How Much Does Pool Maintenance Cost?
If a homeowner is considering installing a backyard pool, they’ll want to take pool maintenance costs into account. Homeowners can expect to spend between $110 and $351 for pool cleaning, or an average cost of $229.
- The typical cost range to maintain a pool is $110 to $351, with a national average of $229.
- Maintenance frequency and type, in addition to pool size, type and material, repairs, and labor, can all affect the overall cost of pool maintenance.
- Some reasons for a homeowner to opt for professional pool maintenance are improved water quality, water loss prevention, safety, and aesthetic appeal.
- Many pool owners do their own maintenance; however, hiring a professional can save time and energy. Some homeowners will do day-to-day maintenance themselves but leave more difficult or complex aspects like vacuuming or adding chemicals to the pros.
Before diving into the deep end, it’s important for a homeowner to have all the facts about what to expect when maintaining a backyard pool. Maintenance may not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering how much it will cost to build a pool or the cost of an above-ground pool. But whether a homeowner is setting up a vinyl above-ground pool or installing a full inground concrete pool, keeping pool water clean and safe is a necessary step for enjoying a cool dip in the water on a hot afternoon. Daily cleaning routines are the best way to keep an eye on the pool water’s clarity and cleanliness, but it might be preferable for a homeowner to work with a pool service company to coordinate a monthly (or weekly) cleaning routine, too. So how much is pool maintenance? According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, pool maintenance costs range between $110 and $351, with a national average of $229 for a complete pool cleaning service. For busy homeowners or pools that see a lot of use, professional pool cleaning is a great way to alleviate the tedious task of keeping the pool crystal clear.
Factors in Calculating Pool Maintenance Cost
While the average pool maintenance cost is $229, the frequency of pool maintenance will affect the total cost. Other factors like the size and type of swimming pool will also have a bearing on the price. The cost of an inground pool is only one aspect for homeowners to consider when budgeting for pool maintenance costs. Above-ground pools cost about the same to maintain as inground pools since they basically have the same structure. The number of tasks the pool cleaning service takes care of will also affect the cost. Homeowners can expect to spend between $1,200 and $1,800 per year on basic pool maintenance costs. If a homeowner happens to have one of the best home warranties for pool coverage, such as one from Choice Home Warranty or American Home Shield, they may save on service or repairs by filing a claim. Homeowners can use the following factors or a pool maintenance cost calculator to get a general idea of pricing.
Yearly pool service costs are driven by the frequency of maintenance visits that are scheduled. For homeowners who prefer to handle only skimming the pool and running the filter, a pool cleaning service will need to come more often to treat the water and thoroughly clean the pool. For homeowners who enjoy the therapeutic effect of cleaning and scrubbing a pool as often as needed, a pool service company could come less frequently. Homeowners can generally expect to pay $20 to $50 per week for maintenance. Weekly pool maintenance typically costs less since the pool cleaners can keep up with the cleaning schedule and avoid water-quality challenges. Monthly pool maintenance costs $30 to $260, and an annual visit is priced anywhere between $960 and $1,800.
|Service Frequency||Average Cost|
|Weekly||$20 to $50|
|Monthly||$30 to $260|
|Annual||$960 to $1,800|
Pool service companies can handle any pool cleaning task, from skimming debris and vacuuming to repairing broken filters or pumps. The more services a homeowner schedules, the more the visit will cost since the pool cleaner will be spending more time working on the pool. Opening or closing a pool for the season is an additional cost not included in regular maintenance fees. The most basic cleaning package averages $80 per month (skimming, water testing, checking filters), and adding other services will run approximately $10 a month for each service.
Pool size can affect maintenance costs in two ways: the service may charge more for a larger pool, or the service may take longer, which will increase the hourly cost. In general, the rate for pool maintenance is about $50 to $100 per hour. A small 10-foot by 20-foot pool may only take 1 to 3 hours to maintain, whereas a large 20-foot by 40-foot pool can take up to 4 hours.
Different types of pools may have different maintenance needs, which can affect the overall cost. The costs for maintaining different types of pools are as follows.
- The rate for chlorine inground and above-ground pool maintenance is $50 to $100 per hour.
- Indoor pools have a significantly lower hourly cost at $25 to $50.
- Saltwater pool maintenance is more specialized and costs $80 to $100 per month.
- Chemicals and salt cost $100 each year. The salt cell also must be replaced every 3 to 7 years, which costs $800.
