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
intermatic pool timer

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 pump

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
upgrade pool ee motor

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 72)

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User: Inyopools

reggie - Several factors make up your pool operational costs. Assuming your electrical cost is 13.5 cents/KWh and your 1.5 HP pump is using 1.5 KWs /hour, that's 20 cents per hour. If you run your pump for 8 hours a day, that's $1.60 per day or $48 /month. Running 4 months gets you to $192 per season. An EE pump can save you 20% in operating costs. 20% of $192 is $38. A 1.5 HP EE pump can cost $550. At a savings of $38 /season, it would take you $550/$38 or 14.5 years to justify a new pump. Wait till your current pump breaks.

User: reggie

I currently have a 1 1/2 HP single speed Haywood power-flo LX pump for my 13,500 gallon above ground pool. I live on Long Island ( N.Y.) and I only run my pool for 4 months a year.
Would it be worth the investment to buy an energy efficient pool pump ? How long would the payback time be ? Thank You

User: Inyopools

PandO - How long you run your pump varies. It depends on the time it takes to run all of the water in your pool thru the filter which is determined by the size of your pool and the size of your pool's pump. Like you indicate, most people cut the run time in half during the winter because it's too cold for algae to grow substantially. Finally, when you run your pump is generally by convenience. Your goal is to maintain correct chemical levels over time. As long as your circulation system is replenishing chemicals, mainly chlorine, on a daily basis, it does not matter if you run during the day or at night.

User: PandO

Seems like almost none, or none, of responders don't say what time of day they run their pool pumps. I assume the best time for algae prevention is the warm part of the afternoon, like the middle 6-10 hours of sunlight time, varying from 10 in mid-summer to 6 in mid-winter.

User: Inyopools

Jun - I'm not sure what you mean by "without changing any electrical connection". Anytime you replace a motor or pump you will have to rewire the motor. If you change out the whole pump, you will probably also have to adjust the plumbing to the pump. The Pentair 3/4 HP EE pump is p# 011512. If you want to replace just the motor, p# is B661. The Pentair Variable Speed Pump p# is 011018. It adapts to any HP requirement 1/2 to 2.5 HP. A good alternative smaller Variable Speed motor for 1.5 HP and below is the Hayward Super Pump VS Variable Speed Pump just out p# SP2600VSP.

User: Jun

I have 1hp pentair sf n1 1a which I want to replace with 3/4hp either variable speed or ee pump to reduced energy consumption (6hrs/day $95/mo in Ca). Pool size is 14'x28'x3'4"-6' Grecian vinyl with 92"dia spillover spa. Pls advise the appropriate model/brand compatible without changing any electrical connection. Thanks a lot.

User: Inyopools

George - An 8 hour run is typical for most pools, but if you want to set it back to 6 hours, that's easy enough. Assuming you have a separate external timer, see our guide on "How to Program an Intermatic T100 Series Timer" for instruction on how to set a common timer. It sounds like too much water is being diverted to the pool return jets. You may want to look at opening up some of the other return diverter valves. If your automatic floor cleaner is the system with pop up ports off the floor, you might look at opening up the flow to those ports. See our guide on "How To Set Up Pool Diverter Valves For Pool, Spa, Water Features" for instructions on setting up diverter valves. If your automatic floor cleaner is a self-contained cleaning unit, its operation is independent of your pool circulation system.

User: george

My pump was just repaired and for no known reason the mechanic change the timer to run for eight hours, instead of six as before. Six worked fine as the pool is hardly used. Also, now the incoming water rushes in and actually creates waves. Before, there was movement but not this nonsense. Finally, now the automatic floor cleaner no longer works. Do you think all these problems are related and can they be fixed easily?

