Cost to Open a Dormant Pool?

PoolNoobieJanuary 3, 2013

Hi All,
This is my first post :) Looking at a property for sale in the Northeast that has a 810 square foot pool made out of tile. According to the seller, the pool has been dormant and not maintained for the past 4 years. It's been covered; however, the cover was compromised by a varmint who ripped up the cover with its claws. There's some water at the bottom of the pool but it's dark green and impossible to see into.

Question: What are the ballpark costs of re-opening an inground pool that's been sitting for four years?

Surfed the Net to find an answer and couldn't find one. Got the sense that members of this community would have a good sense of what it would cost to be put back into working order.

Thanks! :)

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Do you mean there is only water at the very bottom (like from rain) so the pool is more or less empty?

Does the seller know if the pump works? Or did it stop working and that's what happened? Did they empty the pool or is the water loss from them not doing anything?

Is it salt or cholorine? Is it a gunite pool? So it's about 40x20? By tile you mean 100% of the pool is tiled -VS- having plaster etc.?

I'm new to this forum also but I have had a pool for 12 yrs and had a pump go out right after I bought the house and I was away for a while. I came back to water I thought swamp thing was going to come out of. It was green and black and 3 days later I had crystal clear water.

Just as a thought, if you want to buy the house I would make sure your inspector has experience with pools. I just had to get a new pump and chemicals. But it seems like you live in a cold area and it's been 4 yrs so you could have real issues like cracks etc.

I have seen post from people here that can give you the right answers.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 11:44PM
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Thanks for being the first to post alyx_c! Per your questions:

1. Pool is chlorine.
2. Pool likely has water from rain that got in past the cover (which is now ripped).
3. Unknown whether the pump works or not. Home inspector would look at this as well as all other mechanicals.
4. 40x20' sounds about right for size.
5. It appears to be tile to the water line and then gunite where the water is.

Very curious what this forum has to say on price?

Thank you :)

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 8:19AM
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How old is the pool? If they did not care for it for 4 yrs it makes me wonder if they ever cared for it properly. The chemical balance has a lot to do with the condition of the plaster over time.

In TX my price experience has been this:
2 speed motor replacement $250
After replacing 3 I went to a 1 speed, the 2 speed really made no sense for us. 1 speed motor was a little less.
Pump replacement just under $1000.00
Having timer installed first time $250. second time (last month $100.00 The first guy charged a lot more on labor cause the timer itself is $65.00.
As for replastering I was told around $2500 for 10x36 pool but of course we have a Lagoon pool so apparently the cost go up significantly. So that's what I know as a consumer, some of these guys will know way more as they know the work. Having lived back East for 10 yrs I can tell you prices are usually cheaper in Texas where I live now.

Also find out what type of filters you will need and price them just so you know or if it's sand.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 2:49PM
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Hello, I am in a similar situation, purchasing a re-model property that has a 16x32 vinyl liner pool that hasn't been opened in over 1 year. I know nothing about the pool and had to start from scratch. I spoke with a friend who owns a pool and then got some recommendations for a local pool company who I asked to inspect the pool for me in addition to my actual home inspection; we put this condition in our contract. Make sure you actually use a pool service professional. Free estimate.

Structure - if the pool has been sitting for 4 years and is still full of water the liner / tile should be ok (at least for the short term). Also when it is full of water it maintains the integrity of the walls etc. If i needed to replace my liner I was looking at about 3,500 - 4,000.

Water - My water looks like swamp thing lives in it right now. He inspected it in November 2012 and said it would be fine after a heavy chemical treatment and vacuum in the Spring. Estimated 350-500.

Plumbing � Here�s where living in the Northeast gets tricky. You need to make sure the plumbing was winterized correctly when the pool was closed. When a pool is closed in a cold weather climate an anti-freeze is poured into plumbing lines and the skimmers are plugged to keep water out of the lines. This prevents the underground lines from freezing and bursting. Our pool guy recommended a pressure test which inspects just this. We had this test done in November and things were ok; we then had it winterized for this winter. Test & pool close $350. If the lines were not good we were looking at $1,500+ to dig up the deck and replace.

Also need a new pump, $350. Filter is ok but quoted at $650.

Pool also had a tarp over it when we started. For liability purposes we had a safety cover installed (pictured). Cost was $1350 installed.
Hope this helps. Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 10:52AM
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We purchased a home with a '70s era gunite pool in Dec 2011. A few things:
1. We hired a pool inspector, separate from our home inspector, to check out the pool
2. I believe the pool has to be filled (filled all the way, not just a little bit from rainwater) to make sure it doesn't leak. Ours had been neglected and was a swamp so the seller ended up draining, cleaning and refilling before our inspection, but the water wasn't full up so the inspector couldn't say for sure it was water tight. We ended up marking the waterline with electrical tape and watching it for a week to see if it lost water. That assumes your seller is not "topping it off" to fool you, of course.
3. Prices vary widely on pool services. Here in Oklahoma, I am always shocked at the prices those lucky Texans get. I think it has to do with the density of pool businesses in a given area - if you're the only game in town you can charge whatever you want. We paid $450 for a freeze-guard timer, and Alyx above says $100-250. Boo for us!
4. Our estimates to resurface our pool have been in the $8-10K range, with $25-50K estimates for redecking, recoping, retiling complete overhauls. Prices vary widely!
5. The simple act of opening and closing our pool cost us about $460 total, that meant the pool co came out and put plugs in the jets, drained the water below the skimmers, blew the water out of the piping, pulled the plugs from the motors and drained them, and put antifreeze jugs in the skimmer ports to displace water just in case. In the spring, they reversed all they did in the winter and dumped in some algaecide and shock packets. We don't have a cover or it would have cost more. We needed it because we had no idea what we were doing, but that was like flushing $460 down the toilet. Now that I've watched them, I feel like any reasonably handy person can DIY opening and closing the pool, at least in our more mild climate. I am sure it is different in the NE. In fact, we decided not to close down our pool this winter and have really liked not seeing a swamp in the backyard. We did close down all our spa equipment ourselves as we discovered an underground leak in the plumbing (bad seller! He told us he didn't get a chance to fill the hot tub. Liar! There was a leak - argh).

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 5:50PM
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