How Long Can A Pool Go Without A Pump? (Find Out Now!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Pool pumps are clearly a major part of every in-ground and above-ground pool. They are the thing that pushes water through your filter and also help power your jets. So, it’s not like you can have a healthy pool without a pump for too long. However, there has to be a point where you can leave a pool unpumped without too many problems, right? How long can you use a pool that has no working pump?

A pool without a pump can be deemed safe to swim in for as long as a week. However, you still need to make sure that your pool is properly chlorinated and kept during this time. In some cases, you may need to pump your pool earlier just to keep it sanitary. After a week without any pump usage, you need to get a pump and also refresh your pool water completely.

Make no mistake about it. A pool with a broken pump isn’t just an inconvenience. It’s a safety hazard. Let’s try to get to the bottom of this issue.

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Do You Need To Run Your Pool Pump 24/7?

You do not need to run your pool pump all the time. In fact, doing so can increase the amount of wear and tear that your pool has. If you are not actively using the pool, you can turn it off. With that said, you can leave your pool pump off for as long as a week without having to worry about the safety of your pool.

What Happens When You Don’t Run Your Pool Pump For A Long Time?

If you don’t run your pool pump and filter for a long period of time, there will be no way for your algae and bacteria to get removed from the pool. The amount of chlorine in your pool will decrease until it no longer can protect you from growth. This will turn your pool water green, yellow, or even brown.

If the color alone doesn’t dissuade you from going for a dip, the bacteria will. Bacteria left in a pool in that high quantity can cause skin rashes, infections, and even stomach sicknesses if you ingest it. Since the water will be all around you, it’s generally not a good idea to swim near it.

How Do You Keep Your Pool Clean Without A Pump?

I want to emphasize that you really do need a pump in order to get your pool clean. However, if you plan on keeping your pump off for a longer period of time, you should increase the levels of chlorine in your pool to 3 to 4 ppm. This will help act as an algae and bacteria killer when your pool doesn’t have the means to filter it out itself.

What Should You Do If You Left Your Pool Pump Off For Months?

Believe it or not, many homes turn off their pool pumps for prolonged periods of time when swimming season ends. It’s actually a common way to handle pool usage pauses. So, if you leave your pump off for a longer period of time, don’t worry. Chances are that your pool is going to be A-OK in terms of its structure.

However, that doesn’t mean your pool will be safe to swim in right off the bat. To make sure that your pool will be good to swim in, you will need to shock your pool and start running the pumps. You may also want to vacuum the bottom of your pool and triple-check the levels of all chemicals before you get your bathing suit on. Professional pool treatments are highly suggested.

How Long Does It Take For Your Pool’s Chlorine To Restore Your Water After Not Pumping It?

Let’s say that you had your pool’s pump turned off for two weeks. Or a month. Or maybe two months. I understand that life gets in the way. With a little chlorine, you will be able to swim in your pool without issue. The hard part, of course, is that you may have to wait until the chlorine actively kills off all the germs and gunk in the pool.

Most of the time, you will be able to safely swim in your pool after a week of the chlorine doing its job. For that reason alone, we strongly encourage people to plan for this ahead of time. After all, summer parties are kind of a drag if you have to tell people that the pool isn’t ready yet.

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Related Questions

Can you swim in a pool that has no chlorine in it?

Yes and no. For the most part, chlorine is the go-to cleaner of all pools. Even saltwater has chlorine in it. However, there are chlorine alternatives on the market. The most common ones include ionizers, ozonators, and bromine. Regardless of what you choose, you absolutely have to have something that keeps your poolwater stable and sanitary if you want to actually swim in it. It’s a safety matter.

How long should you leave a pool pump on?

If you want to make sure that your pool pump is able to effectively clean your pool, then you will need to leave it on for a minimum of eight hours. Assuming that you got the right pump size for your pool, this should give you enough time for all the water to have gone through a single pass through the pump. Of course, if you want to leave it on longer, you can. It will not harm the quality of your pool water to do so.

How long should your pool pump motor last?

As long as you take care of your pool well, your pool pump motor should be able to last at least a decade. Most pumps on the market will be able to survive between 10 to 12 years before the thought of replacement ever creeps into the conversation. In some cases, you might be able to get as much as 15 to 18 years out of them, though that’s rare.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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