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How Long Should You Run a Pool Pump? — Save Time and Costs on Electricity (2021)

You're going to run your pool pump, but you're feeling worried.

If I run my pool pump, is it worth the energy bill? We understand, and that's why we're here to help you out!

Spoiler: there's going to be math!

However, it's going to keep your pool pump running, so you might want to keep reading.

How Long Should You Run a Pool Pump?

Purpose of a Pool Pump

How long should I run the filter pump, you ask? Before we start, you must understand why you have to run your pump in the first place.

You can't and won't want to leave your swimming pool full of debris and a messed-up water balance.

The key to swimming in a safe pool is running your pool pump every day! How long to run pool pump is another factor, which we'll dive into later.

This keeps pool circulation [1] running; the pool pump sucks the pool water in and then releases it back after going through a filter pump.

To keep that flow rate in the proper place, your water should run through that pool filter system at least once every day.

Types of Pool Pumps

The duration of running a pool pump may also depend on the type of pool pump you have in the first place.

To accurately learn how long to run pool pump, the first step is to identify the type of pump you have.

Single Speed Pump

Single-speed pumps are far by the most inexpensive ones available in the market.

They operate at one constant speed and are also the easiest water pumps to maintain!

However, these features come with consequences.

Because a single-speed pool pump only runs at one speed, regardless of whatever activity you're doing in the pool, it will continue to run high energy costs.

lounge chairs and umbrella near pool

Frankly, this means that it is possible for you to have the same water quality for a higher electricity bill than other pool filters.

Dual Speed Pump

Dual-speed pumps typically work at the same electricity costs in which single-speed pumps do.At first, they cost a little bit more; but with the proper understanding of their mechanisms, you may be able to save a lot more money! However, this pool pump can run at either high speed or low speed.

That means you don't have to run your pump for the same costs for every single one that you work on!

Turn the speed down whenever you have to chlorinate and turn the filter speed up whenever you have to heat or clean the water.

Variable Speed Pump

Variable speed pumps can run at different speeds and can be programmed. It's the most expensive type of pool pump, with consideration of their filter programming options.

However, because they're so customizable and run on permanent magnet motors, you can have your pool pump run longer and still save up to 90% of electricity!

Calculate Pool Turnover Rate

Now, the question is, for how long should you run your pool pump?

Calculating the Amount of Water in Your Pool

You can use this formula for rectangular pools:

[Pool Length in Feet] x [Pool Width in Feet] x [Pool Depth in Feet] x 7.5 = [Gallon Pool Volume]

For circular pool owners:

[Diameter of Pool in Feet] x [Diameter of Pool in Feet] x [Pool Depth in Feet] x 5.9 = [Total Pool Gallons]

If you're one of those pool owners who don't like math, you can use a pool calculator!

Calculating Turnover Rate

Once you have your pool's volume of water, it's time to know your pool turnover rate.

This is the amount of time your pool water is going through the pool pumps.

[Volume of Water in Pool] / [Flow rate in Gallons per Hour GPH] = [Hours to Run Pool Filter for 1 Turnover]

Typically, however, the flow rate of pools may be written in gallons per minute GPM. If you decide that you need this, you can divide the above value by 60.

Time and Schedule to Run Pool Pump

Every pool must turnover at least once a day, but you don't have to run your pool pump consecutively. The next hours in which you run your pump could be divided into time blocks!

It won't affect how long to run your pool pump in general, but it will help you run your filter without costing you extra. Here's how to cost-efficiently pump daily!

Avoid Peak Hours

Most, if not all, electricity companies have "peak hours." They are set times in which the residents in your area use the most electricity, and that's when companies decide to put more strain on the costs.

Basically, peak hours are when you want to prevent running your filter. Capitalistically speaking, it's a long shot; but you could try contacting your energy provider to ask about them.

Once you're able to get hold of that, you may schedule when to run your filter and get cheaper services!

Other Factors to Consider


Figuring out how long it takes to run a pool pump is easy once you've figured out how many hours you need to run it! All you have to do is find one that pumps the same GPH or GPM that's required for the many gallons of water in your pool.

Doing this ensures that your water flow will be at an appropriate rate during the day. Moreover, you can easily adjust the hours per day in which you're running the pump.


The more powerful your pool pump is, the fewer hours per day you have to run it. This is because it turns the water over faster, and your water clarity comes in earlier.

For example, horsepower may be too much if you only have small pools available in your home. Running a strong horsepower pump on one could cost you more money, and well, we don't want that.

That said, be sure to get a pool pump that isn't too powerful for your pool filter system.

Size of pool

Generally speaking, the rule of thumb is to keep your pool pump running for 8 hours a day.

However, take note that this isn't always the answer!

If your pool pump is made for larger pools, you'll want to pump longer than eight hours per day to avoid spending extra energy costs.

On the other hand, if it is made for less, you'll want to have a shorter pump run time every day!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to run a pool at night or day?

Considering algae reproduction, it'd be in your best interest to filter run the pump during the day.

If you use the pools the most during the day, then that's when you need chlorine circulating through the system for pool maintenance.

The water moving prevents the chlorine from being burnt by the sun.

However, you may need to run it at night when you're doing a major chemical treatment.

Is it OK to run the pool pump 24 hours a day?

It is not necessary to run it 24/7.

The rule of thumb is running it for 8 hours. Changes on this would depend on the type of pump you have, the size of your pool, and other factors such as horsepower.

In fact, most pool professionals advise against running a pool pump longer than 8 hours a day.

Does the pool pump use a lot of electricity?


To fix this problem, you may opt for a more energy-efficient pump or operate around peak hours.


Figuring out for how long to run a pool pump isn't very difficult when you think about it, really.

I understand you may want to keep your water quality at best, but worrying too much about how long to run your pool filter is one of the things which could make the conditions worse.

That said, getting a hold of the proper information could easily save you from things such as algae, debris, and skyrocketing bills!

After all, even with figuring out all that, knowledge is power!

Did the pH of your pool drop below the normal range? Read all about raising the pH of your pool, next!

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