How Much Does It Cost to Maintain a Pool?

Swimming pools are loved by many because of the numerous health benefits and fun that they provide. A pool can be enjoyed as a great leisure spot and a place to get away from the heat of the day, it serves to boost the value and aesthetics of a home.

It is, therefore, no surprise that many consider installing a pool in their homes and ask, “How much does it cost to maintain a pool?” Let’s take a closer look at the cost involved here.

How Much Does it Cost to Maintain a Pool, and What Factors Need to Be Considered First?

Maintaining a pool is an ongoing investment that can make a difference in how you budget for your pool. But let’s not jump ahead. Before we get to how much it costs to maintain a pool, let’s consider the other relevant details leading up to that ongoing maintenance.

Before you even invest in a pool, you’ll want to understand the big picture, so that you can plan and budget your dream pool appropriately from the first steps onward. Here are some things you’ll want to consider:

Consider the Aesthetic Effect on the Home

A pool has its own aesthetics, and you’ll want your pool to reflect your aesthetic and the atmosphere you want to add to your property. Bright colors and creative pool tiles? Freeform pools? Rock formations and waterfalls? Hot tub in the corner? Outdoor fireplace? The luxurious built-in living area nearby?

The sky’s the limit on your dream pool’s aesthetic–within your budget, of course. The right pool building company will help you plan the perfect getaway, at home–at a variety of budget levels.

Consider the Value a Pool Adds to the Home

When done right, pools can increase the value of a house by 5-8% of the property price. According to this report by Redfin, this added value ranges between $11,000 and $95,000 in different states in the US. 

Consider the Cost of Installation

The amount of money it takes to install a pool varies widely, depending on the location of the build and its prep needs, the pool style, materials, and special features you choose. A great pool contractor will walk you through all these things, discuss what you’re dreaming of, and talk to you about how you can make it happen.

They’ll also help you consider the material you would like your pool to be made with. The most used materials are concrete, fiberglass, and vinyl, all of which have their specific advantages and disadvantages.

Keep in mind that, as we’ll discuss later, the style and features you choose at installation will have a direct impact on how much it costs to maintain your pool water.

Consider Local Laws

It is important to know the local by-laws in your area regarding pools as that will help you make decisions about where to install the pool, if it should be fenced in, and other details to be approved by the state or federal government. Again, your pool builder will have many of the answers to these questions readily available to discuss with you.

Consider Safety Features

Pools are places of exercise and leisure—and accidents can occur in them as they would in any other place. A report by the WHO mentions drowning as the 3rd leading cause of unintentional death worldwide. So, to ensure the safety of your children and yourself, safety should be a top consideration while planning, installing, and maintaining your pool. Fencing in your pool and building in other safety features is a great start and something your pool builder will be familiar with.

Consider the Pool Builder

Though not often considered, the pool builder you decide to work with to install your pool can either simplify the process or make it more difficult for you. Some qualities to look out for when choosing a pool builder include good customer engagement, high ratings, and high-quality experience with a variety of pools. What kind of work have they done before? Are there photos of past work that you can review? Customers you can hear from? These things are essential to your decision-making process.

Now that we’ve discussed several elements to consider before you ask, “How much does it cost to maintain a pool,” let’s get to answering that specific question.

Related: What To Look for in a Pool Builder

How Much Does It Cost to Maintain a Pool?

Pool maintenance usually involves cleaning and properly handling the pool so it can function effectively at all times. Of course, this includes chemicals to keep the water clean as well as time and equipment to properly vacuum and clean the pool. In some cases, this could involve repair, remodeling, and renovation. The cost of pool maintenance includes some of the following factors:

  • Frequency of maintenance
  • Pool size
  • Pool type and material used to construct it
  • Type and amount of maintenance needing to be done

To better calculate how much it costs to maintain a pool, let’s break down the different types of maintenance that can be carried out and look at their cost considerations.

Winterization and Pool Opening

These maintenance procedures are done for outdoor pools, which are opened seasonally. Winterizing a pool involves turning off the equipment, removing any accessories in it, shocking the water with chemicals, and covering the pool. This costs between $150 and $300 and is done at the end of a pool season.

