How long do you run your pump?

BoilerHorn

LifeTime Supporter
May 14, 2007
23
Central Texas
#1
I am trying to understand the right times of the day and durations to run my filter pump. I am using the BBB approach and like to add chlorine at night, when it is required. Obviously, I will need to run the pump thereafter. Anyone willing to share their experiences?

Thanks.
 

Buggsw

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 22, 2007
925
Arizona
#2
They tell us, a minimum of 1 hour for every 10 degrees of temperature outside. So, if it's 90 degrees outside, 9 hours. I run mine a bit longer.
 

Poolidiot

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 31, 2007
445
Texas
#3
Buggsw said:
They tell us, a minimum of 1 hour for every 10 degrees of temperature outside. So, if it's 90 degrees outside, 9 hours. I run mine a bit longer.
Hmmm, never heard that one before, Who is "They"?

I run mine from 2:00 pm till 8:00 pm (seeing how that is the heat of the day and the time we swim)and then it comes back on from 2:00am till 4:00 am (just to circulate the water for a bit)
 

dnor28

LifeTime Supporter
May 9, 2007
20
Cartersville, GA
#5
I am by no means an "expert" and this is my first pool season, but I have done lots and lots of research on owning a pool and all the maintenance. I have asked everyone I know who has a pool, which is a good 25 people. And I called every pool place within 50 miles of me. They all said almost the same thing to me. Run it at least 6+ hours a day. I run mine at least 6 hours a day but would like to run it is at least 10 hours a day, which I do more on my days off from work. This weekend was the first weekend we have been warm enough to get into the pool so I ran it from 10 am till midnight that night.

I do a check everyday on all my chem levels, and run the pump 6+ hours a day and have had crystal clear water. I let it go one weekend due to going out of town and it was so hot that weekend, and it rain several times. Needless to say, I had apple green water by Tuesday morning, when I could get to do the normal maintenance on it. So I would suggest at least 6+ hours a day, and not letting any "maintenance" go at anytime and you will have a sparkling pool all season long. I spend 10 minutes a day on the testing and adjusting that needs to be done, vacuum/brush the sides of the pool once a week (more if needed), and run the pump everyday.

I plan on installing a timer to set it to filter during the morning when I am home for 5 hours, before work, and then also to turn on at night for another 5 hours. I think I like the idea of spreading out the filtering to just kind of split up the electricty that is ran and run it when there is less electric usage.
 

Buggsw

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 22, 2007
925
Arizona
#6
Poolidiot said:
Buggsw said:
They tell us, a minimum of 1 hour for every 10 degrees of temperature outside. So, if it's 90 degrees outside, 9 hours. I run mine a bit longer.
Hmmm, never heard that one before, Who is "They"?

I run mine from 2:00 pm till 8:00 pm (seeing how that is the heat of the day and the time we swim)and then it comes back on from 2:00am till 4:00 am (just to circulate the water for a bit)
The reputable pool builders that I have spoken with.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,173
Pleasanton, CA
#7
Your run time should really be based upon turnover. Everyone's pool is different so asking what others do may not be applicable to your pool.

With a 2HP pump, my guess is you are well over 100 GPM which means your turnover is at most 6 hours and perhaps less. So for filtration, you should run the pump at least 6 hours and probably no more than 12 hours when the load is heavy and the sun is hot.
 

cliff_s

Well-known member
Mar 28, 2007
93
#8
However long you run your pump it dictated by how long it takes to
keep the water clean. I would suggest shortening your run time about 1/2 hour a week
until you feel that the pool is not keeping clean then extend the run time about 1 hour.

My last pool the filter pump ran 2 hours in the winter and 4 hours in the summer.
Kept the water perfect.

If you have a SWG then you will need to run the pump
long enough to generate enough chlorine.

Cliff s
 

BoilerHorn

LifeTime Supporter
May 14, 2007
23
Central Texas
#9
Thanks for all of the replies. I have typically run it for about 10-12 hours a day, all consecutively. I built my previous pool w/ a SWG and ran it enough for good filtration and chlorine generation. Now that I have a chlorine pool where I will add chlorine myself (acquired a new house last year), I was querying for everyone's "secrets". Since I plan to add chlorine at night, I should probably split into 2 sessions of 4-6 hours each. One during the high use times (day time) and one starting in the late evening (around the times I would chlorinate).
 

