True monthly cost of pool?

we2texansSeptember 14, 2008

We are in the last stages of pulling the trigger on signing our contract on pool construction. I guess you could say we're getting a case of cold feet.

Our pool will be on the small scale -- freeform 80 perimeter feet with a six-foot spa. Pool equipment will include Hayward Sand Filter, 1 1/2 HP pump, Rainbow 32- Automatic Clorinator, Intermatic Auto Timer, Polaris 280 Automatic Cleaner, 120K Electric Heat Pump to primarily heat the spa only.

The cost of the construction of the pool is all calculated out -- and no problem. What we have not fully considered are the costs associated with having an inground pool. I hope to go into this with a clear understanding of the expected monthly cost of owning an inground pool.

We live in a warm climate (Central Texas) and would get enjoyment from the pool for a great portion of the year. We have no children living at home -- but have frequent family and friends visiting us who would enjoy the pool in addition to the two of us.

For those of you who don't mind sharing some of this information -- can you please provide the following on a monthly basis?

What do the chemicals run?

What kind of increase have you seen in your electric utilities?

Do you heat your pool/spa with a heat pump, electric heater, or propane? And what is the montly cost associated with the heating?

How much time do you spend on pool maintenance?

And, lastly, did you see an increase in your home insurance premiums?

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What do the chemicals run?

I use the BBB method. This is bleach, borax, baking soda. Much less expensive than swimming pool chemicals from the pool store. My pool is also more 'sparkly' than when I was using the pool store stuff too. I use about 3-4 gallons of clorox per week. I do have to buy muriatric acid too becasue of my ph going up regularly. I have been told that this is because of new plaster. They say it will do it for up to a year.

What kind of increase have you seen in your electric utilities?

Here is where the costs are for us. I'm not sure if its so much due to the pool or the fact that energy costs have just risen in the past year since putting in our pool last October. Our bill has gone from $180ish to around $480 per month. Thats doubled.

Do you heat your pool/spa with a heat pump, electric heater, or propane? And what is the montly cost associated with the heating?

We do not heat our pool. We are in South Louisiana. We are planning on doing it though just to be able to add a couple of more months to be able to use it. We are planning on using solar power.

How much time do you spend on pool maintenance?

I go out every other day to every three days to add my bleach and acid and to skim the top. If I feel like it, I will do some skimming if I happen to be out there in between those days and if it needs it. I also have to empty my polaris 280 zippered bag and my skimmer basket on occasion.

And, lastly, did you see an increase in your home insurance premiums?

My insurance did not increase at all. I have state farm and I live in Louisiana like I mentioned before. I was already covered under my homeowners policy.

Hope all of this info helps. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 3:47PM
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Thank you for your response -- interesting that you use your own chemical combo rather than the commercial products and are happier with the results.

What is being run off your electricity -- I would certainly agree that the rising cost of utilities has had a direct impact on your (everyone's) electricity costs. More than doubling took me by surprise -- especially since there are no heating costs with your pool.

Would you share the equipment that is run off your electricity?

Thanks for sharing this info -- it's very helpful.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 4:45PM
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My house is 4300 sq feet total area. I am all electric, stove, dryer, hot water heater, etc.. we have absolutely no gas at all. Really when the pool was first built, our bill went up about $50 per month. Its just lately that the bill has doubled.

Here is the link to the pool site that I learned about the BBB method from. Its a great site for pool maintenance. You will get every bit of information that you need to take care of your pool yourself without going to the pool store.

Here is a link that might be useful: trouble free pool

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 4:54PM
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We're in the DFW area. We figured our monthly chemical costs a while back when someone else asked and it was something like 6 bucks a month. We were doing BBB like Teppy but have switched to an SWG which has made life even easier.

Our monthly electric bill averages about 200 bucks and I don't know what happened with Teppy's pool but there was no noticable change in our electric bill after the pool was started up. Our pool has been running since March 1st and our bills through September are nearly identical to last year. We have a multi-speed pump (highly recommend it) and run it on low speed for 11 hours of filtering/chlorine generation and mid-speed for an hour of cleaning each day. We only run it on high when running the water features.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 10:53PM
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I don't hava any other explanation for what has happened to my electric bill other than rising energy costs. When we first started up, we ran the 1.5 hp pump for 24 hrs a day for about two weeks I believe. Now, we run it for 8 hours. My polaris pump comes on for 1-2 hours per day in that 8 hours.I am about to cut it back now that its starting to cool down a bit here.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 8:17AM
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Our bill went up around $150 the first month and about $75-$100 the second, subsequent month. Had to run the pump 24x7 for 3-5 days at the beginning.

I think you can expect about 4 gallons of acid per month for the first year. Thats about $20. 4 gallons of bleach per week as previously stated sounds about right for the BBB method.

Baking soda or some other chemical (calcium sequesteration) like once or twice per add say another $30-60 per year for some kind of ancillary problem.

Once per week, you should broom your pool and you will need to clean the skimmer. You will need to empty your automatic cleaner about twice per week. You probably will want to net the water top before swimming (5 minutes).

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 10:04AM
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One other cost you haven't factored in is "ENTERTAINMENT." Our booze & food bill went up with all the bbq's. :-)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 12:28PM
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aqua-man LOL!!

