Understanding the ‘Recirculate’ Function on Your Pool Pump: A Guide to Efficient Maintenance

Ever wondered about that ‘recirculate’ setting on your pool pump? You’re not alone. Many pool owners find themselves puzzled by this feature, unsure of its purpose or when to use it. But don’t worry, we’re here to clear the waters for you.

In essence, the recirculate function plays a crucial role in your pool’s maintenance, helping to keep it clean and fresh. But how exactly does it work, and why should you care? Let’s dive in and explore the ins and outs of this often misunderstood pool pump feature.

Key Takeaways

  • The ‘recirculate’ function on a pool pump plays an essential role in pool maintenance, circulating water without going through the filter, thus allowing faster distribution of chemicals and bypassing any blockages in the filter.
  • Over-usage of the recirculation function can result in dirty pool water as it bypasses the filtration process; therefore, it’s recommended for specific situations such as chemical application and diagnosing filter problems.
  • The ‘Recirculate’ setting, while beneficial for quick water circulation, does not replace regular filtration. Continual use of ‘Recirculate’ leads to the build-up of unfiltered, dirty water.
  • Understanding different pool pump settings, including ‘Filter’, ‘Backwash’, and ‘Waste’, can help maintain your pool effectively under different circumstances.
  • The recirculate setting offers energy efficiency by allowing water flow with reduced resistance, resulting in less power usage by the pump.
  • Regular maintenance, including daily water chemistry checks and periodic pump basket cleaning, is critical to a pool pump’s optimal performance, especially when using the ‘Recirculate’ mode.

Understanding Pool Pump Settings

In managing your pool effectively, understanding how pool pump settings work becomes imperative. One crucial setting that guarantees the freshness and cleanliness of your pool is the ‘recirculate’ mode. Now, let’s dive in and elucidate more about this powerful mechanism.

The Role of “Recirculate” in Pool Maintenance

Simply put, the ‘recirculate’ function bypasses the filter system of your pool pump. During this operation, the water in your pool circulates without going through the filter. Specifically, the water gets pumped back into the pool instantly after it’s drawn from the pool, skipping the filtration process.

Consider using the recirculate mode when you’ve added pool chemicals and desire quick distribution throughout the pool water. Additionally, if you detect a blockage in your filter but still want your pool water to move, switch the pool pump to the recirculate setting.

Note, however, that extended usage of the recirculation setting can lead to dirty pool water since the filtration process is bypassed. It’s recommended to only use ‘recirculate’ in specific situations, outlined clearly in the table below. During this time, check the floors around your pool for any signs of leaks or issues that might arise. For safety, ensure that shoes worn near the pool area are non-slip to prevent accidents. Be mindful of mirrors and reflective surfaces around the pool, as they can cause glare and visibility issues. It’s also worth checking the roofs of poolside structures for any damage or wear that might need attention.

SituationPool Pump Setting
Chemical application in the poolRecirculate

To ascertain the optimal usage of the recirculate setting on your pool pump, it’s critical you understand its role and the suitable instances for its activation. By doing so, your pool maintenance regime becomes more efficient and effective.

How the “Recirculate” Setting Works

Circulation Without Filtration

The ‘Recirculate’ setting on a pool pump stands as a valuable setting—it circulates water, bypassing the filter system entirely. That is, in this mode, unfiltered water flows back straight into your pool. You’d typically find it helpful when facing certain conditions. For instance, if there’s a need to mix chemicals into pool water quickly, switching your pump to ‘Recirculate’ helps this mixture process rapidly. In case of a filtration system blockage, this setting redistributes water, preventing pump damage due to overload. But here’s a caveat: using ‘Recirculate’ mode over an extended period leads to dirty, unfiltered water, impacting pool hygiene negatively.

Comparison with Other Pump Settings

Against other pool pump settings, ‘Recirculate’ has its unique benefits and drawbacks. For example, the ‘Filter’ setting, the most common mode, cleans the water before returning it to the pool, maintaining optimum cleanliness. Comparatively, the ‘Recirculate’ setting doesn’t provide filtration—an aspect to consider when deciding the best setting to use. On the other hand, ‘Backwash’ performs a specific role by reversing the water flow to clean the filter. Meanwhile, ‘Waste’ sends water straight to the drain, useful in reducing water levels or removing dirty water rapidly. Consequently, understanding these various settings puts you in a superior position to handle different pool situations effectively.

Benefits of Using the Recirculate Setting

Using the recirculate setting on your pool pump comes with a couple of notable advantages. Whether it’s for improving energy efficiency or responding to specific pool situations, the recirculate setting proves beneficial. Let’s delve deeper into these benefits.

