How Much Does It Cost per Month to Maintain a Pool?

Updated on September 10, 2010
S.S. asks from Keller, TX
14 answers

Hi ladies, we are in the process of buying a house and found a few that we love that have pools. What are we looking at as far as monthly costs to maintain it, or paying a pool guy? I know it depends on the size and type... Just curious. Thanks so much!

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answers from Orlando on

I live in Florida and have a pool that is salt water....literally, my husband spent 8$ in six weeks for the salt and that was it....we take a water sample in each weekend to have it tested and it has been perfect for weeks with no major help :-)

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answers from Dallas on

Just like yardwork, there are services that can do it for you or it's cheaper to do it yourself. Videos about pool maintenance are also available for easy learning. One other thing I wanted to mention is that the utility bills are going to be higher because of the pool equipment. I would ask the seller for the last 12 months of utility bills and factor that into your monthly projections.

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answers from Dallas on

We have an inground 30,000 gallon salt water play pool and a hot tub combined. (The hot tub did not originally come with the pool we added that after 1 year with the pool). If you buy a salt water pool you still add shock and other chemicals to the pool. Honestly I spend right at $80 a month in the swimming months plus extras for the Polaris ( the robot cleaning the bottom of the pool 8 hours a day). He is in the water all the time- his tail needs to be replaced about every 4 months -$10 a piece and the bag gets nasty/ripped and I buy one of those about once or twice a year -$35. He really needs to be serviced about once every year or two (maintenance is the key to anything that works over 8 hours a day)- That cost around $150. If he breaks and it's beyond repair they range for a good one $800 to $1500.

My pool guy has told me it cost around $100 a month just for the pool pump to run. I figure we range $100 to $150 a month because we have a water fall that requires an extra pump and we are outside every weekend by the pool. Since we added the hot tub we have propane to heat it up- we use propane for the hot tub, stove top and fireplace. We spend about $600 to $800 on propane a year. I don't feel that is to much as it really helps us utilize the pool a little longer as it's fun to jump in the cold water and then warm up in the hot tub or vice versa. =) And when it snowed 14 inches...the hot tub was AWESOME!!

I don't pay for a pool guy- the ones i have checked on will not vacuum the pool or backwash the pool. (On salt water pools you have to clean another internal filter that uses Dio Tenacious Earth which is the backwashing of the filter) So basically I found that they were charging $75+ a month just to empty strainers and the Polaris and sweep some of the dirt to the center filters. I enjoy being outside and doing those little things as it only takes a few minutes and we have trees so I would have to do it everyday anyway if I was going to swim so it seemed like a waste of money to me.

Oh and don't forget your water's hot in Texas and you will have to add water. In the summer our water bills range from $100-300. Keep in mind that is water the yard as well but you can figure at least $100 to $200 for 2 or 3 months out of the year.

So to answer your question I would guess the pool cost me an additional $3000 a year. Granted it's not all at once but realize the pool will bring your family and friends together. We spend every minute that we can in the back yard. We have a A/C company so our summer months are crazy busy and it's nice to escape to our own backyard oasis and have daily mini vacations and still be at home!

My kids are 5 and 7 and we have been in this house for 3 summers now. My 5 year old started out as a fish and my 7 year old was scared to death of water when we first moved in. This summer he started swimming with out floaties and under water. I think buying a house with a pool was the best investment I have ever made. I LOVE IT!!



answers from Houston on

We had a regular in ground pool that we converted to saltwater when we moved in (for about $1000). It was well worth the cost. Saltwater makes all the difference - we don't have a pool guy - my husband does all the maintenance, but there really is very little required with a saltwater pool. We buy bags of salt from Home Depot twice a year - like $6, and we test the water ourselves for proper levels (and if it comes up off we take it to a pool store for a double check - they test it for free - usually we have to do that 1x every 2 months). We have a polaris that we have had to have serviced 2-3 times in the last 5 years (for $50-$100 each time) but the beauty of the polaris is that we have never had to skim the pool ourselves - that is way too much maintenance! We just empty the 2 baskets into the compost bin once a week. Increase in water or electricity has been minimal - we have a $40 water bill every month (but we are very conservative with watering our yard and it really depends on the water rates in your area). Our electric bills are about the same in from our prior house without a pool (we like our AC in Texas so electric bills are generally $200 in winter and $400 in summer). But one suggestion I would have is if you have a home warranty program purchase the upgrade to cover the pool (about another $8 per month) - the home warranty company has replaced our pool pump 3x becuase of faulty wiring during installation - they charged us $50 for the visit (vs $500 for full replacement). Oh and we love the hottub and heat it up all the time during the winter (but not the pool) - and haven't noticed an increased gas bill - but in TX your gas bill is not that high anyhow and you really don't heat up the hot tub too much because its already so hot here - and you don't keep the heater on for too long - maybe 1/2-1hr max. at a time. Hope this helps - we LOVE our pool and wouldn't live in TX without it - plus the kids were swimming by age 3 without assistance (and without paying for lessons - we just taught them ourselves).



answers from Dallas on

We are in Plano and pay about $140 a month for the pool guy to clean the pool. In the winter we pay a lot less (maybe $40 a month) for him to come once a month and test the water and add chlorine as needed, we don't want it to get green over the winter. We do have to add water often, every 2-3 days sometimes since it is so hot outside.

