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Old 01-28-2013, 01:37 PM
 
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We're a family of 5 (me, wife, three high-schoolers) who just moved to Phoenix, and are thinking buying would definitely be better than renting. A lot of the houses we're looking at have backyard pools, which is nice, but I know it's also an extra expense.

What's the rough average for how much extra it costs to maintain a pool? Pumps, electricity, heating in winter, chemicals, cleaning, ...? I want to make sure we factor that in to any homes we take a closer look at.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:51 PM
 
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Great Question Rob....Hope you get a lot of feedback to this question, as I an interested in the costs of upkeep and maintenance as well.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:58 PM
 
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We're currently renting and have the pool cleaning, chemicals, etc. included in our rent but I don't think it's very expensive. I think the landlord pays our guy somewhere around $50/month. Heating is expensive but not commonly used. In fact, most newer homes that we've looked at don't have heated pools. As far as electricity, as long as you're on the right plan with the power company and run the pump during your lower priced hours (usually at night), it's not a big factor. I would never consider a house without a pool.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:22 PM
 
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A pool can be a joy to have or it can be a huge pain in the arse. Some people like them and others don't see the payoff. Personally, I wouldn't want to live here without a pool.
Taking care of a pool is simple and inexpensive if you do it yourself. If you have a pool company do it, plan on 60 to 100 dollars per month for their service. Plan on 20 to 40 dollars per month in electricity in the summer (much less in winter). If you want to heat it during the winter, the cost associated with that can run into the hundreds per month. Most people don't feel like swimming most of the winter anyway so don't bother with heating at least until March or April when it gets warmer around here.
I maintain my pool myself. It just stays cleaner that way. A pool service only comes by once a week. Not near enough in my opinion to keep your pool spotless and clear of algae.
I don't have a heater on my pool so I made a solar heater. Free heat is a great thing and with all the sunshine we get here, it works to perfection most of the year. I'll have my pool temps well into the 80's by the end of March or early April while those with no heaters at all won't see those temps typically until late May or June. I kept my pool in the mid 80's from late March until November last year and the heat cost me almost nothing.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:29 PM
 
7,298 posts, read 13,119,352 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick974 View Post
A pool can be a joy to have or it can be a huge pain in the arse. Some people like them and others don't see the payoff. Personally, I wouldn't want to live here without a pool.
Taking care of a pool is simple and inexpensive if you do it yourself. If you have a pool company do it, plan on 60 to 100 dollars per month for their service. Plan on 20 to 40 dollars per month in electricity in the summer (much less in winter). If you want to heat it during the winter, the cost associated with that can run into the hundreds per month. Most people don't feel like swimming most of the winter anyway so don't bother with heating at least until March or April when it gets warmer around here.
I maintain my pool myself. It just stays cleaner that way. A pool service only comes by once a week. Not near enough in my opinion to keep your pool spotless and clear of algae.
I don't have a heater on my pool so I made a solar heater. Free heat is a great thing and with all the sunshine we get here, it works to perfection most of the year. I'll have my pool temps well into the 80's by the end of March or early April while those with no heaters at all won't see those temps typically until late May or June. I kept my pool in the mid 80's from late March until November last year and the heat cost me almost nothing.
Can you share any info on how you made the solar heater? That sounds very cool (er warm)!
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Hard aground in the Sonoran Desert
4,760 posts, read 9,298,560 times
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You have three high-schoolers so put them to work and the upkeep will be minimal. They do the work and you direct what needs to be done. I do it myself and it takes me less than 15 minutes a week and a little muratic acid and I'm done. The longest part is sweeping the pool every couple months and cleaning the cartridge filters about once every six months.

I spend less than $5/month on chemicals (salt water pool) and electricity is minimal as I run the filter in the off-peak hours.

