Money Matters

In-ground pool maintenance costs?

We are considering installing an in-ground pool in the next couple of years. I have a good idea of how much the actual pool and installation will cost, but I wonder about monthly/yearly costs of chemicals and maintenance of other pool-associated equipment.

If you have an in-ground pool, do you have a ballpark estimate for your pool maintenance costs?

Re: In-ground pool maintenance costs?

  • Get a saltwater system.  They are a little more expensive in the beginning but they drastically cut down on the annual costs because you're not buying chemicals.  DH literally tosses a couple of bags of salt in at the beginning of the season, some pool shock, and then has to tinker with the pH levels a little bit before the first pool party of the year, and after that the monthly cost (for water cleanliness) is minimal.

    Your utility costs will go up, especially if you use a heater.  We've only turned ours on a few times in the 3 years we've been in the house and definitely saw a jump in our utility bill the following month. 

    We have a robot cleaner thing that crawls the bottom & sides of the pool - they are pricey, but worth it in the long run in the reduced time spent having to manually clean.
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  • We have an inground pool with a salt system. It is pretty cheap to run that all year.  We also have a built in cleaning system - best thing ever.  Expensive to add when you are installing the pool, but totally worth it.  We have someone come out every week to check the pH levels, remove the debris (we're in a very wooded area), etc.  I think that is about $100/week. 

    ETA - opening and closing the pool costs about $500 for each.  We could probably DIY the opening, but I wouldn't DIY the closing as you have to be sure to remove the water from the lines or things can freeze up and burst over the winter. 

    Also, it seems like almost every year something breaks or needs replaced.  Last year, we had to get a new salt cell and the summer cover automatic thing had to be replaced.  The year before that, a new winter cover.  We've spent about $7-8k/year so far.  I think vinyl pools might be cheaper to maintain, but I don't like how they look as much.

  • While I do not have one, my SIL/BIL do and I believe it is currently 13 years old.  They used to pay to have it winterized every year but finally figured out how to DIY and that alone has saved them apx $1200/yr.  Also would pay someone to open the pool but stopped doing that as well.  They also knew that between 10-15 years they'd have to replace the liner and they have just ordered it (it's literally pulling away from the sides of the pool).  They will have to empty the water and then refill so add in the cost of water....  I think they mentioned that the liner will run apx $3600 (not cheapest, not top of the line).  They also discovered that the heater line has a hole in it.  Not sure what that will cost.

    BIL has mentioned that having more people in it seems to reduce their maintenance costs (less need for chemicals).

  • A friend of mine has a pool.  I don't remember the specifics, but I feel like she once told me it costs them about $5,000 a year to maintain it. 
    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • We have a salt system.  Still use a company to come out and make sure the levels are right, but it's cheap, only about $38/month.  We have a robot cleaner and run the pump for a few hours every night to clean.  Also have a heater, but don't really use it except for the hottub - I'm way too cheap to pay to heat the whole pool (and we live in AZ where it's blazing hot so summer temps aren't an issue).  
    So I'd guess our monthly maintenance is about $75?   We also have had to drain and refill a couple of times.  That's not that spendy either.
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  • We live in HCOL area and we pay $1,800 a year for maintenance. (opening, closing, and weekly monitoring)  We are planning to eventually DIY the maintenance, but we haven't figured everything out yet.
  • SA7206SA7206
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    We had an inground pool (vinyl) and it cost us about $1200 a year for maintenance. We did all the maintenance ourselves though.  We also used the sustain system to keep the pool clean which was more expensive than traditional chemicals, but it was a lot easier to use.

     

  • image EastCoastBride:
    A friend of mine has a pool.  I don't remember the specifics, but I feel like she once told me it costs them about $5,000 a year to maintain it. 


    How does it feel to swim in a pool of Cristal?  ;)
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  • image vanillacourage:
    image EastCoastBride:
    A friend of mine has a pool.  I don't remember the specifics, but I feel like she once told me it costs them about $5,000 a year to maintain it. 


