How long should a spa pump run per day?

Swimming pool maintenance is crucial to keep your spa or swim spa in tip-top shape all year round. The circulation pump in your hot tub is the easiest, most efficient way to keep your spa clean. For that reason, it’s not a good idea to reduce the preset schedule for your spa’s pump if you’re trying to save money on power.

Ideally, your spa pool pump will run for at least four hours, twice a day, but it’s okay for the pump to run longer. Below, we explain a bit more about what your spa pool’s pump does and why it’s important.


What does the pump in a spa pool do?

Most spa pools and swim spas are equipped with what’s known as a circulation pump (circ pump or hush pump). As the name suggests, this pump is designed to circulate the water in your pool. That is, the pump ensures water is run through the filtration system regularly, and that heat is evenly distributed throughout the water.

A working pump is crucial for your spa pool’s maintenance and operation. Not only does the pump keep your water clean and warm, but it also pushes higher pressure water through the jets to provide therapeutic hydromassage. Some spa pools come equipped with two different speed pumps, with a low flow pump for filtration and a higher speed pump to deliver serious jet action.

Often, spa pool pumps will come with preset functions to ensure proper water maintenance with little-to-no intervention from you. This will mean it is either constantly running in the background, or starts up for a few hours at a time throughout the day.


Why do I need the pump in my spa to run?

There are a few key reasons why you need your spa pump running. The most obvious to you will be the spa pool jets. If your pump isn’t running, neither are your jets, and you’re not getting the hot tub experience you’ve paid for.

Perhaps more importantly, your hot tub pump stops water from stagnating. Wherever your spa is, all sorts of bacteria will be doing their best to enter it. A spa pool is a warm, wet environment that is perfect for breeding bacteria, algae and insects like mosquitoes. Think of a bucket of water: If you leave it outside for long enough, it will attract insects and start to grow all manner of muck.

The same applies to your hot tub if the pump isn’t running. Even with regular sanitation using chemicals like chlorine, you need your circulation pump to ensure those chemicals are evenly distributed throughout the spa pool. This is key to having a hygienic, warm and luxurious hot tub experience at home.


Can I run my hot tub pump less often?

It’s best to leave your hot tub with the manufacturer’s recommended pump cycles, even if that means the pump is running 24/7. Believe it or not, constant low flow pump action can be cheaper to run than turning on the pump each time you want to use the pool.

Not only does frequent and regular pump usage keep your hot tub clean, it keeps the water warm and evenly heated. Each time you want to use your hot tub, you’ll want the pump to have been working for a little while so that there aren’t cold spots in the water.

While constant circulation may seem like it would be expensive to run, it’s likely to be less expensive than if you were to run short bursts of intensive high-energy pumping each time you use your spa.

You can save energy from your hot tub pump by ensuring the hot tub sits at about 5 degrees cooler while not in use. This means you won’t require a big burst of energy to bring the pool to temperature when you’re ready to take a dip, but you’re likewise not using the full energy of the pump 24/7.

Another great way to save money on your spa pool running costs is to invest in smart technology such as smart pumps or dynamic variable heaters.


Common hot tub pump problems

If your pump is behaving strangely, it’s worth checking if it’s still in good working condition. Below are a few common issues you might encounter with your spa pool pump.

My spa pool pump is very loud

If the pump is louder than usual, it’s possible this is a sign of something wrong. High quality, modern pumps are designed to be as quiet as possible. If you notice the pump is much louder, or there are any unusual sounds like popping or banging, turn the pump off and contact mySpa Sydney to request a service.

This issue is likely due to bad bearings, becoming unbalanced, scale deposits, or air in the pump lines.

My spa pool pump isn’t circulating water well

You may notice cold spots in the water, or find that your jets aren’t as strong as they have been in the past. In this case, it’s likely the spa pool filter needs cleaning or replacing. Ideally, the filter should be cleaned every month.

If the filter is clean, it’s possible that water hardness is creating an issue. That said, most water in Sydney is considered to be soft. Water hardness is more likely to be an issue for South Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland.

My spa pool pump isn’t running at all

Sometimes, a pump can give up the ghost if it’s old or faulty. If the pump doesn’t run at all, the best place to start looking is your control panel. You’ll most likely see an error code such as FLO or OH. These are signs of a dead pump.

Check that the power is on and all valves are open. Follow the pipes to the pump and check for any kinks. If there are no obvious causes for this issue, get in touch with mySpa Sydney to request a service.


Get spa pool support from mySpa Sydney

If you’re having difficulties with your spa pool, head on over to our service request form to order a replacement, chemicals for your spa, warranty cover or personalised support from an authorised technician. We’ll be happy to help so you can get back to soaking in your spa pool.