Last edited by LBTRS; 01-28-2013 at 04:24 PM..
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:35 PM
 
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It's very simple actually. Run water through black plastic pipe in the right amounts, bake those pipes in the sunlight and woohoo. You have warm water. The trick is to have enough water go through enough black pipe to make a difference. Also, you not only have to heat the water, you have to keep the heat that you have gained from the sunlight so a solar cover is essential. A solar cover retains the heat that would be lost at night. A solar cover alone will give you 10 degrees or so. Add the solar heaters and it keeps things warm for most of the year.
During the summer months, a solar cover and/or solar heater aren't needed and the heaters and the cover aren't perfect. They are dependent on the weather so during the winter months, there just isn't enough sunlight to overcome the colder temps but when it's that cold, you honestly don't feel like swimming anyway. They "extend" your swimming season by quite a wide margin.
In my case, I have a 25K gallon pool. I ran 1000 feet of 1/2 inch black sprinkler pipe in several separate runs. I plumbed it into the existing pool plumbing and installed a valve so I can turn the heaters on and off yet leave the filtering system alone to do it's work. It's actually a very simple system and it uses the existing pumps and filters so I'm heating and filtering at the same time with the same pump. No extra power is used. The only extra electrical cost is if I keep my heaters on for longer than I normally would keep the filters on. Extreme case is early March. I'll leave the pump on during the daylight hours to heat the pool up but once it gets to the right temp, it's easy to maintain that temp on regular hours.
I currently have 4 heaters. Each heater has 250 feet of pipe. 4 heaters do the job but at times they struggle to keep the water warm enough so I'll add 4 more and I should be good to go.
My biggest problem was making everything aesthetically tolerable. The heaters are basically big, flat coils of black pipe so they aren't the most beautiful thing in my backyard at the moment but I'll figure out something to blend them in.
Some people put them on the roof but unfortunately, that usually takes a dedicated pump and valves to accomplish that so I opted for the easy route.
They do work well. I usually get about 5 to 7 degrees out of them. If the water going into the heaters is, say, 60 degrees, the water coming out of the heaters will be 65+. It's a cumulative effort. I'll gain maybe 5 degrees one day but I'll lose 2 degrees at night so my net gain is 3 degrees. The next day the water starts at 63, and I'll again have a net gain of 3 degrees. The following day the pool is now at 66 and so on. All this is dependent on the sunshine and air temps. On warmer days, I'll get a higher net gain. If we get a cooling trend, then I might only get a couple of degree gain but it all works well and once my desired temp is achieved, it's pretty easy to keep it there.
One other added benefit is the heaters can also cool the water. Most people don't consider that pool water can get too warm. There are days here in the Phoenix area when your pool will get well over 90 during the summer. It isn't refreshing at those temps so you can run the solar heaters at night and cool the water down.
Solar heaters are merely a way to transfer heat. The heaters can transfer that heat either way. Either from the water or to the water. Makes no difference to the heaters.
Cooling the water is something an electric or gas heater can't do.
Pretty cool if you ask me.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:54 PM
 
57 posts, read 147,976 times
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Sweet! I remember a friend back in the NWT who'd set up a hot tub for use in the summer doing pretty much the same thing; a couple of hundred feet of black rubber hose in a big coil on a flat spot beside the tub. Pictures?
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,841 posts, read 2,385,231 times
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I think $75-$100 per month should cover electricity/water/chemicals for most pools if you DIY. Then there are other expenses that happen less frequently... replacing or repairing pumps, vacuum system, filter cartrige, etc. I replaced a pump last summer @ about $300. I'm told they should last about 5 years (?).

It's true that salt-water pools have a smaller monthly chemical cost, but then you have to replace the SWG periodically. I coudln't tell you if salt or fresh is cheaper in the long run, but salt is less day-to-day hassle as it continuously generates chlorine when the system is running.

hikernut
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:21 PM
 
175 posts, read 442,765 times
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My last gas bill was $476 to heat the pool and home. The pool is maintained at 78 and heated to 85 degrees when in use. Yeah I know crazy, but i am Canadian.
I pay $40 month for maintenance and ala carte service.
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