Pool pumps run year round and can waste a lot of electricity.
🖼️ The big picture: Pool owners who learn to program their pump correctly can save a lot of money on electricity. I wrote about the savings here.
- You need a variable speed pump and you need to learn to set it correctly.
- Start with the size of the pool in gallons (length x width x average depth)
- Decide how many hours you want to run the pump each day (Hint: Longer and slower is best)
- Divide the gallons by the hours. Divide that number by 60. That’s your target flow rate in GPM (Gallons Per Minute). Some pumps will let you program in GPM’s. If not, ask for help at your pool store to convert RPM’s to GPM’s.
- As long as the pressure on the filter is 8 psi, you should be good.
—> You want all the water to go through the filter once a day (maybe more in the hottest months)
🧮 By the numbers: My pool is 20,000 gallons. I run the pump for 2 hours at 34GPM (34 x 60 minutes x 2 hours = 4,080 gallons). Then I run it for 9.5 hours at 29GPM (29 x 60 x 9.5 = 16,095 gallons).
- That gets all the water through the filter in a day and only uses 3kWh of electricity (~50 cents/day). In the summer, I’ll run it a little faster the first 2 hours to make sure the chemicals agitate. Then I’ll run it a little slower for longer.
✅ For your Smart Homeowner list
- If you’ve been putting off replacing your old pump, think about it now — before the summer rush.
- If you have a variable speed pump, make sure you’ve optimized the settings.