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.
Your pool maintenance costs will depend on the type of pool you have (think: inground, above ground, outdoors, or indoors). Also, chlorinated and salt water pools require different types of upkeep and therefore have differing maintenance costs.
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.
Type of Maintenance
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.
Pool cleaning and water testing: 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: Pool water delivery costs $60 to $120 for 15,000- to 30,000-gallons of water. 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 local pool cleaning pro.
If your schedule is already jam-packed, you might not have the time to dedicate to pool maintenance tasks. In this case, you might opt for weekly services. But if you're a DIYer and enjoy doing what you can, you might only call in a pool pro a few times a year for major needs like opening and closing your pool. Whatever your situation, here are some costs you can expect by frequency.
Weekly Pool Maintenance Cost
Pool upkeep costs about $20 to $50 per week. Your tech will check your chemical levels, balance the water, and do a shock or algaecide treatment as necessary. If you’re paying the higher end of the scale, it’s advantageous to negotiate a contract that includes pool opening and closing costs.
It’s a good idea to hire someone to take care of your pool weekly because the company can keep a close eye on your pool equipment and water quality so you can avoid costly issues or repairs.
Monthly Pool Maintenance Cost
Monthly pool maintenance costs about $30 to $260 per month. The price depends on the frequency and level of the service.
If you’re open to doing some maintenance yourself, like skimming the pool daily and brushing the walls weekly, you can opt for a basic monthly package that costs around $30 to $95 per month. These services usually include water testing and balancing, backwashing filters, cleaning the skimmer, and cleaning the pump baskets.
If you’d like more services added on, you can opt for a package that costs around $70 to $95 per month. In addition to the services above, the tech will check your equipment, maintain automatic pool cleaning systems, and brush your pool walls. They’ll usually visit your pool two to four times a month.
On the higher end, a service that costs $100 to $200 or more per month is a weekly visit and includes everything listed above and more. The tech will conduct pool surface skimming, cleaning, and pool vacuuming. Pool opening and closing are often in the package deal as well.
Annual Pool Maintenance Cost
Your average pool maintenance cost per year is likely to fall within the $960 to $1,800 range, depending on your pool type, size, and the services you require. If you’d like to pass along all pool maintenance tasks to a pro, you can expect to pay the higher end of the price range.
On the other hand, if you plan to DIY almost all of your pool maintenance and only call in a pro as needed, you’ll pay $150 to $200 for a single, comprehensive maintenance call.
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 pool salt and chemicals for a salt water 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.
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 Pool Maintenance Costs vs. Hiring 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 pool service professionals near you.
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.
Paige Bennett contributed to this piece.