    How does it feel to swim in a pool of Cristal?  ;)
    Well, let me add- they heated it too, which is where I think a lot of that cost came from.  And as they actually haven't had a pool party (that any of us were invited to, that is!) in about 2 years, perhaps those costs have gone down.... ;)
    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • We just moved into a home with a vinyl in-ground. I would put some of our costs close to what putting in a new one would cost since we had to replace almost everything. We are up to about 3k right now. Sucks.
  • We have a 55k gallon in ground pool - it is a regular chlorine pool.  Including utlities, it costs us around $3k a year - we have our pool open from April - October.  We heat the pool in April/May and October (only on the the weekends; we turn the heater on in the middle of the night which helps) which gets a little costly but its not bad.  We considered converting to a saltwater system this year but decided to wait until next year.  The conversion is around $2,500.  We also pay to have someone open and close the pool which is about $300 each.  I just worry that we will do something wrong, especially when closing it, that will cause the pipes to break when it freezes or something.

    Overall, it is well worth it.

  • We (well mostly DH) do everything DIY, opening, closing and maintenance.  I don't keep track of it separately like I should, but this weekend we spend around $300 on chemicals to get the levels right.  But once it's balanced out I don't think there's much else to purchase until next year.  DH spends a few hours a week cleaning it.  If you DIY vs hiring out, there is probably a substantial difference in cost.

    We also had to replace the liner last year which was around $5,500, I'm not sure how old it what since we had only been in this house for 3 years. 

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  • We live in MA, so our pool is only open May-September.  We open and close the pool ourselves, so we really just have to pay for chemicals.  We don't have a heater, so the only added electricity costs are for the pump, which we run for about 12 hours/day.  We also have a pool robot.

    I'd say we probably spend about $500/year in chemicals and electricity costs. We been in the house for 7 years, and the only thing we've had to replace on the pool is the pump, which cost about $350.  We did shell out about $1500 for nice safe cover for when we close the pool, and maybe $200 for a solar cover (which only lasts about 5 years), but those are all "extras."

  • I think this is going to depend on where you live. Like some previous posters said you have to winterize your system if you live in the north and then when you open in the summer prep it for the swimming season. We live in FL and our pool temp never drops below 60 degrees so I don't have to worry about water freezing in lines or anything.

    We have a salt system and I really like it a lot. It does save some on costs, but not always here in FL. Here even if you have a salt system, if your pool is getting full on sun all day long it will turn green if additional chemicals are not added because it is just way to warm and sunny for the salt system to maintain it alone. Lucky for me our pool gets half shade during the day, so my salt system maintains it pretty well. There are still chemicals that have to be added at times to keep it all in balance. Originally when we bought the house and had the salt system installed, I was trying to maintain it myself (DH is only home 3 days a month, so I am on my own most of the time), but it got to be too much because I had to drag my 2 year old twins with me to the pool supply store once a week to have the water checked then buy whatever chemicals I needed and take them home then add them to the pool with my kids screaming inside the house because I wouldn't let them outside while I was doing this. I was spending about $40 a month and way to much time and energy. So I hired a pool guy that only handles the chemicals (keeping it in balance) for me and he charges me $40 a month (including the chemicals in the price), he comes 1x a week and then I just have to clean the pool myself. Cleaning it is not a problem for me because I am used to it and I can do this with the kids outside with me. So for me it was worth it to just have a pool person. Most of the time he doesn't have to add much to the pool in regards to chemicals, just salt when we have a lot of rain or I have to add water to the pool. July, August and September he adds more when he comes because that is our high heat times.

    I also have an automatic cleaner that runs on the bottom of the pool and it was worth the money. I just have to brush the sides and steps. And then I pull the filter out 1x a week and spray it down with the hose to keep the pump working effectively. Takes me about 20 minutes total to clean my pool 1x a week.

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  • As others have pointed out, your location will play a big part in your costs. Here is an idea of costs for an in-ground pool and spa in Central CA. It is warm enough here year around that we do not winter-ze our pool...though we usually do not swim in it in the winter months because it would be WAY too expensive to heat..however, if people are drunk enough, they will jump in no matter the tempurature, lol. I'd say we spend about an average of $30/month in chemical for our pool. That included clorhine (sp?) tablets, shock, algae stuff, and all sorts of other little things to keep the pH in balance. DH does all the maintaining, we bought a little measuring kit a pool supply store...probably $30 bucks or something. We also run our pump everyday to circulate the water and clean the dirt and grime out. It definately increases our electric bill, but I can't really give you a number on that one. Our heater is run on gas and we use that in the winter, which also means a bump in the utility bill, but it's not too bad.
  • Sorry for the post and run. Thanks to everyone for your replies! I'm going to save this post for our future budget.
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