There are days my husband hates the pool and the extra cost, but as a mom that was home with 2 boys ages 4 and 7 all summer, I LOVED it!



answers from Dallas on

We have a deep diving pool (9') with hot tub, (chlorinated; not salt) and I usually spend about $500 a year on chemicals (chlorine powder for shock, tablets for feeder, acid for ph, and mineral purifier). We have a maintenance agreement for the filter to be cleaned and serviced twice a year, and a check on all components, which runs about $200 a year. We run our pump 10 hrs a day in season, and 6 hrs a day during winter, but were surprised that our electric bill isn't impacted that much; maybe $50-$70 a month. During the peak of summer, our water bill is much higher, but we are also watering the lawn more. When we use the heater, our gas bill goes up accordingly. We DON'T heat through the winter; now that would be expenseive. We only use it to heat the spa or bring the pool temp up early or late in the season. The weekly pool upkeep is easy; we do it ourselves. No need for a weekly pool guy. I actually think it is easier than yard upkeep. If you want a pool, buying one with the house will be less expensive than putting one in. We use our pool from late April through Sept., and the hot tub at different times throughout the year. We love it, and would definitely miss it if we moved!



answers from Dallas on

Also make sure you pay attention to the surroundings of the pool. When we bought our house, it had a pool with a huge tree next to it - we thought 'oh how wonderful, it will stay shaded for the little ones.' Not wonderful, the pool is freezing b/c it rarely gets any direct sun (although I am glad that the boys don't get sunburned either) and the leaves from the tree are always in the pool causing tiny little stains everywhere. It really makes it difficult to clean, my husband has to manually "rake" the pool twice a day to keep it from staining. With that exception, we absolutely love having the pool. It makes family get togethers, summer holidays and birthdays so easy. Plus, its nice to take a quick dip when doing housework, yard work or when you come home late from a ball game.



answers from Dallas on

I have went through 3 pool guys and finally am happy with the one we have, he comes every week and cleans it really well. backwashes it, checks all the parts, does all the chemicals and charges us $125 (which is REALLY cheap, most avg. $140-150). But we were spending about $80 a month on chemicals alone so to pay $40-50 more to have someone come and do it weekly was WELL worth it to us. My husband was doing it but if he skipped even a week it had to be shocked and looked horrible, etc. Ours is saltwater and if properly maintained you shouldn't have to shock it or use a ton of chemicals (my husband did when he was maintaining it but the pool guy hasn't shocked it all year!). Then in the summer you have to fill it with water every 3 days or so because it evaporates so quickly but it doesn't raise our water bill too much, maybe $30 or so (But we have a well system so this would be different I'm sure if you had city water). As far as running the pump and stuff I am not sure I would guess $50 or so. The biggest annoyance are all the "little things" that go wrong constantly. I ring will snap ($5-10), the vacuum bag needs replaced ($35-40), other parts that need replacing can be cheap if ordered online but expensive in the stores. Pools are definitely not cheap so really do your research and it's great to ask on forums like this too. I am sure you could ask the owner of any home you're thinking of buying the rough cost of the pool. Hopefully they would be honest! Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

WOW after reading some of the comments ahead of me...I guess I pay too much for a company to clean my pool BUT I have been through 7 different pool cleaning companies (most of the time they guy never showed up & I was paying for nothing...), I pay $212.00 per month to Dolphin Pools who are really great about calling if something comes up & they either send someone else or do it w/in the day of normal scheduling and they keep me informed if there is a problem (which isn't too often, they come once a week & vacuum it, brush it, net skim the top & clean the two skimmers & the filter of the small skimmer at the pump & put chemicals. I have a 26,000 gallon pool & we had it built ourselves (as I grew up with a pool & have three girls now grown who still come over & swim). It has been the BEST investment I ever made. It is very relaxing or you can play V-ball or basketball, dive, swim laps etc. In the beginning years trying to maintain it ourselves ending up costing us more in chemicals trying to get them right. Yes you will need to add water occasionally, but nothing major. I LOVE IT!!!



