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Thread: Question on Costs

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    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Question on Costs

    Hi everyone,

    I find this forum when I was searching for information about how much a pool costs.

    We are doing some househunting and have found something we really like which includes a pool. I have never had one and I am curious about what the monthly costs a pool will add to my living expenses.

    Here is what I know from the profile:

    Inground Pool
    Fiberglass
    located in Dallas, Tx

    Let me know if there are other details I can find out to get a better idea.

    Thanks!
    13.5K, IG plaster, 2x 100sf cartridge filters, VALPAK pump V38-130 1.5 HP, Polaris 360 cleaning robot.

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    Join Date
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    Re: Question on Costs

    Welcome to TFP!

    It's hard to say what it will cost you per month to operate a pool. It varies depending on fill water type, swimmers load, and prices of pool chemicals in your area. Here is a thread that was put together by one of our renowned chemists that goes very in-depth on the cost of various chlorine sources.

    cost-comparison-of-chlorine-sources-t1859.html

    To calculate cost, you also need to keep in mind the cost of electricity which can also vary a great deal depending on run time and even pump type.

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    Re: Question on Costs

    The ongoing costs, following the TFP method, is amazingly low. I spend about $15 on 4 gallons of 10% chlorine which lasts about 2 weeks on average when it is warm, or a month in winter, maybe 20 cases a year. Muriatic acid is $22/4 gallons and that lasts a long time at about 3 - 4 cups per week. Maybe 3 -4 cases a year. That is less than $400 so far. I renew testing chems for about $40/yr I guess. I use some other chemicals during the year but I can't say it is more than $100. No idea about power costs. Or water usage either.

    There are different things that you will spend your money on. The biggest ones are equipment related. Any sort of failure is expensive to some degree. Repairs are pricey unless you are confident to tackle those yourself. We've has some sort of repair or replace every year for the 4 we've been here; $350, $275, $100. Nothing huge. We are looking at a $16K remodel now on a pool that is 14 years old. Looking at it that way, guess I'd estimate I would budget $600/yr for chems and tools, $400/yr repairs, then know that one day you spend big on something so hold a few grand in reserve for unknowns.

    Pool improvements add up, new patio furniture, umbrellas, etc. All of these are unknowns. Your family may consume swim suits, beach towels, pool toys. What about food for the guests? Not much for us but might be a consideration.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Question on Costs

    The most costly part of operating a pool is generally heat. If you run a heat pump or gas heater, it will generally cost more than all the remaining expenses together.

    I generally spend a few hundred dollars a year running my inground pool, but my season is shorter than yours.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    OzPool's Avatar
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    Re: Question on Costs

    In my experience the chemical costs are not significant when compared to the energy costs. When we moved to a house with a pool our power bill doubled, and the pool isn't even heated. This depends though on energy costs in your area, whether you can access off-peak tariffs and what equipment the pool has.

    Equipment cost is another factor. I've spent $2000 (that's about $1900 US ) on new equipment since moving. It depends on the age of the pool equipment. If you know someone that knows pools take them along to an inspection. Alternatively assume you're going to be up for some $.
    45,000 L (10,000 gal) pebblecrete pool, Hurlcon Viron P320 variable speed pump, Hurlcon VX9T SWG, Waterco 21" sand filter, Polaris 3900 Sport with booster pump and tailsweep pro retrofit. Pool has a rock waterfall that is in desperate need of a re-build (currently more like a soil-water-slurry-fall). Sunbather solar heating that is also not operational (perished solar blankets).

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    Re: Question on Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by OzPool
    In my experience the chemical costs are not significant when compared to the energy costs. When we moved to a house with a pool our power bill doubled, and the pool isn't even heated. This depends though on energy costs in your area, whether you can access off-peak tariffs and what equipment the pool has.

    Equipment cost is another factor. I've spent $2000 (that's about $1900 US ) on new equipment since moving. It depends on the age of the pool equipment. If you know someone that knows pools take them along to an inspection. Alternatively assume you're going to be up for some $.

    Our utility costs were cut by 30% in spite of the addition of the pool and a house that was larger by 30%. Most of that was due to how the old house leaked and this one has solar screens and double pane windows. You ought to be able to request the past year's power bills to see how that stacks up to other houses you might consider.

