How Much Does it Cost to Maintain a Pool? — Expenses for In Ground, Above Ground Pools & More (2021)
Though attractive, swimming pools can rack up a ton of bills. How could swimming pools get so expensive?
Well, the cost to maintain a pool is high. Plus, there are repairs, and possible replacements as well.
Today, we’re jumping in. From price breakdowns to FAQs, we give you everything you need to know!
How Much Does It Cost To Maintain a Pool?
This is the common question of people interested in getting a pool. After the initial construction, you're wondering: how much does it cost to maintain a pool?
On average, your swimming pool can cost around $3000 to $5000 per year.
Costs of Different Types of Pools
An in-ground pool is one of the most popular options for homeowners. However, it can get quite expensive. Expect to pay, at most, $45,000.
Above Ground Pool
An above-ground pool can cost as much as $5,000, but the cheapest can go for as low as $1,500. However, this can vary with the kits, shape, and size you want.
If you're an indoor pool owner, congratulations!
You're saving a lot of money by protecting your pool water from the sun's harsh effects. It's around $40,000 to install, but it's much cheaper with maintenance.
Outdoor pools are at a disadvantage compared to this pool type as chemicals can alter under the UV rays.
With indoor swimming pools, you can just focus on regular chemical maintenance. Chemicals can cost around $15.
The results above are at a pretty high price if you include maintenance and repairs.
Breaking Down Estimate Maintenance Costs
Let's break down how we got that average below. There's more to a swimming pool than you might think!
Heaters usually have a few years in them before you have to replace them, so invest in a good one. The average cost is around $2000.
Of course, you can go cheaper (around $300), and the high-end ones can go up to $5000.
Cheap pool heaters have a higher chance of breaking. Regular pool heaters can break down after mineral build-up.
To save on maintenance costs, make sure to check clogged tubes and clean them out. Otherwise, you might need someone to disassemble, repair or reinstall it.
The water level must reach the minimum level for the skimmer basket intake tubes. After all, you don't want to break your pump!
Whether it's people splashing their way in or natural evaporation, keep the water levels in check. You can eyeball the level until you notice it's falling below the ideal level, or you can invest in a reader.
A water-level reader gives you a better visualization of the water level. Expect to pay at least $14.
Never forget the pH level when dealing with pool upkeep.
If your water is too acidic or too alkaline, your skin may react negatively. You can't see the pH balance, but you can feel it through the irritation you'll come away with!
Acidic water can destroy liners and equipment, while alkaline water can clog your filters.
For the best possible pH balance, it's important to consider testing water chemistry. After, you can add chemicals to neutralize the pH.
If you're hiring a pool maintenance company or technician, they already include adding chemicals to the overall cleaning fee.
If you prefer to do it yourself, set aside at least $100 as a generous budget just for balancing out the pH. In general, however, chemicals can cost up to $1000 per year.
That budget includes chlorine, muriatic acid, algaecides, clarifiers, and other preventive chemicals for your swimming pool.
Winterizing your pool technically means closing it up until the warmer days come. You also have to account for winterizing pool equipment as well.
Aside from cleaning the entire swimming pool, you need to bring down the pH and water level.
Remove water from equipment and plug them up - if not, consider blowing antifreeze through pool equipment and plumbing.
One of the more expensive pool maintenance costs involves using covers. You can look into solid, mesh, and automatic covers.
Standard winter covers are on the market, too. Their costs can go from $300 to $600.
If we can't avoid the monthly maintenance costs, we can't avoid the repairs needed for your swimming pool, either. We list some you must be aware of below.
Swimming Pool Motors
At most, a swimming pool motor can take up to $300. If there's only minimal damage, it can take up to $50.
Always match your voltage supply when getting a motor.
While paying for an electrician to install it for you may cost money, it's still the better option! You don't want to commit errors or injure yourself when installing any equipment.
In general, an in-ground pool filter can cost anywhere from $385 to $1600.
There are three kinds of filters you can look into: cartridge filters, sand filters, and diatomaceous earth filters.
Out of the three, diatomaceous earth filters are the most expensive to install and replace. Sand filters come in second as you also have to replace the sand inside.
Coincidentally, they are also the two most expensive repairs you can have with filters. Expect $400 to $1000 of repairs.
We recommend matching the size of your filters to your pumps. More often than not, problems arise when either one is in the wrong size and doesn't match up.
Leaks and Heating
We recommend getting fiberglass pool liners if you want little to no leaks. A vinyl liner pool can cost $200 to $2500, depending on the kind of damage the pool has.
In addition to the actual leak repair costs, vinyl liner pools and fiberglass pools may require drainage before the repair can happen. Drainage can cost $175 at least.
If you love swimming in a cold area or at night, it's best to have your heater checked out as part of pool maintenance. Heaters can have a variety of problems!
Low gas pressure, faulty vents and exhausts, rust, and loose plugs are just some of them.
How much does it cost? $100 is the lowest you can go. Costs can go up to $300, too.
Heaters can be expensive if you're considering replacement. We're talking $10,000 plus installation fees. With the high cost to maintain a pool already burning through your pocket, it's best to opt for repairs.
Liners and Covers
Sadly, nothing much can be done with liners. You have to replace them.
In-ground liners are cheaper, with around $5000 as their ceiling price. Above-ground liners can cost around $2000.
These numbers are just estimates of the base price. You have to factor in liner thickness, length, and if you're hiring someone to install it in your pool, how much labor can cost.
We previously mentioned covers in winterizing. The same costs apply here. Cleaning and replacing a pool cover can cost around $100 to $200.
