Is Pool Maintenance Expensive for Above-ground Pools?

Above-ground and in-ground pools look drastically different. After all, one is a beautiful hole in the ground while the other is a stylish elevated platform filled with water. There are many differences between them.

Above-ground pools are faster and cheaper to set up, while in-ground pools have a longer lifespan. In-ground pools can have shallow and deep ends while above-ground pools have a uniform depth from end to end. Both can use either salt or chlorine to purify them.

Apart from that, in-ground and above-ground pools are more or less the same. They can both be accessorised with night lights and gorgeous landscaping. They can both be designed in attractive shapes and styles. They both last longer with a pool cover. They can both be used for active laps or leisurely splashing. They both significantly raise the value of your home.

And they both require the same kind of maintenance. Whichever type of pool you have, you’ll need to check the pool’s pH every few days. You can learn to do this on your own, or you can hire a professional pool guy (or girl) to do this and other pool maintenance activities. If you choose to outsource, you might pay the pool maintainer between $100 and $200 a month.

For the DIY maintenance option, you’ll need to buy a pool testing kit as well as pool chemicals like chlorine, algaecide, and calcite. Salt-water pools use fewer chemicals, but they do still need algaecides and calcites. They also contain a small amount of chlorine.

Routine pool maintenance is pretty straightforward. Every other day, walk around the pool with a pool skimmer and pick out any leaves or debris on the surface of the pool. You can also sweep a pool brush or pool vacuum along the bottom of the pool, removing any sediment that may have settled there.

Check the water levels of your swimming pool. You can check it against the pool’s coping, but a more reliable method is to check your pool skimmer. The water level should be halfway or a third way up the skimmer’s opening. If the water is too high, it will slow down the skimmer. If it’s too low, it can damage the water pump since it will suck air and possibly short-circuit.

As you do your pool maintenance, take out the skimmer basket and empty it, getting rid of any dirt and debris that has collected. Rinse the basket before you put it back in the pool. You should also check your pool filter to see if it’s working properly.

These basic maintenance tasks don’t really cost anything beyond buying chemicals and a testing kit. You can refill your pool using a hosepipe so that you might include the water utility bill as part of your maintenance costs. But other than that, the main area where pools cost money is when you have to do repairs.

In-ground pools can be expensive to repair because if they have a concrete base, it will need to be resurfaced every decade or so. Above-ground pools don’t have this problem since the only thing that needs replacing is the vinyl pool liner.

Pool liners can last between 5 and 9 years while the pool frame itself could last twice as long, so you should be prepared to replace the liner at least once in the lifetime of the pool. The liner isn’t expensive. It rarely costs more than $200. If you initially installed the pool yourself, then you’re skilled enough to replace it.

However, if you’d like to call in a professional pool maintenance person, expect their fees to run up another $500 or so. With good maintenance, above-ground pools have been known to survive 15 years or more, though this is an upper estimate.

On average, expect to have your pool for a decade or so before you need a new one. And expect to spend a fraction of its buying price on maintenance and repair. Whichever way you look at it, above-ground pools are cheap, convenient, and totally worth having.