How Many Hours To Run Pool Pump In Summer & Winter

How Many Hours To Run Pool Pump In Summer vs. Winter?

Running your pool’s pump is necessary to keep your water filtered and sanitary. You may already know that it’s important to allow your pool’s pump to run every single day, but it can be confusing to figure out how many hours your pump should be left running, especially in winter.

In this article, we will cover how many hours you should run your pool’s pump in summer and winter. We also note specific situations where you may need to run your pool pump for more or less time than is recommended in order to best suit the needs of your pool.

How Many Hours To Run Pool Pump In Summer

During your pool’s open season (ie. summer) a general rule of thumb is to run your pool’s pump and filter for an average of 10 hours per day.

Typically, it is also best to operate your pool’s pump during daylight hours as this helps you achieve more consistent water chemistry and temperature.

This rule of thumb comes from the turnover rate for your pool, which is how long it takes for your pump to completely circulate the equivalent of one volume of pool water. For outdoor pools, this is generally 6 hours per day.

This means that the minimum amount of time you should run your pool pump during open season is about 8 hours per day. This is based on the 6 hour rule, but adds some buffer for undersized pool pumps.

Any less than this, and you risk allowing unsanitary conditions to develop in your water as a result of stagnant areas in the pool.

The maximum amount of time that you should run your pool’s pump during the summer is 12 hours. Above this time frame, you tend to be wasting electricity without much benefit to your pool. It also creates unnecessary noise for your neighbours.

These maximums and minimums can be disregarded in certain conditions, such as when you are treating your pool with chemicals. Certain treatments, such as stain or scale removal products, may require that your pump remain shut off entirely while the product is in effect.

Conversely, some products such as algaecides can benefit from being circulated for an extended period of time. Always check the packaging of products you are using to find out how many hours your pool pump should be run while they are in use.

How Many Hours To Run Pool Pump In Winter

In the winter, your pool accumulates less debris than during the open season. This typically means that chlorine levels can be kept lower, and your pump only needs to be run for an average of 6 hours per day.

It is recommended that you run your pump for a minimum of 4 hours per day in the winter. This amount of time ensures that any winterizing chemicals in your pool are adequately dispersed and therefore can continue working to fight off algae and other undesirable conditions.

Typically, 8 hours is suggested as the maximum amount of time that your pool’s pump should run per day in the winter.

However, if you live in an area that experiences frosts, it can be advisable to leave your pump running longer than this. In times of below-freezing temperatures, the constantly circulating water will prevent pipes from freezing or bursting.


In the summer, it is appropriate to run your pool’s pump for 8-12 hours a day. In the winter, the needs of your pool are lower, so the pump only needs to be run for 4-8 hours per day to achieve adequate circulation.

Do you have any questions about how many hours you should run your pool pump? Leave us a comment in the comments section, we’d love to help you out!

Louis from Pool Advisor


A chemical engineer by trade, Louis is committed to debunking myths in the pool industry by explaining the underlying chemistry and making it accessible to all.