As I understand it a pool pump is necessary to force water through the filtration system: keeping the pool clean. The pool is part of an HOA and we do have a pool-man to attend the pool.

I would like to understand the line of thinking that allows one to decide how many hours a day or duty cycle (fraction of the hour it pump is on) is needed. I would think that debris is primary driver of pump use and not the mixing of chemicals (diffusion / entropy).

I can program an embedded controller to schedule on/off times for the pump, but would prefer to buy something if it already exists.


  • If the pump was not on enough, what symptoms would be observable?
  • Is it preferable to run the pump 8 hours continuously or 20 minutes of each hour continuously?
  • In Florida winter, when the pool is rarely used: is there a rule of thumb to reduce pump use?
  • If the pool is closed at 10, does it make sense to run the pump for 1 hour then shut it off until the pool opens at 10AM?
  • Is there a feedback mechanism (measurement) that can be used to control the pump?

If you have experience reducing your pump on-time and have successfully measured the reduction in energy, please state this in your response. Double bonus if there was a controller (either off the shelf or custom) implemented.

  • If you live in Florida and don't already have a relationship with a pool supply store, establish one now. Yes, there are products that handle running the pump on a schedule, and the staff at the pool supply store will help you figure out what schedule is appropriate for your pool, chemicals, climate and time of year.
    – longneck
    Dec 27, 2016 at 22:13

2 Answers 2


My line of thinking is to leave the pump running 24/7 when it is uncovered. Reason being is turning the motor off and on daily will wear out the motor faster, and getting a motor replaced isn't cheap. My last motor lasted 10 years and only went out due to a mistake on my part on letting it run dry by accident.

  • You may be on to something: it may make sense to add a solar panel to power a pump
    – gatorback
    Dec 28, 2016 at 14:46

Intermatic makes a pump timer like this easy to set up and can have multiple on off times. If you need to heat your pool depending on energy rates some times running at night costs less but some solar systems use some of the pump pressure to flow the water through the collector. So energy rates /solar can change the answer. You will want to run the filter for at least several hours after use to get as much in the filter as possible. The amount of total run time will be dependant on the usage. Remember that stagnant water grows things faster than moving water. People bring a fair amount of "stuff" into the water and also keep things stirred up. Larger pools keep the filters running with people in the water to reduce the cloudyness that can happen with a heavy load. Smaller home pools really can wait and cycle based on heating needs. Every pool is diferent if it gets cloudy or even green Oops , more chemicals, run time will be needed so there is no hard and fast answer.

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