How Long Can a Pool Go without a Pump

Most pool owners are not very familiar with how long a pool can go without a pump. Swimming pools require constant maintenance and sometimes repairs to keep the water clean. The pump sitting at the bottom of the pool is responsible for circulating water through the filter. 

What if the pump gets defective and left untreated for a week? Or What if you are on a vacation and can’t run the pump for weeks? Whatever the reason is, the question is- how long can a pool go without a pump?

Is it possible to use a swimming pool without running a pump for a week? Or how can you treat your swimming pool to keep its water quality in good condition? We know you are interested in knowing about all these factors. That’s why we are available here to answer you.

What Does a Pool Pump Do?

Don’t be a fool by thinking the swimming pool pump works to only circulate the water. It does more than just circulate water. A pool pump controls the temperature of the pool and keeps it at a constant level, so.  It also removes chemical residue from the water. Just after turning on the pump, it starts moving water and pushes air through a pool filter. This filter catches all the debris of the pool water and makes the pool free of any debris and clean.

So, if there is no water circulation through the filter all dirt particles will remain in the pool water, and eventually will clog it. Without a pool pump, the temperature of the water will increase, and gradually bacteria, algae, and scales will start growing on the pool walls. In a saying, the swimming pool is gonna be stagnant and unworthy of swimming in it. 

If you want to swim you have to drain or refill the pool with fresh water on a regular basis. 

How long can a pool go without a pump?

A pool can go without a pump only for a few days or a week and is still safe to swim in it. It can go longer than this if left without swimming.

But this isn’t the simple answer maybe you expected because how long a pool can go without a pump depends on various things like the temperature of the water, weather situation, and how clean it was when the pump stopped. 

If the chemical level was right when the pump stopped, it can go for a week and you can swim. Regarding this, you can add liquid chlorine to maintain the perfect chlorine level in your pool. Dilute the chlorine at least 10 to 1 in a bucket before adding it to your pool, and brush the swimming pool evenly. 

But if it is not in the right condition you have to stop swimming in it and try other maintenance or alternatives of pool pumps to maintain the water quality and save the pool.

You should do a regular test of your pool water to establish a perfect chemical level. You should have a good pool test kit for doing this job.

Therefore, you can put the pool cover over your pool if the system or filtration pump is off, which will protect your swimming pool. 

How to Circulate Pool Water Without a Pump

With the rise of in-ground pools, many people are wondering how to circulate pool water without a pump, because having a broken pump is a common issue every pool owner faces. 

There are some different options to use as alternatives to the pool pumps to circulate the pool water. But we just can’t pick any name without doing basic research into the different available options. 

A swimming pool pump is an integral part of a swimming pool circulation system. It clears waste and debris from pool water, and pushes the water into the filter to mix the chemicals, and back out again. 

When the pump is not running, the water won’t move and the water will lose its quality. Some pool owners think maybe adding some chemicals will work, but they are wrong. Using only chemicals can’t bring fortune or be fruitful to you. Because if the water stops moving you can’t expect the chemicals to mix properly with the water, then how can you be sure chemicals can do the magic?

To keep the water clean and ready to swim you can use the below alternatives. 

Shop Vacuum

A shop vacuum is a perfect alternative to the pool pump. It will remove dirt and debris from the pool, especially those small floating particles that look like dead leaves. circulate it back to your filter and make the water clear. 

So what you need to do is to get the best shop vac pump and use it whenever necessary or when your water starts getting cloudy, so the dirt won’t settle in there again.

Submersible Pump

A Submersible pump or sump pump is one of the best temporary alternatives if your pump is broken. Just drop it in your pool and keep the other end above the surface. This will keep the water circulation active.

Move the sump pump to different areas from time to time, which will ensure balanced circulation.

Robotic Pool Cleaner

If you own a robotic pool cleaner, you can get the best output from it in this emergency situation. Just keep it running on a daily basis for a balanced chemical level.

There are other alternatives if you don’t own the above solutions. Slower liquid chlorine dispensing, swishing water with a pool brush, telescopic pool, garden shovel or with other pool equipment, etc.

How to Keep a Pool Clean without a Pump

A failure in the pump can cause serious problems. Without a pump, a pool can’t go for a long time, but if you are ready to do proper maintenance it can go for weeks. How? We will tell you below.

The best way to keep a pool clean is to regularly add some chemicals into the water and do a chlorine shock in your pool to keep the chlorine level balanced. This will help in maintaining the water quality and also ensure that no algae growth in your pool. 

To achieve this, you can use chemical additives or chlorine tablets which are added manually to your swimming pool.  The chemical additives will help in removing the bad bacteria from your pool water and also protect it against algae growth.

Another way is to use a pool vacuum to remove debris from your swimming pool. This device is used to suck out the debris that is in the pool and also helps in maintaining its water quality.

If you have a small swimming pool, then it is advisable to use a manual skimmer vacuum to remove the debris from your swimming pool. 

In case you are not able to use any of the above-mentioned methods, then you can also try using a vacuum pump. This device is also useful to remove the debris from your swimming pool.


A pool pump is a very useful tool to keep your pool clean and healthy. It helps circulate the water in the pool, which makes it easier for you to maintain proper water balance. But sometimes the pool pump is broken or unusable, that time you may be worried about how long your pool can go without a pump?

To lower your worries we have answered the question roaming in your mind. We hope our article clears your questions and helps you in maintaining the pool water quality without a pool pump.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.