Swimming pool owners pay around $1,432 on average every year to maintain their pools. That annual cost includes regular cleaning, chemical balancing, repairs, and seasonal opening and closing.
Hiring a professional pool service or “pool guy” to clean your pool monthly will usually cost about $132 a month. If you just want a one-time cleaning for a pool party or other special event, as opposed to regular service, you would pay about $235 for a single service call.
Outside of basic cleaning, a pool needs closing, aka winterizing, when it gets cold outside and opening when it warms up again every year.
Opening and closing cost about $406 each for the average pool. Repairing pool equipment that is damaged typically costs about $518 on average, though that price varies depending on the specific repair you need.
How much does pool service cost?
- Monthly pool cleaning price range: $80 – $183 a month
- One-time cleaning price range: $137 – $333
- Pool opening/closing price range: $228 – $583
- Pool repair price range: $147 – $888
- Annual pool maintenance price range: $1,064 – $1,800
Overall, you should expect to pay between $1,064 and $1,800, or an average of $1,432 annually for pool service. Basic cleaning from a pro every month costs about $80 to $183 for an average of $132 monthly.
If you decide not to opt for regular professional pool cleaning but you need a one-time service for any reason, you’ll probably pay about $137 to $333 or $235 on average.
Depending on where you live and how cold it gets in winter, you may have to “close” your pool every fall, then “open” it again in spring. You’ll pay about $228 to $583, for an average of $406, every time you hire a pool service company to open or close your pool.
Aside from routine maintenance and cleaning, your pool will most likely need some sort of repair to the equipment or liner at least every few years. Those repairs will probably cost between $147 and $888 depending on the severity of the damage and how hard it is for a pool technician to repair. For budgeting purposes, expect to pay $518 on average for general pool repairs.
- How much does pool service cost?
- Cost by Swimming Pool Size
- Other Factors That Affect Cost
- Extra Services
- Cost of DIY Pool Maintenance
- Cost of Pool Service by Location
- FAQ About Pool Service
Cost by Swimming Pool Size
Many professional pool cleaning services charge for labor by the hour, which means the longer it takes someone to clean your pool, the more you’ll have to pay. So, a larger pool that needs more attention will cost more to clean and maintain than a smaller one.
Nationwide, the average cost for swimming pool maintenance is $79 per hour. That cost could range from $65 to $93 per hour depending on rates where you live and how intensive the cleaning needs to be.
For how long it would take to clean your specific pool, keep in mind that cleaning the average above-ground pool takes about half an hour to an hour, an in-ground pool of 10 feet by 20 feet would take about an hour and a half to two hours, and a large 20-foot by 40-foot in-ground pool could take as long as three to five hours.
|POOL SIZE||HOW LONG TO CLEAN||APPROXIMATE LABOR COST|
* per cleaning
|Above-ground pool (24 feet in diameter)||30 minutes – 1 hour||$40 – $79|
|Small in-ground pool (10 feet x 20 feet)||1.5 hours – 2 hours||$119 – $158|
|Large in-ground pool (20 feet x 40 feet)||3 hours – 5 hours||$237 – $395|
Other Factors That Affect Cost
Different types of swimming pools require different equipment and methods to clean, which means the specifics of your pool will affect how much you have to pay for cleaning and other maintenance.
We’ll cover some of the biggest variables when it comes to swimming pools and break down the cost factors that come along with each one.
Chlorine vs. saltwater pools
Even though it costs more upfront to build a saltwater pool than a standard chlorine pool, you’ll save several hundred dollars in maintenance costs with a saltwater pool in the long run.
Here’s why: A saltwater system doesn’t require as many chemicals, and the water won’t need testing and balancing as often as it would in a chlorine pool.
The hourly cost of professional labor will likely be the same whether you have a saltwater or chlorine pool, but the amount you pay in chemical costs will vary significantly.
|TYPE OF POOL||YEARLY CHEMICAL COST|
|Saltwater||$70 – $100|
|Chlorine||$238 – $775|
Indoor vs. outdoor pools
As you might expect, indoor pools tend to stay cleaner than outdoor pools because they aren’t exposed to dirt, leaves, twigs, and other debris that needs skimming or might damage the pool filter.
