What’s the Best Pool Pump Run Schedule?

Posted by Michael Hervas on Jan 20, 2022

The actual pump run time you need will largely depend on the relative size of your pool and your pump, which varies from pool to pool. Each pool owner needs to figure it out for themselves.

A good rule of thumb is that your pump run time should be around one turnover. That means pumping the same number of gallons of water as your pool contains. If you know the number of gallons per minute (GPM) for your system and how many gallons are in your pool, this is a good place to start.

Unfortunately, most pool owners don't know their GPM, and it isn't easy to figure out without a flow meter or other special equipment. If that’s the case, then a good starting assumption for a single speed swimming pool pump would be to try 12 hours run time, and for a two-speed pool pump running on low would be 24 hours.

You really need to experiment! First, start with a run time that is higher than you think you need and get the water really sparkling. Then, try running the pump for a week at a different run time and watch the water closely to see how it looks. If the water will lose its sparkle, then that means you are running the pump too little.

It is best not to try any of this when you are just starting out, or when you are having any kind of algae problem. Also, if you have a salt water chlorine generator (SWG), remember that the SWG setting will need to change any time you change the pump run time.

One other factor to keep in mind is that the required pump run time depends on the water temperature. The colder the water the less you need to run your pump. A good rule of thumb is to decrease your pump run time by 10% of your mid-summer run time for each 10 degrees colder the water gets. Of course, the ideal run time will vary depending on various factors, so experiment a little and only use that as a starting point.

You can get reliable and sturdy pool pumps from PST Pool Supplies.