How Long Should You Run Your Pool Pump?

For you to fully enjoy your pool, you need to stay on top of its cleaning and maintenance. And your pool pump is an integral part of that. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just switch it on and never have to think about it again? But life just isn’t that simple. You can’t leave the pump on all day, every day. Why? It’ll quickly wear out. Plus, you’ll find yourself in over your head as the energy costs start to build up.

Here we’re going to answer your pool pump-related questions. You’ll discover how, by picking the right pump, you can save time and money for years to come. Let’s dive in!

How Long Should I Run My Pool Pump For?

The basic recommendation is to run the pump for eight hours a day for adequate pool maintenance. This means that it gives enough time to pump the pool’s entire volume of water through the system. However, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula. Many factors influence the time your specific pool pump needs to work effectively. Without bearing these in mind, you could be throwing your money down the drain. The steep electricity bills will be enough to make your head swim.

But there’s no need for that sinking feeling. Figuring out how to efficiently use your pump doesn’t have to be complicated. By bearing in mind just a few factors—your pool’s volume, the pump type, and working out its operation times—you can achieve the optimal balance of pool cleanliness and costs saved.

A great pump that’s sure to float your boat is the Hayward W3SP2603VSP Super Pump VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump. Although variable-speed pumps tend to be more pricey, this model pays for itself in the amount of energy it saves. Plus, it’s incredibly quiet. Swim-pressive!

Why Do I Need to Run My Pump?

Essentially, your pool pump is the heart of your pool’s cleaning system. It enables the water to circulate fully, filtering out all those nasty dirt particles. It also ensures the wide and even distribution of the cleaning chemicals that keep germs at bay. A properly functioning pump is vital; it’s what keeps your pool healthy, uncontaminated, and sparkling.

No pump equals no circulation, which means no pool cleaning or decontamination. Without the pump turned on, it wouldn’t take long for your beautiful pool to become a green pond of stagnant water and unwanted bacteria. Not exactly ideal for a refreshing swim on a scorching hot summer’s day! Your pump needs to be on at the appropriate time—for the right amount of time—if you want all to go swimmingly.

Is having to crouch down and lean over to scrub the angles of your pool sending you off the deep end? Blue Torrent’s 360-Degree pool brush is making a splash. With a patented design for easy, fuss-free cleaning, it’s a favorite of pool servicers everywhere.

What Does Turnover Rate Mean—And How Can I Calculate It?

To keep your pool clean and pristine, all its water must completely run through the pump’s filter system at least once a day. The time it takes for the water to circulate fully is called the turnover rate. For your pump to work effectively for eight hours, it should be processing all of your pool water during that time.

To figure out your pool’s turnover rate, you’ll first need to work out how many gallons of water it contains. But don’t worry. It’s a quick and straightforward calculation—even for those of us who flunked math! (For more complicated-shaped pools, there are many phone apps that you can choose from to help you calculate the volume.) Simply multiply the length, width, and depth of your pool (in feet). Then multiply that figure by 7.5 to convert the number to gallons:

[Pool Length] x [Pool Width] x [Pool Depth] × 7.5 = Volume of Your Pool in Gallons

Now divide your pool volume by 8 to determine the gallons per hour (GPH) that need to be pumped:

Volume of Your Pool in Gallons ÷ 8 = GPH/ Turnover Rate

So now you know the perfect turnover rate for your pool! Does your pump’s flow rate (check the pump itself or the manufacturer’s guide) match up? Are you wasting or saving energy?

You might find that your existing pump is better suited for a much larger pool. In that case, you’ll want to run it for less than eight hours a day. But if you discover that your pump is made for a smaller pool, you’ll need to let it run for longer. A better solution altogether? Buy a pump that perfectly fits your pool’s volume. It’ll be a swell investment, saving you money in energy costs in the long run.

Is your pump the wrong fit for your pool? Don’t let this significant problem slide; get your pumping right with the Pentair 011028 IntelliFlo VS Energy Efficient 230V Variable Speed pump. You can adjust its speed to adapt to your needs, and it pays itself off in the amount of energy saved.

What Are the Different Pump Types?

Not all pumps are created equal. With your particular pump model, you may need to adjust its operating time according to its speed and power. We’ll be looking at two types: single-speed or variable-speed. They differ in the rate at which their motor spins the impeller (the pump part that propels the water).

Which Are Better—Single-Speed or Variable-Speed Pumps?

Your pump’s speed affects how long your pump needs to run every day—and the size of your energy bill every month. But contrary to what you might think, faster isn’t necessarily better. Since their first invention, pool pumps have made massive forward strokes in their speed flexibility. And this is excellent news for pool owners. You’ll be able to find a pump that suits your particular pool’s needs.

