How long should you run your pump?

The Simple Answer

With such high electricity costs, many pool owners are wondering how long they should be running their pumps. The simple answer is 24/7. Why? As the saying goes, “moving water is happy water.” The more you run your pump, the more the water moves through the filter and filters out bacteria.

The Complicated Answer

Some people may not be comfortable running their pump 24/7 because of the high energy costs associated with running their pump that long.

Valid concern.

One way to solve this is to convert to a variable speed pump. Variable speed pumps allow you to filter the water 24/7 at a lower speed than single-speed pumps, thus saving you energy but still reaping some of the benefits of 24/7 circulation. Variable speed pumps can cost more than single speed pumps but most pool owners can make their money back in energy savings and the benefit that come from cleaner water.

Turnover Rate

If you would rather keep your single-speed pump you can still get away with not running your pool 24/7. The key is to understand your turnover rate. The turnover rate is “the amount of time it takes for all of the water in your pool to be circulated through the pump/filter system one time.”

You calculate the turnover rate by dividing the volume of your pool, in gallons, by the number of gallons your pump pumps through its system per minute.

Turnover Rate= Volume of Pool/GPM

According to Swim University, you should run your pool through at least one turnover per day. For many, that is at least 8 hours per day. In our Facebook Group, the majority of pool owners ran their pump 8-12 hours per day rather than 24 hours per day.

Some pool professionals, such as Bob Lowry, recommend running your pool long enough to get at least three turnover rates per day.

The Other Method

Companies, such as Leslie's Pool Supply, recommend a different formula that may be easier to remember. They say that if you cannot run your pool for 24 hours per day to consider running it for one hour for every 10 degrees the temperature is outside. So if it’s 70 degrees Fahrenheit, run it for 7 hours. If it’s 40 degrees, run it for four hours.’

Pro Tip

You may consider running the water at night rather than in the day. If you’re thinking about that, you should know that Algae loves to grow in the sunlight, so some people specifically want to run their pump mid-day so they can keep algae out of the pool.

However, when you run your pump in the hottest part of the day, you are drawing electricity from the grid when the electricity costs the most. But in the evening, it is the cheapest. So running the pump in the evening saves you money because you are drawing electricity from the grid when it is much cheaper.

There are many ways to approach running your pool. The key is to keep your water clean and you do that by keeping it moving as often as you can afford.

Changing the way we monitor water.

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