Have you ever wondered, “How many hours per day does my pool pump need to run?” In an ideal world, the answer might be “24”. All day — all the time. But that definitely is not practical. The cost would be prohibitive. In the past, we might have recommended you run your pump for at least 8 hours. But things have changed. Let’s take a look at the facts and see if we can come up with a compromise.
What Does the Pool Pump Do?
First of all, what is the purpose of the pool pump? Many people call the pump “the heart of the pool”. It is designed to circulate the pool water from the pool, through the filtration system, and then return it to the pool. By doing this, the pool chemicals are distributed and debris, bacteria, and algae are removed. The entire volume of water in the pool needs to “turnover” or circulate completely once in 24 hours. If it does not, the result could be cloudy water, algae growth, and unsanitary conditions. For most pool pumps, this turnover will take place within 8 to 12 hours.
Variable Speed Pumps
As of July 2021, the old single-speed pool pumps are going the way of the dinosaurs. They are being replaced by variable speed pumps, by order of the Environmental Protection Agency. It turns out that the old-style pumps were one of the largest consumers of energy in the home. The cost savings of switching to a variable speed pump will save pool owners up to 50-85% of what they paid in utility costs for the single-speed pumps. Variable speed pumps are also whisper-quiet, which is a plus for staying on a friendly basis with your neighbors.
A tremendous feature of variable speed pumps is their customizability. They can be programmed and controlled remotely to run at different times of the day and at different speeds to coordinate with other features such as robotic vacuums, water features, and spas. For example, water features work best at a low flow speed. Lower flow rates also enable the filtration system to filter out particles more effectively. Since it is so much less costly to operate a variable speed pump, you can run it for a longer period of time than 8 hours and still save money and energy.
The ability to operate at lower speeds will cause your filtration system to operate more efficiently and to last longer, saving you even more money over time. Additionally, you do not have to run your pump for 8 or more hours straight. Stagger the times of operation to suit your needs. You can program your variable speed pump to operate during non-peak hours and save even more in utility costs. Since variable speed pumps are so quiet, you will have no guilt about running it at night after adding pool shock.
The Bottom Line
How many hours per day does your pool pump need to run? Before variable speed pumps, we might have said “at least 8 hours”. The answer today is actually “it depends”. You still need to have your pool water completely turnover during a 24 hour period, which usually happens within an 8-hour time frame. That being said, with the new variable speed pumps, you could run your pump longer than 8 hours, achieve cleaner water, and still pay less in energy costs.
Talk to the professionals at Fronheiser Pools. They can answer any questions you may have and help you find the variable speed pump that is right for you. Then sit back and watch your utility bill shrink!