Most pools are made of concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl. Each of these materials comes with unique maintenance costs. Concrete pools are the most expensive to maintain because they are prone to algae growth and must be vacuumed frequently. Vinyl pools are simpler to clean but are known to tear occasionally, which means the liner will need to be patched or replaced. Lastly, fiberglass pools are the cheapest and simplest material to maintain, only needing resurfacing every so often.
|Pool Material||Average Maintenance Cost|
|Concrete||$450 to $1,200|
|Fiberglass||$300 to $550|
|Vinyl||$350 to $800|
Regular maintenance can help prevent most pool parts from breaking down completely. The cost to replace a filter is $13 to $700, depending on the filter and how much of the filtration system needs to be replaced. Replacing a pool pump motor typically costs $185 to $350. And while no pool owner wants to find a leak in their pool, a pro can help repair the leak for between $20 and $200, depending on the complexity of the leak and the pool material. In some cases, a pool inspection may be necessary to determine if the liner is torn or needs to be replaced. A pool inspection costs about $125 to $250.
While chemicals and equipment make up most pool maintenance costs, the remainder of the cost is made up of labor fees. In general, pool maintenance companies charge $75 to $100 per hour, but that price varies by location and the size and type of pool. Searching for “pool service near me” will bring up local companies who might have posted their fees online.
Types of Pool Maintenance Services
When budgeting for pool maintenance costs, homeowners will want to keep in mind these other factors that influence the total price: opening and closing a pool seasonally, pump or heater maintenance, cleaning filters or drains, and more. Choosing how much pool maintenance to allow the pros to handle will affect the weekly or monthly pool maintenance price.
|Type of Maintenance||Average Cost|
|Acid wash||$350 to $550|
|Brushing||$80 to $360|
|Chlorine wash||$300 to $500|
|Drain and clean||$500 to $700|
|Drain cleaning||$60 to $125|
|Filter cleaning||$60 to $65|
|Opening or spring cleaning||$375 to $500|
|Vacuuming||$80 to $360|
|Winterization||$350 to $650|
On rare occasions, it may be necessary to remove stubborn scum from the sides of a pool by applying an acid wash using muriatic acid. To prevent skin irritation, homeowners will want to wear safety gear or just leave this task to the pros. For $350 to $550, this acid can be used to lower the pH balance of a pool, reduce mineral buildup, and prevent bacterial blooms. The acid wash will remove a thin layer of plaster to expose a fresh, clean layer that’s free of grime. Overuse of this chemical can be dangerous, so homeowners will want to use it with caution.
Brushing a pool is just as necessary as brushing teeth. It helps to get all the scum and grime off of the pool walls or floor. The kind of brush that’s used is dependent on the material of the pool—vinyl or fiberglass pools need a soft brush, but a plaster or concrete pool needs a stiff brush. Brushing before vacuuming weekly is the best method to ensure the pool is free of any dirt or scum. Brushing will cost approximately $80 to $360.
Pools are usually kept bacteria-free with the help of chlorine. If a storm, excessive heat, or a pool party disrupted the delicate balance of the pool water, regular chlorine treatments might not be enough to overcome the bacterial bloom. A chlorine wash is more potent than even a chlorine shock treatment and costs $300 to $500 on average. It’s carefully applied to all the pool walls to help remove stubborn bacteria, viruses, and scum.
Drain and Clean
Staying ahead of a dirty pool is the key to avoiding the unpleasant task of draining and cleaning a pool, but sometimes it’s the only way to get a contaminated pool back to pristine condition. The best pool cleaning services typically charge $500 to $700 to drain and clean a pool and the job usually takes several days. Since it’s more expensive, a pool company will try other common treatments to clean the pool first. Still, stubborn algae stains, significant floor dirt, and unresolved murky water usually indicate the need for a complete drain and clean.
Pool drains are an essential part of the pool system, but sometimes they get clogged with leaves, twigs, or hair. Homeowners will want to make sure they keep pool drains free from debris so they don’t allow bacteria to grow in the pool, which eventually requires extra chemicals to treat. If the pool is open for use, drains will need to be regularly cleaned. The cost of pool drain cleaning ranges between $60 and $125, depending on how many drains the pool has.
Keeping the pool filters clean is the best way to keep them in great shape for longer. Homeowners will want to clean them when the pressure gauge measures 8 to 10 psi (pounds per square inch) or when it looks like debris isn’t filtering out of the pool as well. The system may also need to be backwashed to clear the filter and water line. This task can be added to a monthly service if the filter starts to get dirty quickly with frequent pool use, or it can cost $60 to $65 as a stand-alone service.
