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When to Start A Pool Pump and How Long to Run it

When to Start A Pool PumpAs any new pool owner, it is very essential to know about proper pool circulation.

Here’s how it works – The water goes through the silicone suction pipe, into the filter and out through the main returns. While the pool pump provides constant pressure or suction to keep the water moving throughout the circuit.

Now, every year new pool owners are riddled with concerns like how long to run the pool pump for a full circulation, if they are accidentally overrunning the pump or are they not running it long enough.

So here in this article, we’re going to talk about how you can maintain proper pool pump timing, and the math behind it. Read on ahead.

When to Start A Pool Pump and How Long to Run it

Just turning on the pool pump and praying to Poseidon for a clean, fresh pool won’t cut it. There’s math here.

Depending on the season and temperature outside you need to figure out how long you should keep running the filter. I know it sounds complicated at first, but we are here to help you figure it out, in no time.

A rule of thumb is to run the pump for 8 hours for underground swimming pools.

The Math Behind Pump Runtime

There are two major factors that come into play when deciding on pool water circulation time.

  • The chemical demand is the amount of chemical needed to disinfect the pool water.
  • Filtration demand which is how the debris gets cleared out of the water.

During summer months more people bathe or generally use the pool more often. This results in more debris, bath residue, cosmetic residue in the pool. And rightfully requires more filtration.

However, to get the actual numbers, take out your notebooks.

You need to find your pool’s volume and the flow rate of your pump. But that’s just fancy jargon. I’m going to simplify it for you.

Pool Volume = total gallons of water in the pool

Flow rate = gallons of water filtered per hour

If you don’t know it already, you can always use an online pool volume calculator. The flow rate will be documented on either the packaging the pump came in and on its website.

Here’s what we do,

Pool volume/ flow rate = turnover time.

For example, for a pool that holds a total of 17000 gallons of water and runs on a pump that filters 2400 gallons of water per hour, you would need to run the pump 17000/2400 = 7.5 hours.

When to run the pump

Inground Pools

Most people run their pumps at night because it’s cheaper that way. However, cheap doesn’t necessarily mean cost-effective.

If you don’t run your pump during the daytime, you are just letting all that water sit idle there while the direct sunlight encourages plant growth.

So, the best possible solution is to run your pump from sunlight to sundown.

Above Ground Pools

As a rule of thumb, it is suggested that you run your above ground pool pump for at least 8 hours at a stretch. Since there is no proper circulation within the pool itself, it encourages plant growth very easily. So, you’d want to run your pump during the hours when your pool gets direct sunlight and adjust the return jets to make a circular motion within the pool so the water doesn’t sit still.

The Verdict

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the runtime and scheduling of your pool circulation. It depends on several varying factors. However, with the given data and formulas you’ll be able to enjoy your new pool just the way you hoped.

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