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Pool Maintenance Cost and Ownership

By: Mike Thomas

A pool can be a great addition to almost any home. Families love to be able to swim at home and a pool can significantly increase the resale value of a home. When deciding if you can afford a pool, the foremost consideration will always be the installation cost. However, it is also very important to remember to consider ongoing pool maintenance cost. The exact breakdown of costs will vary on the type of pool, but they will generally fall into four main categories. These are utilities, water treatment, cleaning and repair/maintenance.

Many people forget that a main component of pool maintenance cost will be the water and electricity costs. For pools that are opened and closed each year, it can cost several hundred dollars to fill with water each year. Even if a pool is not drained each year, it will still lose many gallons of water due to evaporation and will need re-filled occasionally. Additionally, a pool will increase electricity bills. The amount of the increase will depend on how often the filter or pumps need to run. If the pool is lit or heated, this will add more electric costs.

The next most costly piece of regular pool maintenance will be the water treatment. These costs can vary widely depending on the type of water treatment used. A typical chlorinated pool will cost about $50 per month for the chemicals. Another common setup is a saltwater pool. The treatment costs for saltwater pools are about $20 to $30 for an entire summer (after the initial set up costs). However, treatment costs for the same pool can vary month to month or year to year based on many different factors. More or fewer treatments may be required based on the amount of rain, temperature, and usage.

Cleaning can be a large pool maintenance cost. Many people hire a pool cleaning service, which can be somewhat costly, starting at about $75 per month. However, some families decide that the time it takes (at least 30 to 60 minutes each week) to properly clean a pool is better spent actually enjoying the pool. This makes a cleaning service well worth the extra expense. Many cleaning services offer expanded options in which they perform the chemical maintenance as well; because they are able to purchase supplies in bulk, this can result in a lower ultimate cost for the pool owner.

Finally, as with any piece of equipment there will be repair and regular maintenance costs on an ongoing basis. These will be relatively low for the first few years, but may increase as parts need repaired or replaced.


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†Average repair and replacement costs as reported in a nationwide survey: A Study of Homeowners Appliance and Home System Service Experiences Decision Analyst (2011) and reprinted with their written permission.

Home protection plans are subject to exclusions and limitations including repairs or replacements of covered home system components and appliances. See contract for details.