User: Inyopools

Nevada - Sounds like you live the good life. Most people aren't that fortunate with their pools.


i live in nevada where it gets 115 degrees in the summer. i got a 12x28 inground fiberglass pool its about 10,000 gallons.i am running a 1 hp pump with a timer and a automatic chlorinator. i run my pool pump 4 1/2 hours a day. i havent ever seen algae in my pool. in fact i quit shocking it once a week. to every few weeks or unless the pool gets alot of use. i check my water readings every two or 3 days.

ph is always 7.4 chlorine is always 1 to 3 ppm. total alkalinity 80 to 120 ppm

User: Inyopools

nurse jen - It depends on the size of your pool pump, but if you have a 1 HP, 5-6 hours of operation sounds about right.

User: nurse jen

This is helpful thsnk you. I am a new inground swimming pool ownwer ( we replaced our above ground this summer) so I am sill trying to figure out how long I ned to run my pump daily to keep it clean, our pool is 8000gallons after inquiring with others the general answer to that question seems to be about 5-6 hpurs per day, any suggestions

User: Inyopools

CJ - Please review our guide on "How to Save Money Using a Variable Speed Motor". It provides more comprehensive information on saving energy with a variable speed pump. On life expectancy of the control unit, a motor manufacturer commented that: "The units should actually hold up better than the [older] ODP motors, since both the motor and control are sealed".

User: CJ

I calculated the true cost of my 2 HP pool pump... I selected a day that the heating and the air conditioning was off and other appliances not on.... I read our meeter for one our with, and one hour with the pool pump on..... then the kilowatt hour's cost times 6 hours..... it came out to 25 dollars a month... I calculated the distance from the pool our 2 skimmers and the kreepy line from the house 80 feet... gallons 30,000 of water.. all formulas said I needed the 2 horse power esp. if I wanted the spa to heat rapidly.and as someone mentioned the tablet chlorinator needs a certain flow rate..... I don't see that the variable speed would work for us... I could save all of 10 dollars a month..... (It turns out that each cable TV box burn 10 dollars a month in the off position )My main concern is the life expectancy of the variable speed... we live on the intercostal waterway, so I wonder if the salt spray would corrode the controls to the variable speed... our airconditioning units only last 10 years, vs. 25 years.... I was so glad that both our pool pump and spa pump lasted 20 years.... considering replacing just the motor to the spa pump that died recently

User: Inyopools

Mike W. - Many people run their SCGs at 50% for 8-12 hours a day but that depends on several factors: usage, rain, size of pool and size of cell. After you have reduce your pump time, check your chlorine level every day for a week or so to establish the right working level. And remember to keep your pool chemicals within their acceptable ranges.

User: Mike W.

I have a salt system and am thinking about turning my timer back on,it runs 24/7 now.would like to cut it back to 12hr.would I need to raise the percent of time on the control is set on 50percent right now,it an aqua-rite system,Thanks

User: Inyopools

24/7 - Most pool owners run their pool pumps 8-10 hours a day. The motors are designed to turn on and off daily.


We moved into a house with a pool about 4 yrs old. The company that opened our pool told us that we NEED to run our pool 24/7 for it to run properly. He said the on/off wears down the motor on the filter. Grew up with a pool which my parents had since 1977. They have always and still do use a timer. Is it ok to get a timer put on our pool system? It's inground and chlorine (not saltwater).

User: Inyopools

Chicagobob - Yes, you can shut power off to your SCG after 12 hour. Most people only run them for a partial day when the pump is running.

User: Chicagobob

If you have salt system for chlorination, can you still shut your power off at night. I would only like to run my filter for approx 12 hours during the day, mainly for the noise factor

User: InyoPools

New pool customer - The amount of energy your pump uses is based on its amperage rating (printed on the motor label) and the length of time the pump runs. If your pump is not running properly, its amperage can go up thus increasing your energy usage. To reduce your energy usage on your water filtration pump, you might consider switching to a 2-speed or variable speed motor. They can reduce your energy costs by 75%.

User: InyoPools

Chris - Generally your water features will not run on a small motor - less than 1 HP. If you want some flexibility, you might replace your current features motor with a 2-speed motor or if you don't need the lower level of flow, only run the features pump when you need it.

