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Budget , Spending

Cost of Maintaining a Pool: Everything You Need To Know


Warmer weather means more time spent by the pool. Whether swimming laps, reading a book or lounging on a floatie, there’s nothing quite like a revivifying dip in the pool to cool off on a hot day. 

But your pool, whether inground or above ground, doesn’t take care of itself.

So to ensure you’re not swimming in a pool of algae, you must put in some time and effort – ah, and money.

Maintaining a pool can be costly, and the price tag only goes up as the pool gets bigger. 

In addition to the initial pool installation costs, you have to factor in the cost of yearly maintenance, which includes everything from chemicals to repairs.

So, break out the sunscreen and dive in to learn about the costs of maintaining your pool.

Factors that Affect the Cost of Maintaining a Pool

As with any other home maintenance project, several factors can affect the cost of maintaining your pool. Understanding these factors can help you budget pool maintenance and plan for future repairs.

Size of the Pool

What’s the size of your blissful summer oasis? The size of your pool is one of the biggest factors affecting the cost of maintaining it.

Of course, the larger the pool, the more money you’ll spend on maintaining it. But, again, it is because you’ll need more chemicals and time to clean it. Not to mention, you’ll also go through pool filters faster.

Let us fill you up on the sizes of pools and the gallons they hold:

  • A small rectangular pool, typically 12ft by 24ft with an average 5ft depth, can hold up to 10,800 gallons of water.
  • A medium rectangular pool, measuring 16ft by 32ft with an average depth of five feet, can hold up to 21,120 gallons.
  • And a large rectangular pool – think 20ft by 40ft with an average depth of six feet – can hold a whopping 42,240 gallons.

Depending on the size of your pool, you can expect to pay between $120 and $350 for general pool cleaning. An online pool volume calculator can help you know your digits. 

Type of Pool

There are two main types of pools – inground and above-ground. And while both provide hours of fun in the sun, they come with different price tags.

On average, inground pools cost between $25,000 and $50,000, with the average cost falling around $33,000.

Above-ground pools are more affordable, with prices starting at around $1,600. But don’t be fooled; the cost of maintaining an above-ground pool can still add up.

  • Inground pool – $75 to $100 per hour for general maintenance
  • Above-ground pool – $60 to $80 per hour for general maintenance

Pool Location

Do you have an outdoor pool that’s exposed to the elements? Or an indoor pool that’s sheltered from the sun and wind? Your pool’s location can also affect how much you spend on maintaining it.

Outdoor pools are more susceptible to dirt and debris, so you’ll have to clean them more often. You’ll also need more chemicals to keep the water clean and safe. An outdoor pool’s average maintenance cost per month may range from $115 to $175.

Indoor pools, on the other hand, are less likely to get dirty and don’t require as many chemicals. But they come with additional costs, such as heating the pool and maintaining the humidity level. So you can expect to pay around $15 per month for cleaning chemicals and $50 per month for heating.

Chlorine Vs. Saltwater Pools

Chlorine is a popular pool sanitizer, and for a good reason. It’s practical and relatively affordable.

Saltwater pools are a newer option that’s gaining popularity. These pools use salt to generate chlorine, which is then used to sanitize the water.

While saltwater pools are pricier to install, they often require fewer chemicals and less maintenance than chlorine pools. So you may save some good money in the long run.

On average, maintaining a chlorine pool costs between $600 and $700 per year. It includes chlorine tablets, pool shock, and algaecide.

Maintaining a saltwater pool costs between $25 and $45 per hour. Plus, you may have to spend an additional $800-$900 to replace the salt cell.

Common Pool Repairs

cost of maintaining a pool

Have you ever excitedly jumped into a pool only to find that the water is ice-cold? Or stepped on a sharp object hidden in the sand?

While pools are a great entertainment source, they require regular maintenance and occasional repairs.

Replacing the Pump Motor

The pump motor is one of the most critical parts of your pool. It circulates the water, keeping it clean and safe. Over time, however, the pump motor will wear out. It could be the age of the pump motor or a manufacturing defect.

When this happens, you’ll have to replace the motor. A new pool pump motor can cost between $180 and $800. Of course, it depends on the selected make and model.

