A pool pump is the heart of a pool circulation and filtration system. It helps keep the water moving and push it through the filter for cleaning. What’s more, it can optimize the pool chemicals’ effectiveness by ensuring they reach all the pool corners. With that in mind, how long should you run your pool pump every day?
The short answer is, at least once a day for a whole season. However, this is mainly affected by the pool turnover rate, which is the best way to determine how long you can run it in a day. Typically, you will want to run for 6-12 hours daily during normal circulation and 24 hours during pool shocking. It’d be best also to take advantage of the peak hours.
This post will help you understand the idea better and clarify the ‘pool turnover rate’ idea, how to determine your pool’s turnover rate and why it’s crucial to meet it. So, be sure to read along!
How Long Should You Run Your Pool Pump Every Day
A pool pump plays a crucial role in ensuring your pool stays clean and clear. It’s the heart of the pool circulation and filtration system; it pumps the water through the filter and circulates the sanitizer.
It does help prevent the swimming pool from becoming a stagnant swamp that can be an inviting factor for algae and other yucky stuff that can render your swimming pool un-swimmable.
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The pool pump pulls the water from the pool skimmer and pushes it through the filter while giving it enough power to get it back to the pool through the returns. All the pool filters require the pump to move the water through them, no matter the type, to remove the debris and other contaminants.
So, if you want your pool to stay clean after balancing the pool chemicals, you must ensure the entire water passes through the pool filter once a day.
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That is called the pool turnover rate. So, how long you need to run your pool pump every day will be determined by how long the pump takes to meet the pool turnover rate.
For most pools, the turnover rate is anywhere between 8-12 hours. That means you need to run the pump for 8-12 hours a day. You don’t have to run it continuously. You can divide the time by two or three, so long as you’ll meet the 6-12 hours that day.
With the number of hours to run the pump, it gets easier. What’s more, some newer pool pumps are equipped with timers that help regulate when and how long they turn on and off during the day or night. That can be especially helpful in conserving energy costs while still getting enough circulation throughout the water not to become stagnant and dirty.
How Do You Determine Pool Turnover Rate?
The pool turnover rate is affected by how big your swimming pool is and your pool’s flow rate. These are the parameters you’ll need to get to know your pool’s turnover rate.
Pool volume / Pump GPH = Pool Turnover Time
|7.5||Coverts cubic foot (ft3) into gallons|
Step 1: Calculate Your Pool Volume
Rectangular pool: Length x Width x Height or Depth x 7.5 = Pool Volume (Gallons)
Circular pool: πr2 x height x 7.5 = Pool Volume (Gallons)
Where π (pi constant) is 3.142 and r is the distance from one of the pools across the center divided by two.
Rectangular pools with more than one depth:
((deep end + shallow end) / 2) x Length x width x 7.5 = Pool Volume (Gallons)
If you have an irregular-shaped pool, you have to divide it into circles and rectangles, determine their volumes and add them up.
If calculations don’t suit you, there is an easy way to do the math. My online calculator will help you out.
Step 2: Determine the minimum water flow rate
Your basic pool flow rate can be determined by checking the pump’s flow rate. Usually, you will get this information labeled on the pump’s info plate or printed on its manual as GPH (Gallons per Hour or GPM (Gallons per Minute.
If the manual isn’t available and the flow rate isn’t anywhere on the pump (though unusual), you can visit the manufacture’s website and download the manual. You can also contact the brand’s support for an inquiry.
Step 3: Calculate the Pool Turnover Rate
When you have the minimum flow rate, insert it in the formula below
Turnover Rate in Minutes = (Pool Gallons) / GPM
Turnover Rate in Hours = (Turnover Rate in Minutes) / (60)
Example: Suppose you have a 25000-gallon swimming pool, and the flow rate reads 50 GPM; your pool minimum flow rate is;
25,000 Gallons / 50 GPM = 357.14 Minutes (turnover in minutes)
357.14 Minutes / 60 Minutes = 5.95 Hours (turnover in hours)
From this example, you need to run your pool pump for 6 hours minimum every day. That’s the turnover rate to match.
Use the calculator below to determine your pool’s turnover rate depending on the pool pump’s flow rate.
Why Should You Run the Pool Pump in the First Place?
There are several reasons why it’s essential to keep your pool pump running.
Betters pool water circulation
The pump provides a constant flow of water in and out of the pool, which is what helps keep it clean. Even when you’re not swimming or using your pool, this circulation ensures that debris doesn’t sink to the bottom, where it can cause problems later on.
It improves Filtration
In addition to keeping the water moving, running your pool’s filter continuously also improves Filtration by making sure more particles are caught before they reach the heater. This leads to better heating efficiency and clearer water over time since there won’t be anything stopping up your filters or causing cloudy patches throughout the year.
It’s required for Suction-side cleaners
If you use suction-side cleaners (such as robotic vacuum systems), keeping your pool pump running is a must. These systems rely on the flow of water into and out of the pool to work, so if your filter isn’t turned on or working correctly, they can malfunction as well.
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It boosts pool chemical efficiency
One last benefit of keeping your pool’s circulation system up and running regardless of whether you’re using it? It will improve how efficiently chemicals are dispersed throughout the water because there’ll be fewer pockets where chlorine has time to build up without being circulated through the whole thing.
Pumping only when needed also prevents “dead spots,” which are areas of standing water where no aeration occurs due to lack of movement and oxygen depletion caused by bacteria growths resulting in poor sanitation and inviting algae infestations.
Why Can’t You Run the Pool Pump Continuously All Season Long?
While it’s beneficial to run the pool pump the whole day, this idea has some drawbacks. Here are a couple of reasons why running the pool pump continuously might not be the best idea:
Higher monthly bills
A pump that is run all the time tends to use more electricity and will increase your electricity bill. What’s more, there are some peak hours when the electricity cost is a bit higher than the standard tariff. Running the pool pump during these hours can cost you a lot. You want to take advantage of an off-peak tariff during the day to meet the required turnover, and there should be no additional bill incurred.
Increased wear and tear on your pump
When you run a pool pump constantly, it makes the unit more likely to break down. The repeated start-stop motion of running the equipment continuously can cause parts of the motor to rub together incorrectly, leading them to wear out quicker than if they were only used for short periods at a time.
Aside from wearing out faster, its bearings will get hotter, thus shortening their lifespan even more quickly than usual. Furthermore, high temperatures can cause damage to other components such as fans which may result in expensive repairs or replacements down the road.
Not necessary if you meet the turnover rate
Maintaining a proper water turnover rate is enough for most pools with properly balanced chemicals, and you do not need continuous circulation from the pool’s primary circulator.
What’s the best time of the day to run the pool pump?
The best time to run the pool pump is during the non-peak hours and at night. The peak hours are determined by the local power company depending on power usage in your area. During these hours, the power rates are high and might cost you more than expected. So, running the pool pump during the non-peak hours can save you from the extra charges. You will also want to run it when the swimmers are swimming to ensure continuous Filtration and prevent the accumulation of contaminants.