How Much Does it Cost to Maintain a Swimming Pool?

Above-ground and in-ground pools have costly upfront expenditures when installed. When you think about how much it costs to have a pool, these upfront costs may be all that is considered; however, the cost to have a pool does not stop once the pool is constructed. You need to factor in routine maintenance when budgeting to install a pool.

So how much does it cost to maintain a pool? We will go through all of the considerations you need to take before making the decision to install your in-ground or above-ground pool!

Pool Maintenance for Above-Ground and In-Ground Pools

While an above-ground pool typically costs less upfront, continuous routine maintenance for an above-ground pool can cost nearly as much as an in-ground pool. The pool you have will need a pump, heater, and chemicals to provide optimal swimming conditions.

These pieces of equipment will eventually need replacing throughout the lifespan of your pool, which you can plan to budget for; however, you also need to include the immediate cost of cleaning supplies and services into your budget.

The cost to construct and operate a pool is costly, but cleaning and maintenance are ongoing costs that need to be factored into the total as well.

You have the choice of do-it-yourself swimming pool cleaning or hiring a cleaning company to provide these services. Your knowledge, schedule, and budget may determine which one you choose. We will go over both options to compare the costs.

Hiring a Pool Cleaning Company

Swimming pool companies offer a variety of options to keep your swimming pool clean. You can choose a one-time cleaning service or an ongoing scheduled service plan. These service plans can be year-round or for the season only, which may be four or five months.

  • Routine Cleaning – Hiring a pool service company can be more expensive than doing it yourself. Hiring a company to routinely clean your pool can cost anywhere from $100 to $150 a month for weekly, bi-weekly, or once-a-month cleaning. If you use a company four months out of the year, you can spend around $600 for scheduled routine cleaning.
  • Extensive Cleaning (Acid Washing, Filter Cleaning) – Depending on the extent of pollution within your pool, you may need a more extensive cleaning. These deep cleanings with specialty services, such as pool acid washing or filter cleaning, can cost between $75 and $600. This depends on the number of stains that need to be washed or a filter or drain that may need to be deeply cleaned.
  • By-the-Hour Cleaning – Additionally, the company may charge to clean by the hour. The average hourly rate to clean a dirty pool typically costs $75 to $100 per hour. The average time to clean a dirty pool will take between two and three hours, resulting in a total cost between $150 and $300.
  • Equipment Checks – Pool cleaning companies also offer service packages to check and repair your pool equipment, such as the pump, heater, and filter. These checks may be included with your cleaning or maintenance plan, or they may be purchased separately. Regardless, the cost of these checks usually averages between $75 and $125.
  • Opening/Closing Pool for the Season – at the beginning of the season, you will need to open your pool, and at the end of the season, you will need to close it. Pool service companies can assist you in opening and closing your pool for the season, as certain procedures need to be completed. The average cost to open or close a pool for the season is typically between $150 to $200.

Do-It-Yourself

Depending on your knowledge of swimming pools and the condition your swimming pool is in can determine if you should oversee the cleaning and maintenance required to protect your swimming pool. There are some factors you need to take into consideration before deciding to do it yourself.

You will need to purchase equipment. Cleaning a swimming pool is not like cleaning your house. Unfortunately, you can’t simply grab a household rag and cleaner to clean your pool. You will need a skimmer, brush, and vacuum to successfully clean your swimming pool.

  • Pool Skimmer – this adjustable, telescopic pole skimmer is used for easily removing debris from the surface of the pool. The average cost is around $20 or less.

pool skimmer

  • Algae Brush – attach this scrub brush to a pole to scrub the walls and floor of your pool. Cleaning the walls and floor of the pool will remove algae or other corrosion from the surface areas of the pool. A buildup of algae will not only corrode the color and quality of the pool water, but it can also cause the surface floor to become slippery. An average algae brush costs around $20 or less.

algae brush

  • Pool Vacuum – dirt and debris can settle on the floor of the pool and can be difficult to reach. A pool vacuum can reach those areas on the pool floor that a skimmer cannot reach. These vacuums can be manual or robotic, so the cost can fluctuate. An average cost of a pool vacuum can be estimated around $250.

pool vacuum

  • Pool Cover – to keep your swimming pool protected during the months it is not in use, you will need to invest in a pool cover. Depending on the shape and size of your pool, you can spend anywhere from $50 to $500 on a pool cover.

pool cover

You will need to test and balance chemicals. Swimming pools require the right amount of chemicals to comfortably enjoy the water without burning your eyes and skin. These chemicals include more than chlorine. Your swimming pool can have a combination of chlorine, bromine, hydrogen (for pH balance), and calcium. The chemicals will need to be purchased and administered, and a test kit will be required to test the chemical balance within the water.

  • Chlorine Tablets – your pool requires chlorine to kill bacteria commonly found in swimming pools, such as E. coli and salmonella. Chlorine tablets are available in various amounts, such as 5, 25, and 50-pound quantities. Depending on the size you purchase, you can spend anywhere from $25 to $125 for a chlorine tablet supply.

chlorine tablets

  • Pool Shock – there are some occasions when you need to kill bacteria or control algae quickly. Pool shock provides an immediate chlorine boost to your pool for fast-action results. Pool shock can cost between $15 to $75, depending on the quantity you purchase.

pool shock

  • Bromine Tablets – bromine is a more gentle alternative to chlorine. Bromine kills bacteria and controls algae. Bromine is recommended for hot tubs or heated pools. Bromine tablets are available anywhere from $15 to $55 for smaller quantities, and over $100 for larger quantities.

bromine tablets

  • pH Balancer – your swimming pool can range from being acidic or alkaline. pH balance is tested on a scale of 0 to 14. A perfect pH balance for swimming pools is 7.4. If your swimming pool has a high pH level, the bacteria within the water may not be effectively killed. As chlorine, bromine, and pool shock include a high level of acidic chemicals, the pH balance in your pool can quickly lower. To increase the pH level, you can add a dosage of pH increaser. A 25-pound supply averages around $50.

ph balancer

  • Chemical Test Kit – these chemicals within your pool need to be tested to determine they are balanced. Find a kit that tests chlorine, bromine, pH, acidity, and alkalinity within your water. Chemical test kits are generally affordable at $20 or less.

chemical test kit

What’s the Bottom Line?

You will need to prepare a budget to maintain your pool. Comparing the cost options of hiring a company or doing-it-yourself will help you determine the best plan for you. Do-it-yourself maintenance will require some upfront costs of chemicals and equipment, but the supply should last through several seasons of treatment. On the other hand, hiring a pool service company to visit your pool on a regular basis will provide the cleaning and maintenance services you need without purchasing all the chemicals.

Hiring a pool service company to take care of all cleaning, testing, and repairs can cost you up to $1,825 per year.

DIY pool cleaning, maintaining, and chemical balancing can cost around $850 per year.

These costs can vary depending on the number of supplies you purchase or the frequency of the cleaning you schedule. Regardless of the route, you take to keep your pool well-maintained, you should factor in an additional $1,000 to $2,000 per year to maintain your pool.

If you have created a budget for installing a pool, make sure you have included what it costs to maintain your pool so that you can enjoy your pool for many years to come!

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