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Thread: when and how long to run the pump each day?

  1. #1
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    when and how long to run the pump each day?

    Last year when our pool was installed we ran the pump 12 hours a day. It was a very hot summer here. Now it is in the 70's and supposed to go back to the sixties next week. I'm wondering how long and when we should run the pump, (hottest time of the day? morning? evening? Should we increase amount of time once weather heats up?
    Buster Crabbe resin and steel 30'x15' oval 52" ABG pool
    Pentair sand dollar filter
    1.5 Pentair Dynamo pump
    13,500 gallons

  2. #2
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: when and how long to run the pump each day?

    One good rule of thumb is to run the pump one hour a day less for every 10 degrees colder the water is. Of course that is not exact, but it is a good starting point.
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  3. #3
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    Re: when and how long to run the pump each day?

    So if the water is 70 degrees run it 6 hours a day? Should that be split into 3 hours a.m. and 3 pm or during the hottest part of the day?
    Buster Crabbe resin and steel 30'x15' oval 52" ABG pool
    Pentair sand dollar filter
    1.5 Pentair Dynamo pump
    13,500 gallons

  4. #4
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: when and how long to run the pump each day?

    There are no definite answers. It's really a "whatever works for you" thing.

    If you have a lot of pollen or other tree debris, you may need to run it more to keep the skimmer working. Cleaners, heaters, chlorinators, the weather and the environment around the pool all have an effect on how much you need to run the pump. If it's sunny and you want the pool to warm, run during the hottest part of the day. If you want the pool to cool, run it at night.

    The only requirement is to run the pump whenever you have swimmers in the pool unless you have a small pool that doesn't have a pump that is UL or otherwise certified for swimming pool use.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: when and how long to run the pump each day?

    I'm across the border from you in PA. We run our pump 6 hours during the night when the rates are 50%, and we run it for an hour after the dogs have been in the pool to skim the hair off the surface. You can split the time but you need to get one full circulation of the volume. I have no idea how to calculate that which is why I run the pump 6 hours. Just a wild guess on my part.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
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  6. #6
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    Re: when and how long to run the pump each day?

    Anna, where in PA are you? I'm from Bucks County. We are lucky that there are no trees near the pool and other than the occasional bug the pool stays very clean. We do not have a heater either.
    Buster Crabbe resin and steel 30'x15' oval 52" ABG pool
    Pentair sand dollar filter
    1.5 Pentair Dynamo pump
    13,500 gallons

  7. #7
    Senior Member AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: when and how long to run the pump each day?

    Melissa, I'm in the northern Lehigh Valley, Northampton County. Want to get together some time?
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

  8. #8
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    Re: when and how long to run the pump each day?

    So I thought we had to run our pumps in the daytime in the sunlight hours during warm weather season. Is this not true?
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II T100 Sand Filter, CompuPool CPCS48 SWG, TF-100 test kit

  9. #9
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    Re: when and how long to run the pump each day?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieH
    So I thought we had to run our pumps in the daytime in the sunlight hours during warm weather season. Is this not true?
    Correct, not true.

    Mine runs in dark half the time & 9am-12pm the other half.
    Early seaon (like now) & late season when it is cooler, it runs one 6 hr period in the darkness
    Hotter part of the season is 7 hrs.
    All this can vary a bit
    When a cleaner is on, the filter pressure drops so less filtering is happening so careful then- may need a bit more time to filter
    19,800 gallons (closed/winter 18,654 gal); plaster; 18x34 Ft kidney bean shape, Depth 3Ft-5Ft. Built 1992
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  10. #10
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: when and how long to run the pump each day?

    There are many reasons to run the pump at different times of day, and none of them are important enough to consistently over-rule the other. In other words, running only at night is totally fine as long as there is some reason to do so (like lower electrical rates). Spreading the pump run time out around the clock helps, ie have the pump on for more than one period, perhaps morning and evening, or day and middle of the night, has minor advantages.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: when and how long to run the pump each day?

    Should it be added that you should run the pump when people are in it?
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CPX36, SmartPool Nitro SmartKleen NC22 robotic pool cleaner, Lakeland Florida

  12. #12
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: when and how long to run the pump each day?

    Most people prefer to have the pump running when they are swimming, but it is not essential. In some low end above ground pools it is actually important to have the pump off when people are in the pool for electrical safety.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  13. #13
    Senior Member flyboy320's Avatar
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    Re: when and how long to run the pump each day?

    Does anyone know if it shortens the life of the pump having it turn on and off a few times a day as opposed to having it run 24/7?
    10K gal IG, vinyl, 1 HP Jandy Stealth pump, Jandy CS cartridge filter, Delta UV system, Hasa Liquidator

  14. #14
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: when and how long to run the pump each day?

    flyboy320, while it might make some very small statistical difference, it isn't anything worth worrying about.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    TFP Admin. Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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