Opening or Spring Cleaning
Outdoor pools in most regions are only used during the warmer months. For an average of $375 to $500, the pool can be ready for the season in no time. If the pool was not appropriately winterized or the pool cover didn’t adequately protect the pool, a homeowner’s first thought upon opening it in the spring may be, “Why is my pool green?” Homeowners can expect to pay more to thoroughly scrub and treat a bacteria-laden pool before jumping in.
Using a pool vacuum is a weekly task that’s important for getting rid of any debris that can’t get skimmed or filtered out. It’s the most time-intensive part of maintaining a pool if a manual vacuum attached to long poles is used to reach the bottom of the pool. Automatic vacuums are also available. They clean the pool floor in a back-and-forth pattern similar to an indoor robot vacuum. A basic vacuum could cost only $80, but more powerful or automatic vacuums cost up to $360.
Winterizing a pool is also necessary for most outdoor pools and costs $350 to $650 to complete. Over 1 or 2 days, the water will be shocked with chemicals and cleaned. Filters and pumps will be maintained, water lines and drains cleared, the water level lowered, and the pool securely covered.
Benefits of Pool Maintenance
Maintaining a pool is not as simple as it sounds. Many uncontrollable factors affect the quality of pool water, from sunshine to wind to sunscreen chemicals. For those who don’t have an abundance of time on their hands, keeping up with testing, cleaning, and maintaining a pool can become overwhelming. Water quality can quickly deteriorate to unsafe levels that make it unappealing to hang out poolside. Homeowners may want to consider the following benefits of hiring a swimming pool maintenance service.
Improved Water Quality
The appearance of a professionally maintained pool usually surpasses that of a DIY-maintained pool simply due to the skill and available time a pro has to commit to keeping the pool sparkling clean. While a homeowner is busy working or on vacation, a pro can keep an eye on the pool to make sure a sudden algae bloom doesn’t happen on their watch. This means it’s possible to jump into the pool anytime without having to wonder, “Why is my pool cloudy?”
Water Loss Prevention
Water evaporation can happen faster than anticipated. On average, a pool can lose up to 2 inches of water in a week. It’s easy for homeowners to forget to check the water levels frequently until the pool water is nearly a foot lower than usual. This can become dangerous if the pool has a deep end for diving that is now shallower than expected. Additionally, if the water level drops below the skimmer basket intake tubes, the pump could be irreparably damaged. Pool service companies will make this concern a thing of the past by keeping levels topped off consistently.
When homeowners think of pools, visions of backyard barbecues, pool parties, and relaxation ensue, but there’s a hidden aspect that’s less pleasant: water-quality safety. Pools are the perfect breeding ground for all manner of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa. Letting professionals stay on top of the cleanliness and clarity of a pool means it will be free of these threats, and homeowners can stick to lounging and party planning.
Part of total inground pool costs include maintaining the pool deck. Less debris on the ground means less debris blowing into the pool. Once a pool is overwhelmed by debris or bacteria, it can be challenging to bring it back to a usable level. With a regular pool maintenance service, there is less time for dirt and debris to build up, meaning the pool area stays tidy and usable.
Pool Maintenance: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Many pool owners choose to DIY pool maintenance on small pools or less permanent above-ground pools that only last a season or two. With less surface area to clean, it’s easier to stay on top of running the filter, testing the water, adding chemicals, and scrubbing the walls. If a pool is installed that uses saltwater-based chemicals to clean the pool, preventing mineral buildup may be challenging and time-consuming. Keeping bacteria levels to a minimum while avoiding an overabundance of chemicals can be a tricky balance to keep regular users safe. And while a homeowner may be willing to handle the daily tasks of skimming dead insects or leaves from the pool, vacuuming a 20-foot pool weekly may be more than they bargained for.
While it isn’t too difficult to learn how to maintain a pool, a common decision for pool owners is to handle the easy skimming and sweeping tasks independently while leaving the weekly or monthly tasks to a pro. Letting a qualified pool technician handle the chemical balance of the pool can bring some peace of mind that regular users can enjoy the pool safely. Pool technicians are also adept at handling those long-handled vacuums that reach the bottom of deep-end pools. With monthly inspections, they’ll also make sure the filters, drains, and pumps work optimally and replace them before they break down and upset the water quality.
