Your swimming pool maintenance cost will vary depending on the size of your pool, hardware, system, additional hardware and if you plan on looking after your own pool. The do-it-yourself approach is an option for handy pool owners that are willing to put the time in and are familiar with the basics of pool chemistry. An alternative option is to hire a professional pool service that will maintain your pool on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis.
Whether you already own a pool, are in the market for a pool or have purchased a home with an existing pool it's nice to know how much it's going to cost to keep a pool running smoothly all season long. The cost to maintain a pool is often overlooked until the bills add up, resulting in either the pool not getting used or owners giving up all together to the point where the pool is left dirty and covered.
The good news is that any pool can be maintained by an owner that is willing to put a bit of time into learning a few important basics. The most complicated task will be balancing chemistry which can be managed with a good pool test kit and balancing chemicals. Looking after the hardware and other parts of the pool system can be managed easily as well with proper maintenance.
In addition to chemistry and knowledge of your pool system, it will take a bit of elbow grease to keep your pool clean and free of dirt and debris. If you haven't already done so, be sure to read our page all about salt water pool maintenance that has a lot of helpful tips including a maintenance checklist.
Let's take a look at some estimates of how much it costs to purchase a new pool and hardware so you have an idea of replacement costs. We'll go over how much it costs to look after your own pool, making owning a pool very affordable. Finally we'll go over the estimated costs for hiring a pool service professional to maintain your pool including balancing chemistry and repairing hardware.
We'll first take a quick look at what it will cost you for the average new pool in North America. It's important to keep in mind that these estimates will vary with; geographic location, size of pool, hardware and additional accessories. After you have a good idea of the initial investment required for a new pool we'll go over the average swimming pool maintenance cost for; chemicals, replacement parts, repairs and professional pool services.
Above Ground Pool
Above Ground: $2,000-10,000
With a typical swimming pool installation you can expect the following hardware and system components to be included in your estimate. We've listed the average values of each so you can get an idea of the cost breakdown as well as what you can expect to pay for additional pool accessories to make your pool more enjoyable or accessible.
Ladder and Steps
Salt System: $350-1,800
Ladder & Steps: $100-500
Diving Board: $300-800
The average cost for an above ground salt water pool including accessories is as follows. The initial investment is considerably lower due to the fact that there is less or no cost associated with ground preparation. Above ground pools are often smaller and are equipped with more affordable options when it comes to system components, hardware and accessories.
Pump and Filter
Ladder & Steps
Salt System: $100-500
Pump & Filter: $100-400
Ladder & Steps: $75-400
Diving Board: $300-800
Now that you have a good idea of the estimated costs of a new pool and a breakdown of the cost of hardware and accessories we'll take a look at the average swimming pool maintenance cost for a do-it-yourself pool owner. Use these numbers as a rough guide only as the cost can range significantly depending on many variables.
The average monthly cost for pool owners that maintain their pool without the assistance of a pool professional is the first thing we'll look at. The costs are based on average market value of products that you find online. It's important to note that products are significantly cheaper when purchased online versus a brick and mortar pool store. These averages are for cost of materials including balancing chemicals, shocks and other additives added by a pool owner.
Closing & Winterizing
If you have a salt water pool you can expect to be on the low end of these estimates because salt water is more stable and requires less chemicals to stay balanced. You also will never have to add chemical chlorine pucks because the pool cell creates chlorine by breaking down the salt water.
If you are planning on keeping your swimming pool maintenance costs down and balancing your pool on your own you should purchase a quality pool test kit. A good testing kit will provide accurate readings of the chemistry in your pool so you can make an informed decision about how to balance your pool.
In addition to balancing chemicals you should factor in that you will need to purchase devices that will help you carry out the manual portion of your pool maintenance. These minor expenses include cleaning devices like a skimmer, brush and cleaning solution.
A major expense is electricity that powers your entire system with the majority of the power consumption by the pump and heater depending on operation times. If you live in a cooler climate in Canada or extend your pool season you can expect this cost to be higher than a pool owner than lives in the southern United States. More information about pump sizing can be found by following the link.
We'll list the average cost you expect to pay on a yearly basis but of course these numbers will depend on your geographic location, pool usage and how well you maintain your pool.
Filter Replacement Parts
Wear & Tear
Filter Replacement: $25-100
Hardware Repairs: $0-1,500
Wear & Tear: $0-1,500
The cost of electricity fluctuates and varies significantly depending on where you are located and if you live an climate that requires a heater we recommend finding a heater that fits your budget. There are a variety of pool heaters on the market so it's worth taking some time to figure out what makes the most sense for you. Another money saving tip is to use a variable speed pool pump that will use up to 80% less energy than a one speed pump.
Swimming pool maintenance cost can vary significantly for different pool owners but hopefully this gives you an idea of what you can expect. If you manage your pool on your own you can keep costs quite manageable if you have the time, knowledge and patience.
If you find that you don't have time to manage your pool's upkeep a pool professional is a great option. A pool service technician will visit your home and keep you pool running smoothly all season long and take a lot of the guesswork and hassle out of keeping your pool healthy. The technician should be certified and knowledgable with all systems including chlorine generators to prevent mistakes that may end up leading to costly repairs down the road.
It's always important to ask your pool service provider what services are included in the estimate. In most cases you will receive a quote based on the size of your pool, system, additional features and how many hours they expect to spend at your residence. The estimate will often only include labour so you will need to factor in additional swimming pool maintenance costs for materials, repairs and balancing chemicals.
Weekly Service: $150-600
Bi-Weekly Service: $75-300
Monthly Service: $50-200
Pool Opening: $300-500
Pool Closing: $200-400
Every pool company is different and will provide varying services or specialize in certain systems or repairs. It's important to shop around and find one that suits your needs so you can find the most affordable option. In most cases you can get an up front quote for basic weekly or bi-weekly service and cleaning or special pool opening and closing packages.
The weekly, bi-weekly or monthly service will often include the following basic pool maintenance that will keep you pool running smoothly assuming there are no major upgrades or alterations needed:
In addition to basic pool maintenance your pool technical will provide recommendations for any addition work that might be needed. Any additional work will be charged separately and may include any of the following:
Pump & Motor Repair
Plumbing & Repair
Pool Inspection: $50-100
Pump & Motor Repair: $50-300
Heater Repair: $50-400
Plumbing & Repair: $50-300
Liner Repair: $50-150
Cover Repair: $25-100
You will find that almost every pool company will offer a pool opening package or start up bundle. It's the most important time of year for pool owners and the importance of getting your pool started properly can't be overstated. It's the most important swimming pool maintenance cost you will invest in so if you aren't comfortable with pool chemistry we recommend hiring a professional.
If you want to have an easy to open pool in the spring it's important to close or winterize your pool before it sits idle during the off season or winter. A pool that isn't prepared for the winter can very quickly develop algae and other unhealthy water issues that can be costly to fix. A good winterizing routine is just as important as pool opening and will include the following services.
If you have any questions about what a pool service company provides it's important to ask before you agree to anything. If you want to keep your swimming pool maintenance cost down you can do all or part of your pool upkeep but keep in mind that a healthy pool will ensure your family enjoys your investment and will also ensure that it lasts a long time without costly repairs.