Do you have a pool at home? If you do, you know that keeping the water clean and refreshing requires a lot of work. One of the most important equipment in your pool maintenance arsenal is the pool pump.

Pool pumps circulate water through the filter to remove dirt and debris. They also help distribute chemicals evenly throughout the swimming pool. Without a pool pump, your pool would be dirty and stagnant.

So how long should you run your pool pump each day? The answer depends on a few factors, including the pool size, weather, and how often it’s used. This article will give you some general guidelines for how long to run your pool pump. Let’s get into it.

Why Does Your Pool Need to Run a Pump?

If you have a pool, you probably already know you need to run a pump to keep the water clean and circulating. Here are some of the reasons:

1. Maintain pH Level

The pH level of your pool water is important for swimmers’ comfort and to prevent damage to the pool itself. Running a pump ensures that the pH level stays balanced. The distribution of chemicals is also more evenly distributed when the pool pump is running, which helps maintain the pH level.

2. Prevent Algae Growth

Algae can grow quickly in pools, especially if the pH level is not balanced. Running a pump circulates the water and prevents algae from taking hold. Also, the chlorine added to the pool will be more evenly distributed when the pump is running.

3. Filter Out Debris

A pool pump is a large filter that pulls water from your pool and then pushes it back in after filtering out any dirt, debris, or other contaminants. The cycle of filtration and circulation helps keep the water clean and clear while preventing stagnation.

4. Circulate Water to Prevent Stagnation

Water can become stagnant if it is not circulated. This can lead to problems with the water quality and create an environment where algae can grow more easily. Circulating water prevents stagnation and keeps the water fresh.

5. Maintain Water Temperature

The pump helps circulate heat around the pool, which can help maintain a consistent water temperature. This is especially important in cooler weather when you want to be able to use the pool without having to heat it first.

Overall, running a pump is important for maintaining the quality of your pool water and preventing problems such as algae growth or water stagnation. Circulating the water also helps distribute chemicals evenly and maintain a consistent water temperature.

Also Read: Best Pool Shock

How Long to Run Pool Pump?

It depends on various factors, including the size of your pool, weather conditions, and how often you use it. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should run your pool pump for at least 6-8 hours per day during the summer months. This will help to ensure that your pool water is clean and clear and that your filter can do its job properly. If you have a larger pool, or if you live in an area with long summer days, you may need to run your swimming pool pump for even longer periods.

Of course, you don’t necessarily need to run your pool pump all day long. If you have an automatic timer, you can set it to run for a few hours in the morning and a few hours at night. This will help save energy costs while still providing your pool with the filtration it needs.

Calculate Your Pool’s Turnover Rate

The first step is to calculate your pool’s turnover rate. This will tell you how often the entire volume of water in your pool circulates through the filter daily. To do this, simply divide the pool volume (in gallons) by the pump’s flow rate (in gallons per minute).

For example, if you have a 20,000-gallon pool and your pump has a flow rate of 1,200 gallons per minute, your pool has a turnover rate of 16.7 times per day.

Your pool pump speed should match your pool’s turnover rate. This ensures that your pool’s entire volume of water is filtered daily. There are also variable speed pumps and you can variable speed pump at your own pace.

If you have a sand or DE pool filter, you should run your pump for 10 to 12 hours daily. If you have a cartridge filter, you should run your pump for 8 to 10 hours daily. 

Of course, other factors should be considered when deciding how long to run your pool pump. The weather, the time of year, and how often you use your pool will all play a role in determining the ideal pump runtime for your pool.

In general, you should run a pool pump:

  • In hot weather: 8 to 10 hours per day
  • In mild weather: 6 to 8 hours per day
  • In cool weather: 4 to 6 hours per day
  • If you have a saltwater pool: 12 to 24 hours per day
  • If you have a heated pool: as long as necessary to maintain the desired water temperature

Remember, your goal is to circulate the entire pool’s volume of water in your pool each day. This will ensure that your water is clean and clear and that your pool is safe and enjoyable.

