does a pool filter run all the time


Author: Poolking - Swimming Pool Equipment Manufacturer

Does a Pool Filter Run All the Time?

Having a swimming pool in your backyard is a dream come true for many homeowners. Not only does it offer a refreshing escape from the heat during the summer months, but it also makes for a great gathering spot for friends and family. However, owning a pool also comes with its own set of maintenance tasks, one of which is keeping the water clean and clear. This is where a pool filter comes in. But the question is, does a pool filter run all the time?

What is a Pool Filter?

Before answering the main question, let's first understand what a pool filter is. A pool filter is responsible for removing debris, dirt, and other contaminants from the water, ensuring that the pool remains clean and safe to swim in. There are three main types of pool filters: sand filters, cartridge filters, and diatomaceous earth (DE) filters. Each of these types has its own unique features, benefits, and drawbacks.

How Does a Pool Filter Work?

Now that you know what a pool filter is, you're probably wondering how it works. The exact mechanism depends on the type of filter, but in general, water from the pool is drawn into the filter by the pump, which then passes through the filtering medium (sand, cartridges, or DE). The filtering medium traps debris and other particles, allowing only clean water to flow back into the pool. Over time, the filtering medium will become clogged with dirt and debris, reducing the filter's efficiency. This is why it's important to regularly clean or replace the filtering medium.

Does a Pool Filter Run All the Time?

The answer to this question is, it depends. In general, a pool filter should run for at least eight hours a day to ensure that the water is properly circulated and filtered. However, the exact amount of time will depend on a variety of factors, including the size of the pool, the type of filter, the pump's flow rate, and the bather load (i.e., the number of people using the pool). During peak swimming season, it's recommended to run the pool filter for 12 hours a day.

Should I Run My Pool Filter at Night?

Another common question pool owners have is whether or not they should run their pool filter at night. While there's no hard and fast rule, many experts recommend running the pool filter during the day when the sun is shining. This is because sunlight can stimulate algae growth, and running the filter during the day will help prevent this from happening. Additionally, running the pool filter during the day can help improve the efficiency of the pump, as it will be drawing in cooler water from the bottom of the pool.

How to Determine the Right Amount of Time to Run Your Pool Filter

So how can you determine the right amount of time to run your pool filter? One way is to use the "turnover rate" method. This involves calculating how long it takes for the entire volume of water in your pool to pass through the filter. To use this method, simply divide your pool's volume (in gallons) by the pump's flow rate (in gallons per minute). This will give you the turnover time in minutes. For example, if your pool has a volume of 20,000 gallons and your pump has a flow rate of 50 gallons per minute, the turnover time would be 400 minutes (or 6.67 hours). To ensure that the water is properly filtered, you'll want to run the pump for at least one turnover time per day.


In conclusion, a pool filter doesn't run all the time, but it should be run for at least eight hours a day (or 12 hours during peak swimming season) to ensure that the water is properly filtered and circulated. When determining the right amount of time to run your pool filter, it's important to consider factors like the pool's volume, the type of filter, and the pump's flow rate. By properly maintaining your pool filter and running it for the right amount of time, you can ensure that your pool remains clean and safe to swim in for years to come.


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