Should I Run My Pool Pump at Night?

It’s the age-old question among pool owners, “When is the best time to run a pool pump?” If you’re new to pool maintenance, it may seem like an excellent idea to have your pump running all day and night. After all, the water will remain clear of any contamination, and your pool will be in tip-top condition. But anyone who has owned a pool for a long time will tell you that doing so will only create a dent in your wallet.

There are times when it is a good idea to run your pool pump at night, such as when you have shocked the pool in the evening or if you have a large algae infestation. Also, you may pay less for electricity at night in your area. But generally it is better to run the pool pump during the day.

To ensure your pool is running effectively and you’re saving on costs, it’s crucial to know when to turn your pump on. We take a look at some of the situations when you may need to run your pump to ensure you make an informed decision. 

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First Things First, What’s the Purpose of a Pool Pump?

To know when you need to turn your pool pump on, it’s crucial to understand its role in your swimming pool. You’ve probably noticed that the water in most pools is in constant motion. This isn’t for aesthetic purposes. If the water remained stagnant, it would encourage the growth of algae and other stuff that would make it impossible to swim in.

To keep the water clean and swimmable, the water has to be in constant circulation. This is where your pool pump comes in. The pump is a part of your pool’s filtration system that ensures the water remains in continuous circulation.

The pump moves the water in and out of a filter to keep it clean and clear. As a rule of thumb, pool water should run through the filter at least once every day. This is referred to as the turnover rate. 

Should I Run My Pool Pump at Night?

When Should You Run Your Pool Pump?

It’s not enough to know how long you should run your pool pump. You should also know the best time to do it. Most people know their pool’s turnover rate but don’t know how to achieve it. For instance, if you’re supposed to run the pump at least 8 hours a day, are these daytime hours or nighttime? Does it matter?

The decision to run your pool pump at night or during the day will depend on several factors. These include:

How Hot It Is

The hotter it is, the more you should strive to keep your pool pump running during the day. You see, when there’s a lot of direct heat from the sun, chlorine depletion is more likely to happen, especially if the water is stagnant. Running your pump prevents the chlorine from burning because the water is in constant motion.

Furthermore, more people are likely to be swimming during the hot weather. As a result, your pool is more likely to have an organic overload, which is the perfect breeding ground for algae. If your pump is running, you can ensure the water remains clean, clear, and perfect for swimming.

It may seem like you’ll be spending a lot of money on electrical bills by keeping your pump running all day, but the alternative is more expensive. Would you rather spend a bit more on electric bills or create a dent in your wallet buying expensive chemicals and paying for maintenance to get your pool back in shape after an algae bloom?

When You’re Shocking Your Pool

Most people will advise you to run your pool pump at night because, in most areas, you get energy consumption discounts at night. Yes. We’re all about saving coins here and there, but do it right. As we’ve mentioned, it’s crucial to run your pump during the day to ensure it stays clean and in tip-top condition.

However, on days when the sun isn’t too hot, and your pool is barely being used, you can get away with running the pump a few hours during the day and then run the pool pump at night. However, it’s best to run your pool pump at night when you’re shocking your pool.

Running your pump after chlorine addition allows you to maximize on the chemical’s sanitizing power. And because you don’t have to worry about the sun burning the chlorine, you get better results of cleaning your pool at night.

Non-Peak Utility Hours

Electricity Meter Non-Peak Utility Hours

Did you know that electricity charges are not constant throughout the day? Yes. In most areas, electricity providers have different charges throughout the day. During peak hours, when more people are putting a lot of strain on the electric grid, the costs tend to be higher. If you have a pool, it’s crucial to know the off-peak hours so that you can use it to your advantage. 

You must ensure your pool pump runs long enough to complete at least one complete turnover cycle every day. In most cases, it’s recommended to run your pool pump at least 8 hours  every 24 hours. However, this doesn’t have to be 8 hours straight during the day or night.

If you’re looking to cut back on your energy bills, you can take advantage of your non-peak utility hours and work around them. You can run the pump a few hours during the day to keep everything in check, then turn it off and then run the pool pump at night, during off-peak hours. Tweak the hours to your advantage and ensure you’re getting the best of both worlds – a well-maintained pool and costs savings.

Does the Type of Pump Matter? 

Being clever about what time of day to run your pool pump will definitely save you a lot of money in electric bills. However, it’s not enough. The type of pump you’re using in your pool also determines how much you end up spending. Some of the things you should consider when getting a pool pump include:


The more powerful your pool pump is, the faster it will run the water through the filter. As a result, you’ll only need to keep it running for a shorter time, which means you’ll be saving a lot on energy costs. However, this will depend on your filtration system. You can’t afford to have a pump that’s too strong for your filtration system. Such a setup will be too much for the filter and won’t be effective.

A one-horsepower pump is also not very efficient. You need a system that supports three-inch pipes to accommodate a three-horsepower pump for maximum effectiveness and speed. However, this type of pump only works for large pools. For small pools, you’ll end up using too much energy and spending on more costs.

Dual and Variable Speed

It’s also advisable to go for a dual-speed pool pump instead of a single-speed pump. Dual-speed pumps work faster, thereby providing a faster turnover and energy savings. Variable speed pool pumps are even better. They not only consume less power and have a higher turnover rate, but you can also get a utility rebate for using one, which translates into more savings.

Pool Maintenance Course

When I first bought my house with a swimming pool I knew nothing about how to clean and maintain it. I was recommended Swim University’s Pool Care Handbook and video course so I bought it and have never regretted it.

It was probably the best money I spent that year as I have saved thousands by doing it myself.

Pool care handbook

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the question of whether to run your pool pump during the day or night depends on various factors. The best approach is to consider all factors and pick your sweet spot. Remember, you should not prioritize cutting back on costs over proper pool maintenance. If you strike the right balance, you should be able to enjoy the best of both worlds.