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What is the Best Time to Run a Pool Pump?

Collage photo of a running pool pump.

There are many different opinions about the best time to run a pool pump. Some people believe it should be done during the day, while others think the pump should only run at night. Each has its benefits, and there is no clear winner.

Is It Better to Run a Pool Pump at Night or During the Day?

Using a pump during the day

Top view of a swimming pool with bubble bath.

Because algae develop fastest when the sun is its brightest, running the pool pump when the sun is at its highest or after midday makes perfect sense. Therefore, it’s best to run your pump from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. if you need to run it for eight hours per day to filter its entire volume.

The pump operates the skimmers, which remove floating debris, like grass and insects. The skimmers operate when you’re most likely to be swimming when you run your pump during the day. You won’t have to worry about swallowing any bugs or debris when you swim in your pool.

Because sunshine destroys chlorine, the chlorine demand is higher during daylight hours. Running the pump helps prevent this by distributing the water throughout the pool, saving on chemicals that would be wasted if the system ran at night.

Running the pump at night

Underwater of a swimming pool with led lighting and a water pump.

The sole reason to run the pool pump at night instead of during the day is to save money. Several countries, states, and regions offer cheaper power at certain times of the day, usually during non-peak hours when demand is lower. Usually, this happens at night.

In some nations, the electricity rates can be as low as 25% of the peak utility rates. Some electricity providers offer three-tiered prices, with a “shoulder” interval between low and peak rates. Electricity is more expensive during peak hours and less expensive during off-peak hours.

So, if you operate your pool pump during evening hours, you may save money on electricity. However, you should measure this benefit against the reasons to use the pump throughout the day, which may easily surpass it.

You can phone your electricity provider to see if you qualify for lower electricity during particular hours and what the lower rate is to figure out how much you’ll save.

What is best?

Because both options have benefits, there may be valid reasons to use your pump at any time of day or night. So it might be best to find a middle ground. You might be able to run the pump for half of the time during the day and the other half at night.

It’s simple to figure out what time of day is optimal for running a pool pump in your situation by experimenting with different timer settings. You’ll quickly discover what works best for you.

Should A Pool Pump Run Continuously?

A hut with swimming pool filter, valves, and pumps.

Yes, to put it simply. In a perfect world, running the pump all day, every day is the healthiest choice for your pool. However, as you may have realized, this can result in an outrageous power bill.

But don’t assume it means you can’t use your pool. While it is technically “ideal,” it is not required to maintain a safe and clean pool.

So, how long do you need to operate your pump, and how often do you need to run it?

The general rule of thumb is that you filter all of the water in your pool at least once every 24 hours. If you use your pool a lot (for example, if you hold a pool party), you should probably run it through the filter twice that day.

Several factors determine how long it takes your pump to cycle all of the water in your pool. The type of pump in use and the size of the pool are the two most important criteria. The efficiency and flow rate of the pump determines how quickly and effectively it circulates the pool water.

The size of the pool determines how much water the pump must move. The bigger the quantity of water in the pool, the longer it will take for the pump to complete a filter cycle.

A swimming pool expert can readily assist you in calculating how long it will take your pool pump to complete a full cycle. An average pump powering an average-sized home pool, on the other hand, has a typical turnover rate of six to 10 hours.

Additionally, you do not need to run your pool pump constantly throughout each filtration cycle. You can get the same results by running it for multiple short intervals throughout the day. If you do this, make sure to keep an eye on the water’s chemical balance and purity.

Please keep in mind that these suggestions are just for household pools. The water in commercial pools must be filtered multiple times every day.

Pool owners need to remember that simply filtering their pool isn’t enough. You must also make sure the water chemistry is balanced. If the water chemistry isn’t right, you’ll likely still have sanitation difficulties, no matter how often you use the pump.


Swimming pool at night with water falls and city views from a distance.

Many individuals run their pool pump at night, but this isn’t always the best approach unless you’re only trying to save money.

Chlorine is needed to filter the system during the day when the sun shines on the pool and when utilization is high. Also, since algae require the sun to grow, running at night may not have the same effect.

It might cost less to run your pump at night, but it’s only advisable to use the pump at night if you’re performing a substantial chemical treatment. Plants, especially algae, do not develop as well at night as they do during the day; therefore, your pool is more likely to experience algae growth during the day, and daylight filtration can help.