How to Reduce Your Pool Pump Energy Bill

Written by:  Danny Rhodehamel

Inyo has done a study to find out a few steps that you can take in order to reduce your energy bill. The swimming pool pump is one of the highest energy consumers for a household. Taking these few steps can help save you money each month. Please feel free to comment on the bottom of this page for more ideas on how you reduced your pool pump bill.

Tips & Warnings


Things You'll Need

Step by Step

Step 1

There are several ways that you can reduce the cost of your energy bill with your swimming pool pump. The number one thing to keep in mind is your pump is used to help keep your swimming pool circulating and clean. If you notice a big change in your swimming pool clarity or balance you may want to double think your actions.

Step 2

Amount of time to run your pool pump
The first thing to look at is how long your pump is running per day. If you do not own a timer, get one. Click here for our pool timers. Swimming pool pumps should be run an average 8 hours a day to properly circulate and clean your water. The pump should push your entire pool in gallons in this 8 hour period of time. However, often times swimming pool pump horse power is overrated for their size swimming pool. If it is overrated your pump may be pushing your water through in a 6 hour period or even a 4 hour period of time. In this case you can reduce the time you run your swimming pool pump. According to Florida Power and Electric reducing a pool pump by 2 hours will save you about $10 per month. Here is the average monthly costs for the average 1 HP pump to run.

1 HP - 4 Hours = $21
1 HP - 6 Hours = $31
1 HP - 8 Hours = $41

A pool timer will help you keep your pump running the proper amount of time. Again, check your pool chemical balance if you see a drastic change revert back to the old amount of time your run your pool pump.

Step 3

Oversized Pool Pumps
Like stated above many pool builders oversize the pool pump for their swimming pool. For swimming pool clarity reasons it is always better to have a higher HP pump then a lower HP pump, but for energy consumption reasons it is just sucking on your monthly bill. One option is to switch to a lower HP pump. To figure out the proper size of your pool pump HP click on The Horse Power of Inground Pool Pumps. According to Florida Power and Electric reducing the average Florida pump (running 8 hours a day) from 1 1/2 HP down to 1 HP you can save about $19 per month. This is $228 per year.

1 HP 8 Hours = $41
1.5 HP 8 Hours = $58

If you reduce the horse power of the pump your filter will actually preform better. It will most likely be oversized compared to your pump and be able to filter out your water a little more properly. If you decide to go this route please insure your calculations are correct.

Step 4

Switch to an EE motor
If you plan on staying in your home longer then 2 years then you definitly should upgrade your motor from a standard to a Energy Efficient motor. Replacing your existing pump motor with an Energy Efficient motor can save your up to 33% on your electric bill. The same 1 HP pump listed above that is switched to a 1HP EE pump motor can save you $13 per month or $156 per year.

1 HP - 8 Hours = $41
1 HP EE - 8 Hours = $28

If you are in need of a new pump you should definitly purchase a EE model. The average cost difference between standard and EE pool pumps is about $100. You will make up this difference in less then 8 months.
Click here for a list of all of our Replacment Pool Pump Motors.
Click here to find out How to Replace a Pool Pump Motor

Comments (1 to 40 of 114)

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User: Inyopools

Bubbaritos - I would suggest placing a check valve on the main suction pipe between the pump and the pool. This valve would prevent the water from draining back into the pool when the pump is shut off.

User: Bubbaritos

I use a Hayward 1hp super pump and have always used a timer. The pump comes on for 8 hours and then goes off everyday. The thing is, when it goes off all the water runs back into the pool. When it turns on the pump primes for nearly two minutes until it is at max flow. Is this ok for the pump to run without water for this long or should I add a one way valve of some sort to prevent the water from draining back to the pool?

User: Inyopools

Dave M - 1) A Full rated 1 HP pump should be fine for a 10,000 gal pool with single story solar panels. 2) EE pumps generally have full rated motors rather than up rated motors. Rating is determined by Service Factor (SF). A motor's actual HP is measured by multiplying its HP rating by its SF. For example a 1 HP full rated motor with a SF of 1.5 would have an actual HP valve of 1.5 HP (1 HP x 1.5 SF). An UP rated 1 HP motor with a SF of 1.0 would have an actual HP valve of 1 HP. I would recommend  a 1 HP EE pump like a Hayward Super 2 EE Pump 1 HP Single Speed. 3) Most pool owners run in one block of time, 6-8 hrs a day. I don't think you gain anything running 2 blocks in a 24 hr period.

