How Long To Run The Pool Pump & Filter

by MJ
(Medford, OR)

Should the pump always be turned on? I have an in-ground pool and I heard different opinion.

Some say that the pump should always be on 24/7, others have said 4-6 hours is good. Also I was told that during winter, pump can be turned off. Others have said it should be turned on so the water circulates and the water doesn't turn green.

And during spring/summer, how long should the pump be on or does it have to be on 24/7?


Thanks for the question MJ

In general, you want to run the pool pump 8 - 10 hours per day in the Summer and 4 - 8 hours in the Winter. When I had my pool route in Arizona it was recommended that pump be on for 12 hours per day during the Summer. This is because the temperature can get up to and stay at 116 degrees for days on end. In Medford you can get away with 8 - 10 hours.

If you don't close your pool for the Winter, 4 - 6 hours per day would be fine. Whomever told you that you can keep a pool up and going (not winterized) and not keep the pump on may be misinformed.

In the Winter you either need to close the pool or keep it going, add chemicals, and filter 4 - 6 hours per day. Do this and you'll be fine.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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Pump Motor Overheating

by Gordon
(Jackson, TN)

THe pump motor is heating up and shutting down

It has a therma overload but after 4 hours should not be shutting down. Both filter baskets are cleaned New motor last week
Water is flowing in and out as normal

Thanks for the question Gordon

It sounds to me like an electrical issue. This is one area of pools that I'm not too comfortable with, but will give it a shot. I've tried to learn about electricity and how it runs, but my expertise is limited as best.

Here are some troubleshooting tips that you can look at:

First is the obvious. I would recommend getting a motor cover to keep the sun off of it.

For a new 1hp motor installed, it should be 18-20A under load when pumping water. 10-12A without load. No load means the motor is uncoupled from the pump.

I expect an unloaded motor to draw around 6 amps uncoupled.Does the voltage drop at the timer, if you have one? You might need to run new wire from timer to motor. Check the wiring for length and gauge.

How about the 20A breaker at main panel? That should draw voltage back 118-122V to the motor and draw 20A. What is the service factor (SF) of your motor. It can be around 1.0.

What about the wiring from panel to pump. How long is the original wire run and size (12, 10, 8 gauge?) It could be too small of wire. If you have a 10A no-load draw on 120VAC, it's probably not the pump, but the wiring. check the gauge.

Check for incorrect or loose wires. Low voltage supply caused by undersized wire. Pool pump motor should be free of debris and any vents kept open. A short in the internal windings. The motor will need to be replaced.

Check the wiring diagram on the motor. Pump motors can be connected either 115 or 220. Be sure the connections are right.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Pool Pump Problems" category.

Swimming Pool Questions & Answers

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Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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