The old-school originals of the pool pump world are the single-speed models, remaining the most basic type available today. With these, the impeller is spun at a steady, unchanging velocity. The downside with single-speed pumps is they often run faster than their pool requires. This means they can needlessly consume energy and drive up electricity bills. Some states (including Arizona, California, and Florida) have banned new installations of these pumps because they’re seen as wasteful.

Now variable-speed pumps are having their moment in the sun. Unlike single-speed pumps, these models allow you to control the speed of the motor. At lower velocities, water can be filtered more thoroughly, and the pump tends to run quieter. The best part? While more expensive than their single-speed counterparts, these pumps will save you more than the purchasing difference, in usually just under two years. And even though you may need to run your variable-speed pump a bit longer, you’ll still be saving significantly.

Time to upgrade, but you want to stick to using a single-speed pump? You can’t go wrong with replacing it with the Hayward W3SP1580X15 Power Flo. With its outstanding performance, durability, and quiet operation, all other models are belly-flops in comparison!

Does Higher Horsepower Cut Run Time?

Not to be confused with speed, horsepower (HP) is the amount of work the pump’s motor is capable of. A pump with higher HP will be able to pump a considerably larger amount of water through your pool system in less time. In theory, the quicker a pump works, the less time it needs to be running, so the more money you’ll save.

But be careful before diving straight in and opting for a pump with higher HP. Increased HP isn’t going to be necessary for all types of pools. The HP required is dependent on the size of your particular pool system. This means taking into account any waterfalls, other water features, and the extent of its piping. The HP should always be powerful enough to turn your pool’s volume at an adequate rate of around eight hours a day. But it shouldn’t be so overpowering that it ends up working harder than what’s actually required.

Suppose your pool’s plumbing features three-inch piping. In that case, its size means it can efficiently use a pump with 3 HP, meaning the pumping process will be done relatively quickly. However, if your motor’s HP is too large for your pool system to handle, it can waste energy and leave you drowning in needlessly high electricity costs.

Now you’ve learned a bit about the importance of getting the right amount of HP. Why not use your newly-gained expertise and purchase the Hayward SP1580X15 Power Flo pump? It has a range of horsepower strengths available to suit your particular pool systems requirements. Your pool water will be crystal blue in no time.

When Should I Run the Pump?

A simple assumption is that the best time to run your pump is while you’re chilling in the pool. After all, you want the water to be at its cleanest while you’re actually swimming in it! This will usually mean when the sun’s out, often during the hottest hours of the day. But there are better times of the day to run the pump—when you can keep energy costs down while still enjoy pristine water.

Should I Avoid Certain Hours?

It’s a little-known fact that we don’t pay a flat rate for electricity throughout the day. Electric power companies have designated specific periods of the day as peak times. This means that the cost of using your pool pump will change during a 24-hour period. Choosing a particular time of day to use your pump can significantly impact your energy bills—for better or worse.

Depending on the trends within your specific region, peak hours are times during the day when residents tend to use more electricity. This is when the most strain is put on the grid, and the electricity companies will inflate their rates. In warmer climates, peak hours will be at the hottest time of day—when everyone is cranking up their air conditioning units. Give your energy provider a call to find out the peak hours of your area, and schedule your pump operation to avoid those pricey times.

Here’s another secret: you don’t have to run your pump for eight hours straight. You can divide up the time to work best for your schedule and to avoid peak hours. This will give you greater flexibility in running your pump during non-peak hours, getting the same service but for cheaper. Clean, cool water for less of the price? Jump on in!

Looking to cut down your pump’s operation time and have a pool system that can accommodate a little extra power? The Pentair 340039 SuperFlo is a 1.5 HP pump that’s currently one of the best on the market. It’s a deal that’s too hot to miss.

How Does My Pump Affect the Pool’s Chemical Balance?

Besides being more cost-efficient, the off-hours running of your pump allows for the proper circulation of your cleaning chemicals. These essential, highly potent products need to be spread evenly throughout the water to be fully effective. You don’t want to find yourself floating next to any unpleasant undiluted substances, so it’s best to get this done while the pool’s not occupied.

While most cleaning chemicals can be put in during daylight, one that needs to be added after dark is pool shock, a powdered form of chlorine. If put into the pool during the day, the sun will burn most of it off, and it won’t be nearly as effective. Use this treatment at night, making sure that the pump runs for eight hours to ensure even and thorough distribution.

Perhaps your pump is too noisy; it’s starting to annoy your neighbors or keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep. Your problems will drift away with the Pentair 011519 WhisperFlo single-speed pump. It works hard while keeping noise to a minimum.

Congratulations—You’ve Earned Yourself a Gold Medal in Cost-Saving!

Now you know how to select and use a pool pump that works best for your pool. You understand what model you need, when to run it, and for how long. Your new pool pump will be quiet, energy-efficient, and long-lasting. Lie back on your sun lounger and bask in the fact that there won’t be any nasty surprises popping up on your energy bills. It’s time to have some fun in the sun—while saving money!

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