User: Dave M

We recently moved into a 13-year old house with about a 10,000 gal pool that more than likely has the original pool equipment. The plastic housing near the basket has hairline cracks and leaks and my filter gauge shows only 5 lbs of pressure. We have 1.5 inch pipes and solar panels on the roof of a single story house. I estimated 50-60 ft of head from the skimmer to the pump. My neighbor has the about the same pool without solar panels, and runs a newer Jandy FloPro 1 hp. A local pool guy suggested any standard single speed 1.5 hp only because of the solar panels or he would have suggested a 1 hp. (After looking at two full month electric bills at 8 hrs per day the old pump is costing us about $40-$50 per month so I am not sure a variable speed would make sense, especially thinking a newer single speed should be more EE). Couple of questions:

1) Do the solar panels necessitate an extra 1/5 hp?
2) I have called Jandy, Pentair, and Hayward and all pushed me out of their basic single speed 1.5 hp to their next level single speed but in some cases 1 hp claiming it is more EE because it pushes the same amount of water (or in some cases more) at 1 hp rather than the basic model 1.5 hp.
3) Does it make sense to run my pump for two, 3-4 hr blocks during the day rather than one, 6-8 hr block so the water never sits more than 4-6 hrs?

User: Inyopools

Floridian - You can try reducing your run time to 6 hours. If your pool starts to turn green, I would go back to 8 hours. And a pump is designed to run 24 hours a day if required. They generally run hot. Just make sure your pump has good ventilation. Clean debris away from the bottom breathing ports and do not have it in a tight enclosure. If it's in the direct sun for a period of time, you might try to put something up over it to shade it.

User: Floridian

Hello,we are having about 15000 gal pool, in Central Florida. Our pump productivity - 60 GPM. Essentially, it can do entire volume well within 4.5 hours.
Two questions, please:
1) Is it OK to rum my pump only for 6 hours instead of 8 (without jeopardy to sanitation, of course)?
2) If I still keep 8 hrs run but split it in 2 sessions (4 + 4) to give our pump a brake to cool down since it's getting quite hot during the day run?
Thank you!

User: Inyopools

Bitz - A VS pump can save you up to 80% on your energy bill. See our guide on "How to Save Money Using a Variable Speed Motor". I'm not sure what you mean by going totally solar. Generally a solar system needs a pump to circulate the water through a solar system and that has to run during the day to catch the sun. If you have gone a step further with your solar system and have a way to economically convert the solar energy to electricity which can drive your pump, that sounds like the way to go.

User: Bitz

Our electrical utility is now billing us with their so called "Smart Meters" They register "time of use" electricity data and charge us 200% for "on peak" use, 150% for "Mid peak" use and 100% for Off Peak use. Off Peak use is from 7PM to 7AM. I have installed a time switch and nothing on the pool runs during the day. Next step is either Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) pump drive or go totally solar especially for day use. Which would give me the best payback?

User: Inyopools

VS pump - That's a large pump for your size pool, but the beauty of a VS pump is that it is totally adaptable. If you are just running the pump for filtration, I would run it at 1200 RPM. This size pump will have a higher GPM flow rate so for your size pool, you may be able to get by with 10 to 12 hours at 1200 RPM. See our guide on "How to Save Money Using a Variable Speed Motor" for different run options depending on what your system supports.


Pool is 12,500 gallons, have a Hayward EcoStar Variable pump, at what speeds and how long should my pump run?

User: Inyopools

msfields - Most pool owners run their pumps about 8-10 hours a day during the swimming season.

User: msfields

Hi...We're new pool owners & have a 33 ft round above ground & it uses approximately 27,000 gallons...We have a 1.5hp Pentair Dynamo pump & sand filter...We live in Ky & our temps average between 90-100 with high humidity...We're wanting to put our pump on a timer to help conserve electricity, so what would you suggest the times & intervals to run it?...Thanks!

