A Guide to How Often to Run a Pool Pump Every Day and How to Save on Electricity

If you are looking for ways to save money, save electricity, and save the environment, this is the article for you. Learn how often to run a pool pump every day and how to reduce the electricity you use for your swimming pool.

The amount of time to run a pool pump depends on many factors, including the efficiency and effectiveness of your pump system. Various aspects affect how much filtering your water needs, such as the time of the year or water temperature.

Some systems may need to operate almost 24 hours a day to keep the water clean, whilst others may accomplish it in 6 hours. However, there are no two swimming pools that are exactly alike.

So it’s difficult to say how long you need to keep your pool pump running without first finding answers to some of the questions, for example:

  • What kind of pump and filter do you have, and what size are they?
  • What kind of water treatment chemicals or purifiers do you use?
  • How many foreign particles enter your pool, like rainfall?
  • What’s the temperature in your area?

This article provides answers to these queries and how you can save on your electricity bills when you run a pool pump.

What Are Factors to Consider for Pool Pump Run Time?

Water Pump with Blue Pipes

Should you run it 10 hours a day, 8; or 6? Are there rules of thumb to go by?

The answer is yes. But before we get to the specifics, we need to get some basic information down.

Pump & Filter System

Pool manufacturers generally construct an aboveground or in-ground pool that uses an 8-hour turnover pump and filter.

However, through time, filters get dirty and pump baskets get clogged, resulting in a reduction in water flow. Also, additional pool equipment such as chlorinators, heaters, and cleaners can cause the flow rate to slow down due to the increased resistance, requiring longer filter pump time.

One factor to also consider is the age of the filter media. Older filter sand or cartridges do not filter as well as they used to, requiring longer periods of time to clean the water. 

Moreover, not all pools and pool filters are made equal. For example, compared to Sand filters, D.E. pool filters are up to ten times more effective. A sand or cartridge filter will require the filter pump to run for an extended time than an equivalent-sized D.E. filter.

If your pool water is over-filtered, you may operate the pool pump for fewer hours per day. However, for small or less efficient pool filters, you need the pump operating for more hours per day to make up for this. During the summer, many pools require two complete turnovers to maintain water quality.

Water Treatments

Water treatment chemicals are added to the pool water to prevent the growth of algae and bacteria. 

Many different types of pool chemicals are available on the market, including shock treatments, algaecides, clarifiers, etc…

More often, a treated pool requires less pump circulation and filtration.


If you live in a town where the rain is always heavy, your pool will likely need more filter cycles, as additional debris will be entering your pool. 

As a result, you may need to run your filter pump for more extended periods or install a large filter system to clean the water faster.

Temperature & Air Pressure

How often you run a pool pump throughout the day is very important. Water temperature and air pressure play a huge part in how often you run your pump; if these two variables are not at their optimal levels, it could lead to poor circulation and inefficient filtration.

Your pool pump and filter system will usually need to run more frequently on warm days or days with high humidity. If there is insufficient air pressure in the system, it can cause elevated water temperatures and diminished filtration quality. 

Other Factors Affecting Pool Pump Run Time

Swimming Pools with Clouds Behind

Below is a list of other factors that may affect how often you will need to run your pool pump. 

  • Wind: It’s important when running a swimming pool in an area where there is usually a lot of wind to be aware of the effect it may have on your pool equipment and water quality.

    A constant breeze can easily carry organic material such as pollen and dust into your swimming pool, requiring additional filtration and circulation to keep the water clean. 
  • Clouds: Rainfall often has higher levels of contaminants than regular tap water. As a result, it may need to be cleaned more frequently. 
  • High levels of calcium: If you have high calcium levels in your pool, this can cause low flow rates in your pool equipment, meaning you will have to run the pump longer for it to work effectively.
  • Low salt levels: Low salt or ionizer systems are much more efficient than chlorine-based systems, requiring less filtering time. So if you use a salt treatment system in your pool, you should have much fewer filtration needs.
  • Pool maintenance processes: Running your pump for longer periods will also be necessary if additional cleaning needs to be done (e.g., removing algae or leaves).

When Is the Best Time to Run a Pool Pump?

Residential Electrical Service Junction Box in Neighborhood

You should avoid peak hours to save more on electricity bills. Peak hours are periods during which your neighborhood tends to use more electricity.

For example, peak hours in warmer regions are when people have their air conditioning turned on, maybe early evening when they arrive home from work and turn up the A/C.

Call your energy supplier to find out the peak hours in your area and then plan your pump operation around those times. 

“You can make things a lot easier on yourself by using a programmable pool timer to switch on and off the pump at non-peak times to save you on electricity bills in the long run.”

Matt Giovanisci – swimuniversity.com

Run a Pool Pump From Sunrise to Sunset

You will get the best water quality by running your pump from sunrise to sunset, but it is unrealistic for most homeowners to do so. 

If you can’t do it this way, run the pump from about 10 am to 5 pm. 

You should also be sure that there is no debris in the pool and that the water level is higher than the skimmer. These will cause an excess of air and friction and waste a lot of energy and time.

Timely Run a Pool Pump for Non-Consecutive Hours

It is true that you need to run a pool pump for at least eight hours every day to complete at least one rotation cycle. However, it does not necessarily mean that you must run it for eight hours straight. 

You can refer to your non-peak hours. For example, you may operate your pump for three hours early in the morning, two hours at lunchtime, and then three more hours at night. As long as your pump runs for at least 8 hours every 24 hours, you’re good. 

Use pool timers and schedules to plan your pool pump operation around non-peak hours to save electricity bills. 


The pool pump continues to be a common fixture for many pool owners, so pool owners need to note the many factors that can impact the running time of their pumps. There are several helpful tools to help save on the electrical costs associated with running a pool pump. 

Pool timers can be programmed to run pool pumps at specific times at night and early in the morning. It is wise for homeowners to invest in a pool timer or smart control system to spend more time swimming and less time dealing with their pumps. 

Below are more pool articles that you will definitely find useful. Check them out! To view more pool articles, click here.

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