User: New pool customer

I just moved to a house that has a pool that's prob. 30 yrs old. I can't tell what kind of pump it is, but my elect. bill was very high. Also, the pump that manages the water flow was not working properly, so the pool tech fixed it and the elect bill dropped about $100; so my question is "does the pump that manages the water flow use a lot of electricity"? Thanks,

User: Chris

Hi - I have a fairly new pool (4yrs old) with two pumps. 1 variable speed Pentair that runs the filter, etc. and one 1hp single speed that exclusively runs a water feature. We leave the 1hp running about 5-6 hours per day and we are getting hammered on our electric bill.

Would it be possible to replace the 1hp single speed with a 1/2hp single speed to reduce the amount of electricity used?

Also - the water feature / fountain is connected to a manifold which we have turned all the way "down". It's a fountain that could be shooting water about 4 feet. We only have it shooting the water about 6 inches.

Please let me know.

Thanks very much.

User: InyoPools

newpoolguy - If I understand right, you have a Pentair Whisperflo WEF4 pump and you replaced its 1.0HP/ 1.65sf motor with a smaller .75HP/ 1.65sf motor. If that is correct, you also have to replace the impeller with a smaller one matched with the .75 HP motor (mfg # 073127).

User: newpoolguy

I have a Pentair Whisperflo WEF4 1.0hp/ 1.65sf pump with an Emerson T55CXLL-1386 .75hp/ 1.65sf motor. Is this combination correct.

User: InyoPools

MarlOPolo - We would recommend a Variable Speed
(VS) Green Motor made by Century / AO Smith. It is fully compatible with your existing Pentair WFE-6 pump. This motor automatically adapts to pumps with motors up to 2.7 HP. You do not need a separate timer. That feature is built into the control box on top of the motor. For more details on VS pumps/motors see our guide on "How to Save Money Using a Variable Speed Motor"

User: MarkOPolo

What would be a compatable variable Speed replacement motor for my existing Pentair WFE-6 pump? Would I also need to purchase a special timer?

User: InyoPools

MarkOPolo - If your first motor was close to 1.5 THP (SFxHP)than you should be able to go back to a smaller 1 HP motor with a SF of 1.65 - 1.65 THP. If you are planning to just replace the motor and not the whole pump, you will need to buy a smaller impeller - manf# 073128. You might also consider replacing your motor with a 2 speed or variable speed motor for additional savings.

User: MarkOPolo

I replaced a 1-1/2HP pump about 5 years ago with a pentair WFE-6 pool pump. I have a 20K or less size pool. My HP went from 1.5HP to 2.20HP. I run my pump for 4 hours and things look great. Would it be posible to replace the pump with the 1.0HP pentair replacement pump 071314S E-plus motor with a factor of 1.65 to produce the total HP of 1.65 to more fit my pool size yet lower my amps down to 7.4? Would I need to replace the impeller or would it match up close enough with the HP. Thanks

User: InyoPools

connoeman - A 1 1/2 HP pump sounds about right for you pool configuration. If having to clean your filter every 2-3 weeks is an issue, you might consider getting a larger filter.

User: InyoPools

Uvale - Running 24 hrs a day seems excessive. I would try running 12 hrs a day and see if that maintains your pool.

User: cannoeman

I have a 1 1/2HP pump and it just started to hum louder, so i want to get an EE pump, but my problem is, the filter keeps building up pressure over about a week to month to the point where there is almost no flow. i replaced the filter with a different brand (hayward cartridge) was a starite DE...still does it long as i can remember it would do this except in the winter months, it lasts about 2 to 3 months...i guess it could be getting dirty as it is when i open it up to clean it, at least now i am not going through so much DE anymore.. any way i was wondering if the pump could be over powered or under are some specs. 1 1/2HP pump 2"piping, 14,000gallons, and about 40 feet from skimmer to pump about the same for the drain. also has water fountain and hot tub attached.

