Does My Pool Pump Have to Run Daily if My Pool is Small?

Swimming pools are fun.  They can make you the neighborhood star or provide your own personal oasis for relaxation in your own backyard.  If your swimming pool also has a hot tub, it can work wonders on those sore muscles and even aid with symptoms from chronic illnesses.  Swimming is good for you health wise.  Being outside in general is good for you.  Just don’t forget the sunblock! They can even add value to your home. Yes, the life of a swimming pool owner can be magical.  It can also be a pain in the neck. 

Like any luxury item, swimming pools require an initial investment, regular maintenance and sometimes repair.  These things require 2 things there never seems to be enough of: time and money.  So, with this in mind, why make taking care of your swimming pool harder than it needs to be?  My motto is ‘It is easier to prepare than it is to repair.  Staying on top of your swimming pool is crucial to avoid excessive time and money being spent.  Whether you have a 500 gallon stand-alone spa or a 5,000 gallon “spool” (Between a spa and a pool size) or a ginormous olympic size lap pool, the maintenance needs are all the same principles.  The amounts just vary.

Proper Circulation

Proper circulation is imperative for any size pool.  Think of a river versus a pond.  A river is clear because of the constant movement whereas a pond is green and murky due to it being stagnant.  The same principle applies to our swimming pools.  Moving water is happy water.  

The water is moved through our swimming pool plumbing system by a pool pump.  The water is pulled from the pool through the skimmer and main drain where it is pushed through your system and all of its various components such as a heater, salt cell and most importantly, your pool filter.  All swimming pools and spas have a filter.

We want to accomplish what is known as a turnover.  A turnover is when all of the pool water passes through the filter and back into your swimming pool.  This allows the chemicals to mix and be effective.  This removes dirt and debris from the water.  This is what cleans your swimming pool water.  Even if you have a small pool, you need to circulate it every day.  You just won’t need to run your pump as long.

If running your pool pump is “too expensive”, you most likely have the old technology of a single speed pool pump.  These energy guzzlers only run at 3,400 revolutions per minute (RPMs) and consume a lot of energy, which can cost a lot of money.  The newer technology are energy efficient variable speed pool pumps.  They are more affordable than you think, if you know where to look. Check out this pump made by the American-made, name brand of BLACK + DECKER. Have an above ground pool?  Do not despair!  They have got you covered as well! 

Chemical Balance

Proper, balanced water chemistry is also a must for any pool.  We want to make sure we always have enough sanitizer to fight off algae and keep our families safe.  We want to make sure that the pH and alkalinity are in range to avoid having corrosive or scale forming water.  We will want to protect our chlorine with cyanuric acid.  Too much of this can have an adverse effect.  We want to make sure our calcium levels are in range.  Too little and the water will try to leach it from your pool’s surface.  Too much can lead to yucky build up and even has a tendency for more yellow or mustard algae blooms.  If we have a salt pool we need to make sure our salt is in range.  We need to make sure there are not too many minerals in the water.  The measure of this is called Total Dissolved Solids .  We want to avoid any metal readings getting too high.  Basically, we need to test our pool water at least once a week and make the necessary adjustments.


You will want to net out any debris that falls into your swimming pool as soon as you can to avoid a high phosphate count.  Phosphates come from anything organic and are food for algae.  You’ll want to brush the swimming pool at least once a week.  This not only removes dirt and debris, but gets rid of any algae spores trying to gain a foothold.  Whether or not you have an automatic pool cleaner or not will determine how often you need to vacuum your pool.  I recommend getting a robotic cleaner because they do not put any extra strain on your pool equipment.  They are affordable as well here.

So, you’ll need a good brush, net and test strips to be able to accomplish all of this.  Wouldn’t it be handy if they came as a bundle?  Well, they do! 

So, no matter what size your swimming pool is, it needs to be maintained.  It doesn’t have to take you a lot of time if you have the right equipment.  It doesn’t have to cost you a ton of money if you know where to shop. has you covered!  See you poolside! 

This article provides information on what pump size you need for your pool. And if you want to know the ideal schedule for your pool pump, read this article.