In This Post We Explore DIY Pool Maintenance Costs & DIY Pool Repair Costs
If you are searching for how much it costs to maintain an inground pool this post should help!
Owning a home that has a swimming pool is really going to make you popular during summer, but with that honor, you have to think about maintenance. The average home owner will be able to do some of the maintenance on their own; the other projects are best done by a professional. Below are steps of what a pool maintenance contractor may do.
Pool Maintenance 101
If you own a pool, then the maintenance is going to be a requirement. A neglected pool is quick to become a frog pond or ponds that are filled with algae, mosquito nests, and other aesthetic and health issues. Fortunately, the right pool maintenance is easy when you have a regular schedule.
- Skimming – This is the first step to pool maintenance. A skimmer is a mesh net that is attached to a long pole and is used to remove any floating debris like drowned insects and leaves. If it is left alone, debris will clog the filters and sink to the bottom where it can cause stains. You may also notice that debris will cause issues with the circulation system of the pool. Skim the pool every few days. Be sure to remove, dump and then clean the strainer baskets weekly.
- Vacuuming – A skimmer won’t get everything, so even when you are skimming regularly, the fine particles such as dirt and dust will sink and settle in the bottom of the pool. That is why your pool will need to be vacuumed regularly. There are 2 types of pool vacuums which are manual and automatic. Automatic vacuums will run in the bottom of the pool and suction things up in a random pattern while a manual vacuums attach to a long pole that will let you steer the suction. When you use an automatic vacuum ensure that your passes are overlapping to get all the fine debris. If you have a large pool, vacuum in sections and do it weekly.
- Brushing – Brushing will keep your pool walls clean. The type of brush you will need will actually depend on the material of your pool walls. A plaster pool will need a stiff bristled brush while vinyl, fiberglass, and tile will need a soft bristled brush. For the stubborn buildup you can use a putty knife, pumice stone or a 50/50 mix of muriatic acid and water but be sure to wear eye protection and gloves. Brush the pool walls weekly before you vacuum. Brushing will loosen up any particles for your vacuum to get.
- Cleaning Filters – There are 3 types of filters: DE, sand and cartridge. Each type will have unique requirements for cleaning. Sand filters need to be backwashed and treated with a special cleaning chemical. Cartridge filters need to be removed and sprayed down with a garden hose. The DE filters need to be backwashed, but you will need to add more DE to it. DE filters tend to trap smaller particles.
- Pool Heater Maintenance – The average pool heater can last a few years before it needs to be serviced. Sometimes there can be a build up of calcium or other minerals on the heater tubes, which restrict the operation. Whenever this happens, it is best to hire a professional to take it apart and repair the heater.
- Water Level – Your pool can lose water from splashing, natural evaporation and people getting in and out of the pool. Check your water level each time you skim the pool and clean the baskets. Water levels shouldn’t fall below the intake tube on the skimmer. This may ruin your pump. When the water level gets low, simply use a water hose to fill it to the right level.
- Maintaining pH – The pH level of your pool water will determine the alkalinity and acidity. There is a certain level of acidity that needs to be met in the pool. A pH of 7 is best. Any pH lower than 7 is too acidic. Having acidic water may damage the liner of the pool, your skin, and pool equipment. Water that is too alkaline can cloud your water and clog filters and even cause your nose and eyes to burn as well as cause itchy and dry skin. A home testing kit can tell you the pH of your pool. Adding chemicals to neutralize the water is recommended.
- Shocking the Pool – Organic contaminants like nitrogen and ammonia can build up over time in your pool. These contaminants will interact with the chlorine to create chloramines which cause the chlorine odor that comes from your pool. Just add more chlorine can take care of that. This is called shocking. Some owners will shock their pool weekly while others wait longer. Follow the instructions for your pool to ensure that your adding the right amount to fix your problem.
- Leak Detection – If you are having to add more water a lot, you could have a leak. Finding the leak is easy. Fill a plastic bucket about ¾ of the way up and mark the water line inside the bucket. Float it in the pool and mark the water line on the outside of the bucket. After a few days compare the water lines. If the amount lost is the same, then its due to evaporation, but if there is a difference then you have a leak. You will need to call a professional for repairs.
- Winterizing – If you live in an area that freezes, you will need to winterize your pool. This means you have to remove water from the pluming with an air compressor and drain as much water from the heater and filter. Remove the rest of the water with a special antifreeze made for pools. Disconnect the heater, pump, and chemical feeders. Clean and store the chemical feeders. Clean the pool and close skimmer valves and lower the water level to 18 inches below the pool edge. This will allow for freezing expansion without there being pressure on your pool liner. Lastly, shock the pool and cover it to prevent debris from falling in.
- Reopening – When it is time for swimming season, clear the debris around the pool. Refill your pool to normal levels, open your skimmer valve to get the water circulating. Test your pH level and shock the pool. Turn the pump on and leave it running. Decrease this time by 1 hour every day until the water is balanced and then you can swim.
If you are unable to maintain your pool, hire a pool service. Pool services can handle everything from closing and opening your pool for the seasons to regular treatments. Most pool maintenance services will cost around $75-$100 hourly. Some services could cost extra.
DIY Pool Maintenance Cost:
Most pool maintenance projects can be DIY projects. All it takes it the right materials and a good ability to follow directions. Here are some of the DIY pool maintenance costs.
