Pool pump runtime


Silver Supporter
Mar 8, 2021
Chandler, AZ
Pool Size
Liquid Chlorine

First off, I've read the "determine pump run time" article here on TFP. The gist of it, if I'm understanding correctly, is you just run it the amount of time needed to get the clarity you want as long as you're circulating at least 4-8 hours per day...depending on your pump speed.

I just got an intelliflo VSF pump installed so I am trying to determine how I want to break up the schedule and speeds.

I've read it is good to circulate during daylight hours which helps prevent chlorine burnoff. If so, I would want to run my pump during the day at a low rpm to keep water moving.
I've also read that it helps to circulate water at night when temps are cooler to cool down your pool (in phoenix, i've been in pools that are uncomfortably warm). If so, I could run a higher rpm at night to let the vacuum do its' job for a few hours then slow it down for a few more hours until sunrise.

Assuming the above are true (probably a big assumption), I was thinking of a schedule something like this:
12am-3am - 2800rpm
3am-6am - 1750rpm
12pm-3pm - 1000rpm
6pm-8pm - 1000rpm
a total of 11 hours which would move roughly 29,000 gallons. The reason for the split from 3-6pm is because my electric rates are at peak demand during those times and 3x more expensive.

If those things are not true, then I guess i'd probably run 4 hours at 2800rpm and then maybe another 4 hours at 2000rpm.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Last edited:


Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
Northern NJ
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Running your pump at 1000-1200 rpm will cost you $1 to $2 a day in electrical cost.

I just let my pump run 24/7.

You can run your pump 1000-1200 rpm all hours except for a few hours at a higher speed for skimming and cleaning.

The thinking on pump runtime has changed with VS pumps run at low speeds. That article really does not reflect VS pump thinking.
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