You must precisely determine your pool’s turnover rate in order to maintain your pool pump’s efficiency and effectiveness because every pool is different.

What Does the Pool Filter Pump Do?

Knowing exactly what your filter pump does for your pool will help you determine how much run time you need. The pool pump is the heart of your pool filtration system. It filters your water and circulates water from the pool, distributing pool chemicals as it does so. It is recommended that you “turnover” or circulate all of your pool water through the pool filter at least once throughout the day. This will guarantee that the chemicals are applied evenly and that your water remains clear and clean. You run the risk of algae growth, and problems with the water’s balance or clarity, if you don’t circulate the water. Swimming could become dangerous as a result of this.

When You Should Run Your Pool Pump?

Just as important as how long to run a pool pump is when to run it. Yes, you should leave it running for at least eight hours. But were those hours sequential? What time of day or night are we referring to here?

Running Your Pool Pump During Non-Peak Hours

You may not be aware that the price you pay for electricity varies throughout the day. It’s based on what electric providers call peak hours, meaning when more people are using more power, and putting more strain on the grid.

Different locations have different peak times. For instance, in warmer climates, peak hours most likely coincide with when people turn on their air conditioning, which might be in the late afternoon or early evening when people are returning from work.

To learn the peak times in your area, simply give your provider a call. Once you know that, try to plan the operation of your pool pump so that it runs during those times to keep your costs down.

Using a programmable pool timer to turn the pump on and off at the appropriate times will make this extremely simple for you.

how long to run pool pump

Run Your Pool Pump for Non-Consecutive Hours

Yes, you should run your pool pump for eight hours or more each day to get at least one turnover cycle done. However, that does not imply that it must last for eight hours nonstop.

Once more, think of the off-peak utility hours. You can run your pump for two hours here, seven hours there, and then three hours there while working around those. You are protected as long as it is operational for at least 8 hours each day.

Running Your Pool from Sunrise to Sunset

To keep the water clean while people are swimming in it, it might seem sensible to keep the pump running all day. And that’s a wise idea. Take a look at a few additional factors as well, though.

If you live in a warm climate where people are more likely to run their air conditioning during the day, your utility may have non-peak hours at night.

Additionally, it is typically necessary to run your pump after adding chemicals to your pool. The water must be moving to spread the chemicals throughout it. Otherwise, you might have areas that are excessively clean and pockets of unclean water, which is not the kind of Marco Polo you want to play.

Pool shock, however, must be added at night or at least in the early evening. The majority of it will simply be burned off by the sun if it is added during the day, decreasing its effectiveness.

What Does a Variable Speed Pump do?

Are you constantly operating your pump at full power? You are aware that it may not be necessary to do this? An energy-saving improvement that is eco-friendly is changing from a single to a variable-speed filtration pump. To estimate how much you could save by switching to an energy-efficient pool pump, use this practical calculator tool.

High-efficiency, variable-speed pumps have many advantages over single- or even dual-speed pumps, which many pool owners have learned about. In addition to saving energy, variable-speed pumps are also quieter and last longer. The multiple speed options mean you can decide when you need extra “oomph” for more intense filtration and when you can dial back to a lower, energy-efficient, greener setting.

It’s not necessary or even practical to run your pump continuously. Your pool’s water will remain clean and sanitary as long as it passes through the filter at least once every day.

What is the Turnover Rate?

With the pool volume in gallons at our disposal, we can determine the turnover rate. Turnover rate is the measure of which all the water in your pool can “turn over,” or pass through, the pump and filter. The average pool owner seeks an 8–10 hour turnover, with the rate expressed in gallons per hour (GPH).

how long to run pool pump

Total Pool Volume in Gallons ÷ 8 Hours = Maximum GPH Turnover Rate

Total Pool Volume in Gallons ÷ 10 = Maximum GPH Turnover Rate

How Many Gallons of Water Are in My Pool?

Understanding the volume of water in your pool will help you decide how long the pump should run. Use one of these simple calculations to determine the volume of your pool. If you don’t want to calculate the pool volume, take a quick look at the table in our post on how to calculate pool volume.

Square and Rectangle Pools with Single Depth:

Length x Width x Depth x 7.5 = Approximate Volume (Gallons)

Square and Rectangle Pools with Variable Depths:

Length x Width x Average Depth x 7.5 = Approximate Volume (Gallons)

Average Depth: If the pool has a shallow end and a deep end, add the two depths together and divide by two.

As an illustration, the shallow end is 3′ deep and the deep end is 8′ deep. Using the formula: (3+8)÷2=5.5′ Average Depth.

Round Pools:

3.14 x Radius x Radius x Average Depth x 7.5 = Volume (Gallons)

The diameter is equal to the radius divided by two. (A 16′ diameter, for instance, is equal to an 8′ radius when divided by two.)

The majority of rounded swimming pools have a single depth.

Oval Pools:

3.14 x Length x Width x .25 x Average Depth x 7.5 = Approximate Volume (Gallons)

Kidney-Shaped Pool:

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

Note: “A” and “B” measurements are the two widest points of the kidney shape.

