How Much Does It Cost for Electric Installation on an Above-Ground Pool?

Lawrence Bonk
Written by Lawrence Bonk
Updated July 27, 2022
Children play in an above ground pool
Photo: E+ / Getty Images

Highlights

  • It typically costs $500$1,500 for above-ground pool electric installation.

  • The pool’s distance from your breaker panel affects cost.

  • Larger pools may require a sub-panel at an extra cost.

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Installing an above-ground pool can be an easier and more affordable alternative to an in-ground pool. But before you undertake this project, it’s important to understand the cost of running electricity to your new pool to operate its pump. 

If you have a standard-sized pool that’s close to the house, you could pay as little as $350 for electric installation. On the other hand, if your pool is far from the house, you could pay $4,000 or more to account for the additional necessary trenching and materials.

Minimum CostNational Average CostMaximum Cost
$350$1,000$4,000

Above-Ground Pool Electrical Install Cost Breakdown

The main factors that affect the cost of above-ground pool electricity installation include your breaker panel capacity, underground wiring installation, bonding, and grounding of your pool, and the poolside electrical panel.

4 above-ground pool electrical installation cost factors, including a poolside electrical panel
Photo: martinedoucet / E+ / Getty Images

Location

If your filter and equipment are located far away from the pool itself, this impacts the overall cost of an electric installation. Why is that? First of all, your builder will use a longer pipe to make all of the necessary connections, and these materials add up. The installation is also more complex in these scenarios, taking more labor time and materials.

Depending on the additional distance between the pool and associated components, installation prices increase from $500 to $1,500. Talk with your pro about ways to alleviate this added cost, including shifting the design to accommodate the layout of your property.

Breaker Panel Capacity

Whether or not your existing breaker panel has the capacity to handle adding on your above-ground pool’s electrical needs depends on the size of your pool. Smaller pools won’t draw as much electricity as larger ones.

Assuming a standard-sized pool, you can expect to pay $150 to $250 to run electricity out towards the pool. 

If you have a larger pool and your breaker panel cannot handle the additional load, you’ll require a sub-panel separate from your main breaker panel. The cost of a sub panel, including its installation, is generally $350 to $550.

Underground Wiring Installation

To get electricity from your panel to your pool, your electrician needs to run wire and conduit underground. This process has two parts: digging a trench and running the cable.

In most cases, your electrician will not dig a trench. The electrician can contract out this service, or you can find your own contractor. The average cost to dig a trench is $8 per linear foot. This means that if your pool is 50 linear feet from your breaker panel, you’ll pay about $400 for the trenching part of the project.

To run electrical wire and its protective conduit, you can expect an electrician to charge $12 to $17 per linear foot. Using the same 50-linear-foot example above, running wire will cost $600 to $850.

After the pro runs the pool’s electric wiring, they must backfill your trench, or cover it back up. It costs as little as $1.60 per linear foot, with a national average of $4.50 per linear foot.

Pool Bonding and Grounding

Pool bonding and grounding are important steps of running electricity to an above-ground pool. These processes help prevent electrical shock and give electricity a safe way to the ground in the event it escapes your system.

Assuming your electrician creates four to six bonding points and installs two grounding rods, you can expect this portion of the installation project to cost $200 to $300.

Poolside Electrical Panel

Running electricity from your home to your pool culminates at a poolside electrical panel. As this panel could be exposed to water, it will include GFCI protection to prevent electrical shock.

The cost of a poolside electrical panel, its installation, and installation of your pool pump and optional pool heater, typically runs $250 to $500.

Labor

This is a job that demands specific experience, so hire a pro who is familiar with electric-based pool installations and is familiar with the various components, such as the GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter). Most professional electricians charge an hourly rate instead of a per-project rate, so look to pay $50 to $100 per hour.  

Setting up pool-related electrical components takes eight to 20 hours of work, depending on job complexity, translating to a cost of $400 to $2,000 for labor. These costs typically represent around 50% of the overall price, as master electricians charge more than apprentice and journeyperson electricians. 

Permits

You aren’t getting this done without a permit or two. Many parts of the country require both a pool-building permit and an electrical pool permit to proceed with the installation. Your pro handles the specifics, but the price gets added to the total cost of the project. These costs vary depending on where you live but count on paying $100 to $300 for a swimming pool building permit and $50 to $350 for an electrical pool permit. All told, that adds up to $150 to $650 just to get started. 

Additionally, some areas require post-job inspections regarding swimming pools and electric installations. These inspections range from $0 to $100, depending on rules and regulations in your area.

How to Save Money on Electrical Installation for an Above-Ground Pool

If you’re dreaming of lazy days spent in your new above-ground pool, first you’ll need to budget for this project. However, there are ways you can save on electrical installation costs to make this home improvement project more affordable.

Purchase Equipment During the Off-Season

Swimming pool season coincides with warm weather, so if you can wait until the cooler months roll in, you may be able to score a discount on some of your pool accessories, including the pool pump.

Minimize the Pool’s Distance From Your Home

As trench diggers and electricians charge by linear foot to install underground electrical wire, the closer you can position your pool to your home, the less you’ll pay in material and labor.

Dig Your Own Trench

Depending on the length of the trench you need to run electricity from your home to your pool, it may make sense to dig your own trench. To adhere to building codes, trenches must be 18 inches deep, assuming you place your underground wiring in an area where cars will not drive over it.

Digging an 18-inch-deep trench by hand is no easy task. For longer distances, you should rent a micro-trencher at the cost of about $125 per day

Again depending on the length of your trench, backfilling it yourself may also be an option. Should you decide to take on this job, remember that you’ll need to place burial tape six inches from the surface of the ground. This tape (should) protect anyone who may dig over the wire in the future; they’ll hit the tape before they reach the wire.

Above-Ground Pool Electricity Installation Questions and Answers

An above ground pool in a backyard
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Can I handle above-ground pool electrical installation myself?

Unless you have extensive experience working with electricity, you should not attempt to handle your above-ground pool electrical install yourself. Working around your breaker panel can be extremely dangerous, as are the possible consequences of not properly bonding and grounding your pool. This is definitely a job that you want to leave to your local electrician.

Can I use an extension cord with an above-ground pool pump?

No, you should not use an extension cord with an above-ground pool pump. In addition to being dangerous as a tripping hazard, use of an extension cord could void your pool pump’s warranty. This is because using an extension cord not rated for use with the pool filter pump could damage this equipment.

What’s the total cost of installing an above-ground pool?

Depending on the size and model you choose, the cost to install an above-ground pool generally runs from $800 to $5,000. This includes the pool itself, its accessories, and installation labor. The labor costs alone for this type of project are typically $1,000 to $3,000.

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