For this reason, an indoor pool needs far less frequent cleaning visits, which means your annual pool maintenance cost would be less for an indoor pool.
Indoor pools also don’t need chemical balancing as often as outdoor pools, because the sun can affect outdoor chemical levels. That means an indoor pool could save you hundreds and possibly even thousands of dollars in the long run on professional cleaning and chemical costs.
Type of pool filter
Most swimming pools use one of three types of filters: cartridge filter, sand filter, or diatomaceous earth (DE) filter.
A cartridge filter is the simplest and most affordable, usually under $100, while a DE filter is the most elaborate and can cost as much as $700.
We’ll go over each type of filter and their associated costs.
- Cartridge filter: A cartridge filter features a pump that circulates water through the filter itself, which catches dirt particles and other debris. You have to replace the cartridge regularly for anywhere from $13 to $75. Installing or replacing a whole cartridge filter system could cost between $8 and $75.
- Sand filter: In a sand filter, as the name suggests, the water moves through sand, which catches even fine debris. You’ll have to change out the sand whenever it gets too full, usually once every few years. Replacement sand costs about $12 per bag, and a whole new system runs for around $150 to $500.
- Diatomaceous earth (DE) filter: A DE filter uses diatoms (the skeletons of microscopic organisms) to remove even the finest debris, including metals in the water. This method gets the water so clean it’s sometimes used for drinking water. Because DE filters work so well and use advanced materials, they’re expensive to install and maintain. A new system costs $600 to $700, and a replacement bag of DE powder usually costs about $20.
|FILTER TYPE||RECURRING COSTS||COST TO REPLACE THE WHOLE SYSTEM|
|Cartridge filter||$13 – $75 for a new cartridge||$8 – $75|
|Sand filter||$12 for bag of sand||$150 – $500|
|Diatomaceous earth (DE) filter||$20 for new DE powder||$600 – $700|
From your home insurance company’s perspective, all a swimming pool does is make your home more dangerous. Having a pool increases the chance of someone getting hurt on your property, so it also increases your monthly home insurance payments, usually by about $20 to $25 a month.
While insurance isn’t necessarily a service, it’s a recurring cost you’ll have to pay for as long as you have your pool.
Swimming pool maintenance involves more than just basic cleaning. You may need additional work from your pool service company, either for the pool itself or the surrounding landscape.
Acid washing is a special treatment that involves draining all the water in the pool and scrubbing the walls and floor with muriatic acid to remove all kinds of stains. Note: Acid washing isn’t an option for pools with vinyl liners.
Because acid washing takes so much time and work, it’s an expensive service you might invest in every several years at most.
Cost of service: $288 to $403
A certified pool technician can inspect your swimming pool for cracks in the foundation, malfunctioning equipment, leaks, and other issues.
It’s always a good idea to have a pool inspection along with the standard home inspection when you buy or sell a house. You may also need an inspection if you’ve been handling your own pool maintenance or not maintaining your pool at all for a long period.
You can hire a certified inspector for a pool inspection, or some pool cleaners might offer a free inspection when you sign up for regular service.
Cost of service: $201 is the national average
Hot tub maintenance
Hot tubs need regular cleaning and maintenance to prevent major issues in the future. When you have a specialist come to clean your pool, they’ll likely be able to take care of your hot tub, too, for an additional fee.
You can sign up for weekly hot tub cleaning just like with pool service or opt for a more intensive occasional maintenance visit that includes basic cleaning, chemical balancing, checking equipment, and repairing minor problems.
Cost of service: $80 to $85 a month for weekly service or $75 per hour for one-time maintenance
When landscaping a backyard with a swimming pool, you have to take the pool into account in every aspect of the design. Pool landscapes usually include features such as fencing, trees that don’t shed leaves or have extensive damaging root systems, a custom pool deck, statuary, or outdoor lighting.
