Calculating Pool Pump Run Time

calculating pool pump run time

How Long Do I Need to Run My Pool Pump?

It’s getting to be pool season soon and more questions are arising around swimming pools and pool maintenance. So, how long should you run your pool pump? Being as this is the most energy consumptive component within your pool system, it’s a very good question. After all, you don’t want to be wasting your hard earned cash, running a pool pump that’s not doing anything extra for you or your pool.
Before you do the math, here are the basics:

What Does my Pool Pump do for Me?

To understand how much run time you need, it’s wise to find out what exactly your pump does for your pool. The pump is the heart of your pool and it circulates water out and back in your pool, distributing pool chemicals and filtering your water. It is recommended that you “turnover” or circulate your water at least once throughout the day. This will make sure that the chemicals are properly distributed and your water stays clean and fresh. If you don’t circulate your water, you run the risk of algae growth and unbalanced water which can be unsafe for swimmers, etch, and cause pitting within your pools surface.

Is My Pump Pulling a Fast One?

First things first. To figure out how many hours you need to run your pump, you need to know how fast your pump works. You will need to find the gpm or gallons per minute of water that your pump circulates. You can find this out one of two ways: by either looking in your manual that came with the pump or by calling the manufacturer.

How Much Water is in My Backyard?

Once you find the gallons per minute you will need to find the amount of gallons within your pool. This is a valuable piece of information that every pool owner should know. I promise, if you don’t know this now, you will need it soon.
To calculate the amount of gallons your pool contains you could calculate the Length X Width X Average Depth X 7.48 for square pools and Area X Average Depth X 7.48 for oval pools. Or you can keep it simple by visiting our friends at Pentair and entering your measurements there. Once you find the amount of gallons, write it down!

Grab a Calculator and Let’s Figure This Out.

Now that you know the gallons per minute and the amount of gallons in your pool you can find your run time. The math is simple. For the example, lets just say you have a 20,000 gallon pool with a GPM (gallons per minute) of 40. Grab that calculator and just “sub in” your measurements for mine.

40 (GPM) X 60 (minutes per hour) = 2400 gallons per hour
20,000 (gallons) / 2400 (gallons per hour) = 8.3 hours

So, in this case, you would need to run your pump 8.3 hours per day for one circulation or “turnover” of water, which is right where you want to be in terms of run time. If you have any further questions on pool pumps or just want to chat, please leave a comment below or give one of our knowledgeable pool pump experts a shout at 1-800-772-0467. We’d love to help you out.

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When Kevin’s not enjoying the water himself he’s engaging himself in the wide world of pool and spa knowledge which he passes on to our customers through producing content for our blogs and website. Outside of the pool world you can find him enjoying life with friends, family and his off the wall dog Brixton.