How Many Hours a Day Should I Run My Pond Pump?

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You may be tempted to turn your pond pump off at certain times...

Like at night, for example.

After all, they do incur operating costs and if you don't need it to run, why bother...

But, before you unplug the lifeline of your pond, let's look at why you might want to reconsider!

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Do I Need To Run My Pond Pump All The Time?

Your pond's pump should run 24 hours a day to allow the pond's water to circulate through the filter, provide vital oxygen to the water, and create water movement.

In other words:

  • If your pond has fish, they may rely on the oxygen created by the pump. And the depletion of oxygen could lead to your fish becoming stressed and ill or even death. Even if you don’t have fish, the moving water helps release dangerous gases and take-in vital oxygen improving proper gas exchange.
  • Your pond pump needs to run for your filtration system to work properly.
  • The water movement created by your pump helps keep debris suspended in the water and eventually gets sucked in the filter and/or the pond skimmer. Without this, the debris has more of a chance of sinking to the pond’s floor and eventually becoming a food source for troublesome algae.

But, Can I Turn My Pond Pump Off At Night?

It might be intriguing to save a little money each month by turning off your pump at certain times, but it could lead to more issues (and cost more money) in the long run if you routinely turn your water pump off.

And this is especially true at night, when algae and plants use the oxygen in your pond for respiration, instead of creating it!

So, again, you should leave your pond pump running 24 hours a day, especially through the night.

Do I Need To Keep My Pond Pump Running In Winter?

If you live in a climate where the pond water doesn’t freeze, then you can safely keep the pump running during the winter. However, if water temperatures really take a dip and it does freeze, then you will want to turn the pump off and remove it from the water.

Water freezing in your pump can cause cracks and damage the seals, which in turn can expose the electrical components of the pump to your pond's water. This is very bad for obvious reasons. Check out our guide title Are Submersible Pond Pumps Safe for more important safety tips!

If you plan on removing the pump during the winter, that would be a good time to give it a thorough cleaning, so it’s ready to go again in Spring. We also recommend storing the pump in a bucket of fresh water where it won’t freeze, like in your basement. This will help the seals from drying up and cracking during the winter.

did you knowImportant

If you have pond fish, you'll want to make sure you keep a hole in the ice during winter to allow for proper gas exchange. A pond heater can help with that. Plus, you may want to read our guide on how to keep pond fish alive in winter.

Danner Manufacturing Floating Pond De-Icer, 120w

Danner Manufacturing Floating Pond De-Icer, 120w

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Do Pond Pumps Use A Lot Of Electricity?

Pond pumps have come a long way as far as energy efficiency is concerned. But, they do still require a certain amount of electricity and incur monthly operating costs, unless you are running a solar-powered pond pump.

While "a lot of electricity" could mean different things to different people, you can calculate how much electricity your pump uses, and subsequently the monthly operating cost, to see if it's within your acceptable range.

Step 1: Multiply the pumps wattage X the average daily run time in hours = Daily Usage

Step 2: Daily Usage / 1000 = kWh usage per day

Step 3: kWh usage per day X days in month = kWh monthly usage

Step 4: kWh monthly usage X cost of 1 kWh on your latest electric bill = Monthly Operating Cost

For example, a pond pump operates at 200 watts, running 24 hours a day in a 30 day month, with electricity costs of .12 per 1 kWh.

  1. 200w X 24 hours/day = 4,800
  2. 4,800 / 1,000 = 4.8 kWh usage per day
  3. 4.8 X 30 = 144 kWh monthly usage
  4. 144 X .12 = 17.28

The pump's monthly running cost would be $17.28.

If you have a small to medium-sized pond (500 gallons or less), the Pond Boss Pump & Filter Kit only costs $1.66 per month on average! And it made our best pond pump in 2023 list!

Pond Boss Pump & Filter Kit

Pond Boss Pump & Filter Kit

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Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.