How to save yourself some money on your swimming pool opening

How to save yourself some money on your swimming pool opening

Save on Pool Opening Costs

From WSJ online


Don’t sink your maintenance budget when opening up your pool in time for the Memorial Day holiday.

A pool-opening service typically includes cleaning the pool area and equipment, removing the pool cover, activating the circulation system, and testing and treating the water, says Terry Brown, director of operations and strategic support at the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, an industry trade group.

But many pool-service companies charge an hourly rate, so you can typically expedite the process—and save some money—by doing some of the work yourself.

While heavy pool covers are best removed by professionals, you can clear any water or debris that’s collected on top, says Doug Salvia, president of Douglas Aquatics in Richmond, Va. Mr. Salvia, whose company charges about $95 per hour for the opening service, says that while the typical opening takes four to five hours, a homeowner could shave off two to three hours—and as much as $300—by clearing the cover.

Mr. Salvia suggests using a small automated bilge pump to remove water pooled on the cover. Such a pump costs $100 to $150. But it will likely pay for itself in a year or two with the money you’ll save doing this work yourself.

Another way to save on the opening (and weekly maintenance) costs is by buying and adding your own sanitizing chemicals, such as chlorine. At Rising Sun Pools in Raleigh, N.C., for instance, you can save about $100 to $200 off the opening price by administering your own chemicals, and about $50 to $60 per week for maintenance.

Be sure to check with a pool-care professional to see which chemicals are right for your pool, Mr. Brown says. And you may need to take a water sample to a retail location for testing.