Is it OK to Run Pool Pump 24 Hours a Day?

Many people believe that it is perfectly fine to run their pool pumps 24 hours a day. However, there are a few things to consider before making this decision. Running your pool pump for extended periods can increase your energy costs and reduce the lifespan of your pump.

Also, running your pool pump might not be necessary 24 hours a day. Depending on the size of your pool and the climate you live in, you might only need to run your pool pump for 6-8 hours a day.

If you are still undecided about whether or not to run your pool pump for 24 hours a day, consult with a professional. They will be able to assess your situation and give you tailored advice.

Also Read: Pool Turned Hair Green And How To Fix It?


Is It Better To Run Pool Pump During Day Or Night?

Whether to run your pool pump during the day or at night largely depends on your preference and schedule. If you are home during the day and can keep an eye on the pool, running the pump during daylight hours may be more convenient.

On the other hand, running the pump at night may be better if you work long hours or are not home during the day. The best option is to run 2 hours at night and 6 hours during the day to save on electricity costs and the best outcomes.

Is It Better To Let Pool Pump Run All The Time?

No, it would be best to let your pool pump run all the time. Doing so can be harmful to both your pump and your pool. Your pump needs regular breaks to prevent overheating, and running it constantly will shorten its lifespan.

Does A Pool Pump Use A Lot Of Electricity?

While pool pumps use a fair amount of electricity, the exact amount will vary depending on the size and type of pump you have. In general, however, you can expect your pump to use between 1 and 4 kilowatts of power per hour.

Can You Swim With Pool Pump On?

You can swim with your pool pump on, but it is important to exercise caution. Make sure that all of the suction valves are closed before turning on the pump, and keep an eye on the skimmer basket to ensure that it doesn’t become full and cause the pump to overheat.

What’s The Best Time To Run Pool Pump?

The best time to run your pool pump is typically in the early morning or at night. This is because the temperature is cooler during these times, which helps to prevent the pump from overheating. Additionally, running the pump at night can help keep your pool clean and debris-free.

Should I Turn Off Pool Pump When Raining?

If it’s rain safe, you don’t need to turn off your pool pump when it rains. Running the pump during a rainstorm can help keep your pool clean by circulating the water and preventing dirt and debris from settling on the bottom.

How Many Hours A Day Should You Run Your Pool Pump In The Winter?

During the winter, you should run your pool pump for about 7 hours daily. This will help to circulate the water and prevent it from freezing over. Additionally, running the pump during the winter will help extend its lifespan by preventing corrosion and other damage that can occur when it is not in use.

What Happens If You Don’t Run Pool Pump?

If you don’t run your pool pump, the water in your pool will become stagnant and dirty. Additionally, the pump can become damaged if it is not regularly used. Not running your pool pump can also lead to problems with your filter and other components of your pool’s circulation system.

Can I Save Money By Running Pool Pump Less?

Yes, you can save money by running your pool pump less. However, balancing saving money and maintaining a clean and safe pool is important. Running the pump for less than 6 hours per day can put your pool at risk of becoming dirty and unsafe to swim in.

What Happens If I Run My Pool Pump Too Much?

If you run your pool pump too much, it can overheat and become damaged. Running the pump excessively can also lead to problems with your pool’s circulation system, including clogged filters and pipes. It is important to balance running the pump too little and too much to maintain a clean and safe pool.


After reading this guide, we hope you understand better how long to run your pool pump. Ultimately, the decision is up to you and will depend on various factors, including the size of your pool, the weather conditions, and your personal preferences. However, we recommend running your pool pump for at least 8 hours per day to ensure that your pool stays clean and safe for swimming.

Last Updated: November 20, 2022 / Categories: Outdoor & Garden, Pool & Spa / 8.5 min read / Tags: , , /

About the Author: Brian Stilts

Brian Stilts

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