BoilerHorn

LifeTime Supporter
May 14, 2007
23
Central Texas
#10
Buggsw said:
They tell us, a minimum of 1 hour for every 10 degrees of temperature outside. So, if it's 90 degrees outside, 9 hours. I run mine a bit longer.
When it gets below freezing here in Austin, I run it 100% of the time if the temp is under 35F, as I do not want any surprises. ;)
 

JCJR

LifeTime Supporter
May 4, 2007
267
Miami
#11
I've read that you need to filter your total pool water at least (minimum) once per day. This is called turn over. This is what mas985 is talking about. It all depends on how many gals your pump, filter and piping (plumbing) allow per minute. I have 2.5 inch piping and a 2.5 hp 2speed pump. My piping allows 128 gals per minute and my pump on low speed pushes 40 gals per minute. So at low speed, 40 gals per minute times 60 minutes equal 2400 gals per hour. I have a 24,000 gal pool so I need to run my pump a minimum of 10 hrs on low speed. I run it 12 hours and so far so good, crystal clear water. So I agree with Mas985, each pool is different. 1 hour per 10 deg does not make sense because in my case, it is 80 deg outside so I must run my pool 8 hours? On high my pump pushes 140 gals per minute but my pipes allow only 128, so I have to use 128 gpm times 60 minutes equals 7680 gals per hour. At this rate, I can filter 3.125 hours on high and turn over my water once. So using the 1 hr per 10 degree example I will run my pump almost 5 hrs too long.

Here is a web page that explains.
http://www.poolplaza.com/pool-pump-sizing-2.shtml
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
#14
I think there are two different things that are getting mixed up here and both are valid. The rule of thumb of 1 hour for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit takes into account the fact that algae growth and chlorine consumption generally is slower at colder temps and faster at warmer temps so it's more important to prevent "dead spots" of chlorine (when the pump is off) when the water is warmer as the chlorine will get used up faster with the warmer temps. The rule of thumb of one turnover per day takes into account the size of the pool and the pump flow rate. Obviously, one hour with a slow pump on a large pool will not circulate nearly as much of the pool water as a fast pump on a small pool. However, the turnover rule doesn't take into account temperature variation. In the winter with pool water in the 40's, very little circulation is needed. But as was pointed out, if freezing is a possibility, then some run the pump while others drain their pipes and let their pools freeze over. In the winter, I have found that I can run my pump only 2 hours per day which is equivalent to about a 40% of a turnover (my pump is oversized and I'm going to get it replaced with an Intelliflo variable speed pump soon) and that's probably more than needed at pools temps of 45-50F.

In a perfectly ideal world, you would have a variable or low speed pump running 24 hours a day in a pool with perfect circulation (no corners) and turning over the water once during "typical" pool water temps of 85-90 and light bather loads. But we don't live in such a world since our pools don't have perfect circulation and we have solar panels that require faster flow rates to operate efficiently and most pumps are fixed speed. So generally, pumps are run long enough to prevent cloudiness since filtration of suspended particles is one of the main purposes of running the pump (the other is to circulate the water so that chemicals, especially chlorine, are evenly distributed). No rule of thumb is going to be perfect for every pool but the "one turnover per 24 hours" rule makes sense in terms of the physical chemistry while "less than one turnover at cooler temperatures" also makes sense and "more than one turnover per 24 hours" is appropriate at higher bather loads or if lots of organic junk (e.g. pollen) gets into the pool.

For good circulation, it is more important to have the pump running over more of the 24-hour period of time and neither rule accounts for that. For proper filtration to keep the water clear, that is a function of turnover rate though what makes the water cloudy to begin with may be a function of temperature. So you're both right, but there's not a simple answer except that if your water is cloudy or gets algae in corners and running your pump longer fixes that, then you know you've got the minimum amount of pump time needed.
 

The Raddish

LifeTime Supporter
May 15, 2007
18
#15
I run my pump 24/7. See pool specs in my sig.

Since I have a two speed pump, I just leave it on low and let it run. I do turn it on high when I vacuum or turn on the sprinkler feature, but aside from that I mostly just leave it on low full time. It draws just over an amp on low so I'm not burning though electricity, and my water stays crystal clear.