Yahoo just posted a link to an article entitled Taking a Bath on Your Pool. They make some statements with regard to the costs of installing and maintaining a pool:
- Initial cost: $25,000 - $50,000 for an in-ground pool[/*:m:pr8ph1ns]
- Annual chemical cost if purchased on your own: $500 - $800[/*:m:pr8ph1ns]
- Annual Opening/closing pool (i.e. winterizing): $500[/*:m:pr8ph1ns]
- Electric bill: $100/month[/*:m:pr8ph1ns]
- Other costs: replacing filters, fixing pumps, new liner, fixing cracks and leaks[/*:m:pr8ph1ns]
- Overall ongoing annual costs: $3000-$5000[/*:m:pr8ph1ns]
Obviously, they aren't looking at BBB pools such as those owned by members of this forum. Yes, the initial cost can be high for an in-ground pool and this varies a lot by area. Ours (in the expensive San Francisco Bay Area) was around $75,000 for a 16'x32' 6' deep-end 16,000 gallon pool and was considered mid-range (it has solar and gas heating, ramps and bars, and an automatic electric safety cover) where low-end was $40,000 and high-end $100,000+. There are many more above-ground pools than in-ground around the country and these are much less expensive.
Annual chemical costs will vary based on size of pool. Ours are very low at $15/month for an extended 7-month season so a little more than $100 per year, but if I didn't have the mostly opaque cover then it would be more like $200-$300 per year which is probably more typical for a 15,000-20,000 gallon pool. Smaller pools would be less expensive.
Opening and closing a pool should not be expensive if one does it themselves and even if they have someone else do it. We don't get to solid freezes here so there is no real closing/opening of our pool so no extra costs. Any estimates here?
The electric bill will vary a lot depending on the region of the country. Before I replaced my single-speed main pump and my booster pump, my electric costs were nearly $200/month, but now they are around half closer to $100/month for the 7-month swim season and around $15/month during the 5-month non-swim season. This high cost is due to the higher flow rates needed for the solar panels and the very high 40+ cent/kilowatt-hour marginal electric cost. Most areas of the country would have lower costs -- half or less. I also have high costs for gas heating to extend the season, but that's also because we use the pool as a therapy pool so keep it extra warm (88ÂºF) and extend the season to 7 months (mid-April to mid-to-late-November).
I replaced my cartridge filters after 7 years at around $280 for 4 cartridges so that's only around $40 per year. We need to replace our electric safety cover roughly every 4 years and that can run around $1500 so that's $375 per year. The solar panel spring/winter opening/closing is under $200 per year. I replace my bag on The Pool Cleaner every other year or so at around $50 so that's $25 per year. There are similar small costs for replacing pool brushes and sometimes nets.
So there's no way I can get even close to the $3000 per year "maintenance" cost unless I add in the high gas cost for the forced warm-pool extended season (around $1400/year in extra cost as described in this link and using lower current gas rates) which is not a common thing most people do since most would just live with a more typical 4-5 month swim season in this area. Even if I factor in a replastering every 10 years (and I hope to get to 15-20 or more), it shouldn't amortize that high.
How 'bout y'all? Is this article way off base?