How Long to Run a Pool Pump and Save Electric Bill

Save money and energy by running your pool pump for just the right amount of time. Proper pool pump run time will save you money and the environment. Read about how long to run a pool pump here.

You will need to get familiar with basic pool equipment and know some specifics about your pool to know how long to run a pool pump daily.

Pool Pump Next to Brick Wall

What’s the purpose of your pool pump? The job of your swimming pool pump is to move water from the pool’s surface, through the filter system, to the skimmer. This keeps your pool clean by keeping debris away or removed altogether.

Not only does your pump and pool filter keep your pool in great shape, but it may also increase your electric cost, so it’s a kind of a love-hate relationship.

Your pump works hard to keep your water clean and safe, so it’s essential to make sure it’s operating as effectively as possible.

The key in minimizing the pool pump’s electrical cost is to understand the function of your pool pump, the sort of pump you have (or may have), and how to take advantage of its features to the greatest extent possible.

Types of Pool Pump: Single-Speed vs Variable Speed Pumps

Water Pump Outdoor

The speed of your pump affects the amount of your monthly energy bill, as well as how long your pump must operate each day.

If you’re shopping for a new pool pump, you may have the option to choose between purchasing a single-speed or variable-speed pump. 

The difference between these two types of pool pumps, is that single speed pumps work at one specific speed for their whole lifespan, while variable speed pumps work at different rates depending on what is needed. 

If your pool has a lot of floating debris in it or requires more powerful filtration, the pump will cycle at a higher speed. Likewise, if your pool is clear and has little debris in it, the pump will cycle at a lower speed. 

While a variable-speed pump will cost you more initially, if chosen correctly, it will save you money in energy cost and save your pump from wearing out as quickly as a single-speed pump.

Understanding how to use your pool pump properly can help you choose the right one that will fit your swimming pool.

“Big news though, New Federal Law Requires Variable-Speed Pumps due to roll out this 2021, at least in the US” – Daniel Schonfeld, Expert Pool Writer

How Long to Run a Pool Pump Every Day?

Now, if you’ve made a choice on which kind of pool pump to purchase, determining how long to run a swimming pool pump daily comes down to the size of the pool and its turnover rate.

Pool Volume

Wide Swimming Pool

If you have a small pool, your pool pump will only need to operate for 4 to 5 hours each day. However, if your pool is larger, keeping it clean can take 8 or more hours. 

You will need to consider your pool size before choosing how long to run your swimming pool pump every day. 

The greater your swimming pool volume, the more time spent running the pump. 

Be sure that you know what pump size will be best for you, and choose wisely when purchasing one. Running a too-small pump for an extended period of time can result in shorter longevity for your pump than running a large pump for a shorter time.

Calculate Your Pool’s Turnover Rate

To maintain your pool clean, all the water must pass through the filtration system of your pump at least once each day. This is referred to as the turnover rate. 

To figure out how long it will take to filter all of your pool water, you’ll need to figure out your turnover rate, which is the GPH (gallons per hour) that your pump claims to be capable of circulating. 

For a quick check on whether your turnover rate is perfect for your entire pool, multiply the GPH (pump flow rate) of your pump by 8. If the capacity of your pump is optimal for your pool, the calculation would be accurate for your pool’s volume of water:

Pump’s Gallons per Hour X 8 = Volume of Your Pool in Gallons

If you’re quite unsure how many gallons of water your pool has, it’s a quick calculation. You can multiply the width, length, depth and then multiply the amount to 7.5, and that’s how you get the number of gallons your pool has. 

Here’s a quick formula: Pool Length (ft) x Pool Width (ft) x Pool Depth (ft) x 7.5= Volume of your pool in gallons.

You can also use a pool volume calculator.

Note: A typical turnover rate for a pool is 6-8 hours or less.

If you discover that your pump is designed for a considerably larger pool than you have, you will want to keep it running for no more than 8 hours each day. If you discover that your pump is designed for a smaller pool, you will want to keep it running for a longer period.

Our tip to you is to buy a swimming pool pump appropriate for your pool volume – this is more energy-efficient and will save you expenditures in the long run. 

Your Pump’s Horsepower Could Cut Time but Be Careful.

Swimming pool pumps are rated by horsepower, which refers to the number of pounds of pressure each unit can move. 

Pool pumps range from 1/2 – 3 horsepower.

If a reputable manufacturer makes your pump, it will be at least 1.5 horsepower, and quite a few models include a higher number of horsepower. 

While a higher number of horsepower generally equates to better performance at a lower cost, if you’re looking for the lowest electric cost possible, you should take care when purchasing one.

However, your horsepower should always be powerful enough to spin your pool’s volume at an acceptable rate of about eight hours per day, but not so powerful that it works harder than it needs to—and incurs unnecessary cost as a result.

Bottom Line

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to determine how long to leave your pool pump running. Instead, there are multiple options. And ultimately, you must determine the most appropriate time to run your pool equipment to be used.

Check out our website for great pool articles. Maintaining your swimming pool is easier than you might think. Below are a few helpful pool guides.

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