The above question is often one that most pool industry folks get asked about whether they have a pool for years already or just started making one. The good answer is to make sure that it can for several hours a day (not necessarily 24 hours/day)
This way, you can prevent having to cover for huge electric bills per month. However, there are a lot of factors that come into play. What are they exactly?
The Turnover Rate
The idea is to make sure that your pool’s water is filtered through the filter system for at least once a day. This is referred to as the turnover rate, and this can be quite hard to determine. On average, a filter system (when built properly), should filter pool water around 2-3 times every single day.
With this average cycle, you can keep the filter system running for around 12 hours a day without any worries. It should be enough to run all of your pool water through the filter at least once (but it will still have to depend on your system).
You also have to consider the flow rate which aims to measure how much water flows into your filter at a set time period. You can check this on your pool pump’s instructions which should be indicated by its manufacturer. It is measured in either gallons per minute or gallons per hour.
The Type of Pool Pump
Another factor to consider is the type of pool pump you have. There are basically two: single-speed and two-speed. A single-speed pump only has a single flow rate and is often used in an above ground pool. Pool owners who use a single-speed pump often run it for around 6-12 hours per day.
The best thing about a single-speed pump is that you don’t need to adjust the speed. You only have to set the timer and it will handle the rest. However, it doesn’t come with an option to run at a lower speed so you can save energy.
On the other hand, a two-speed pump allows you to switch between high speed and low speed.
Now, there is yet another type of pump for your pool: the variable-speed pump. As the name implies, a variable-speed pump allows you to choose the speed you want. It makes it possible to change its flow rate so it won’t have to use as much energy but still capable of filtering several gallons of water with ease.
This type is ideally used in fiberglass pools – although other pools apply as well – and can help you save a lot on your monthly electricity bills. Additionally, its lower speed setting also means lower noise.
The Costs of Running the Pump
If you want to know how much you’re spending on your electricity bill, it would be ideal to contact your energy company and ask for any recommendation about the “best times”. In most cases, the best times to run the pump would be around 9 pm to 9 am as this period is when fewer people are using energy, thus driving down the rates.
However, if you add chemicals into the pool, you’ll have to run the filter system at all times. That said, it’d be okay to keep it running during normal hours for a few days. You can also decide to split these times. For example, you can run it for six hours in the morning and another six hours in the evening. However, you’ll have to use a programmable timer for this.
How Long Exactly?
With all the factors considered, the best answer to the question is to run the filter system for at least 12 hours every single day. However, it’s okay not to stick with this on a daily basis, although you should consider that the more filter cycle your pool water goes through, the cleaner and clearer it will become.
Also, keep in mind that the key to a clean pool is not just filtered water but a well-balanced chemistry. If your pool water has an unbalanced chemistry, it can lead to a number of issues regardless of how frequent water gets filtered.