The average cost of pool maintenance ranges from $2,000 to $4,035 per year. A one-time service for basic maintenance may cost lower, while major tune-ups for large-sized pools may exceed $4,035. The frequency of which you hire pool experts, the pool size, and its surface material are among the factors that determine how much you spend on maintenance.
Pool maintenance isn’t as simple as brushing the walls or collecting leaves with a skimmer. It is a single term that describes a wide array of services such as fixing leaks, replacing filters, inspecting the salt chlorine generator, and much more.
Not every type of maintenance needs to be costly or complex. Some are quite routine, such as checking the water pH levels and adding the necessary chemicals. On the other hand, the water heater or filtration system may require professional inspection and maintenance, costing you more than basic water testing. We will go through each point in more detail, right after we cover the average pool maintenance costs.
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Average Pool Maintenance Costs in 2024
Pool maintenance has an annual price range of $2,000 to $4,035. Summer is generally the longest swimming season, thus taking up a large chunk out of the annual pool maintenance cost. Outdoor swimming is not a year-round activity in many US regions, so closing the pool is crucial to keep the wintry weather from damaging it. Maintenance costs will be limited until spring rolls around, which is when you typically reopen the pool and prepare it for the upcoming swimming season.
Things won’t always go smoothly for your pool, so you may have to occasionally hire pros for one-time services. For a basic tune-up on a small above-ground pool, you may end up paying less than $2,000. Pool pros may charge higher than $4,035 to maintain a larger concrete pool, especially if multiple services are needed. But what if your pool requires scheduled, monthly maintenance plans? Are they priced differently than annual maintenance programs?
Pool Maintenance Cost Estimator by Maintenance Frequency
The cost of maintaining your swimming pool will vary depending on the frequency of which you hire pros to perform the necessary tune-ups. Weekly maintenance programs are not popular among pool companies, as not every type of pool service is required on a weekly basis. Monthly maintenance plans are more common, and may include up to four sessions if your pool desperately needs it.
Some pool companies offer seasonal maintenance plans in areas that enjoy 3 or 4 distinct seasons, helping you set a different budget for each period. For example, you’re more likely to spend more on regular upkeep during the summer, which is the perfect period for outdoor swimming.
Once you close your pool for the winter, you won’t have to worry about maintenance costs until the spring. Spending will restart when you reopen the pool and balance the water chemicals in preparation for summer.
Annual pool maintenance plans are just as popular as seasonal plans, especially if you live in regions with long pool seasons. States like California and Arizona are among the sunniest in the US, which makes an annual maintenance plan the right way to go. With your pool properly maintained throughout the year, you are free to work on your tan and improve your swimming skills.
The table below shows the different price ranges for each maintenance frequency:
|Typical Price Range
|$20 – $125
|$167 – $336
|$925 – $1,605
|$2,000 – $4,035
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Other Factors That Affect Pool Maintenance Costs
The cost of pool maintenance isn’t solely based on the frequency of which pool pros get their hands wet. If you hire pros to service your small above-ground pool, you won’t pay the same amount as someone who owns a large gunite pool. This section will highlight other key factors that determine how low or high you spend on pool maintenance.
The larger the swimming pool, the costlier the maintenance. Pros will take longer to inspect the pool’s large surface area, not to mention the extra equipment it may need. Small- and medium-sized pools require shorter labor hours to service, costing you less in return. The following table briefly demonstrates how size affects maintenance costs:
|200 square feet (small)
|500 square feet (average)
|800 square feet (large)
Some pool professionals set maintenance costs based on the number of hours needed to complete the tasks, rather than the size of your pool. There’s not a major difference between the two, as larger pools naturally take longer to maintain. On average, the cost of professional pool maintenance ranges from $65 to $97 per hour.
Certain types of swimming pools, such as in-ground installations, typically require more maintenance than others. Costs will vary depending on whether you have an in-ground, above-ground, or a saltwater pool installed.