How to Save Money on Pool Maintenance Cost
There are more ways to save on pool maintenance costs than just DIY-ing as much as possible. Implementing any of the ideas below can help save on pool maintenance costs.
- Use a pool cover. A pool cover is the best way to keep debris from contaminating your pool. A solar cover can also double as a heater if one isn’t included in the pool. As a bonus, covering the pool when not in use prevents evaporation.
- Run your pump for only 8 hours per day. Though some homeowners prefer to run a pump for 24 hours, running it for 8 hours a day is usually sufficient and will save on energy costs.
- Install a variable speed pump. A variable speed pump can save up to 90 percent on energy costs over time—and may qualify for an energy rebate in some locations.
- Keep equipment and chemicals stored in a shed. Over time, UV rays can damage pool equipment like skimmers and vacuums. Storing equipment and chemicals properly prolongs their lifespan and safety.
- Buy in bulk. If you’re willing to handle your own testing and chemical balancing, buy your chemicals in bulk to save on volume pricing. Keep an eye on expiration dates as liquid chlorine shock lasts only a few months.
- Stay on top of pool cleaning. Regular prevention is the key to avoiding expensive treatments to correct a water quality problem.
- Lower the temperature. If you have a heated pool, running the heater only when in use or at a lower constant temperature can save on electrical costs.
Questions to Ask About Pool Maintenance
When a homeowner is ready to talk to a pro about pool maintenance costs, asking the following questions of a pool maintenance company can help homeowners avoid miscommunication and understand expectations.
- Are you licensed and insured?
- What are your qualifications?
- Do you belong to any trade organizations?
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you have any outstanding litigation?
- How do you handle customer service?
- What services do you recommend for my pool?
- Do you offer seasonal pool maintenance services?
- How much do you charge for full-service visits compared to basic service visits?
- Do your technicians complete whichever tasks they think need to happen at each visit, or do they follow a specific task list?
- If I book weekly service visits, will you spot clean or do full service on each visit?
- What if I only want a few specific tasks done, as I plan to do the rest?
- Are your technicians qualified to repair broken parts?
- How can we protect my pool if I’m gone for a few weeks and I don’t want the pool serviced while I’m gone?
- Have you ever had any safety complaints due to poorly applied chemicals?
- Can I speak with a few customer referrals?
Knowing as much as possible about the complexities of pool maintenance costs will help alleviate concerns and confusion. The following are some frequently asked questions about pool maintenance costs to help guide the budget planning.
Q. Is it expensive to maintain a pool?
There are associated costs with pool maintenance that can’t be avoided. For general upkeep and supplies, expect to spend $1,200 to $1,800 per year. On top of that, utility fees and potential repairs could average $3,000 to $5,000 per year. It’s estimated that homeowners spend an extra $300 per month on electricity and another $20 to $60 on water each month. Installing an efficient variable speed pump and lowering the temperature are quick ways to reduce the monthly costs.
Q. Do I need to clean my pool every day?
For outdoor pools, yes—to some degree. Daily skimming and debris removal should become a habit. Running the pump for 8 hours each day will also help to keep the pool cleaner longer. If the pool is used infrequently, then it may not require daily chemical testing and maintenance. Indoor pools require less maintenance overall.
Q. Is it enough to clean my pool once per week?
Most pools only require weekly cleaning unless they are used heavily throughout the week. In that case, brushing and vacuuming twice a week may be the best option to keep the walls of the pool clean. It’s important to also test the water quality more frequently if the pool is used a lot.
Q. What if I put too much chlorine in my pool?
If a pool happens to be over chlorinated, it’s important for homeowners to make sure to keep everyone out of the pool—including pets. Excessive chlorine can cause skin and eye problems and lung irritation, especially for those who have asthma. Beyond the personal health concerns, excess chlorine makes the pool acidic, which can corrode metal or plastic parts in the pool. A chlorine test is the only sure way to know if there is too much chlorine since it may not smell overwhelming. Homeowners can follow these steps to correct excessive chlorine in a pool:
- If the test shows only slightly elevated levels, wait at least an hour before getting in the pool if the sun is out and can burn off some of the excess chemicals.
- Make sure the pool is uncovered so that UV rays can burn off the chlorine.
- Remove a chlorine floater or feeder if you’re using one.
- Use a chlorine-neutralizing chemical according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- If you prefer not to work with additional chemicals or the sun isn’t getting the job done well enough, you can call a pro to correct the problem safely and quickly.