How Long and When Should I Run My Swimming Pool Filter?

Hi everyone! Well, it took a while but summer has finally arrived and with a vengeance!

We are now on our third day of 90 and above and yes, being the humans that we are, we are already complaining about the heat. Funny, two weeks ago we were at the opposite end of the spectrum with the nights being cooler than usual.

I am going to be brief here so that you can go back to your summer festivities. I often get asked “when should I run my pool filter?” and “for how long?”. I also know many of you have been maybe cheating a little and only running the filter for 4 or five hours and I am going to tell you the money you think you may be saving on electric service will bite you in the you know what in the dollars you are going to spend to treat algae and other chemical issues that will occur if you don’t run your filter long enough.

On a normal summers’ day, I would advice running your filter a minimum of 8-10 hours a day and usually in the day time. If you are in the midst of a heat wave then even longer if your pool is being heavily used. If you have a variable speed pump this will not be such a big deal electrically as you can run the pump on a lower speed if you like and turn the RPM’s up if there is heavy use. If you have a single speed pump, then sorry but running the pump goes with the territory of pool ownership and keeping your swimmers safe.

Remember, if you have an automatic chlorinator, ozonator, salt system etc. that is connected to the filter system your sanitizer is only as good as the amount of time you run the filter as the chlorine is infused into your pool while the pool is running. I will advice you also to test your pool water and make sure all your levels which include, free and total chlorine, alkalinity, ph levels, hardness and cyanuric acid are within the balanced levels. Balanced water chemistry will keep your swimmers safe from skin irritations, germs and bacteria and keep your pool equipment running at peak performance. All these things can cost a pretty penny should you decide to cut corners. For example I have seen heat exchangers leak within a few days on pools considered acidic (lack of PH and Alkalinity). These can be very expensive parts to replace.

I’ll give you a for instance on how one chemical save money on another. Cyanuric Acid levels can help block the sun’s UV’s from draining the chlorine from your pool. Many people do not test for stabilizer (CYA) but will find they may use less chlorine when their levels are at the proper level. Dollars in your pocket!

Here is a myth debunked: If your eyes are burning or skin is itchy, the most likely culprit is not the chlorine but low alkalinity and ph levles! Also if you think your chlorine is too high because you can smell it you actually smell the spent chlorine and most likely should test to make sure your levels are between the 1-3 ppm.

One last thought before I let you back to your pool activities, safety should always be in the forefront of your planned parties and gatherings so always have adult supervision, a properly operating pool with chlorine levels between 1-3ppm and levels of safety through out your backyard activities. Have a great and safe Holiday weekend everyone!