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Thread: How often should I run the pump? ~First time pool owners~

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    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Visalia CA
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    Question How often should I run the pump? ~First time pool owners~

    We just purchased and set up our first Intex 18'X48" 5K gallon, inflatable ring pool. It came with a 1,500 gallon pump. I'm wondering how often I should run the pump. Also, I am using the 3" chlorine tablet floats. How many do I need for that size pool? There are 4 adults using the pool 2-3 hours a day.

    Any advice on additional equipment, testing kits, chemicals would be appreciated. There is such a wide variety to choose from I am feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment.
    First time pool owners. Any advice from your experiences is greatly appreciated.
    Intex 18'X48" above ground, inflatable ring, 5,455 gallons.
    Includes a 1,500-gallon filter pump (Intex Krystal Clear Model 635T), ladder, ground cloth and pool cover.

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
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    Re: How often should I run the pump? ~First time pool owners~

    Welcome to TFP!

    There is no one single answer for this - it primarily depends on your pool, the size of the pump/filter combo, the number of bathers in your pool, and amount of debris (pollen/leaves) that enter your pool. Here is a process that we recommend following to determine the run time sweet-spot: Pool School - Determine Pump Run Time. This is the process I used with great results.

    As for test kits, you will need one of the Pool School - Test Kits Compared to properly manage your pool. I use the TF-100 because it's the best value and they have a freshness guarantee. You can order it here: TFTestkits.net. They ship fast - you should have it in your hands in 2-3 days with normal shipping.

    Here are some resources to give you an overview of managing your pool using our methods:
    1. ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry
    2. Chlorine CYA Chart
    3. Recommended Pool Chemicals
    4. Recommended Levels
    5. Pool Math
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Jun 2014
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    South-Central Texas, Marion/San Antonio
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    Re: How often should I run the pump? ~First time pool owners~

    Hello Mrs. "S" and welcome to TFP. To follow the TFPC method means to lose some old habits we learned early on from pool stores - like tablets/pucks. They can cause some bad side effects most people don't realize, so take them out now and use only liquid bleach to sanitize your water. But first thing's first ...
    The proper test kit (i.e. TF-100 – link below) is the foundation of your pool care. Why this kit? We've learned through personal experience that you cannot reply on pool store testing, test strips, or simple over-the-counter kits. They simply do not read Free Chlorine (FC) or Cyanuric Acid (CYA) levels accurately or to the high levels we need. If you do not have a TF-100 or Taylor K2006 test kit, it should be your #1 priority.
    As for how long to run your pump? That can vary depending up on how much traffic your pool gets, debris that may fall into the pool, etc. It can vary anywhere from 3-4 hrs per day to the majority of the day. The important to remember that the filter does not balance your water and prevent it grow getting algae (green). That's a chemical thing. So experiment with the pump perhaps for about 7-8 hours, then maybe reducing it if it can keep up with debris.

    Long story short, TFPC is a great way to care for your pool using common household items (i.e. liquid bleach). It's safe and easy for your to do at home with the proper kit. Please take a moment to read the important link you see below as they will serve you very well. Post back as much as you like for any questions. Welcome to TFP!
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    greenville,SC
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    Re: How often should I run the pump? ~First time pool owners~

    I had the pump that came with my pool (16x48) and it was a small black pump that did not have an on/off switch or any kind of timer... and I ran that thing all summer! The reason I never unplugged it was that debris and bugs were always falling in the pool and my child refused to swim in "bug water"... This year I bought an intex 3000gph sand filter/pump (no paper filter, WOO HOO) and since it has a handy timer, I use that function to run it as often as it takes to keep the bugs/tree debris out and my child in!! Good luck!

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    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Visalia CA
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    Re: How often should I run the pump? ~First time pool owners~

    Thank you
    First time pool owners. Any advice from your experiences is greatly appreciated.
    Intex 18'X48" above ground, inflatable ring, 5,455 gallons.
    Includes a 1,500-gallon filter pump (Intex Krystal Clear Model 635T), ladder, ground cloth and pool cover.

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    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Uxbridge Ontario
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    Re: How often should I run the pump? ~First time pool owners~

    With the filter pump you have, you are likely going to need to run it pretty much 24/7 to keep up with that size pool and that amount of traffic.
    The cartridge filters that come with Intex pools are garbage and you will fight to keep your pool clean all summer.

    Whenever you can swing it, grab a sand filter.
    We have the bigger intex sand filter on a 14' x 42" pool and only need to run it about 4 hours a day... I throw a couple pucks in a floater and other than a shock now and then and some vaccuming, skimming and occasional brushing.
    It is pretty low maintenance.
    With the cartridge I was out cleaning the pool every singe day and cleaning the cartridge every other day, and I HAD to shock it every week to keep it under control. And it still didn't look half as good as it does now with half the chemicals.
    21' x 52" Round Above Ground. (Buried 2') AquaPro 1HP pump, Jacuzzi 19" Sand filter, Hayward inline chlorinator.
    Hayward H200 millivolt NG Heater, SunQuest 2 x 2'x10' Solar heater.

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