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How Long Should I Run My Pool Pump?

This is a question I get asked by everyone, whether they’ve had a pool for years or just started taking care of one.

The best answer would be to run your pool’s filter system 24 hours a day. However, that could end up costing quite a bit of money, and more than you really need to spend.


The Turnover Rate

The idea is to run all the water in your pool through the filter system at least once a day. This is called your Turnover Rate, and it’s pretty difficult to determine. An average filter system on your pool, if it was built correctly, should turn over the water around 2-3 times a day.

With this assumption, you can safely run your filter for about 12 hours a day. That should (again, depending on your system) run all the water in your pool through the filter system at least once. I usually tell people to run their filter for 10-12 hours a day, and of course, the more the better.

What About Costs?

If you’re concerned about spending too much on your electric bill, you can try calling your energy company and asking about the “best times.” Usually, the best times to run your filter system, that will save you money, is between 9:00pm and 9:00am — this is when less people are consuming energy, which drives down the rates.

However, if you’re adding chemicals or cleaning your pool, you need to have your filter system running, and I doubt your doing these activities in the middle of the night. So it’s okay if you run your filter system during normal hours for a couple of days.

You could also split these times. For instance, you could run for six hours during the day and six hours at night. This is perfectly fine, however, you’ll want to get a timer to help you regulate this.

You COULD Invest in a Variable Speed Pump

Pentair Variable Speed PumpIf you have a variable speed pump, you can run your system for 24 hours a day without spending as much money as a standard pump. You can run at lower speeds when your just filtering the water and higher speeds when your adding chemicals or cleaning the water.

If you have the funds, I highly suggest you look into buying a variable speed pump. They are the best bet for keeping you pool clean and saving you money at the same time. I highly recommend them.

Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo Variable Speed High Performance Pool Pump, 3 Horsepower, 230 Volt, 1 Phase - Energy Star Certified

List Price: $1,575.28
Price: $877.99
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Energy savings up to 90% vs. traditional pumps and worth the investment.

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So to recap, run your filter system for at least 12 hours a day. This is a good rule of thumb. Again, it’s okay if you don’t stick this schedule everyday, but be aware that the more your pool runs through your filter system, the cleaner and clearer it will be all season long.

If you have any questions about running your filter and pump, you can ask in the comments below and I will answer them quickly.

Happy Swimming!

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