Do You Run Pool Pump While Swimming?

You may be the owner of a swimming pool for the first time or you may be wandering if you’re actually doing the right thing with your pool. Whatever the circumstances this article will answer the question “Do you run pool pump while swimming?” once and for all.

do you run pool pump while swimming

Is It Safe to Swim While the Pool Pump Is Running? 

Pool safety is of course of extreme importance. A lot of new pool owners will wonder whether it is safe to swim when the pool pump is running (or not). 
Swimming while the pool pump is running is completely safe. In fact, the best thing to do is have the filter running while swimming. Otherwise, the skimmers will not be able to remove any bugs or debris from the pool surface. So you will be swimming with them. 
The following article will explain why you might want to run your pool pump while swimming. This is so you can decide for yourself what works best for you and your situation.  


The Benefits Of Running The Pool Pump While Swimming 

The Hassle Factor

It is common for people to run their pool pumps for at least eight hours a day. This is so that the filter system can work properly. 
The possibility of having to shut off the pool pump each time someone wanted to get into the pool should not be underestimated during the summer. Particularly if you have children who are constantly in and out of the pool.

Debris From Swimmers

The following items might be brought into the pool by swimmers: 

  • Mud, dirt or dust on their feet
  • Sunscreen 
  • Deodorant from their bodies 
  • Strands of hair

You may see these float on the surface and settle on other swimmers. This might happen if you do not run the pool pump so that the filtration and circulation systems are not operating. It is likely that much of this will be removed by the skimmers when the pump is run.

dirt from swimmers

To Remove Floating Debris 

Skimmers won’t work if you don’t run the pool pump while swimming or if you haven’t run it for a few hours before. If the skimmers are not working, floatable debris will not be removed from the surface of the pool. This means that bugs, leaves, or other debris will still be floating around while you are swimming. Therefore, I recommend that you run the pool pump, ideally 10 minutes prior to entering the pool to allow the skimmers to operate.

Filtering Dust

In addition to floating debris being removed by the skimmers when the pool pump is running, when people swim and splash about, any other debris on the bottom, such as dust, would probably also be disturbed. 
It will eventually be collected and filtered when the pump is running.

Swimming Pool Water Features 

If your pool has any features such as a waterfall, deck jets, built-in spa or bubblers, your pump needs to be running in order for them to work. 
In a pool fitted with a resistance swimming system, the same would be true. It wouldn’t make any sense to have any of these if you had to turn them off to go swimming.  

Main Drains Danger

A slight risk of being held by the main drain if swimming underwater over it is the only potential danger of swimming with the pool pump still running. The anti-vortex drain covers which are commonly referred to as anti-entrapment covers which all modern pools should be fitted with should prevent this from happening. 
The health and safety codes in many states and the federal law also require this. If you don’t have one, they can be purchased for a reasonable price. Most swimmers can dive to the bottom, unscrew the old one, and then screw in the new one. 

swimming pool anti-vortex drain cover

Public Swimming Pools 

The filtration systems in public swimming pools run constantly while the public uses them. 
Think about what the water will be like if the pool filter wasn’t running for 12 hours without interruption. With school classes coming and going, class sports involving swimming, water aerobics, and others swimming? It might end up looking like some sort of soup by the time the day is over.     

Does It Matter If The Pool Pump Isn’t Running If I Want To Swim? 

The pool pump can be turned off as long as it is in good working order and has been running recently. As I mentioned above, you may find yourself swimming with the occasional bug or some debris on the surface, which may not be a problem for you. Usually we swim at about 6 pm, which is when my pump is set to go off. 

I sometimes manually switch on the pump to keep the skimmers running when we get a lot of leaves in the pool during certain times of the year. While in the pool, I tend to spend half the time hunting for leaves and other objects so I can get them out if there is no pump running. 
Swimming in a pool that has a broken pump is probably not a good idea for more than a few days after its last run. The pool filtration system won’t have been used, so the water won’t be cleaned properly. Several years ago when ours broke, I did that while waiting for a new one to arrive. Just before swimming, I merely checked the pool chemistry.   

Is It Better To Run The Pool Pump On Low Or High When Swimming? 

That is a good question if your pump is variable speed.  
If I were you, I would base my decision on how much debris you are currently getting in your pool. The best thing is to use low if there are very few debris or dirt, but if it’s autumn or there’s a lot of leaves, you should use high. 

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