User: Inyopools

will - For your 12,500 gallon pool, I would recommend a 1HP Full Rated Energy Efficient (EE) pump like the Hayward Super 2 EE Pump 1 HP Single Speed. EE will save you 20% in operating costs. Your filter is way too large but that does not matter on filters. It just means you will not have to clean it as often and the cartridge will last longer.

User: will

I have an in ground pool that is only 12,500 gallons but has a pentair Clean and Clear 200 cartridge filter as well as a pretty large hayward pump. What size pump and filter would you recommend?

User: Inyopools

torker - Unfortunately, we do not maintain lists of solar panel sources.

User: torker

solar panels people!!

User: Inyopools

learning pool owner - I would recommend a smaller 1 1/2 HP VS pump for your size pool, like the Hayward Super Pump VS Variable Speed Pump. This model has a built in timer. With a single speed motor, you generally run the pump 8 hours to turn over the pool water at least once a day. With a VS pump, you will run your pump at half speed for 16 hours. Seems like your aren't saving any energy, but even though you are running twice as long, when you drop to half speed, you greatly reduce water friction and energy use is dropped to 12%. Most people use a suction cleaner like The Pool Cleaner 2 Wheel Cleaner with good success. Generally people test their pool water every 1-2 weeks depending on use and heat. I have found the test strips to be sufficiently accurate with a trip to the local pool store every month or so to make sure I'm reading the strips accurately. Most pool store will test your water for free. For more general or specific information on pools, see our “How To Guides” section and scroll down the middle of the page to the category of interest.

User: learning pool owner

Hello there,

I would greatly appreciate any advice. We have owned a pool for almost 3 years now but were financially unable in the first few years to properly care for our pool, I want to change that now.
We have an in-ground 20,000 gal pool with a newer sand filter and a VERY old single speed pump that needs to be replaced. We basically never run the pump as it doesn't do anything useful other than give a horrendous electricity bill. I know of course that that is bad for the pool and water so I've been looking around for good pool pumps. We would like a variable speed pump that performs well but isn't necessarily the most expensive one. Any recommendations? How much hp?
And from what I've been reading here we are supposed to run the pump for about 8 hours? Does the water need to be turned over once or more?
Do we need a cleaning system like a robot? We only have those things that rotate the water, no pop-up cleaning system.
How often do you recommend testing the water? Any thoughts on a good water testing kit? I was looking at the Taylor K-2006, but maybe that's too much.

Thank you in advance, I would greatly appreciate any advice!

User: Inyopools

ShirleyStarr - I would try running your pool at night. All you are trying to do is run all you pool water through the filter once a day. Generally takes 8 hours. As long as you do this daily, if shouldn't matter when you do it.

User: ShirleyStarr

My pool guy is insistent on running the pump during the day when it is hottest As I live in AZ and it goes up to 110 deg in midday
However my electric company told me the electric bill will be highest for me during peak electric use and that I should run pump during night from 9 pm to 6 am
He insists daytime due to fear of algae
I have new pepple tec pool with new lower HP motor
What do you think?

User: Inyopools

Rico - I guess it depends on how much movement there is in the water. If people are swimming in the uncovered half, the other two sections might ride up on each other. You might try Velcroing the sections together to be able to help keep the pieces in place, yet making it easy to take apart.

User: Rico

Just read that the bubble material over a pool to save evaporation can actually be cut in say 4 quarters to ease removal of just part of the pool or cover only half. My question: do the parts left stay where placed while the water is moving or circled with the action of the filter pump operation ? do they really stick to the water where first placed and not overlap with the other parts when returned ?

User: Inyopools

time of day to run pump - Operationally it does not matter. However, I would recommend running it during the day in case something goes wrong with the system.


When is the best time to run the pump. Night or during the day.

User: Inyopools

Cathy - I would recommend you stay with the pump that comes with the package. Larger is generally not better and the package pump will be matched to the GPM water flow that the filter can handle.