answers from Dallas on

Depends on how old the pool equipment is. I do my own pool an really it is the cost of chlorine and asst chemicals as needed to backwash and maintain the PH. it's super super easy, you don't need a pool guy. If you heat it, $100 to heat in Winter per time.
Utilities probably spike more in the summer because you have to run it longer.


answers from Jacksonville on

Yes.. there are lots of variables. Does the pool have an automatic cleaner/vacuum system? That usually has a 2nd auxilary pump in addition to the regular filter/circulation system pump. So there is an electricity cost associated with any pool that has a filter system. This will vary depending on the size of the pool/pump. Usually they recommend running the system around 8 hours per day, minimum, but that can be played around with a little depending. The pump system should be sized to match the size of the pool, much like a central heat/air system will be sized to work with a home. And the larger the home/pool, the larger the hvac system pump/pool pump, and the larger the electric bill to operate the system.

The same thing applies with chemicals. Our 12' x 28' pool (6 ft deep) averages about $300 a year for chemicals (unless we get lazy and let it get yucky... then the $$$ add up as you work to fix the green.... it can be an exercise in frustration to resolve an algae mess... it's best to never let it happen). Like most things, if you buy a bulk size container of pool shock, it is cheaper per pound than the smaller sized packaging. I usually buy a big tub that lasts most of the summer for about $75. And a likesize tub of chlorine feeder tabs (around $80). So, $155 twice a year? Throw in a bottle of algaecide every now and then and maybe clarifier once in a blue moon, and thats another.... $50 annually?

One other thing to consider $ wise, is the impact having a pool might have on your homeowner's insurance rates.

If you are willing to make the effort (and really it isn't that hard) and you will use the pool (or have kids who will get use out of it) it really isn't that much $$. It's less than an annual family membership to the Y or a rec center with a pool.


answers from Spokane on

We have a 20,000 gallon, in-ground, vinyl liner pool. It is not very big for an in-ground pool, it is only 8ft in the deep end. I would say it is about +/- $50 a month for chemicals, water, energy + a LOT of time! Thankfully we have a house full of boys to help with the maintenance and cleaning/vacuuming/skimming (although I don't swim unless I skim)! We do pay the local pool company to "close" our pool every winter...and even though we add all the winterizing chemicals and vacuum and drain the pool down and take off the ladder and cover the slide, they still charge us @ 240$ to blow-out the lines and put on the safety cover for us. Every 2-3 years or so we have to buy new sand for the filter and that's about $100 or so. Keep in mind we do NOT have a heater, so that will add more money to the monthly bill, if your has one!

All said and done, it is totally worth it! Hours and hours of family fun time! All my older kids have had 7 years of swimming lessons and can/are qualified to be lifeguards, which is awesome! Having a pool makes for excellent and strong swimmers, which I think is a wonderful oldest of the small kids could get a penny off the bottom of the deep end when he was 5!



answers from Dallas on

I skimmed the answers and didn't see anything on this so I just have to add: please realize there's more to the cost of a pool than just maintenance (and electricity and water). There is also the issue of leaks and pumps and relining the pool etc.

I bought my house in 2004. It had a fantastic pool installed 7 years earlier by Lamberts (very spendy high quality company) - so first rate job (just so people don't think that it was a crappy pool to begin with). A year after we bought it we spent $23,000 - yes, you heard right, no typos, $23K, to get it up to speed. Much of that was cosmetic but we changed it to salt water and relined it (a necessity) and had to change all the tiles bc they were cracking and did some stone work bc the concrete was cracking and it looked horrible. I'd say 10K was out of necessity. (Don't forget the about $350 worth of water to refill it after the repairs and the $450 to pay the guy to come and scrub it daily for a week, etc. etc.).

Then not long after that, the pump went out so I think it was $1300 for a new pump. Also, then the heater broke. Chose not to fix that as I'm told it costs about $200 worth of electricity to heat the pool for one day in the winter (from cold to warm enough to swim - I'm sure it would cost much less average if you kept it warm but not worth the $$ to me).

Then I had a child, so there goes $2,400 for the katch a kid fence plus $800 for the spa net. And we spent $3K on a cover so my husband didn't have to clean in the winter (that was a total waste because the leaves still got in the pool and it was an even worse mess at the end of the winter. We only used it one season). So, I thought I was good but just this week my husband said he thinks there's a leak somewhere. I think my husband is still glad we have the pool (I could care less) but please don't think it's only a matter of maintenace.

Just sayin.


answers from New York on

We have an above ground, we maintain it ourselves. It costs approximately $300 per year for chemicals + electricity.

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