Calculating the Run-time for a Pool Pump

A valuable tool in the pool owner’s arsenal is knowing how long to run the pool pump. Running a pool pump has several essential functions. Your pool filtration system is the backbone of cleaning contaminants out of the water. Running the pool filter also helps infiltrate the pool water thoroughly with the chemicals it requires to keep the water pH balanced. But, running your pool’s filtration system all the time is incredibly inefficient. It wastes energy and will wear out the pump and components prematurely. Nonetheless, a pool filtration system is highly effective in helping to keep your pool clean.


Does that mean my days with the skimming net are over?

No. Skimming leaves and other material off of the surface of the pool helps the filter do its job by not letting it get overwhelmed with contaminants. Organic material breaks down quickly, making the filter work harder even after skimming with the net. Still, skimming is much better than letting the filter do all the work, especially in the summer, when many contaminants are carried in by swimmers. Residue from lotions and other products are invisible to the naked eye.

Calculating the pool volume

One of the components necessary to determine how long to run a pump is the volume of the pool. In a previous blog, we explained how to calculate the capacity of a swimming pool based on its shape and depth. You can find that blog here. You can use it to determine the volume of your pool.

 Pump speed

The second component in the equation is the pump speed. The pump speed determines the rate of pool water filtration. The pump speed can be a little tricky. Newer pumps can be dual or variable speed, meaning, the speed at which the water is pumped will determine the speed of the water filtration. As a result, it’s essential to know the speed of the filtration rate you’re planning to run. A lower speed will use less energy.

Once you know the pool volume and the filtration rate, you can divide the PV by the FR, and that will tell you how many hours it will take the pool pump to filter all of the water in the pool. The rate will change if you change the speed on the variable pump.

Other factors

When calculating the length of run-time, it is often suggested that the entire pool should be circulated at least twice for the full benefit. 

Many factors determine the length of time needed to have a clean pool, including the weather, the quantity of plant material in the immediate location of the pool, and the amount of swimming activity. Many experts recommend running the pool pump every day in hot weather.  Talk to your pool care expert. They can give you the best guidance for your situation if you have questions.

If you need pool maintenance for your Phoenix, Arizona pool or spa, call us here at Serenity Pools. Our services include new installation set-up, professional maintenance of pools and spas, water features, and fountains. Call today! 480-370-0579.