Maintaining your pool can be costly, but at the same time, not maintaining it properly can be a far more costly experience. That being said, we all can agree that there will be some sort of cost for maintenance. So, what are the things you should consider before we talk price.
The first decision is, do you want to do the maintenance yourself or hire a professional? If you want to maintain your pool yourself, you will need to invest in a quality test kit and some quality equipment such as a leaf skimming net, vacuum head, vacuum hose, algae-wall brush, and a telescopic pole. I want to stress that you don’t go cheap here. The difference between quality equipment and non-quality equipment is big and you will get frustrated with the inferior equipment.
Next, you will have to purchase pool chemicals and have a safe place to store them. You will also need to factor in your time and energy for making trips to the pool supply store. Understand that the pool supply store will also want to sell you other stuff that you may or may not need. Aside from the actual out of pocket cost, in my opinion, the biggest cost it your time and energy spent on dealing with your pool. It can be simple, but if can easily get out of control if you don’t stay on top of things. My advice to you is if you take care of the pool yourself, pick one day of the week and service your pool on that day and stick to it.
If you decide to hire a professional, keep in mind, not all pool guys/gals are created equal. Pricing can also vary. You probably are already getting direct mail from pool service companies with low price offers. Be cautious of the low price guys. If your main objective is to get the lowest possible price, then as the saying goes, “you get what you pay for”. Often times, these companies have $69.00, $79.00, or $89.00 per month rates. This sounds attractive if you are looking for the lowest price in town.
Most Pool professionals will charge as an average between $120.00 and $180.00 per month for a weekly maintenance contract. Just like all pool guys and gals are not created equal, not all pools are created equal as well. There are many factors that go into coming up with pricing.
Some things that we consider are:
- What type of sanitizer is being used?
- How big is the pool?
- Are there large trees or other vegetation what will make the pool dirty?
- Do you have a dog that loves to swim?
- Is the pool heated?
- Does the pool have a vanishing edge?
- Are there water features?
- What access issues are there? Is there a spa?
... Just to name a few.
When hiring a pool company, do a little homework.
- Do you actually like the person you will be hiring?
- Are they members of the BBB?
- Do they hold a valid state Contractor’s License?
- Do they have liability insurance?
- Do they have hazmat coverage for their vehicles?
- Are their workers actually employees of sub-contractors?
- Are their workers covered under a workman’s compensation policy as required by law?
- Do they have an actual place of business, or do they work from home?
- Do they have any credentials such as Certified Pool Operators, Water Chemistry Certified, and Certified Start-Up Specialist?
... And so on.
Next, consider the electricity cost of running the pool pump. You want to make sure that your pump runs long enough to cycle or turn-over your pool volume at least once per day. On average this means 4-6 hours per day. The size of the pump and horse power rating will impact the flow rate so you can determine how long you need to run your pump. With a single speed pump, your electricity costs can range from $50.00 to $150.00 per month. Variable speed pool pumps can operate at $25.00 to $50.00 per month on average. Upgrading to a variable speed pump is always a wise investment.
Lastly, consider the cost of water. A pool can evaporate approx. ¼ inch of water per day in the summer time and almost no evaporation in the cold winter months. This can add $10 to $40 per month in water costs. Now if you pool is leaking, this cost can skyrocket. If you have a pool leak, find it and fix it!
After digesting the cost of pool ownership, always keep in mind that swimming is one of the healthiest forms of exercise and can be a place for your family and friends to gather and create some lasting family memories.