How Long You Should Be Running Your Pool Pump

Pool pumps are vital to ensure pool water stays clean. However, you may be wondering how long you should keep it on for. Here are a few factors to consider.

Can I Leave My Pool Pump On All Day?

While you can leave a pool pump on all day, it’s not recommended. Pool pumps use up a substantial amount of energy. In fact, homes with pools use about 49% more electricity than homes without. Running a pool pump for 24 hours a day may cost thousands of dollars, which is a lot to add to your electricity bill. As such, it’s best to calculate how long your pool pump should run to keep energy and costs down.

How Do I Know How Long My Pool Pump Should Run?

Calculating how long your pool pump should run is actually quite simple. It just requires two pieces of data: total volume, and turnover rate. Here’s how to calculate them:

Total Volume

Depending on the shape of your pool, how you calculate the total volume (in gallons) will be slightly different.

  • Round Pools: 3.14 x radius x radius x depth x 7.5 or 3.14 x (radius^2) x depth x 7.5
  • Rectangular Pools: length x width x depth x 7.5
  • Oval Pools: 3.14 x length x width x 0.25 x depth x 7.5
  • Triangular Pool: (base x height)/2 x depth x 7.5
  • Irregular Shapes: split up the pool into a smaller set of regular shapes, calculate the volume, and add them together
  • Pools With Varying Depths: take any of the calculations above and replace the depth with the average depth: (depth 1 + depth 2 )/2

Turnover Rate

The turnover rate is how many gallons the pool pumps per minute (GPM) or per hour (GPH). While you will likely be able to find this information from the pool pump manufacturer, you can also calculate it using this formula: total volume/8. This gives the turnover rate in gallons per hour.

Putting it Together

Once you have these two calculations in place, all you need to do to calculate how long you need to run the pool pump for is use this formula: total volume/ turnover rate (GPH). Alternatively, if you have the turnover rate in GPM, simply multiply this by 60 and plug it into the previous formula.

Example Problem

If you have a rectangular pool that’s 20 ft. long, 10 ft. wide, and 5 ft. deep, this is how you’d calculate how long the pool pump should run:

  • Total Volume: 20 x 10 x 5 x 7.5 = 1000 gallons
  • Turnover Rate: 1000/8 = 125 GPH
  • Putting it Together: 1000/125 = 8 hours

Thus, with a pool of that size, you know you’ll need to run the pool pump for at least 8 hours.

Will I Ever Need to Run My Pool Pump for Longer?

While you’ve now calculated the length the pool pump needs to run, you should know that in a few select cases it may need to run for longer. Since pool pumps primarily sanitize the pool, there are a few instances in which this is the case:

  • Pool Parties: If you have a pool party with many people, it’s a good idea to sanitize the pool
  • After Rainfall: Rainfall brings in a lot of pollutants to your pool, meaning you’ll need it to be cleaner
  • Excess Debris: While the pool pump does a good job of filtering out particles from debris, if there’s excess debris in the pool more filtration is necessary

If you need pool services in Arizona, contact us today to get a free estimate. With our staff boasting 80 years of industry experience, you can rely on us for all your pool-related needs.