Repairing the Heater

Cold water can ruin a pool party faster than you can say, “Brrr!” That’s why most pools have a heater. But like all pool equipment, heaters can break down.

The cost of repairing a pool heater depends on the problem. It could be as simple as fixing a broken thermostat for $150. Or you may have to entirely replace the heater, which could cost upwards of $2000.

Leaks

Leaky pools are no fun. They waste precious water and can also cause major damage to your property. Imagine coming home to find your pool empty and your basement flooded!

The cost of fixing a leak depends on the size and location of the leak. You may be able to repair a small leak yourself for $50. But if the leak is bigger, you may have to replace the entire liner. It can cost you around $2500.

Replacing the Pool Filter

The pool filter is another vital piece of equipment. It helps to remove dirt, debris, and bacteria from the water. And trust us, there’s a lot of that in a pool!

Most pool filters need to be replaced every few years for obvious reasons (read, clogging). Depending on the type of filter, it can cost anywhere from $100 to $600.

Deck and Stairs Repair

Your above-ground pool’s deck and stairs see a lot of foot traffic. So it’s no surprise they start showing signs of wear and tear.

The cost of repairing a deck or stairs depends on the extent of the damage. You may be able to sand and repaint the wood for $50. Or you may have to pay upward of $1000 for the entire deck replacement.

DIY or Professional Service?

cost of maintaining a pool

Has the idea of DIY pool cleaning been floating around in your head? If so, you’re not alone. Many pool owners try to save money by maintaining their pools themselves. From vacuuming the pool to adding chemicals, there are a lot of things you can do to keep your pool clean and safe.

But while maintaining your pool may save you some money upfront, it could cost you more in the long run. Without proper training, you could damage the pool or injure yourself. Plus, you’ll have to buy or rent the necessary equipment.

In the end, hiring a professional pool service is often cheaper and less stressful. It is because professionals have the experience and knowledge to properly maintain your pool. And they come with the right tools and equipment. The average cost of hiring a professional pool service in the US is $80 to $100 per month.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should You Clean Your Pool?

How often do you use the pool? If you’re constantly partying in the pool, you’ll need to clean it more often.

But if the pool is only used occasionally, you can get away with cleaning it less.

On average, you should clean your pool once a week. But if you use it more often, you may need to clean it more than once a week.

What are the Essential Steps of Pool Maintenance?

The essential steps of ensuring pool health are:

  • Cleaning the pool
  • Adding chemicals to the water
  • Checking the pH levels
  • Testing the water hardness
  • Vacuuming the pool
  • Checking and cleaning the filter

You should also inspect the pool for leaks, cracks, or other damage.

What Services Do Professionals Offer?

Professional pool services offer various services, each with a different price tag.

The most common services with their pricing are:

  • Acid Wash – $400 to $550
  • Pool Vacuum – $85 per hour
  • Pool Drain – $180
  • Chlorine Wash – $300 to $450
  • Drain $ Clean – $650

Wrapping Up

Whether you’re hosting a bachelor’s pool party or just taking a leisurely dip on a hot day, there’s no denying that pools are great. But as any pool owner will agree, pools can consume time and money.

However, you can keep your pool running smoothly without breaking the bank if you play your cards right. 

In addition, most homeowners can save on pool repairs and maintenance by doing some work themselves. For example, you can vacuum the pool yourself or clean the filter.

You can also save money by maintaining your pool correctly. That means adding the right chemicals to the water and checking the pH levels regularly.

If you take care of your pool, it will last longer, and you won’t have to spend as much money on repairs.

So dive into summer with a smile on your face and a pool that’s ready for action.

Photo of author

Atif Munawar

Atif is a tireless knowledge seeker who often finds himself on the last page of Google. He's also one of those rare people who is a graphic enthusiast with a background in accounting.

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The content on Cashblog.com is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not financial advice and we are not certified financial advisors. Cashblog.com strives to keep its information accurate and up to date, but it may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with companies listed on our site. We may receive compensation for the placement of sponsored products or services. We work hard to write authentic and accurate articles.