Can You Leave a Pool Pump on Overnight?

We all know the hard work that pool filters put in during the day. Those machines are what keep your pool sparkling clean without blinking an eye, they press on in the hottest of heats, and they are unwavering against even the thickest gunk. What about running them overnight though?

There is no problem with running your pool filter overnight. If you choose to run it 24 hours a day, your pool will have much better maintenance, but be advised, the constant running can result in an increased electricity bill. To avoid this, run it for around 8-12 hours a day instead. 

Running your filter overnight is no problem at all for your pool and won’t cause any strain on the filter itself. Still, it can be unnecessary in terms of energy use, and it is not required for keeping your pool clean. Continue reading to hear the facts about running a pump overnight and other running times your pool filter could work just as well. 

Should You Run Your Pool Pump Overnight?

Unfortunately, debris and bugs do not stop polluting your water when night falls. If anything, the influx of all those crawly creatures tends to swell when the moon comes out and the night lights come on. Because of this, that means that the need for your pool to remain clean still stands. Luckily for you though, this does not mean you need to be out there sweeping the thing at all hours of the night. Your trusty pool pump can do all the work without breaking a sweat. 

By keeping your pump running at night, you’re keeping debris out, bugs at bay, and are filtering the water to keep it fresh while the chemicals stay moving and bacteria gets captured. Circulation is a major factor when it comes to keeping your pool sparkling and by running it overnight, circulation never stops. 

Some people may think this constant running can cause issues to your pump’s performance, but most pumps are capable of running overnight and can handle the constant use just fine. For those of you that struggle with lots of debris coming in overnight and overwhelming amounts of bugs polluting your crystal clear water, keeping your pump running overnight can actually be quite advantageous. 

While you’re getting your beauty rest, your pump’s on the job. Along with that, running your pool pump at night poses no logistical problems for your pool or your pump.  So, flip the switch and leave it running to your heart’s desire!

What are the Issues with Running Your Pool Pump Overnight?

Running your pump overnight may not be an issue when it comes to the capabilities of your pump or the cleanliness of your pool, but it can make a big difference when it comes to your utility bill. This may seem like a small consideration, but overtime, leaving your pump to run overnight (and thus, 24 hours a day) means that you are going to be using huge amounts of electricity to keep things in top shape.

Not only will you use massive amounts of energy when running your pool pump overnight, but you will run through additional pool chemicals and supplies with the increased circulation. Be mindful of the increased costs associated with running your pool pump overnight.

When you tally up the cost of water added over the swimming season, chemicals, pool cleaning supplies, and other related costs to your pool, you tend to see them add up to be pretty heartbreaking. Having and maintaining a pool is not cheap, and when you run your pump overnight, you are only adding to that mound of expenses. Water may be affordable, but when you start to overuse electricity, the bill can shock your socks off. 

Not all facts for running your pool overnight are bad though. Although your utility bill will increase due to constant usage of the pump, when running your pump overnight you will be using electricity during off-peak utility hours. Because of this, the cost will be less when the pump is running during the night than when it is running during the day. You will obviously still be charged, but at least it will be at a discounted rate if you choose to go this route. 

When Should You Run Your Pool Pump? 

It makes total sense to think that it is likely best to run your pool from sunrise to sunset, or somewhere in between that time. You already know that you need to run your pool for at least eight hours a day, so why wouldn’t you run it during the times of your pool’s heaviest use? Night swimming is a thing, but let’s get real, the most action your pool is seeing is when the sun is up and the rays are blasting down on summer fun. But is this actually the best time to run your pool pump? 

Although it may seem ideal to keep the water moving and all the gunk that builds up during that time filtered out, this actually isn’t your only option. As I discussed earlier, there is such a thing called “peak hours” when it comes to electricity use. Different areas vary, but utility peak hours are considered those times when the largest amount of people are using the greatest amount of electricity. Pretty easy concept, right? 

For those of you living in a warmer area or using a pool during the hot summer months, these times typically coincide with the time that your air conditioner is doing the most work or where you find yourself turning the thermostat down. The hottest points in the day are going to be where those peak hours kick in and for you, this means that you are going to be paying more to use your pump during this time. I know, the horror! 

Are there Benefits to Running Your Pool Pump At Night? 

I realize that it seems more logical to run your pump during the day, but you can get the same amount of work done on your pool even if you run it solely at night. The key here is to get in those eight hours – a sort of pool beauty rest if you will (except it’s working, so, not rest per se). With people in the pool during the day, your pool is still getting plenty of circulation. Even if people aren’t in it, the pump will do the work for them come nightfall. 

By running your pump at night, you get to avoid the higher utility costs during peak hours and get to enjoy those discounted rates that happen during night time. Another thing to consider is the importance of running your pump at night after adding chemicals, especially chemicals like shock. There absolutely must be circulation in your water when you add chemicals, but even more when you add shock. 

Shock is a chemical that can’t be added when people are using the pool, therefore nighttime is a great time to add that bad boy, keep the circulation going, and avoid having to keep your pool off-limits from anyone dying to jump in on a random Tuesday. By running your pool at night during chemical dumps, you don’t have to worry about timing the chemical additions when people can hop back in and ensure circulation during off-peak hours. 

Should You Run Your Pool Pump During Non-Consecutive Hours?

So you know you need your pump to run for at least eight hours, but do those hours need to be back to back?  If you are wanting to run your pool during the day because of some seriously high traffic but want to avoid running it during peak hours, then non-consecutive pump running may be the best bet for you. 

This means that you can run your pump an hour here, a few hours there, another hour here, and two more hours to cap off the day. You can mix up the times however you want, but by running your pump in a non-consecutive way, you can still keep the pump running during the day, but can avoid those costly peak hours. This way you can keep the water circulating and clean while people are actually using it. 

If you want to avoid running your pool during peak hours, run it for a few hours when you get up in the morning. After it’s had a good run, go ahead and turn it off. Around 10 a.m., flip the filter back on and let it run for another few hours as people get into the pool and start to stir things up. Flip it off around noon and leave it off from noon until around 4 p.m. Once those peak hours have passed, you can run it for another four hours and have it off by bedtime! 

You can even get a little wild with it and run it late in the evening to early into the night. The possibilities are endless here, but this is an easy way to get some daylight circulation without having to pump out the funds for peak hours. A clean pool is a clean pool, so if you can get that and save a few bucks by running your pump off and on throughout the day, why not?

Jed Arnold

Jed spent every year from the ages of 15 - 22 as a Lifeguard (Red Cross) and ages of 17 - 22 as a Certified Pool Operator (CPO). Between working for over a dozen facilities and owning a pool, he carries over a decade of pool experience.

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