how long to run filter for "normal" water

Nikki in IL

Active member
Aug 2, 2007
Central Illinois
Hello again,

Another newbie question...

We've been up and running for about a week (and still have great, clear water :-D ) but have a question re: filter. We have an Intex "quick set" 5400 gal pool that comes with a cartridge filter. The generic directions said run the filter 3-4 hours daily. I've already figured out it's better to run it after we swim rather than before, when any gunk in the water is more stirred up and more easily filtered, so I'm doing that. The pump is rated to pump 2000 gal per hour (seems a bit optimistic to me, but that's what the information said). The question is: is 3-4 hours really enough?

I've been running it quite a bit more than that, and the water is great, but if I don't need to run it that much, I don't like to use more electricity than necessary, and would like to save wear/tear on the pump. These are the same directions that said to clean and/or replace the filter every two weeks, and that sure didn't seem to be enough after checking the filter after one week.

Also, my electrical-engineer husband has explained to me more than once that for many electrical/mechanical things, the turning on/turning off is harder on them than constant running. Is this true of swimming pool filters, too?

All my test numbers are good (HTH drop kit from Walmart...nothing fancy, but I hope to finish the season with it and get a good one next year); I'm just trying to be a bit proactive here.

The Mermaid Queen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
Northern KY
When I had intex pools, I ran the filter 24/7. I had the smaller pump, though, and of course this was before BBB and these boards, so the water was swampy by July and I did not know why! (now I do!)
Those cartridges really need to be cleaned at LEAST weekly, unless your water is always pristine.


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
Filter run time is mostly a subjective issue. Some basic time is required for mixing and sanitation, but above that it is a question of how the water looks and how you feel about it. If the water looks good then you are running the filter enough. One way to get a baseline to compare to is to run the filter 24/7 for a week and see if the water looks any better. If it gets better then run the filter more, if it stays the same then you were fine where you were.