How many hours to run your swimming pool pump each day?

One of the most significant and easiest changes that can be made is the number of hours you run your pump for each day.

The most frequently used numbers seem to be:

  • Winter – 4 hours/day
  • Summer – 8 hours/day
  • Make sure the total volume of water is circulated 1-2 times per day

The number of variables between different pools are so large that you can’t possibly expect such broad numbers to be remotely close to what is actually required for every pool. Consider:

  • The variation in the amount of leaves, grass and other organic material. A pool surrounded by grass and trees will have much higher requirements than pool enclosed in a concrete lined courtyard
  • The swimming load – a young family in a warm climate compared with a retired couple in a cooler climate
  • Whether or not the pool has a cover
  • Whether swimmers shower before using the pool
  • Whether the pool is exposed to full sun in a windy location or a shaded protected location
  • The size of the pump installed and hence the volume of water pumped
  • The length and number of bends in the plumbing between the pool and the pump/filter will effect the efficiency of the pump and hence the volume of water pumped
  • Whether the pool uses a salt water chlorinator or chlorine tablets.

All of these factors will greatly vary the amount of time each day that the pump must run for.

Ultimately the goal for your pool water is to ensure that the water is maintained in a safe and balanced state which is for the most part judged by:

  • Sufficient level of chlorine (or other sanitisation mechanism) to control algae growth
  • Maintaining stable levels of PH and Total Alkalinity

Keeping these within the desired ranges will avoid a murky, green, unusable pool. The longer you run your filter the greater the margin of error you have but the more power you consume. Finding a balance you’re happy with requires experminentation and recognition of the usage, environmental and seasonal factors that effect your individual pool.

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