 On the other hand, opening a pool involves removing the cover in the new season, turning on the pool filter, filling the pool, and testing the water to determine its pH and chlorine level. If the pool was not well winterized in the previous season, professional services will need to be hired to clean out the debris and scrub the pool floor thoroughly. 

Chlorine Wash

Chlorine wash is a chemical that can be added to the walls of the pool to limit the growth of bacteria and viruses within the pool. This can be done at least once per season if the pool is in constant use.

pH Balancing

A pool should have a neutral pH range within the range of 7.4-7.6. As a pool owner, it is essential for you to have a pool test kit to tell what the pH of your pool is at any given time. Too much chlorine in the water can cause the pH level to drop, so a check of the amount of chlorine added to the water is required to prevent this.

Drain and Filter Cleaning

The cost of drain cleaning depends on the number of drains the pool has, while filter cleaning costs depend more on how much water and debris you’re filtering. If you are performing the filter cleaning yourself, it is best done when the pressure gauge reads between 8-10 psi.


Dirt that is not easily removed by filter cleaning is removed through weekly vacuuming. This is done using a pool vacuum cleaner or automatic vacuum cleaner. These vacuum cleaners could cost as little as $20 and into the hundreds of dollars.

Pool Heater Maintenance

This is mostly carried out to maintain heater efficiency and involves keeping the heater area dirt and rodent-free to prevent the heater from developing issues. Even with proper heater maintenance, a seasonal heater inspection is required to ensure it is running well and can last through the season.

Pool Pump Maintenance

Maintaining the efficiency of the pool pump is necessary for easy filtration of debris from the pool. It is recommended to run your pool pump for as long as 8 hours daily to circulate the water and dissuade the growth of algae in the pool. This, of course, accumulates electricity usage and plays a role in how much it costs to maintain your pool.

Related: How Long Should You Run Your Pool Pump?

Repair Cost

Repairs are carried out on the pool when a part of it is not functioning properly and therefore needs to be repaired. Routine pool maintenance helps to reduce the number of times this occurs and thereby reduces cost.

There are quite a variety of repair jobs that can be carried out in a pool. Pool repair jobs include things like fixing leaks and cracks, and repairing or replacing the pump motor, pool drain, and the pool filter.

Ways to Reduce Pool Maintenance Cost

A pool is a great investment. It can improve your backyard aesthetic, providing you with a lovely, getaway-like location in the comfort of your backyard. It can also increase the value of your home and provide stress relief.

That said, how much it costs to maintain a pool varies greatly based on all the factors we’ve discussed here. If these values remain high, you might end up spending more money than you planned on maintenance alone.

For this reason, it’s important to develop ways to reduce the frequency of maintenance while still effectively caring for your pool, and by so doing, reduce how much you actually spend on maintaining your pool. Here are some common ways to reduce your pool maintenance costs:

  1. Use a pool cover to cover your pool: This helps with pool cleanliness and ensures safety when the pool is left unsupervised. It may also save you a heating cost of up to 70%, reduce evaporation by 30-50%, and chemical consumption by 35-60%.
  2. Use a more energy-efficient pool pump.
  3. Use larger pool filters, as they use less electricity.
  4. Reduce the temperature of your pool by turning off the heater in the summer to save on heating costs.

You can also save money by regularly carrying out simple pool maintenance such as pH balancing and cleaning the pool filter by yourself. This will help you keep the equipment clear and clean, and it can help you identify any issues earlier.

Choose the Best

Many companies offer pool services, but only a few of them can truly meet all of your many needs. Only one is as experienced and equipped to do so as we are.

California Pools is your go-to company, as we have over 75 years of experience giving the best swimming pool, spa, and deck services to many homeowners like yourself. Whatever plans you have for your pool, our team of experts is here to help you understand what’s involved and help you make the best decisions while working within your budget. We will help you fine-tune your goals and educate you on all you need to know to make an informed decision about your pool. Contact us today to get started in making your dream of a sparkling blue swimming pool a reality.

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