Maintaining in-ground pools generally costs more than above-ground pools, mainly because they’re a permanent installation and tend to be larger in size. Even among in-ground pools, a saltwater system may require less maintenance due to fewer chemicals (chlorine) required. However, fixing a faulty salt chlorine generator will significantly increase the total service cost.
In addition to being more affordable, above-ground pools are easier to install than in-ground pools. After all, they are not a permanent installation on your property. Less complex pools have less complex equipment, so keeping them properly maintained is not expensive.
The following table summarizes the different labor costs for each type of pool:
|Maintenance Cost (per hour)
|$65 – $90
|$61 – $93
|$37 – $58
|$55 – $73
|$65 – $98
If your pool is made of fiberglass material, then you’d be happy to learn that it has the lowest maintenance costs. Fiberglass naturally prevents the growth of algae, so there’s less cleaning to worry about. Concrete pools are more prone to algae and generally require more specialized maintenance, which further raises costs. Vinyl liner pools sit right in the middle of fiberglass and concrete.
A swimming pool area with beautiful trees and direct sunlight seems quite picturesque, but it comes at a cost. A pool exposed to long hours of sunlight will promote bacteria growth in its water, resulting in chlorine dissipating faster than usual. As for the surrounding trees, their leaves may regularly fall into your pool and bring in more unwanted impurities. As a result, your pool filter and pump system will work harder to maintain clean water.
Pool equipment under added pressure and dissipating chlorine levels will lead you to hire pros more frequently than usual, increasing the maintenance costs.
Pool Filter Type
Filters are essential in keeping your pool water clear of harmful bacteria and dirt. They ensure that your swimming pool remains a fun and stress-free environment, rather than a breeding ground for diseases.
Diatomaceous Earth is the most expensive pool filter on the market, but it is highly performant and requires little to no maintenance. Cartridge filters wear out over time due to mineral buildup inside the filter housing, so they require regular cleaning and inspection. Pocket filters are the least expensive type, but also need to be cleaned and replaced regularly.
Overall, filters with higher upfront costs require less maintenance over time. You may prefer paying a little extra for a high-quality filter just to avoid paying for regular maintenance. Filter cleaning costs between $60 and $65 on average, while a replacement will cost you anywhere from $250 to $1,500.
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As long as the pool pros are on your property, why not ask for additional services such as converting your chlorine pool to a saltwater system? Upon inspection, the pros may also conduct important repairs to maintain your pool’s proper functioning.
Saltwater pools cost lower to maintain than chlorine pools, mainly because they require less chemicals to keep the water clean. If you already have a traditional (chlorinated) pool installed, you’ll only need to be for a conversion, and not an entirely new pool. Converting your chlorine pool to a saltwater system costs between $908 and $2,393 on average.
Pool covers keep leaves and other unwanted debris out of your pool, which can help reduce the amount of upkeep needed. On top of that, a cover will help prevent your kids and pets from accidentally falling into the pool. Installing a cover for an in-ground pool will cost between $392 and $2,400. High-end, automatic pool covers have a starting price of $4,600, reaching as high as $13,666. Covers for above-ground pools are less expensive, with prices ranging from $100 to $375.
Acid washing is not included in the pool maintenance category since it’s unique for concrete or gunite pools every 3 to 5 years. In other words, it is not considered a monthly or yearly expense for every pool type. It’s a process in which pool pros combine hydrochloric acid with water to remove stain, calcium deposits, and mold. Professional acid washing costs about $0.53 per square foot, or between $525 and $1,775 on average.
If you had always desired an indoor pool to enjoy year-round swimming, an outdoor pool enclosure would be the closest alternative. It can keep debris from falling into the pool and protect you from excessive sun exposure. Pool enclosures are typically made of vinyl, plastic, wood, or glass. A new pool enclosure will cost you between $6,335 and $19,665.
