All pools have many of the same requirements. We need to keep the water safe (chemicals) and inviting looking (filtration). So we must chemically treat the WATER (the structure is less of an issue regardless of what the fiberglass people preach) with some sort of sanitizer and then we must filter the water so keeping the filters clean is also important. Chemical costs will vary dependent upon the size of the pool (how many gallons of water) but one will likely spend $300 to $500 a year on chemicals. Salt chlorine generators (yes, salt systems MAKE chlorine) will reduce those costs a bit but after several years the cost savings disappear with the need for a new electrolytic cell.
You may need new sand in a sand filter every five years or so (labor and materials to replace sand can be around $1,000), bags of diatomaceous earth for a D.E. filter ($150 per year?), and new cartridges for a cartridge filter every other year (around $300 for a new set for a typical cartridge filter, but be careful as there are some brands whose replacement cartridges can cost $800).
Electricity costs reduce significantly with the use of a variable speed pump, so ask your pool professional about those. Without a variable speed pump, assume $100 per month for electricity and with a variable speed pump around $30.
Repairs are hard to determine but over time there are some costs to think about. Liner pools will need a new liner eventually. That can range from $5,000 to $10,000 including the cost of the water (you will be required to “truck in” the water to assist with the fitting of the liner and reduction of wrinkles).
Fiberglass pools can delaminate, or become cloudy as the gel coat fades. It is irreparable! You can try buffing it (does not do much) but that will entail draining and refilling the pool. A major untruth about gunite pools is that they “must” be drained, and acid washed. This is ABSOLUTELY FALSE! Aqua Pool has many 20-, 30-, or 40-year-old pools we service that have NEVER been emptied or acid washed.
One may wish to acid wash a pool to make it look better if the need arises, but one is NEVER required to drain, or acid wash a gunite pool. With proper water testing and maintenance, the pool will look wonderful for many, many years. After a very long time (depending upon the interior finish of a gunite pool – there are many options), the interior finish will need to be re-done. With the “standard” interior finish (called plaster, marcite, marbelite), one can assume after 15 years the pool MAY need to be refinished. With a quartz finish, after 20+ years. With the more expensive pebble interiors, after 30 or more years. Don’t believe us? Ask pool owners but remember there are always exceptions to the rule. People that do not have their water tested and balanced, people who ignore everything except clear water, those who do not maintain proper water balance will find that their pools need to be refinished sooner. But that same rule goes for liner pools and fiberglass; the water can shorten the lifespan of the pools finish! So, again, we treat the water to make the pool last longer. A new interior finish ranges from around $7,000 – $20,000 and up if using pebble products with glass beads.
Everything else around or in the pool is the same cost regardless of which pool type you choose. At Aqua Pool, we believe strongly that gunite pools, including gunite saltwater pools, provides the best value and that’s why we specialize in them.