A swimming pool is a body of standing water that can easily become full of particulate matter, be conducive to bacterial and algae growth, and become stagnant water. Have you ever wondered what keeps your pool water healthy and clear? The answer lies in your pool’s pump.
A pool pump has the extremely important duty of circulating the water in your pool, and filtering out foreign contaminants. Without your pool pump, you wouldn’t be able to enter your pool without the risk of falling sick, much less swim in it.
Should You Run Your Pool's Pump Everyday?
Absolutely. Pool water needs to be circulated every day to prevent it from turning into a stagnant pool, home to bacteria, algae, twigs, dirt and debris. Unless you installed your pool with the intention to turn it into a dedicated home to these contaminants, you’ll need to run your pool pump every single day.
But how often should you run your pool pump for? A pool pump can be a huge drain on energy, leading to high utility bills at the end of the month. With this in mind, of course you’ll want to run your pool pump for only as long as you need to.
Running your pool pump for long hours on end can also eventually lead to it wearing down faster. If it’s running for hours on end every day, then your pool pump is working much harder than it needs to.
This will affect your pocket twice over. You have to pay higher utility bills, and you also need to call in a professional to repair your pool pump when it inevitably becomes less efficient. The solution? Run your pool pump only for as long as it needs to be run.
But how do you find out the idle time period you should run your pool pump for? Here, you need to understand two concepts – the flow rate of a pool pump, and the turnover rate of a pool pump. Don’t worry, it’s much simpler than you think.
What is The Flow Rate Of A Pool Pump?
The flow rate of your pool pump is the total amount of water that can be by filtered by the pump. This filtration is measured within a specified time period that’s either in minutes or in hours. The figure is given either as gallons per minute (GPM) or gallons per hour (GPH).
What does this mean? You can find two numbers for your pool pump’s flow rate. You can either find out how much water it filters within a minute, or in an hour. Why is this important? The pool pump’s flow rate, when divided by the total volume of water in your pool, tells you what the pool pump’s turnover rate is.
The good news is that you can usually find a pool pump’s flow rate specified in the instruction manual for the pump.
Pool pumps are essential in keeping the water clean and safe for swimming
What Is The Turnover Rate For Your Pool's Pump
Now that you know your pool pump’s flow rate, you can figure out what the pump’s turnover rate is as well. What does the turnover rate tell you?
It informs you of the length of time you should run your pool pump for every day. Hypothetically, let’s say you arrived at a turnover rate of one. This indicates that it takes one hour for your pool pump to complete one circulation of the water in your pool once.
But wait, you’re missing a figure here, aren’t you? Now you know what the flow rate is, and you know how to find the turnover rate for your pool pump. But what about the swimming pool’s volume?
This figure is dependent entirely on the physical dimensions of your pool. The total amount of water in your pool is the pool volume. This is a calculation that you fortunately don’t have to do yourself.
There are many online sources, such as calculators, that can help you find your pool volume. You’ll need to provide necessary information, such as the physical dimensions of your pool. The calculator will then determine the total amount of water that is needed fill the pool.
Remember, to find out the turnover rate, you should follow this formula:
Total volume of water in pool/ flow rate of the pool pump = Turnover rate.
Simple enough right?
Types Of Flow Rates In Pool Pumps
For a long time since the introduction of pool pumps, pool owners had access to one flow rate. This came from pumps that had a single speed. A pump that had a single speed also had only one flow rate, that’s it.
What this means is that you only had one speed setting, and this typically ran at a high speed. You had the option of using the given timer to run the pool pump for as long as you needed to run it. But other than that, you had no control over how much energy your pool pump was using in a day.
Enter modern technology.
Pool Pumps With Two Speed Settings
Now you get to choose between high and low speed settings for your pool pump. You can either run the pump at the standard high speed, or at low speeds. The low speed option was great for people who didn’t want their pool pumps to waste energy every day. It also made less sound, which is great for people who don’t like to listen to their pool pump running loudly for several hours a day.
But then it got even better.
Pool Pumps With Variable Settings
Who says that you should be limited to high and low speeds when it comes to running your pool pump?
Pool pumps with variable settings let you choose what speed you want to run it at. You can opt to run it at high speed or at low speed. You can also choose any speed option in between. This also gives you access to multiple flow rates. As long as you know how to find the turnover rate of your pool pump, you can freely run the pump at any speed you like.
A lower flow rate means less energy expenditure, and this means lower energy bills.
How Long Should You Run Your Pool Pump For Every Day?
The turnover rate will give you the exact figures, but there are certain things you should keep in mind as well.
- If there more people are using your pool, then your pool pump will need to run longer as well. This happens as more people will bring in more foreign contaminants that need to be filtered out.
- On sunny days with high temperatures, you need to run your pool pump longer. Warmer temperatures make standing water conducive to bacterial and algae growth. You can prevent this by running your pool pump longer.
- After heavy winds, rain or storms, or in situations where a lot of foreign debris has entered your pool, your pool pump will need to run longer. Remember that pool pumps filter out particulate matter while pool skimmers filter out larger debris.
You should also consider that certain kinds of pools, like concrete pools, require the pool pump to complete two circulations. A fibreglass pool on the other hand, requires only one turnover.
This means that is you own a fibreglass pool, you’ll need to run your pool pump for half the time as a concrete pool. A fibreglass pool helps you save energy, as the water in your pool needs only one complete circulation.
Running your pool pump every day is essential. It guarantees that the water in your pool is clear, free from foreign contaminants, and healthy for all swimmers.