Irregular Shapes or Free-Form Pools:

Longest Length x Widest Width x Average Depth x 5.9 = Approximate Volume (Gallons)

What is the Pump Flow Rate?

Most pool filter pumps measure water flow, or flow rate, in gallons per minute (GPM), rather than gallons per hour (GPH). Flow rate is a measure of how much water can pass through the pump in a specific amount of time, as the measurement names would suggest. Depending on whether you’re needing GPH or GPM, they’re easy to convert:

GPH ÷ 60 = GPM

GPM X 60 = GPH

how long to run pool pump

How Do You Calculate the Flow Rate?

When choosing a pool filtration pump, the flow rate is an essential factor to take into account. You must first determine the volume of your pool, or how many meters cubed of water it can hold. If you don’t have access to this data right away, you will have to figure out the volume using your pool’s shape. Make quick work of this by employing our helpful pool volume calculator.

The flow rate can be determined once you know the pool volume. The amount of water filtered in a specific amount of time is known as the flow rate and is measured in m3 per hour. More specifically, it is determined based on how long it takes for the pool water to be filtered.

For instance, if the pool has a volume of 48 m3, the amount of water that the filtration system must filter is equal to 48 m&sup3 divided by 4, or. 12 m³/hour. The amount of water that needs to be filtered will be 80÷4, or 20 m³/hour, if your pool has a higher volume, say 80 m³.

To make it easier for your pool professional to select the best pool pump for your swimming pool, be sure to share this information with them.

How to Choose the Right Pool Pump?

Once you have all the numbers, this part is straightforward. Find one that pumps at least as much GPM as what is necessary for your pool. It’s okay if the one you select pumps a little bit more than you require. Just be sure not to go below the required GPM.

This will guarantee that your pump will run at the right pace to change the water in your pool within an eight-hour period.

What’s the Best Pool Pump Type?

How long to run a pool pump depends on a variety of factors, including the time of day and off-peak utility hours.


It makes sense, but you might not have given it much thought. The faster the water is turned around by your pool pump, or how much horsepower it has, the less frequently and for how long you need to run it.

However, the size of your filter and the pipes in the filtration system also play a role in this. A small filter may be overwhelmed by a powerful pump. Additionally, a one-horsepower pump will operate more slowly, whereas a three-horsepower pump will operate more quickly if your system uses three-inch pipes.

But there’s another but. With a small pool, three horsepower may be excessive and result in energy waste and increased costs. Get a pump that is powerful enough to turn over your pool’s volume at a sufficient rate to reach that crucial GPM number while not being too powerful for your filtration system.

Single, Dual, Or Variable Speed

If you have a single-speed pool pump, we recommend you upgrade to at least a dual-speed one. You’ll experience higher efficiency and quicker turnover. We strongly advise getting a dual-speed pump or better if you’re going to buy a new one. Some states, like California and Arizona, actually forbid the installation of brand-new single-speed pool pumps due to energy savings and improved efficiency.

how long to run pool pump

But we advise going with a variable-speed pool pump to really maximize the returns on your investment. They use less power, speed up turnover and filtering, and you might even be eligible for a utility rebate if you use one. Additionally, they are quieter than single-speed and dual-speed pumps because they operate at lower revolutions per minute (RPM).

Yes, they are also more expensive. However, they represent a long-term investment in the upkeep and efficiency of your pool.

FAQ About Run Pool Pump

Is It Better to Run a Pool Pump at Night Or Day?

The specific situation will determine the best time of day. For instance, if you want to shock your pool, you must run the pump at night because you cannot shock the pool during the day. However, in general, pool pumps should operate during the day because this is when the pool sees the most activity and when the most bacteria and algae growth occurs.

Can You Run a Pool Pump Too Long?

A common mistake made by some pool owners is to keep their pool open all day. Although they pay for it, they may have water that is completely clear and free of algae. Your power bill will soar to absurd heights if you run your pump continuously, and your filter will be under a great deal of stress. For pools that are frequently used, I advise a strict limit of 10 hours per day.

Should You Run Your Pool Pump While Swimming?

The swimming pool pump is one of the most complicated issues in terms of routine maintenance. It’s not necessary to have your swimming pool pump running at all times, as this can be a serious expense on your electric bill.

Is It OK to Let Pool Pump Run Continuously?

Among the many variables, you must take into account are your pool’s size, the effectiveness of your pump and filter, and how dirty it is. Nevertheless, most pool cleaning professionals would advise against running a pool pump for more than 8 hours a day.

Can You Run Your Pool Pump With a Solar Cover On?

If your solar cover is over the pool, you can indeed run your pump. For more information on some of the advantages, please read my entire article answering this question.

Conclusion on Run Pool Pump

If you have an older single-speed pump, knowing how long to run it each day is essential to keeping your pool clear and saving money. To keep your pool’s filter clean, make sure that it receives all of the water at least once each day.

Now is the time to reevaluate and modify how long you run the pump, especially if you’ve been running it nonstop all week. You may have other problems that you need to address if you follow the advised run time but the water quality is still a problem.