Repairs are not the same as regular maintenance. You cannot schedule repairs on a monthly or annual basis, as pool damage occurs irregularly or after long periods of neglecting tune-ups. On average, pool repairs cost about $518. Different components or surface materials have different repair costs, so we’ve listed some major examples in the table below:
|$50 – $200
|$25 – $50
|$250 – $475
|Pool Light Bulb
|$50 – $133 per light
|$75 per linear foot
Pro Cost vs DIY Cost
Most pool maintenance tasks are not DIY-friendly, including draining the pool and inspecting water pumps. Pool draining should only be done by pros to avoid cracking the pool shell or damaging the interior lining. Water pumps, heaters, and salt chlorine generators are complex electrical components that should be inspected by trained experts. You don’t want to risk getting electrocuted or further damaging those key components.
The following table lists what you’ll need to purchase for basic cleaning and water balancing:
|Water Test Kit
|Calcium Hardness Increaser
If you’re neither a fan of chemistry nor willing to waste free time on cleaning, you can hire pool pros to maintain your swimming pool. Balancing the water with different chemicals can be quite draining, or even give you a headache, so why put yourself through that situation? Swimming pools are meant to help you relax, not pile up the stress, so it’s best to trust pool professionals in maintaining your pool.
Pool Maintenance Cost by Location
If you live in a rural area that’s far from most pool companies, maintenance costs are likely to increase due to higher travel fees. Residing in or around large cities will help keep costs at a reasonable level, especially if you can get several estimates from multiple pool experts.
Swimming season is much longer in warmer climates, which can only mean more pool parties and activities. In this case, the pool will require more tune-ups and inspections to keep it clean and operational. The more you hire pros, the higher the maintenance costs. Homeowners in colder parts of the country will ideally close their pools for the winter, so they will be free of hefty maintenance costs for several months.
FAQ About Pool Maintenance
Should you drain the pool to repair leaks?
Unless you’re a pool expert yourself, you should not take on the responsibility of draining your pool. Apart from that, repairing major pool leaks is a complex task that should only be done by professionals. If you spot any signs of a potential leak, you should immediately hire a pool pro to get it fixed right away.
How often should you test your pool water?
Water test strips are priced at about $12.85, so you’re not dealing with expensive equipment. If you’re new to pool water testing, test the water every 2 to 3 days to learn how the water fluctuates. Frequency also depends on what it is you’re testing for.
There’s no exact number to how often you should test the water, but there are circumstances that warrant you to grab the test kit and get to work. Here are some of them:
- After heavy usage, such as a pool party
- Before closing your pool for the winter
- After experiencing minor pool issues
- Whenever you’re unsure of current chemical levels
- When you reopen your pool during the spring. We recommend hiring pros to conduct more thorough chemical tests
- Pool has had a recent algae infestation
- After heavy rainfall
Do tennis balls help keep the pool water clean?
It may seem strange at first, but they certainly do. This is a cool hack that every pool owner should know. After a long day of swimming and other pool activities, you may notice a film developing on top of the surface water. This film is an accumulation of body oil, sunscreen, and other impurities that don’t belong in the pool.
To soak up that greasy film before balancing the water, simply throw in a few tennis balls and let them float around. Their rough exterior will absorb the oils on the surface and make the pool filter’s job a whole lot easier. Even after the greasy film has cleared, it’s important to test the water and add the necessary chemicals.
Lack of Handyperson Skills? Hire Pool Pros
When it comes to performing time-consuming maintenance tasks, why go through the hassle yourself? Stop using reminder alerts on your phone and let the pros dedicate a scheduled maintenance program for your swimming pool. An annual maintenance plan will cost you between $2,000 and $4,035, or between $167 and $336 for a monthly program. Your pool size, type, and surface material are important factors that determine the total cost of maintenance.
You can do some basic pool cleaning such as skimming, but don’t risk harming yourself by inspecting electrical components without any supervision. On top of that, you may use improper tools or perform unnecessary steps that can damage the component even further.
To get the best monthly or annual maintenance plan, connect to a local pool maintenance professional for an affordable and efficient service.
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