Energy Efficiency Considerations

Using the recirculate function helps save energy. When you set your pool pump to recirculate, it bypasses the filter system. This allows the water to flow with less resistance. As a direct result, the pool pump uses less effort, hence less power, to circulate water around your pool. In comparison, the filtration process often involves lots of resistance thus more energy usage.

It’s important to understand that using the recirculate mode exempts the filtration process. Even though it’s more energy-efficient, it isn’t always the best option for your pool’s cleanliness. So, knowing when to use it is key, which leads us to our next point.

Situations Best Suited for Recirculation

There are certain situations when it’s most beneficial to use the recirculate setting:

  • Treating Water with Chemicals: When adding chemicals to your pool, using the recirculate setting helps circulate these additives faster across the pool without being filtered out.
  • Diagnosing Filter Problems: If you suspect problems with your pool filter, setting the pump to recirculate can help you diagnose the issue. You can observe the circulation of the water, and if still weak, it might indicate a problem with the pump. In contrast, if the circulation improves, you might have a blocked filter.

Remember, while the recirculation setting has its advantages, it’s not a substitute for regular filtration. Prolonged use can lead to a buildup of debris and dirty water in your pool since it bypasses the filter.
Always switch back to the filter mode once you have achieved the desired result like evenly distributed chemicals or fixed filter issues. That way, you won’t compromise the cleanliness and safety of your swimming pool.

Maintenance Tips When Using Recirculate

Optimal pool pump performance hinges on regular maintenance. When using the ‘Recirculate’ mode, several upkeep measures come into play. They promote the longevity of your pool pump and optimal pool water conditions.

Regular Checks and Balances

Check your pool water chemistry daily. Regular, consistent testing allows for immediate adjustments, preventing any major water imbalance. Use a reliable pool testing kit that gives readings for pH levels, chlorine levels, and alkalinity in the pool. If your tests reveal drastic chemical imbalances, it’s beneficial to switch your pump to ‘Recirculate’ mode. That’s because, in this mode, the pump can evenly distribute chemicals faster, tackling water quality issues promptly.

Also, monitor your pool pump’s functioning. Check the pump basket for debris and clean it periodically. It ensures your pump remains in good working condition, even during ‘Recirculate’ mode operation.

Bear in mind that while the ‘Recirculate’ feature is helpful in certain circumstances, it is not a replacement for the filter system’s regular operation. After utilizing the ‘Recirculate’ mode, it’s critical to revert to normal filtration. It prevents debris build-up and preserves the cleanliness of your pool water.

By adhering to these measures, you’ll sustain not only the quality of your pool water but also the durability of your pool pump. It’s all about striking the right balance – understanding when to use the ‘Recirculate’ mode, and how to maintain your pool pump and water conditions effectively.


So, you’ve learned the ropes of the ‘Recirculate’ mode on your pool pump. It’s a handy tool for quick chemical distribution and troubleshooting filter issues. But remember, it’s not a substitute for regular filtration. You’ve got to flip back to filter mode after using ‘Recirculate’ to avoid debris accumulation and keep your pool sparkling clean. Stay on top of your pool water chemistry and keep that pump basket squeaky clean. By striking this balance, you’ll ensure your pool water remains top-notch and your pump stands the test of time. It’s all about understanding your pool pump settings and using them wisely for efficient pool maintenance. So go ahead, make the most of the ‘Recirculate’ mode, but don’t forget your maintenance practices. Happy swimming!

Understanding the recirculate function on your pool pump can significantly enhance maintenance efficiency by circulating water without passing it through the filter. This function is particularly useful for evenly distributing chemicals or when performing tasks like pool shocking. For an in-depth explanation of how to use this feature effectively, check out Pool Tips USA.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the significance of understanding pool pump settings?

Understanding pool pump settings, particularly the ‘Recirculate’ mode, helps in efficient pool maintenance. It improves the quality of pool water, ensures the durability of the pump, and facilitates quicker chemical distribution.

What does ‘Recirculate’ mode do?

‘Recirculate’ mode bypasses the filter system. This aids in rapid chemical distribution and can be useful in diagnosing and resolving filter problems without hampering the water circulation.

How to maintain pool pump performance?

Regular checks of the pool water chemistry, monitoring the pump’s functioning, and periodic cleaning of the pump basket are crucial to maintain the pool pump’s performance.

Should ‘Recirculate’ replace regular filtration?

No, the ‘Recirculate’ mode is beneficial in specific scenarios, but it should not replace regular filtration. Switching back to filter mode after using ‘Recirculate’ is important to prevent unfiltered debris accumulation in the pool.

What are the after-effects of using ‘Recirculate’ mode?

After using ‘Recirculate’ mode, switching back to the filter mode is crucial to prevent debris buildup and maintain pool cleanliness. It’s important to balance the use of ‘Recirculate’ mode with proper maintenance practices to ensure the best results.