What are the maintenance costs for a swimming pool?

09 March 2018
What are the maintenance costs for a swimming pool

What are the maintenance costs for a swimming pool?

Before you build a swimming pool, you first need to consider the costs of maintaining the pool. Only then can you realistically assess the cost of a swimming pool.

The maintenance costs of a swimming pool can be subdivided into three sections. Firstly, you have the energy costs for heating and filtering the swimming pool. Then there is the cost of filling the pool. Finally, there are the costs of purchasing the maintenance products that ensure you can swim in a clean and healthy pool.

Estimating the maintenance costs of the swimming pool

In the examples given below, we assume a standard constructed swimming pool 10 metres long and 5 metres wide. The maintenance costs of a swimming pool always depend on the total volume of the pool. 

Energy costs of maintaining a swimming pool

The energy costs of a swimming pool can be divided into two parts. On the one hand, you have the cost of running the pool's filter pump. You will need this throughout the year, but the pump will not run for as long in the winter as in summer.

This will cost around €150 over the year. This keeps your filter pump running, lets you turn the lights on in the evening and enables you to open and close the automatic pool cover.

In Belgium, you will also need to heat the swimming pool. You have a lot of choice with regard to the type of swimming pool heating system. A heat pump is most often used. To heat a swimming pool with a cover from April to the end of October, you can count on heating costs of around €500 - €600 per year.

Energy costs of maintaining a swimming pool
Costs for topping up the swimming pool

Costs for topping up the swimming pool

The price of 1000 litres (or 1 m³) of water differs from region to region. Figures from 2014 indicate that the average price in Flanders is €4.30 per 1000 litres of water. For the exact price, however, you’re better off looking at the bill from your water company. In this way, you can calculate the total cost price for filling your pool.

The amount of water you need for your swimming pool each year depends on a number of things. There is the weather, of course. The more hot days there are, the more water will evaporate. This means that the water level will have to be topped up. The amount is small, however, and is therefore negligible.

The more often you go swimming, the more the pool has to be topped up. The swimming pool loses water while you’re swimming and when you get out of the pool. If you're hosting a pool party, you can be sure you’ll have to top up the pool afterwards. The water loss here can add up to a good 10 centimetres.

The amount of rain (in summer) also plays a part in how much water you need to top up the swimming pool. Thanks to the rain, the swimming pool is topped up by mother nature. This is more than enough to keep the water level constant throughout winter. As soon as you start using the swimming pool in April, you will have to top it up. 

A final factor is linked to the maintenance of your pool filter. To guarantee the quality of the filtration, you have to backwash the filter on a regular basis. At that moment, you can lose up to 5 centimetres of water from your swimming pool.

We advise you to backwash your pool every 2 weeks. This adds up to around 15 times over the period from April to the end of October, which equates to 75 centimetres of water loss. For a swimming pool 10 metres long and 5 metres wide, this amounts to 3,750 litres or 3.75 m³ of water lost. Calculated at a price of €4.30 per m³, this comes to a total of €16.13. 

Kosten van onderhoudsproducten

Cost of maintenance products

You need clean and healthy water to really enjoy your swimming pool. This is ensured by regularly adding products to the swimming pool water. Chlorine and pH products are most commonly used for this.

Unfortunately, these products do not come free of charge. You can expect to pay €300 - €400 per year. The better you maintain your swimming pool, the lower these costs will be. The water quality also changes during bad weather and you will have to add products accordingly. It is only in winter that you need little to no products.

In addition to the maintenance products, you can let the swimming pool hibernate in autumn and get your swimming pool builder to start it up again in spring. These service interventions ensure that your swimming pool is maintained more efficiently. The cost price fluctuates around €250 for such an intervention. But it’s also very convenient.

Tips on reducing the maintenance costs of your swimming pool

Maintaining a swimming pool certainly requires a budget. Add together the energy and water costs, plus the cost of the maintenance products, and your overall maintenance costs will be between €1,000 and €1,500. That comes to about €100 a month. However, you can limit the maintenance costs as much as possible by following a number of simple tips.

Heating and covering the swimming pool

A first tip for preventing energy loss is to cover the swimming pool when you’re not using it. You can use a tarpaulin cover or automatic shutter for this. This investment ensures that the cost of heating the pool is not simply lost.

