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how long do you keep your pool filter on


How Long Do You Keep Your Pool Filter On?

Pool filters are essential components of a pool, and they help to keep the water clean and clear for swimming. However, many pool owners don't know how long they should run their pool filters each day. In this article, we will explore the best practices for pool filter usage to ensure that your pool stays healthy and clean.

Understanding pool filters

Before we delve into how long you should run your pool filter, it's essential to understand the different types of pool filters. They are:

- Sand filter

- DE filter

- Cartridge filter

All these filters work differently but have the same job of removing contaminants from the water.

Sand filters

Sand filters use sand to filter out the contaminants. The water flows through the sand and, as it does so, the sand traps dirt and debris. Eventually, the sand becomes dirty, and it needs to be backwashed to remove the contaminants.

DE filters

DE filters use a fine white powder called diatomaceous earth. The DE coats the filter grids, and the water passes through the powder, trapping contaminants. Like sand filters, DE filters need to be backwashed to remove the trapped contaminants.

Cartridge filters

Cartridge filters use a pleated filter material to trap dirt and debris. They are the easiest to maintain and don't require backwashing. Instead, you can simply remove the cartridge, rinse it out, and put it back in the filter.

How long to run your pool filter?

Now, let's move on to the all-important question, how long should you run your pool filter? The general rule of thumb is to run your pool filter for eight hours a day. However, this may vary depending on the pool size and filter type.

For instance, if you have a small pool, you may be able to get away with running the filter for six hours a day, while a larger pool may need to run for ten hours. You should also consider peak swimming times when determining how long to run your pool filter. If your pool sees heavy usage during the day, you may want to run the filter for longer hours.

Additionally, the type of filter you have may also dictate how long you need to run it. The sand filter and DE filter should run for eight hours a day. However, if you have a cartridge filter, you need to run it for longer periods. Cartridge filters require longer run times to ensure that the water gets filtered thoroughly.

When to run the pool filter?

It is generally best to run your pool filter during the daytime hours when the sun is shining. The sun's rays can increase the amount of bacteria and algae in your pool, so running the filter during the day can help remove these contaminants. Additionally, running the filter during the day will enable you to see any debris in the water, making it easier to clean with a net.

If you live in an area with high winds or dust, it's best to run the pool filter in the evenings. By running the filter in the evenings, you will be capturing the debris that blew into your pool during the day.

What happens if you run your pool filter for too long?

While running your pool filter for too long may seem like a good idea, it can actually be harmful. Running your pool filter for too long can put unnecessary strain on the system, resulting in higher energy bills and potential damage to the filter.

Additionally, if you run your filter for too long, you may end up backwashing too frequently, resulting in wasting water. Over-backwashing can also result in losing the required amount of filter media in your sand or DE filter.


In summary, running your pool filter for eight hours a day is recommended, and this may vary based on the pool size and filter type. It is best to run the filter during the day to capture contaminants and debris, especially during high pool usage periods. Running the filter longer than the recommended duration can put unnecessary strain on the system and lead to higher energy bills. So, make sure to adhere to the manufacturer's recommended duration for the pool filter.


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