User: Cathy

I am looking into buying a 24 ft above ground pool and ran across this site. Very helpful information. My question is....I had decided to upgrade to the package with the larger pump thinking it would mean less maintenance but after reading here that a pump can be too large....what is the best size pump for a 24 foot pool? Thanks

User: Inyopools

Erik A – If you can tie the piping currently going to the three motors, to one motor, you will see a considerable savings by using a VS pump. See our guide on “How to Save Money Using a Variable Speed Motor” for more information.

User: Erik A

I presently have a 3 pump system pool. 1 for pool water(1.5 HP), 1 for pop up cleaning system (1HP) and 1 for water fall feature (1HP). I am being told by a pool repairman that I could save more $ if I keep using the 3 pumps than if I replace with a new VSP (Pentair or Hayward). I am getting confused!!! Anyone knows what could be the best alternative???

User: Inyopools

AG Pool Pump - Yes, an AG pool pump operates with gravity gravity fed water. To operate efficiently the AG pool pump must be installed below the surface of the pool - generally at the bottom of the pool.


Is it beneficial for the pump and filter system to be lower than the pool on an above ground pool?

User: Inyopools

winterblues - Your energy bill is not going to triple if you run your pump 24/7 for two weeks. I would suspect your house heating cost during the winter has a bigger role.

User: winterblues

We want to buy a house with a large pool 30x15x8ft to 3ft fiberglass. The electricity bill triples in the winter. We live in Dallas, TX, so we have about 2 wks of freezing temperatures. The current family said it was because the pump has to run 24/7 to keep from freezing. It is not a new pump. Does this make sense?

User: Inyopools

techie - Not sure what your question is. If you mean can I automatically set up a pump to run during off peak times of the day when electricity might be cheaper, yes, use a timer.

User: Inyopools

hernana70 - Suggestions from easiest (cheapest) to harder: 1- reduce the run time of your pump to no more than 8 hrs - less if your pool stays clear; 2- hook your pump up to a timer so timing is automatic; 3- change your motor to an Energy Efficient motor - uses less amperage and saves 20% on operating costs; 4- change your motor to a 2 speed motor - saves more than 25& on operating costs; 5- change your motor to a variable speed motor - can save up to 80%.

User: techie

are there devices in the market that run a pool pump based on time of use electricity pricing? are there systems I can look into? thanks.

User: hernana70

I just moved into a house that has a 15.000 gallon fiberglass salt water pool. I am slowly learning how to balance the chemicals and now am concerned on how to efficiently run the pump and all it's electrical systems. My electric bill was over $400 this month and I live in Houston, TX. I know it has to be the pool. I think I was running the pump 24hrs for several days. Please advise on what I can do to cut back on my costs.

User: Inyopools

Derek - I would go with the VS pump if you can. The EE pump saves about 20% in operating costs but the VS pump can save up to 75%. The VS pumps are designed better for efficiency and durability and can last 2-3 times the life of a standard pump. See our guide on "How to Save Money Using a Variable Speed Motor".

User: Derek

Hello I currently have a 3/4hp pentair whisperflow pool that is almost 10 years old. I want to upgrade any save money on utilities with either a 3/4 hp hayward tristar EE model or a hayward tristar variable speed model. I am worried that the vs model will have more computer/electrical issues down the road and am wondering if i should just get the energy efficient model? And lastly, what is the installation cost of a new pump? Thanks

User: Inyopools

Pool Newbie - Yes that is the device that can automatically turn your pump on and off during the day. Here is a link to its "Owner's Manual".

User: Pool Newbie

I am a new homeowner with an in-ground pool. I have read a lot about pump timers, and I'm not sure if I have one. There is an INTERMATIC PF1103T on the wall by the equipment, but no green/red plug things. It says it is a Time Control with Freeze Protection. Is this what I would use to control when the pump runs? Since I had the pool opened, it has run 24/7, and I'm afraid of the sticker-shock when I get my first electric bill. I can't even find an on/off switch on the pump. I believe it is a Whisperflo? I also have a Polaris robotic vac with a scrubby thing on the end. Haven't been running that lately, as the pool has been crystal clear. Any comments/suggestions would be most appreciated!

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