I guess you also have to determine how much value it will bring to you. Is it something that will provide a wonderful place to gather with friends or family, or alone, or is it something that will sit in the backyard and only get touched a couple times during the season? If it is something that you will use quite a bit, then the cost of it and time spent taking care of it won't be as much of a burden. I'm sure if you never went in it the money you would be spending would be painful. DH went over to a neighbor's house and they have a pool and spa that no one uses. Their children are 5, 3, and 18 mo. so I don't know if that has something to do with it, but I think it is sad that they don't use it. I'm sure they think the monthly costs are a huge burden, and one you can't get rid of either, unless you move.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 3:54PM
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aqua man,
Yes, how could I possibly forget that expense? That is the most expensive cost of all! The parties we threw this summer cost us a small fortune. We always provided everything.

And, not to mention the costs of the extra things that you will need to go with the pool to make the parties good. There is the music which spilled over to a new home theatre for us with new AV reciever with multizones so that we could use outdoor speakers, the margaritaville blender, the new outdoor kitchen that we will build this fall, etc....

One thing always leads to another.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 5:59PM
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Electrical runs $150-155 per month. Pool is on a separate meter.
chemicals run approx. $20/week. We have a Mineral Springs System.
About 30 min total per week maint.
Have the Letro Legend truck vac and it is great!
Pool is 20x40 approx. 32000 gallons

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 9:53PM
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Oh, yes, brand new furniture for around the pool, new pool umbrella, firepit/chiminea, etc.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 10:04PM
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Wow...some great info here. Thanks to all who took the time to respond. Oh yes -- I did not ask for the cost of entertaining -- I have a good idea on that already. *smile*

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 10:45PM
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memama_gayle, can you possibly elaborate on what equipment you have running and what kind of times? Having a separate meter for your pool is an interesting idea!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 10:10AM
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I have a 25,000 gallon pool with SWG and a 2 speed pump, no heater or spa. Our electric usage went up on average about $100 - $150 per month. I was wondering if it was due to the cost per kwh, but after investigating, noticed that we used approximately 1000 additional units per month. Basically, we went from using around 1500 per month to around 2500.

Maintenence is pretty easy and I'm not a big do it yourselfer. Daily: Check and empty skimmer baskets, pool cleaner bag Bi weekly: Check chemical levels, check basket at pump (not sure what it's called) Weekly: Brush pool, brush tile with a small brush while I'm swimming. Plus, every two months we have to backwash the DE filter. This took about an hour but I think it was because it was our first time. It won't take that long next time I don't think.

Chemicals have been very cheap. We've had the pool open for three months and I've gone through 6 gallons of acid ($5 each), 2 Canisters of Shock (to suppliment the SWG in the hot part of the summer @ $18 each). I think it's about getting time to add a bag of salt so you might add another $6 to that. Since the weather has cooled off and we don't have so many people swimming, the SWG has generated more than enough chlorine, so that is not a monthly expense.

Also, our water bill went up around $10 to $15 per month. It cost right at $175 to initially fill the pool. You might need to figure that into your budget as well.

I hope this helps. Even with the expense, it is SO worth it!!!!!!!!

p.s. We live in Stephenville, TX so we might be neighbors and our costs might be similar.

Here is a link that might be useful: My pool build

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 5:10PM
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Wow, I am really wondering what the heck is going on with our lack of increase in electric bills after reading these comments. Maybe they quit reading our meter before the pool was installed and are estimating based on last year, if that's the case we're going to get clobbered once they "catch up"! I'm going to dig out a bill and go read the meter!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 11:14PM
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Guess I'll have to wait until next month to check it, my wife shreds the electric bills! I gave her an earful about that.

Regarding "ancillary" pool costs, yeah those are the ones that really run up the tab! I think we've spent another 13 to 15k since the pool was "completed"! Fence, gazebo, landscaping, furniture, remodel of existing patio, margarita machine, etc. etc.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 11:25PM
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that may be exactly whats going on with your electric bill. I find it very hard to believe that it would not go out some.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 1:20PM
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OK, we contacted the electric company because we wanted to make darned sure they've been reading our meter, the last thing we need is a surprise bill for a thousand bucks. It turns out they have indeed been reading it every month, so no problems there. We got info on this year and last year and the results vary widely from month-to-month. Our pool started up in March and the difference in bills between this year (pool) and last year (no pool) varies from a minimum 22.67 difference for the month of July to a maximum 182.52 for June. The other months fall somewhere between there, the average difference is 101.84. This year was much hotter than last year and I imagine a lot of the difference is due to A/C useage (someone was always home all day all summer long). It's hard to say how much is due to A/C and how much is the pool. If I were to hazard a guess based on the numbers I'd say the pool was responsible for about 40 or 50 bucks extra a month.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 1:30PM
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tresw, you know, the heat could have been a factor in our bill as well. It was very hot some of these months and my grandmother has stayed with us all summer. It's got to make a difference that someone is home all day eventhough we keep the thermostat set at 79 - 80 all summer. I'm glad you don't have the mother of all electric bills pending. We'll see how ours changes since the weather has cooled off.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 3:48PM
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Hi! We're in Richardson, but haven't noticed an $ increase in electric. We have a weekly pool service from our builder, and its WONDERFUL!We've done our own before, and it can really be a big pain in the backside. You can find weekly pool service with chems for $100 to $150 per month locally. Our pool sparkles, and NEVER smells of chlorine!One word of advice: PLEASE have your PB do your start-up and follow-up brushing. Don't try to do it yourself - I've heard so many horror stories. When you are investing so much money on a pool, don't try to save a few dollars on the back end. The peace of mind is worth it!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 2:08PM
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I am interested if in responses from people who have 10K pools who might have an average cost of operating a pool. I know there are many variables---just the facts mam.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 10:34PM
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