User: Uvale

We have a natural pool. According to the seller we are expected to run the 0.5 HP pump non stop. You can imagine our electricity bill shooting up. Volume is about 1400 cubic feet and we are in tropical island. How can we reduce our bill? Thank you

User: InyoPools

Jackerino - Please read our guide on variable speed motors: According to our calculations, you can save enough money on operational costs to pay for the pump in just over a year. And your energy rate is lower than what we based our costs on, so you should do better than our estimate. Question 2: You should be able to run at 1100 rpm. If not, the beauty of a VS pump is that you can adjust the RPM for filtration at the speed that works for your system. It won't be much higher than 1100 RPM. Question 3: Most pool systems in the US run on timers without any problems in losing prime and most only have to run 8-10 hours at full speed.

User: Jackerino

Just installed new pool last fall 25K gallon salt with all Pentair equipment. Pump 1hp WF-24, Sand Filter Tagelus TA60/60D, Chlorine Generator IntelliChlor IC40, 1.5” dia pipes 1 skimmer and 1 double main drain. The skimmer and main drain each have a separate shut off valve and the feet of head to each is: skimmer 31’, main drain 27’. I was told by installer and have been running pump 24/7.

I live in Wichita Kansas and will use pool approx 5 months(May-Sep) per year.

My kilowatt hour usage:
Without pool 2011 May 743($74.30) and June 1343($134.30)
With pool 2012 May 2263($226.30) and June 2989($298.90)
Our kilowatt per hour rate is approx $0.10.

As you can see our electric bills increased: May $152, June $164.60

Here comes the question: Can I install a Pentair Intelliflow VS-3050 pump and save enough on electric bill to pay for pump in 2 years.
The real question is: Can I run this pump at a very low 1100 rpm or does my feet of head limit how low I can set the rpm.
Or can I put existing pump on a timer? The installer said not too because it might lose prime and burn up pump.

Thanks for your time!

User: InyoPools

RowRow - I would check and make sure you don't have any leaks in the suction side of your pump first. If not you may have bigger problems. If you only have 1 1/2" pipes, there is a physical limit to the GPM that you can push though the pipes. A larger motor will not help your water flow. It may damage them. You may have to replace those pipes, or if you add others, make the 2 1/2". If you have larger pipes, I would recommend getting a Hayward EcoStar or a Pentair IntelliFlo - both variable speed pumps. Also get a larger filter to match the larger pump.

User: RowRowRowYourBoat

We have a 40K salt water gallon pool with 2 skimmers and 2 return lines. The water is still with the 2 return lines and can't move the water towards the weak skimmers. Leaves just stay floating and never go into the skimmers. There is not enough suction on the skimmer to run a pool vac off the skimmer so we use a robot. We have a 2.2 HP Hayward Energy Efficient Conservationist and a Pentair TA-60 sand pool filter. We were told by one person we just need new equipment with a more efficient variable speed pump with a timer and a bigger filter with Zeo, and a chlorine backup. Another guy said our equipment is fine and we needed at least 2 more return lines and possibly 2 more skimmers. We run it 24/7, so I know we can change that. Do we need new equipment? The price is not important as long as it works, is reliable and is efficient. Any recommendations.

User: InyoPools

whipboing - Yes you can do a straight swap with Pentair's Intelliflo Variable Speed Pump. It will work with your current impeller and diffuser. You will need to replace your shaft seal. We recommend the 8 speed or 8 speed with SVRS.

User: whipboing

I currently have a whisperflo wfe-8 2hp SF-1.30 on a dial timer. My pool is 16,000 plummed with 2" lines. I would like to replace the motor only with a variable speed. Can I do a straight swap to an intelliflo without any additional equipment? What would you recommend?

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Please Note:

Inyo Pool Products is not responsible for any injury or damaged equipment
while using our guides. Using our guides is doing so at your own risk.
These guides are suggested use of your pool or spa equipment and may vary
depending on which product you are using.