You could install your own pool landscape to save money or hire a pro with expertise in landscape design and installation. How much you spend on pool landscaping will depend on how simple or complicated you want to go with your design and what materials you want to use.
You might also want to hire a professional landscaper to maintain the area around your pool.
Cost of service: Up to $100,000 for installation; $133 to $370 per month for maintenance
Cost of DIY Pool Maintenance
Properly maintaining your own pool takes dedication and time, but it shouldn’t be too difficult. It doesn’t take too much equipment, either.
If you’re willing to put in the work and maintain a steady cleaning schedule, you could save a lot of money and still keep your pool in tip-top shape.
To keep your pool clean, you’ll need tools like a skimmer and vacuum as well as cleaning supplies. You’ll have to restock your pool cleaning supplies every so often, but that still won’t cost near as much as paying for professional pool service.
Based on the top 10 featured products in each category from Amazon, Lowe’s, and Home Depot’s websites, here is the approximate cost of everything you need to maintain your pool.
|EQUIPMENT NEEDED||AVERAGE COST|
|Pool filter cleaner||$15|
|Pool water test strips||$17|
Guide to DIY pool maintenance
DIY pool maintenance includes six simple tasks you need to perform on a regular schedule to keep your pool clean, healthy for swimmers, and functioning. Stay on top of these chores, and you won’t ever have to worry about hiring a pool cleaning service.
1. Balance water pH and chlorine levels. Once or twice a week, use test strips to check your pool water’s pH and chlorine level. Add the appropriate pool chemicals as necessary to keep the pH level between 7.4 and 7.6 and the chlorine at 1.0 to 3.0 ppm.
2. Skim the surface. Use a skimmer to remove leaves, twigs, insects, and other debris floating in the pool. Empty the pool’s skimmer baskets. You’ll need to do this once or twice a week to keep gunk from building up in the water.
3. Clean the pool’s walls and floor. Using a handheld or automatic pool vacuum, remove dirt and debris from along the pool’s floor. Scrub caked-on dirt from the walls with a pool brush. Vacuuming and brushing once a week during swimming season should keep your pool ready to use at any time.
4. Shock the pool. Also once a week, you’ll need to add a chlorine shock product (which comes in tablets, powders, and other mediums) to your pool water to keep it clean and safe for swimming. You may need to shock the pool more frequently after a storm.
5. Prevent algae. Add a small dose of algaecide to your pool every week to keep algae from growing in the first place. That way you won’t suffer from “green pool” and have to remove algae later.
6. Clean the filter. Use a specialty pool filter cleaner to remove oil, grease, or other substances stuck in your pool filter. You don’t need to deep-clean the filter like this very often, only a few times a year.
Cost of Pool Service by Location
The climate where you live determines which pool services you will and won’t need, which will affect the overall annual cost of a pool for you.
If you live where the weather stays relatively warm year-round, like Miami or San Diego, you likely won’t have to close your pool for winter and therefore won’t have to open it in spring. Cutting those services alone will shave hundreds of dollars off your annual pool maintenance budget.
Warm weather is a double-edged sword, though. Longer swimming seasons mean your pool will need more cleaning, which could increase your costs.
FAQ About Pool Service
A fiberglass pool would be easiest to maintain because the gelcoat on the fiberglass surface prevents algae and similar buildup.
You need electricity to run your pool’s pump and filter. You might pay up to $300 more per year on your electric bill if you get a swimming pool.
You’ll need several thousand gallons of water to fill your pool for the first time, and that excess water will probably add somewhere from $60 to $120 to your water bill.
After that, you should only have to add more water when opening the pool in spring or if evaporation affects the water level, so the pool shouldn’t affect future water bills too much.
Most homeowners spend about $1,432 annually on professional pool maintenance. Common services include regular cleaning, seasonal opening and closing, and repairs.
To save money, you could purchase some simple cleaning tools for about $381 and maintain your pool yourself, but you will have to stay on top of the cleaning schedule.
Without regular pool service, your pool can get very dirty very quickly or be damaged — and then you will have to pay for repairs.
Main Photo Credit: GEOGOZZ / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0