How to Reduce Your Pool Pump Energy Bill


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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.


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 horsepower of the pump your filter will actually perform 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 ensure 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 definitely 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 definitely purchase a EE model. The average cost difference between the 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 Replacement Pool Pump Motors.
Click here to find out How to Replace a Pool Pump Motor


(81 to 120 of 179)

 Posted: 6/24/2015 

solar panels people!!

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/19/2015 

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.

 Posted: 6/17/2015 

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!


InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/9/2015 

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.

 Posted: 6/9/2015 

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?


InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/30/2015 

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.

 Posted: 5/28/2015 

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 ?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/9/2015 

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.

Anonymous  Posted: 5/8/2015 

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


InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 4/28/2015 

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.

 Posted: 4/28/2015 

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

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 12/15/2014 

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.

 Posted: 12/12/2014 

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???

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/23/2014 

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.

Anonymous  Posted: 8/23/2014 

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

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/3/2014 

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.

 Posted: 7/30/2014 

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?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/25/2014 

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.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/25/2014 

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%.

 Posted: 7/24/2014 

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.

 Posted: 7/24/2014 

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.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/17/2014 

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".

 Posted: 6/16/2014 

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

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/4/2014 

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".

 Posted: 6/3/2014 

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!

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/20/2014 

Joe - Most customers run their pumps 8-10 hours a day on a timer. It has no adverse effect on the pump motor. They are designed to stop and go. You might consider getting a 1 1/2 HP motor for your size pool. And look at the Energy Efficient pumps for a 20% savings in operational costs.

 Posted: 5/19/2014 

We have a 20,000 gal in-ground pool and will finally be replacing the pump this Summer. We are replacing with the same pump, a Hayward 1HP Super Pump. We do not use our pool that much during the Summer months and would like to cut down on the cost of running the pump system during the day. We have always ran the system 24/7 but I have read that most pool filter systems really only need to run 8-10 h/day. My question is if we put in a timer to run in on/off cycles, will this constant start/stop cycling damage the motor (or void a warranty) or mess-up the filtering system? Thank You.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 2/21/2014 

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.

 Posted: 2/16/2014 

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


InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 11/2/2013 

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.

 Posted: 10/31/2013 

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.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 10/29/2013 

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.

 Posted: 10/27/2013 

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.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 9/20/2013 

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.

 Posted: 9/17/2013 

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?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 9/3/2013 

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

Anonymous  Posted: 9/1/2013 

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


InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/6/2013 

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.

 Posted: 8/6/2013 

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

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/18/2013 

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".