What is the Most Expensive Part of Swimming Pool Maintenance?

Owning a swimming pool is awesome.  But it is a luxury item.  Like any other luxury item it requires ongoing care and maintenance.  If we get lax on this, it can cause us more and more issues.  One can even turn their pool into a money pit if things are not properly maintained.  Maintenance costs money.  Let’s talk about some of the costs associated with maintaining a swimming pool.

Chemicals

Your swimming pool water has to be balanced in certain parameters to be safe and clear and clean.  This involves adding the chemicals needed to get, or keep, these numbers balanced.  You’ll want to test your water weekly at least during the Summer months.  Sanitizer, pH & alkalinity adjusters, stain & scale prevention products, phosphate removers, cyanuric acid and clarifier are just a few of the chemicals that most swimming pools need.  

With the chemical shortages we have been experiencing, products can be difficult to find.  Because of this and other factors, the cost of swimming pool chemicals has gone up exponentially. But what choice do we have?  

Water

Depending on how hot it is where you live depends on the amount of evaporation of pool water.  “Splash-out” is the water we take with us when we exit the swimming pool.  Did you know we can take out up to a gallon of water on our person?  These are reasons to have to add water to your swimming pool.  If you have a leak, then I feel for you because you are not only losing water, but precious chemicals.

Swimming pool water should be completely drained when certain levels become out of range such as total dissolved solids or cyanuric acid.  This usually happens around the 5 year mark.  Calcium hardness is also something that can only be lowered by draining some water.  Check your source water first if you are draining for this reason as it may be “hard” out of the tap.

Always notify your water district before draining your swimming pool.  They will let you know if you are in a high water table or not.  We don’t want your swimming pool floating down the street.  This will also prevent them from re-tiering you.  Just tell them your water is unsafe–which is true.  You won’t be fined, but will still have to pay for the replacement water.

Accessories

Depending on who uses your pool will determine what accessories you may want to purchase.  If you have little ones you will need toys and games.  Everyone enjoys floating around comfortably on a raft.  Lounge chairs are great to have for just sitting by the pool with a good book.  They even make some that sit in the water.  These items need to be replaced as they wear and tear and take a beating from the chemicals.  Or the kids.  Whichever comes first.

Equipment

Finally we get to the most expensive part of maintaining your swimming pool.  The pool equipment.  This is a two-fold equation. Buying the equipment can be expensive and running the equipment is definitely expensive.  Heaters, filters, pumps, salt cells and automation systems are a few pieces of equipment you may need to purchase at one time or another.  

We have to circulate our swimming pools to keep them clean and safe.  This is done by the swimming pool pump.  Think of it as the heart of your equipment pad.  As the water is drawn from the skimmer and/or main drain, it is then pushed through your various pieces of equipment and back into the swimming pool.  Did you know that running your swimming pool pump is the second most expensive thing to operate on your home after the HVAC units?  It is most certainly THE most expensive part of maintaining a swimming pool.  But it doesn’t have to be QUITE as expensive.

A lot of people try to “save” money by trying things like only running their pool pump at night or only a couple of hours a day.  This leads to problems such as algae which can be expensive to treat.  So no money was really saved.

Nowadays, everyone is turning to the modern technology of energy efficient, variable speed swimming pool pumps.  They run at a lower speed for longer and consume less energy, thus saving you money.  You may be thinking, “But variable speed pumps are too expensive”.  They don’t have to be if you know where to shop.

You can get an American made, name brand Black & Decker variable speed swimming pool pump for about half of what your local swimming pool supply store would sell them for.  You are not compromising quality and they come with the piece of mind of a FIVE year warranty. Check it out here.

You can save money on the purchase itself as well as operation by going this route.  See you poolside!