How Often Should I Run My Swimming Pool Pump?

How Often Should I Run My Swimming Pool Pump?

There’s a common misconception among some pool owners that their pump needs to run 24 hours a day to keep the water clean. However, that’s not the case. As long as you have the right-sized pump for your above ground or inground swimming pool it only needs to run several hours per day. Of course, if the pump is running less frequently is means less power is being used and you’ll save a considerable amount of money on energy costs.

The water of a residential swimming pool really only needs to be circulated or turned over through the filter just once a day. In cases where the pool is quite busy, such as a party, you may want to circulate the water through the filter system twice per day. For commercial/public pools, the water does need to be circulated several times over to keep the water sanitary. Filtering the water is a key to keeping it clean, but it’s just as important to make sure the water chemistry is properly balanced.

If the water isn’t balanced properly it won’t really matter how much you circulate and filter it. To properly answer the question of how long your pump should run we need to gather some important information regarding the pool. This includes the overall dimensions including the depth, width, and length as well as the size of the pump motor. Once we know exactly how much water needs to be filtered we can calculate the length of time the pump should run.

To do this we use something called the Pool Volume Calculator which calculates the gallons of water in the pool. In addition, we need to know how fast the pump works. This lets us know how many gallons of water the pump can circulate per minute. To find how many gallons per minute a pump can handle you just need to take a quick look at the owner’s manual or ask a professional pool dealer. If you don’t know how many gallons of water your pool holds you can calculate for a rectangular pool by multiplying the length by the width by the average depth by 7.48.

If you have an oval-shaped pool, you can multiply the area by the average depth X 7.48. Once you know both the size of the pool and the speed of the pump we can calculate the running time of the pump with simple math. For example, if the pool holds 22,000 gallons of water and the pump can circulate 50 gallons per minute we can deduce that the pump can handle 3,000 gallons per hour. 50 gallons-per-minute x 60 minutes per hour = 3,000. We then divide 22,000 gallons by 3,000 gallons per hour and find the answer is 7.33 hours.

So with a 22,000-gallon pool we can turn the water over completely with a full cycle in 7.33 hours or seven hours and 20 minutes. This means all of the pool’s water will be circulated through the filter system in just over seven hours and there’s not really any need to run the pool 24 hours per day.

Have questions about what type of pool pump will work best for your swimming pool?  Contact International Pool & Spa today, one of our pool experts can help you choose the most efficient pool pump setup for crystal clear water all season long.  We also have pool stores across Ontario, so feel free to stop by and speak to one of our pool experts in person.


2017 Catalog
$999.99MSRP $1199.99

Alias Above Ground Steel Pool

Providing affordable summer fun, in a superior steel frame design that eclipses all other pools in its class.

$200 off
$19,995MSRP $29,999.99

Maui Fiberglass Pool

Fiberglass pools, the pools which require no maintenance have become the choice of many new pool owners. A great addition to any backyard the Maui will provide your family with years of fun and relaxation.

$699.99MSRP $699.99

Rogue R425PK

If perfect sear marks are a badge of honor, the Napoleon Rogue R425PK in black is the gas grill for you. Get grilling faster with a grill designed to cut assembly in half.

$11,895.99MSRP $$13,995.99

Infinity Edge Spas

Every Spa Comes With Patented Vanishing Edge, zero water displacement, no filter grate design and largest skimmer in the world.

15% Off