- Skimmer Cost – A skimmer is a shallow net that is attached to a long pole. It is used to remove the debris from the surface of the water. How long it takes will depend on your pool size and amount of debris, but for an averaged sized pool its about 20 minutes. You need to skim your pool every other day. Unskimmed debris will sink to the bottom and stick or stain the pool liner. A good skimmer is around $7.
- Chlorine Cost – This is a needed item for every pool. Chlorine will neutralize any bad bacteria that can harm you. It is made in both powder and liquid and you can add it as part of your pool maintenance or inserted into a floating dispenser. A 25 bag of powder will cost around $60-$70. A 2 gallons of liquid chlorine is about $8.
- Muriatic Acid Cost – This is used to lower pH levels in the pool. The acid actually helps to prevent any bacteria, takes care of mineral buildup, and keeps the pool clean. Although, too much acid will cause damage to the pool and your eyes, skin, and nose. Follow the directions to add acid to your pool. It costs around $7.70 a gallon.
- Soda Ash Cost – Soda ash or Sodium bicarbonate is used to battle acid. It will raise the pH of your pool by neutralizing the muriatic acid that is in the pool. Adding too much of the soda ash will let bacteria to grow in your pool and cause mineral buildup. A 6lb container will cost around $8.
- Testing Kit Cost – Using a basic testing kit is needed to find the pH of your pool, by using a small water sample and adding chemicals to it. Many kits will test for acidity, bromide, chlorine, and alkalinity. The kit costs around $15. Keep in mind that most testing solutions will need to be replaced, and the replacement is around $8.
- Pool Vacuum Cost – Skimmers may not pick up the fine particles that are in the pool, so a vacuum is needed. A pool vacuum will run along the bottom of your pool and suck up tiny debris. They can be as low as $20 for a manual vacuum and as much as $600 for an automatic or robotic vacuum.
- Filters Cost – Replacement filter cartridges will be priced based on capacity and size. A basic 2 pack of cartridges can cost about $13, but a single high end filter can be around $75. Sand needs to be replaced for sand filters every 3 years. A 50-pound bag of sand will be around $12. A 25 lb. bag of DE will be about $20.
- Pool Cover Cost – Pool covers are needed for safety and it keeps debris out of your pool when its not in use. Although it is expensive, the covers will protect your pool and save your money. A good cover will extend about 2 feet past your pool edge. A good cover runs about $580.
Maintaining the pool will take less than 2 hours if it is done regularly. Routine maintenance will keep your pool clean, but it allows you to find issues earlier before they become an expensive repair. Spending some money on treatment chemicals will prevent you from having to get a pool technician to come clean your frog pond for about $60-$125 an hour.
Common Pool Repair Costs
It doesn’t matter how well maintained your pool is, it will need repairs eventually. When this happens, call a professional. Leave the pool repairs to them which keeps repairs from causing major issues.
- Pump Motor Repair Cost: The most common part of the pool that will need repairs is the pump motor. Besides the cover, the pump will affect your pool. It is a system that has multiple moving parts and is prone to fail. When it fails, the water can’t circulate, filter, or heat the pool. Check the motor regularly and address problems as early as possible. The cost to repair a pump will depend on what has failed. But replacing it can cost between $190- $375.
- Pool Filter Repair Cost: If you maintain your filter, you won’t have to worry about replacing the cartridges as often. If your filter needs cleaning a lot, it is probably trapping oils which are hard to remove. The right sized cartridge needs cleaned every 3-5 weeks. A new cartridge can cost around $13-$75.
- Sand Filter Repair Cost: Sand filters come with a pressure gauge. If the pressure is too high, the filter isn’t working right. It can cause failure and cause the tank to rupture. If the pressure is fine, but you have to clean it a lot, then you may need to replace the sand. New sand is rough, which helps to trap particles. Over time, water will make the sand smooth and reduce how it works. Sand is about $12 per bag. Replacing the filter system is around $150-$500+.
- DE Filter Repair Cost: The DE filters may fail like a sand filter. A failing DE filter will put DE in your pool. A professional will tell you if it is time to replace the valve or O-ring. Your stainless steel tank may also have pinhole leaks. When this happens, the tank needs to be replaced. Replacing a DE filter system is around $625-$725.
- Pool Leak Repair Cost: Finding out if you have leak is easy when compared to fixing it. A pool repair technician can find if the leak starts at the filter or in the pool. You can patch a vinyl liner for around $20 with a patch kit or you can hire a professional to do it for $225. Fiberglass liners need to be repaired by a professional for around $300. Gunite or concrete pools needs to be drained, sanded and properly sealed. This can cost around $900-$2000.
- Heater and Heating Tube Repair Cost: When water goes through the heating tubes and back in to the pool, minerals will buildup and cause blockages. Insects will also crawl around and in the system which can affect how it works. The average cost to repair a pool heater is around $400. If left alone, the pool heater repair can cost around $1300. It isn’t recommended that you attempt to repair your pool heater on your own.
Professional Pool Maintenance & Cleaning Services In Ahwatukee Arizona
After seeing how much it really costs to maintenance your swimming pool you can see how hiring a professional isn’t too much more money and you don’t have to do any of the work. It costs about $70-$80 a month to maintain your own swimming pool while most pool service companies only charge $100-$150 for professional pool service. It makes since to hire a professional and leave the dirty work to the experts. Give BPC Pool Maintenance a call today if your need pool cleaning in Ahwatukee, Arizona.