80% of heat loss occurs via the water surface when you don’t cover the swimming pool with a tarpaulin or automatic shutter. This offers the greatest cost saving if you want to reduce the cost of heating your swimming pool.

Covering a swimming pool with a tarpaulin can quickly save you around €100 each year. By using an automatic rolling shutter with solar elements, however, you can save a lot more. Using solar elements can even increase the temperature of your swimming pool by a few degrees without having to switch on the swimming pool heating system. 

Heating and covering the swimming pool

Avoid dirt in the swimming pool

You can also save quite a bit on the use of maintenance products by preventing as much dirt as possible from getting in the swimming pool. Dirt ensures that you will need more chlorine and other maintenance products. You will also have to vacuum more frequently, which causes greater wear to the filter.

However, you can cut maintenance costs considerably by applying a few relatively simple measures. If you haven’t built the pool yet, find a location that isn’t too close to trees. If you have too many trees, consider removing at least some of them. The trees cause a lot of leaves to end up in the pool, which increases the need for swimming pool chemicals.

Also remember to provide for a one-metre terrace around the swimming pool. If you don’t, you run the risk of too much grass getting into the pool and sticking to the feet.

Another simple tip is: take a shower before swimming. As people, we tend to bring a lot of dirt with us to the swimming pool. Just think of all the sunscreen, deodorant, dead skin flakes, hairs, etc. Showering beforehand avoids this dirt ending up in the water, saving on pool maintenance products.

Dogs generally really love to swim. But dogs also make sure a lot of dirt lands in the water. To avoid getting dirt in the pool, it is better not to let your pet go in the water.

Vacuum the swimming pool at the right time

Vacuum the swimming pool at the right time

Regular vacuum cleaning is important to keep the water quality consistent and keep the dirt out of the water. But there’s no point in overdoing it, either. Because if you use a classic swimming pool vacuum cleaner, you will also lose a lot of water through backwashing after vacuum cleaning. You can lose around 5 cm of the swimming pool content per maintenance session.

Plan the vacuum cleaning of the swimming pool sensibly, giving you positive control of your water bill.  For example, remember to vacuum just before heavy rain. The water will then top up on its own, saving another few euros a year.

Using a swimming pool robot cleaner means you won’t lose any water. It's more expensive to buy than a manual vacuum cleaner, but is also saves you a lot of time.

Correct use of chemical maintenance products

The swimming pool water quality needs to be adjusted regularly using chemical maintenance products. The products most often used are chlorine, pH products or products to reduce the iron content in the water.

Testing the swimming pool water regularly tells you what products you need to add. We advise you to test the water at least once a week. If you use the swimming pool on a daily basis, you should also test the water quality every day. In fact, it is best to test the water quality before you go in the pool. Even when the pool isn't used, still try to test the water once a week.

Regular testing will help you to quickly detect any fluctuations in the quality of the water. This allows you to adjust the water quality more quickly and you won’t have to add so much of the products to keep the water quality consistent. This will also save you a lot on swimming pool maintenance costs.

Correct use of chemical maintenance products

Prepare the swimming pool properly for hibernation

One final tip is to get the swimming pool ready properly for winter. The swimming pool should be cleaned one last time for winter maintenance. This is to get all the dirt out of the pool before it is covered until spring.

Also adjust the water quality by adding winter product to the swimming pool water. It is best to do this during the first winter maintenance and again in January or February.

By letting the swimming pool hibernate, you will be able to start the pool up again more quickly and the water quality will be appreciably better in the spring. Proper hibernation can therefore save a lot on costs for starting the swimming pool up again. You will need a lot less of the products, the filter won’t have to run for so long, etc. 

Costs pool maintenance

Conclusion

Maintaining a swimming pool certainly does cost money. We estimate maintenance costs of around €100 per month. This is for running the technical equipment, heating the pool and purchasing the maintenance products required.

The tips set out above can help you limit this budget as much as possible. These tips can be summarised as follows:

  1. Provide a cover to keep the heat in the swimming pool for as long as possible
  2. Avoid dirt in the pool
  3. Check the water quality regularly to avoid major fluctuations
  4. Get the swimming pool ready for winter