You already know your pool has a pump, but do you really know what that pump actually does?
You might be surprised!
What Exactly Does a Pool Pump Do?
Your pool pump is the heart of your pool and without it, it would die…so to speak. Just like a human heart, your pool’s heart (the pump) only has one thing it has to do which is pumping water. However, that one thing serves several very important functions, such as:
- Pulls the water from your pool through the skimmers and drains.
- Then it circulates (pushes) that water through the filter.
- Lastly, after going through the filtration system, your pool pump will return the filtered (clean) water back into your pool.
The Three Mains Components of a Pool Pump
There are three main components of a pool pump. The motor, which is electric and is either a 110 or 120 volt that turns at 3,450 rpm, the impeller which is connected to the motor, and the hair and lint trap.
And since the pool pump is the heart of the entire pool, nothing can operate unless it’s functioning properly. That’s why it’s so important that you understand exactly what a pool pump does and how to properly schedule it so it runs like it’s supposed to. Which leads us to our next point.
How Long Does a Pool Pump Really Need to Run?
The answer to that question is, it depends on the time of year and the water’s turnover rate, which is how many times the water from the pool and spa go through the pool’s filtration system. A pool’s water should turn over (go through the filtration system) at least once a day, but ideally should be turned over two to three times a day.
The type of pump you have and a few other variables will determine how many gallons per minute the water will move through the filter. For example:
- What type of pump you have.
- How many gallons of pool water you have.
- How far the pool is from the filtration equipment.
All of these things will determine how many gallons a minute a pool pump will move the water through the filter and that’s what tells you how long you will need to run your pump. So, with that being said, an average pool should run about 12 hours per day during the hottest summer months and at least five hours per day during the winter to run all the pool water through the filtration system at least once. But keep in mind the more times per day your water turns over, the cleaner and clearer it will be, so the more times the better.
When Is the Best Time to Run a Pool Pump?
Chemical demand, sunlight, and energy costs generally determine what time of day is best to run your pool pump. However, due to these varying factors, some people might be inclined to run their pool at night. Ideally, though, it’s best to run your pump from sunrise to sunset. So each pool owner will have to weigh every aspect and decide for themselves whether to run their pool during the day or at night. Don’t hesitate to talk with your pool company for more information about this topic. A pool company might have some other options for you such as installing a variable speed pump.
What Are Variable Speed Pumps?
The newer variable speed pumps allow you to run your pump at lower speeds for longer so they use less electricity. That means you might actually run your pump longer, but because it’s running at a lower speed, you’re saving money. So installing a new variable speed pump would ultimately pay for itself.
How’s that exactly?
Well, because with a variable speed pump you can run your system 24 hours a day and still save money. Because as we mentioned above, a variable speed pump runs at lower speeds. So when your pump is just filtering water, it will run at a lower speed. Then when you’re adding chemicals or cleaning your pool, it will run at a higher speed, thus the term variable.
We highly recommend installing a variable speed pump if you don’t already have one because these pumps are better for keeping your pool clean and a variable speed pump will also save you money on your electricity. It’s a win-win!