Pool Pump Basics: Should You Run Your Pump in the Rain?

pool equipment outdoors

Pool pumps are designed to withstand rain, and it is advantageous to run your pump during or after a rainstorm. So if you’re wondering if you should run your pump on the rain, the straight answer is Yes! if you want to keep your pool in good condition, you can run the pump while it’s raining as a general rule. 

However, there are some circumstances in which water can cause damage to your pool’s pump. 

Rain can alter the chemical composition of water, such as the pH and alkalinity, and add dirt and debris. Yet, sticking to your normal pumping and filtering schedule will usually have only a minor impact unless there is a lot of rain. 

Is it ever a good idea to run your pool pump in the rain?

When it’s raining, it’s perfectly safe to run your pool pump – most of the time. Running your pool pump while it is raining should not impair the pump’s ability to do its job.

However, this could be an issue if you have drainage issues where the pool pump is installed. Pool pumps are typically waterproof and designed to withstand rain and splashes, but they are not intended to be submerged in standing water.

Therefore, it is most safe to leave the pool pump running in light rain (if the manufacturer declares rainwater safe for the pump and you have no drainage issues). 

What happens if you don’t run the pump in the rain?

It is not necessary to run the pool pump while raining. While doing so helps to keep the pool clean during the rain, you may still need to take additional cleaning steps once the rain has stopped.

Whether you run the pump in the rain or not, you must follow these steps. Because you will need to run the pump after the storm has passed, you should consider not running it during the rain to save energy.

Many people do not make any changes to their pool pump schedule because it usually runs independently. This means that the pump may or may not be turned on during the rain.

After all, if you’re at work and it starts raining, and the pool pump is set to turn off, will you leave work to go home and turn it on? I believe so.

But, in this day and age of smart technology, you might be able to turn the pump on and off with your cell phone.

Should I run my pool pump when it rains?

If you own a pool, you’re probably curious about the best practices for maintaining the proper chemical balance in the water, particularly when it rains. You might wonder what chemicals to add after the rain stops when you should clean the pool after the rain, and whether or not to run the pool pump.

Running your pool pump while it is raining will not cause any electrical components to fail and will not harm the pump or your pool.

By running the pump during the rain, you will be mixing the water in the pool even more and cleaning it by pushing debris through the skimming basket, trapping debris, and then the filter, trapping dust and smaller dirt.

If the rain was particularly heavy, you might be able to get ahead on the post-rain by running the pump during it.  

Advantages of Running a Pool Pump During a Rainstorm

  • Circulate and mix the rainwater with the existing pool water. 
  • Filter out any impurities in the water (this is critical!). 
  • By removing and filtering organic matter, it aids in controlling algae (algae food).
  • Because rainwater is generally acidic, it can lower the pool’s pH, requiring you to adjust it later.

Notes!  If your pool only receives additional water from rain, it isn’t a big deal, but if your garden floods and rainwater enters the pool from there, it could cause a bigger problem.

What Effects Does Rain Have on Your Pool?

Rainwater is notorious for being contaminated. Bacteria, dirt, acid, and other contaminants can all make their way into your pool when it rains. They dribble in with the seemingly innocuous raindrops and begin to spread and contaminate the pool water.

Rain alters the pH levels of water

The pH of water is a measure of its acidity. pH levels that are too low or too high indicate that the water may not be safe to swim in. Incorrect pH can cause skin and eye irritation and reduce the effectiveness of chlorine in killing bacteria and algae.

Heavy rain can significantly alter the pH. pH imbalances in your pool cause the following symptoms: Acidic Water (not good for swimmers and can corrode pool equipment)

Basic water (high pH causes scale and staining and is, therefore, unsuitable for swimming)

Rain introduces contaminants into the pool, such as bacteria, bugs, soils, pesticide run-off, phosphates, and so on. Rain run-off from the garden surrounding your pool, the deck, or the pool itself all introduces dirt, debris, and bacteria.

Extra contaminants mean you’ll need to filter your water more frequently, and your pool’s chlorine demand will be higher. In other words, during and after rain, run your filter more frequently and add more chlorine.


When your pool is flooded or overflowing, the sanitizing chemicals’ concentration has decreased because the rain has “watered” them down. It also means that the cleaning chemicals are being spread throughout your pool area, potentially causing further damage to your garden and lawn.

Is it necessary to keep your pool pump running after it rains?

Running your pool pump after rained is necessary to clean any debris and impurities in the water caused by heavy rainfall. Running your pool pump and filter for 24 hours after a storm will give you enough time to filter the water multiple times.

As previously stated, heavy rainfall can cause a slew of issues with your pool. Before getting back in the water:

  • Check the pH levels.
  • Add sanitizer if necessary.
  • Keep the pool pump running to ensure the water is safe for swimming.


Running your pool pump in light rain will have little effect on how your pool pump works. If the manufacturer of your pool’s pump has declared it rain safe, you can leave it running in the rain.

Nonetheless, it is strongly advised that you turn off and unplug your pool pump during a thunderstorm to avoid costly and irreversible damage to your pool equipment.

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