DIY Cleaning and Professional Cleaning Services
Opening and Closing the Pool
The cheapest a professional can go when opening your pool is at $300. Depending on what's done during the opening, it can reach up to $500.
After lifting the cover - if you have one! - a lot of work goes into opening it up. The most obvious one is the cleaning. Your pool needs draining, skimming, and vacuuming!
If you want to know more about vacuuming, you can also check our page on the proper ways to vacuum above ground pool here.
Cleaning the cover comes at a whole different cost.
After refilling your pool, you have to reassemble filter systems and reinstall other equipment.
Then, you have to shock the pool water and add some chemicals. We can go more in-depth into each of these processes later.
After all that, however, you're all set! Have a pool party after the long process of pool cleaning.
Are you interested in closing the swimming pool for the winter? Factor in the winterizing costs. The same prices apply to pool closing.
The overall cost of cleaning depends on the cleaning frequency and type of pool. The price can go higher if you're hiring a pool service or a pool guy.
Some clean their pools once a week. When in heavy use, some do it multiple times a week. Some swear by a couple of times a month, while others just do it once.
Whatever you choose, we don't recommend waiting longer to clean your pool just to have a cheaper cleaning bill. It should highly depend on the activity. You can also opt use pool cleaners like the Aquabot Breeze XLS to regularly clean your pool
Salt Water Pools
A salt water pool may have different prices when it comes to pool cleaning services. Pool owners must focus on keeping the saltwater level in balance.
Test the waters first. The results can determine if you need to add chemicals to the water. Clean up salt cells and prioritize corrosion. The latter can lead to a lot of purchases later on.
While it's not exclusive to saltwater pools, it's a common problem. Corrosion can eat away at equipment! Check the bonding of your pool while you're at it.
Saltwater pools can cost around $100 a month. You can slash the prices if you do it yourself. Expect to spend $45 - $50.
Should You Hire A Professional Pool Service?
A skilled pool technician can keep your pool maintained, cleaned, and repaired. However, you may want to consider the knowledge and experience an established professional can bring.
The thing is, hiring a more expensive pool company doesn't guarantee results right away. Find out how much a regular pool cleaning service costs in your area.
Plus, the pool technician can have just as much experience as the professional.
Some may charge a fixed rate for some repairs and services, while some may charge you per hour of their cleaning service.
If you think your pool has minimal maintenance issues, you can be safe with a technician. If you have more large-scale cleaning needs, a professional maintenance service can benefit you.
If either one of the options doesn't work out, just switch and see the results. In time, you can find the ideal pool maintenance professionals for you and your pool.
You Can Go For DIY Methods
Just DIY most of what we mentioned above. It can, however, come at a cost - usually from the lack of experience and knowledge.
If you're confident in your research skills and think you can pull maintenance and cleaning by yourself, we don't see why not. Of course, you should have a proper knowledge on how to use a simple pool vacuum, too.
There are DIY kits at a range of prices, but you can also seek out the products yourself.
While at a cheap price, it will come with a time investment.
Why maintain a swimming pool if the cost is so high in the first place?
The cost to maintain is high for a reason. The pool maintenance cost is nothing against the medical bills you may need if you keep your swimming pools in poor condition.
If you're asking this, you might want to rethink your position. See if a pool, with all of its maintenance, is in your best interest.
We do have some tips:
#1 Learn Upkeep Yourself
Unless you hire a pool technician or company for every concern, you're going to do some of the work yourself. Pool work is even more of a consideration if you want to save more money.
You're not just putting in the labor. You're also going to do a lot of research. What can affect a chlorine pool? How much does water in your area cost per gallon, and how much does your pool need?
Consider the time and labor investment on your part. If not, you might be on the phone calling in professionals every other week. Paying either per hour or a fixed rate can cost a lot!
#2 Invest In Preventative Methods With Swimming Pool Maintenance
Prevention is better than cure. If it applies to humans, it can certainly apply to your pool.
For example, you can drastically decrease your water bill if you put a cover on the swimming pool. That way, not much will evaporate, and you're keeping it safe from UV rays.
#3 Repair, Don't Replace
Replacing your swimming pool tools and machinery is much more expensive compared to repairing them.
If you can still repair whatever damage there is to your equipment, do so. Replace equipment if the problem keeps presenting itself or if it's beyond saving. Try to save your one-time purchases.
Make sure you practice the best methods for your pool maintenance. That way, you can have your pool equipment for longer - and you don't have to keep shelling out money to cover any repair costs.
Consider liability insurance for any damage or injury that may happen in the pool area. It can increase your pool costs by $75 per month. However, this may depend on where you live as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to maintain a pool per month?
Maintaining a pool can cost anywhere from $200 to $400 per month. Keep in mind that closing and opening a pool is different from this number.
Aside from the swimming pool maintenance costs, you also have to consider the additional money you need to shell out for water and electricity.
How much does a pool increase your electric bill?
If you have pumps, pool filters, and a heating system, expect owning a pool to increase your electricity bills. You may see your electricity bill to have around $65 to $100 per month.
Does having a pool increase your water bill?
Yes! Filling up a pool is no joke. Plus, you have to refill it every now and then to account for the evaporation and splashing that will inevitably happen.
Depending on the pool activity, you may see a water bill hike from $4 to $40 per month.
We hope you enjoyed this pool maintenance cost guide! Do you own a pool, or planning to own one?
Did the prices scare you away? Don't worry - swimming pool costs can be worth it for home improvement and your personal enjoyment.
If you work on the pool regularly and install preventive equipment, then, you can drastically lower your costs.
Of course, everything is still up to you. We hope our estimates led you to the right decision! Have fun splashing away this summer.
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