Before making the large investment of installing a swimming pool, it is important to be aware of the ongoing costs. These include things like chemicals, equipment maintenance, replacement parts, and utility costs. They also include the cost of potential repairs that could be necessary. Let’s go through each one of these.
In order to maintain a pool, several different types of chemicals are required. A test kit that can be used to check the water is also necessary and the test solutions in it will need periodic replacement. These are recurring costs that depend on the size of your pool, except for the cost of the test kit and replacement solutions. All costs may vary depending on where you live and where you purchase your supplies.
- Testing kit: $15 for the kit; $8 for replacement chemicals
- Chlorine tablets: $60 to $70 for 25lbs
- Liquid chlorine: $7.50 for 2 gallons
- Muriatic acid: $7.70 per gallon
- Soda ash: $8 for 6lbs
Muriatic acid and soda ash are used to adjust the pH of your pool, which is very important for maintaining water quality. There are other chemicals that are sometimes used to maintain pools, such as algaecides, but these will vary depending on the needs of your individual pool.
Equipment Maintenance and Replacement Parts
Every pool will have some costs associated with the equipment. Most filters will require some type of replacement cartridges or media. If you do not plan to hire a pool maintenance company, you will also need to purchase a skimmer, pool vacuum, and brush.
- Cartridge filters: $7 to $75 per cartridge, depending on type and size
- Sand filters: $12 for 50lbs of sand
- Diatomaceous earth filters: $20 for 25lbs
- Skimmer: $7
- Pool vacuum: $20 for manual, $200 to $600 for an automatic version
Physical Maintenance Costs
There are a number of tasks that you can choose to do, or not do, by yourself when you own a swimming pool. Doing it yourself will help keep costs down, but it does require an investment of your time. The other option is to hire someone to perform these tasks for you. Regular pool maintenance is not extensive, but it is important.
- Testing and balancing the water
- Skimming the surface
- Brushing the sides of the pool
- Cleaning the filter
- Maintaining the water level
The average national cost of hiring someone to maintain your pool for you is $75 to $100 an hour. Sometimes this includes the cost of chemicals and testing equipment, while other times these cost extra.
Monthly Utility Costs
The equipment required to keep your pool in good shape requires electricity to run. Pool pumps come in different versions, including single-speed and 2-speed (or variable-speed) options. Usually, a 2-speed pump will be run continuously at low speed during the swimming season. Single-speed pumps run on high whenever they are on, so they are typically turned on and off frequently or put on a timer.
Heating systems for pools can be electrical, gas, or propane-powered. Electrical heat pumps are a relatively efficient way to heat or cool your pool, while electrical resistance heaters are very inefficient. However, the most important actual determining factor in how much you pay to heat or cool your pool is the local weather, including temperature and humidity.
- A 2-speed pool pump costs approximately $30 to $50 per month to run
- A single-speed pool pump costs approximately $75 to $150 per month
- Electrical heat pump costs vary widely, but are usually within the range of $50 to $250 per month
- Electrical resistance heaters are expensive to run: expect to pay $500 to $600 a month
- Gas heaters are in the middle, typically costing $200 to $300 per month to run
Potential Repair Costs
Repair costs for swimming pools vary immensely. If you hire a bad builder, some unlucky pools will need major repairs in the first year of their existence, while most will need only minor repairs for many years. Given this variability, it is hard to estimate repair costs, but the national average is $601. Most pool repairs fall within the $200 to $1,000 range.
- Quick repair on a vinyl liner pool: $20
- Complete replacement of vinyl liner: $1,700
- Refinishing a fiberglass liner: $300
- Repairing a crack in a concrete pool: $65 per linear foot
- Minor plumbing repair DIY: $20
- Major plumbing repair by professional: $350
- Replacement of leaking plumbing by a professional: $1,000
Of course, any major repair that requires the pool to be drained must consider the cost of refilling it. Because the costs of water vary so widely from one area to another, an average would be fairly useless to most people. In order to determine how much it will cost to refill your pool, you will need to find out how much water costs per gallon in your area, and whether there are any fees associated with using the kind of volume necessary to fill a swimming pool.
Summing it all up, if you just look at the expected costs (unexpected being repairs and such), the average cost of maintaining a swimming pool in the U.S. is $230 per year, plus electrical costs (anywhere from $50 to $500 a month). The average range is $122 to $363. However, the amount that you will spend on your pool depends greatly on how much you plan to do yourself and how much you will be hiring professionals to take care of, as well as things like how many repairs your pool does or does not need. Just shoot us a note and we can tell you how much supplies and labor in your area run!