The annual cost to maintain a swimming pool is about $3,100
Costs include cleaning, water testing, utilities, and more
The size and type of pool can lead to varying costs
You slathered on sunscreen and headed to the pool. But then, you noticed the filters weren’t running, or the pool was full of leaves and critters. Oops—you forgot about maintenance. The average swimming pool maintenance cost is $3,100 and includes maintenance, cleaning, and utilities.
Prices can range from $1,200 per year for simple upkeep to $5,000 annually for standard maintenance, plus repairs. However, with regular pool maintenance, you don’t have to worry about having your day off by the pool interrupted.
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Swimming Pool Maintenance Cost by Type
Pool maintenance costs can vary from about $150 to $260 per month, depending on the type of pool. Inground pools are often larger and sometimes slightly more expensive to maintain than above-ground pools. Saltwater pools require more maintenance because the salt can corrode the pool equipment and can be more expensive than chlorine pools.
Inground pool cleaning and maintenance costs $50 to $100 per hour, with higher costs for larger pools.
Above-ground pools cost $50 to $100 per hour for cleaning and maintenance. You may find lower rates, as these pool interiors are easier to access than inground pools.
Chemicals for indoor pools cost about $15 per month. Cleaning and maintenance will cost about $25 to $50 per hour.
Maintaining a chlorine pool costs about $50 to $100 per hour. You’ll need to maintain chemical levels and test the pH every one to two weeks.
You’ll spend about $100 per year on salt and chemicals for this type of pool, $80 to $100 for monthly cleaning, plus $800 every three to seven years for a new salt cell. You may spend more on repairs too, as the salt can damage pool equipment.
Swimming Pool Maintenance Cost Breakdown
While it’s fun to soak up the sun while you float in the pool, there are several components to consider when it comes to keeping your pool clean, safe, and in good working condition. The bigger the pool, the more you’ll spend to maintain it.
And upkeep doesn’t just involve cleaning—you also need to open the pool for summer and close it before winter, and you want to consider the cost of water and electricity the pool requires.
Total upkeep ranges from about $3,000 to $5,000. This includes supplying your pool with water and electricity as well as regular cleaning and common repairs, like a clogged pump or dirty filter.
Maintenance: Testing water pH levels, filters, and traps as well as other upkeep like skimming and vacuuming costs $80 to $150 per month, or $960 to $1,800 yearly.
Closing a pool: Shutting down a pool for winter costs $150 to $300. This includes lowering the water, shocking, cleaning the pool, and covering it.
Opening a pool: When warm weather returns, you’ll spend $150 to $300. If the pool turned green over winter, expect to spend up to $400 to reopen it.
Water: Filling a 15,000- to 30,000-gallon pool costs $60 to $120. Topping off the pool during reopening costs about $0.004 per gallon. Drought-prone locations may charge about $100 for overuse fees.
Electricity: Electricity for a pool costs about $300 per year for pumps, lighting, and temperature control, but older pools with less efficient pumps may cost more.
Repairs: Most pool repairs cost an average of $650 to $900 and include replacing a pump motor, replacing a filter, fixing a leak, or repairing the pool’s drain.
You can hire a pool maintenance person for about $80 to $200 per week to help skim out debris from the water. For more detailed upkeep, like checking filters or opening a pool in the summer, expect to spend $75 to $100 per hour to hire a professional pool service.
While there’s no set price per square foot for swimming pool maintenance, you can expect to pay in the higher range, about $5,000 annually, for maintenance if you have a pool larger than the standard 15,000- to 30,000-gallon swimming pool.
Cost to Maintain a Swimming Pool Yourself
You can save up to $1,000 annually by cleaning the pool yourself, but you may spend up to a few hours per day or several hours a week for DIY pool maintenance. Where you save in money, you’ll be spending in time, which is something to keep in mind.
Maintenance kit: You’ll need a maintenance kit, $35 to $50, that typically includes a skimmer, a brush, a vacuum, and a telescopic pool pole.
Test kits: Test kits cost about $15 each. You’ll need to test the water pH and chemical levels about once every week or two.
Chlorine: Liquid chlorine is about $4 per gallon or $65 for a 25-pound container of chlorine tablets.
Bromine: Bromine, a chlorine alternative, costs about $50 for a 5-gallon container.
Muriatic acid: To lower pH levels, add muriatic acid, which costs $8 per gallon.
Soda ash: Soda ash costs about $8 for a 6-pound container and is used to increase pH levels.
Algaecide: To keep gross, green algae from taking over your pool, you’ll spend about $10 to $15 for a 128-ounce bottle of algaecide. This bottle should last about 16 weeks if you use one cup per week.
Filters: Replacement filters may cost $10 to $75.
Cover: Most covers cost $500 to $600, although costs can range from $30 to over $10,000 for automated covers. In the off-season, you’ll want to cover your pool.
DIY vs. Hire a Professional
If you want to save up to $1,000 per year, you can maintain a pool yourself, but keep in mind that pools require regular upkeep plus seasonal tasks. If you want to look at your pool and think “relaxation” versus “a backbreaking afternoon of skimming, scrubbing, and chemical balancing,” you might prefer to spend the extra money on hiring pool service professionals.
How You Can Save Money on Swimming Pool Maintenance
There are many ways to save money on swimming pool maintenance costs, whether you decide to handle all of the upkeep yourself or you just pitch in by skimming the pool daily. A maintenance kit will cost about $35 to $50 as a one-time cost, whereas hiring a cleaning service or pool service may cost $25 to $150 per hour.
To save money, you can skim the water, test the water and balance the chemicals, clean the pool walls, clear out filters, or replace filters yourself. Still, it’s best to hire professionals to help you open and close the pool each year.
Swimming Pool Maintenance Questions and Answers
How often do I need to clean my pool?
You should skim your pool for debris and clean up the wall tiles every week. You also need to test the pH once a week or every two weeks. The safe pH level for a pool is 7. Much higher and the alkaline water will lead to cloudy water that can irritate your eyes and skin. Any lower and the water becomes acidic, which can damage the pool liner and irritate your skin.
How often do I need to service my pool?
Scrubbing pool walls, vacuuming, inspecting the equipment, emptying the pump baskets, and checking the filters should be on your monthly to-do list.
How can I save money on my swimming pool?
First, know the best time to buy a swimming pool to lower your initial investment, and that’s in late summer or early fall. Regular maintenance is key to saving money, whether you go the DIY route or hire a local swimming pool service or cleaning professionals.
You may want to save money by tackling easier tasks, like skimming the water and testing the pH levels yourself, then hiring someone to help you open or close the pool.