    The cost of a Pool Inspection is well worth it. Though I got a rookie who did not see the signs of a pool leak, he did at least walk me though all the equipment parts and functions and how to know when to clean the filter and how to do it. He of course pushed the traditional pool care methods and it took me about 6 months to transition to the TFP way, but that was a good way to begin really.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Question on Costs

    gm32:

    Welcome to TFP

    Given a pool that is already in place, is structurally sound, and all equipment is in good working order, the largest cost components are energy-related (mainly the pump) and pool chemicals. What about heat? If the pool is heated with natural gas and you're like me and use it primarily to extend the swim season at both ends (spring & fall) then the heating cost over the course of a year is negligible.

    As you read below, keep in mind that my pool is kept operational year-round even though we do not swim from Nov - late March.

    Let's first focus on the pump. First thing I would do is read this article http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-.../pump_run_time and then begin experimenting with pump run times that work for your pool, noting that you may need to make slight seasonal adjustments. Most pool owners tend to run their pump longer than needed (myself included before I switched to BBB). My pump run-time cost for the period September 1, 2011 through August 31, 2012 was $265 which averages ~$22/mo @ an average electric rate of $0.10 per kWh. Note that it will be a bit higher during swim season and during periods of below freezing temperatures due to freeze guard protection. OTOH, during late fall and a good part of winter when temps are above freezing, I can go the better part of a week without running the pump at all. Note that I have a single-speed pump which is an energy hog compared to a 2-speed or variable speed pump. When it comes time to replace it with a new one, I will only consider 2-speed and variable speed pumps which will lower my energy costs further, given relatively constant water turnover and electric rates.

    Now the chems: My chemical cost using the BBB method for the period September 1, 2011 through August 31, 2012 was $436 which works out to an average of ~$36/mo. Likewise, the monthly cost will be higher during the peak of the swim season mainly due to higher chlorine usage (bather load, sunlight, & water temps). My chlorine usage dropped dramatically after Labor Day even though I continued swimming into early November.

    So, in my case, I'm looking at an average monthly maintenance cost of $58/mo (energy & chems). Other than that, I have had to replace the in-line pool cleaner filter and the occasional hose or fitting for the Polaris. Nevertheless, I would recommend putting some money aside each month for those "Once in a Blue Moon" expenses such as replacing a pump, heater, surface refinishing (should get at least 15 years on this with good pool maintenance), etc.

    For more details, you might want to check out my experience on pool maintenance costs under BBB vs my prior method which I have dubbed The Pool Store method: http://www.troublefreepool.com/bbb-s...ar-t54033.html
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    OzPool's Avatar
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    Re: Question on Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by BoDarville
    gm32:

    My pump run-time cost for the period September 1, 2011 through August 31, 2012 was $265 which averages ~$22/mo @ an average electric rate of $0.10 per kWh.
    hmm ... I get stung with up to $0.37 per kWh
    45,000 L (10,000 gal) pebblecrete pool, Hurlcon Viron P320 variable speed pump, Hurlcon VX9T SWG, Waterco 21" sand filter, Polaris 3900 Sport with booster pump and tailsweep pro retrofit. Pool has a rock waterfall that is in desperate need of a re-build (currently more like a soil-water-slurry-fall). Sunbather solar heating that is also not operational (perished solar blankets).

  9. Back To Top    #9
    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Question on Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by OzPool
    hmm ... I get stung with up to $0.37 per kWh
    Ouch! No wonder you have a variable-speed pump (I would too!)
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    In the Industry

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    Re: Question on Costs

    I believe mine fluctuates between $.06-.09 with GA Power

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Question on Costs

    Thank you guys for all of the responses.

    Sadly, that house fell through, but we are about to close on another home that also has a pool (added to the signature for when i inevitably bombard this forum with questions).

    I am looking forward to learning quite a bit and hopefully, with only a couple of mistakes in the learning process, can prove to DW that I can be a pool master and don;t need to pay someone $150 a week to maintain it O.o

    Thanks again!
    13.5K, IG plaster, 2x 100sf cartridge filters, VALPAK pump V38-130 1.5 HP, Polaris 360 cleaning robot.

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Question on Costs

    Good luck
    I would spend some time reading pool school it is very valuable information to a new pool owner also one of the recommended test kits is a must to properly maintain your pool.I would also look into having your pool inspected before you close on the house and make sure all the pool equipment and plumbing is in proper working order and if not have the sellers agree to repair whatever is wrong.......jmo........Mike
    18x52 intex ultra frame pool 6981 gallons, 1 HP LL pump with 19 in sand filter,BBB method,borax 50ppm
    leslies DPD test kit + fas-dpd chlorine test kit + borates test strips
    thru wall skimmer,hard plumbed with 2 returns 1 1/2 sch 40 pvc
    1 large fountain 1 inch sch 40 pvc,shut off ball valves on all

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