The quick and easy answer to how long should you be running your pool pump every day if everything is sized correctly? 8 hours. But why did we qualify that with “everything is sized correctly”? Well, it is because most of the time, the pump is either undersized or oversized for the pool and it’s very rare that you see pool pumps that are the right size for the pool. Why you ask? Many reasons, but that’s a blog post for another day. The thing we’re going to talk about today is on how to determine how long should you run your pool pump every day. But before we dive in, here's a quick recap on pool pumps by Tom.
Why is it important to know how long pool pumps should be run?
For two reasons. First, if your pool pump run time is too short and all of the pool water hasn’t been circulated properly, then it’s a waste since some of your pool water will remain unfiltered and that will leave debris and other baddies in your water. The second reason is the economy. Leaving your pump on long after the water has been fully circulated is a waste of energy (since the water has already been filtered out) and wasting energy means wasting money!
How do I compute for my pump’s run time?
To determine your pump’s run time, you need two key pieces of data. The first is your pool volume and the second is the flow rate of your pump. The math is quite simple actually, get your pool volume, divide it by the flow rate of your pump and you should have the time needed to completely cycle your pool water and therefore answering the question of how long you should be running your pool pump.
Here’s a quick example. Let’s say your pool volume is 70,000 liters and let’s say you’re using the Water TechniX Pump Alpha 1.0hp which has a flow rate of 210 liters per minute with a head of 50 feet (head means the pipes to and from your pump, 50 is pretty much average so we’ll stick with that).
70,000 liters / 210 liters per minute = 333.33 minutes
That means that your pump is a good size and you’ll need to run your pool pump for about 5½ hours every day, let’s call it 6 hours per day for good measure. Do you see now how important it was to know exactly how long your pump circulates the water? If you have the exact same setup as our example and you were running your pump for 8 hours a day, you would have wasted a couple of hundred dollars per year on electricity costs alone since you were running your pump longer than what’s required.
Let’s look at the other side of the coin. Let’s say you have a pool that’s 110,000 liters and a pump that has a flow rate of 210 liters per minute.
110,000 liters / 210 liters per minute = 523.80 minutes
This means that your pump is undersized and you’d need to run your pump for 8 hours and 40 minutes to fully circulate your pool water. If this was your setup and you were only running your pool pump for 8 hours a day, you would find that your water will progressively get harder to blanance and it will be tougher to keep it clearer as it has not been fully filtered out.
Need help to figure our your pool volume and pump flow rates? Check out our sizing guides through the buttons below.
Different situations call for different run times
Many experts will have many recommendations on how many times your pool water should be cycled per day, but for us and many others, one cycle is enough to keep your pool crystal clear and the chemicals working properly. But there will be situations where you need to keep your pool pump running longer that what’s typically needed.
- After a major algae event – If you’re dealing with green pool water and algae and you just shocked the pool, you may need to run your pool pump continuously to allow the chemicals to fully circulate.
- After a rainstorm – Rainstorms tend to deposit a lot of debris and contaminants to your pool. After one, you may need to run your pool pump longer to make sure that every little bit is filtered out. Don’t forget to re-balance your pool as well!
- After heavy usage – If you have guests over or had a pool party, leave your pump running longer to fully filter out and sanitise the water.
An ECO Solution
Another way to save money on electricity when running your pool pump (aside from getting the exact run times) is to get a variable speed pool pump or what’s commonly known as an ECO pool pump. These pumps have different settings that allow you to run your pumps longer for less electricity use. Read more about ECO pumps through the button below.
Knowing how long to run your pool pump every day is the key to having a crystal-clear pool and to saving money as well if you have one of the older single-speed pumps. An easier option that is to get a newer variable speed or ECO pool pump which allows you to run your pump longer and save money at the same time.
In fact, ECO pool pumps will pay for the price difference in under a year just through your energy savings. Visit our payments page to learn more about how you can leverage that energy savings to pay for your new ECO pool pump in manageable chunks.
P.S. many people have seen the value of having an ECO pump for their pool and the Water TechniX Pump Switch ECO Variable Speed sells out really fast as soon as they hit our shelves. Send us a note below if you're interested in getting one so we can let you know the second it is back in stock!
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Happy swimming :)