6. What will it cost to operate a pool?
Is there a lot of maintenance?
First let’s discuss the cost of operating the pool pump. You can get an awful lot of conflicting information about this topic, but I believe the correct answer is this - if you run your 1hp pump 12 hours a day, it will cost you about one dollar - or thirty dollars a month. Counting the winter down times and reduced operating times, expect your pool pump to cost about $200 per year. Of course this will vary with the cost of electricity where you live but that number will be close. Many people run their pools 24/7, but there is really no need for that, and it is wasting your money. You should have a timer on your pool, (timers are included on every pool we build), and set the time initially for eight hours a day. In the heat of the summer, consider increasing that time to twelve hours, and in the winter I run my pool only two hours a day. You can also consider operating a variable speed pump, which will run your pump at slower speeds for a longer time. Some of these pumps have an efficiency rating near 90%, and in some States, California for one, there are incentives to convert to these pumps. Be aware they are expensive, and the initial cost can put people off, but over the long term there is no question these pumps will pay for themselves When you think of cost to maintain a pool, as in all things it is the hidden costs that will catch you. With concrete pools and liner pools, we have discussed the potential (and inevitable) problems with liners and plaster resurfacing. With all pools there are costs for chemicals - probably about $150 - $200 a year. With a fiberglass pool those costs will be significantly less because fiberglass pools are so much better at what they do - chemical needs are reduced just because of how fiberglass deals with those things. Parts will wear out, hoses may leak - filters clog up - most of these issues are minor, and your builder should be there to help you with all of these things. I feel like the biggest hidden cost is the time you will have to give up to maintain your pool. With a concrete pool, this will be a significant amount of time as concrete pools require diligent efforts to keep them clean and algae free. Chemical balance is a large part of concrete pool maintenance, and if not cared for will have long terms consequences. For vinyl liner pools, while maintenance is still important, it is not as much as concrete. Paying attention to the chemical balance is still very important, as bad chemical care will eat up a vinyl liner in a couple of seasons. I have seen vinyl liners only three years old that were as brittle as saltine crackers, mostly because chlorine levels were permitted to get too high and did their damage. Fiberglass swimming pools, will still require some cleaning - leaves and dirt will get into your pool, and chemical balance is important as well, just to keep the water comfortable for swimming. Low PH makes eyes sting, but compared to other types of pool construction. Fiberglass swimming pools are extremely low maintenance, and will give you much more time to just do the important things - like doing nothing. I don’t know if you can put a price on that but most of us think it is worth a lot.
6. What will it cost to operate a pool? Is there a lot of maintenance?