This is about as non-cruise related as you can get but I know there are a lot of Cruisemates who live in southern climates and have pools.
The question that I have is: How hard and expensive is it to maintain an in-ground pool? I am looking to buy a place down south that has a pool and I'm a bit concerned that it will be "A hole in the backyard that you throw money in.".
I would only be there part of the year so I'm wondering if it is really worth it. BTW: This area of the country gets REALLY hot in the spring and summer so a pool would be nice.
Any replies would be appreciated.
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I've had three homes with swimming pools. Two of them I installed. When I moved way out and built in the country I thought I had left my pool life behind. Nope. After 3-4 years we built one even though we had to blast away solid rock to get a proper in ground pool. Yes it is expensive, but since you will already have it you don't have the concern about the cost vs. return of installing a pool. When you purchase a home with an existing pool your probably getting some good value as so much of the cost is in installation. I doubt your additional cost because of the pool approaches half the cost.
Looks like your primarily concerned with maintenance time and costs. Plan on spending a few hours a week cleaning and adjusting chemicals. Easy enough. Depending on use, size of pool and weather your chemicals could run $75-100 month in summer, less in winter. Probably need a once a year inspection @ $75. You will have electrical cost as well. Depending on how much you have to run the system and if you have a waterfall it can cost more than the chemicals.
Now all of that is based on a good system. IF you have to replace something that will add to cost. If your pool is over 5 years old then there will be something different every year that will need replacement.
Since we don't cruise in the summer due to higher costs and kids, the pool is great summer recreation for us.
Since we installed our current pool, our kids come much more often to visit. Other guests and family as well--for better or worse.
Is it worth it---You bet.
Ray McDonald / Snoozeman
CruiseMates Forum Moderator
I had a pool in the house I grew up in, and it was a bit of a bother to keep up. Where I'm living now, we just installed a brand new pool with the new salt-water clorination system, so NO MORE CHEMICALS. Clorine (found in salt) is extracted using electroysis. You dump a big bag of salt ($75) in the pool in the spring and thats good for the whole summer. The salt keeps the algae away, so no need for algicide. The salinity in the water is barely noticeable, like tears. You do still gotta vacuum the thing, though.
I was wondering after my last post above about the corrosive effects of salt on the metal parts (which I figured they would have found a way around) but also how it effected the pool itself, if any. I guess I got my answer.
Algae is one of the main problems in keeping a pool clean. Leslie Pools and perhaps other companies has a product called Phosfree that eliminates phosporus in the water. Without phosporus, algae can't grow, so my water has been crystal clear for the past six years. Using this product also cut down on the use of chlorine since algae growth increases chlorine use. I can maintain my in ground pool chemically for a year for about the cost of four tanks of gas.
If the pool has a lot of trees around, you will probably be busy vacuuming the pool a lot. Depending on the usage, it may need backwashed a couple of times a year and the filter tank cleaned every year or 18 months. This stuff is mostly labor. We have had a 25,.000 gallon unheated pool since 1972, and I use it eight to nine months a year as long as the water temperature is 70 or above.
Swimming is ppobably the best all around exercise and is easy on the joints. I swim at least 300 yards a day and don't look bad for being 100 years old.:eek::eek::eek::eek:
One thing about safety. A lot of folks store their chlorine in the garage. If you do don't ever keep any open containers of brake fluid around it. Were it to turn over or leak into the chlorine, suffice it to say, you wouldn't want to be home at the time.
Thru dumb luck I guess, there are no real rocks lining my pool. My neighbor has had his pool for 6 years with a salt-water system, and no corrosion on his uni-stone or concrete work. We also chose a "beach slope" from 3 feet to 6 feet depth (diving boards are prohibited in our city), so vacuuming is easier. Plan to try a robot, actually.
Have pools for >40 years. What I tell people regarding maintanence is, "if you don't like maintaining a lawn, then you won't like maintaining a pool, they both take the same amount of effort". Of course you can always hire someone to maintain it.
Yearly costs are electricity & chemicals (chlorine & algercide). Periodic expenses are pump motor and pool liner about every 10 years. Smaller occasional expenses are automatic chlorinator, sand for the filter, etc about 5 years. Chemical cost is about $100-$125 /year for 25k gallons. Quessing my electricity about $20-$30/month.
If you decide to purchase, as a condition of sale, have the pool inspected by the largest pool installer in the area. Do not really on the house inspector or a small local pool company that specializes mainly on selling chemicals.
Salt is the way to go w/a new pool or having problems w/chlorine. Otherwise stick w/what works.
We have no problems leaving during the summer for 2 week cruises (done it many times). The timer turns the filter on/off and automatic chlorinator feeds the pool for 10 days. My Son comes over and refills the chlorinator only once. The pool has always stayed crystal clean, only needs a good vacuuming upon returning.
When I bought here I had a fiberglas pool installed ... much easier to keep clean then concrete and you don't have to have it relined every few years with ??(forgot the name of the product - but it's expensive). I also have a heater installed though I don't use it very much and have a bird cage (a wire cage - definitely recommend).
I used to handle the chemical work and cleaning the filter (the latter has to be done every 4 or 5 weeks or so). It wasn't hard work. Since I became robotic, I've hired a cleaning service (actually this is my 2nd mainly because of price - 1st was $79 and they took 4 weeks vacation every year!!!) and it's $42 a month. She checks and pays for all the chemicals, cleans the filter and brushes the walls when needed.
If you're only going to be here a few months every year, you will definitely need a cleaning service.
So when you and Betty move to my town, she and I can try to find an ice martini bar ... though I think that might be a bit hard!
There are some real bargains here, too!
I cruise the Emerald Princess, Eastern Caribbean on April 16, 2012
We installed an in ground pool last summer. It has the salt system, and what a world of difference from the cloride system(we had an above ground for 12 years). It was amazing how easy it was was to maintain.
Being kinda north(Pittsburgh), we also bought an electric heat pump, and our electric bill increased about 25.00 a month.
Had our pool for 20+ years... replaced liner once using a true chlorine system, it can get pricey at start up and chemical costs..... we have since converted to a salt water system 3 years ago.... virtually maintenance free regarding chemicals, no corrosion problems.... a welcome change in lower operating costs for sure ! We have many trees around us and thats where the work is involved i.e. cleanup and skimming ! Strongly suggest purchasing a "polaris" vaccum system... well worth the money and takes care of the floor and walls for you. Also, consider purchasing at minimum a 1.5 hp filter pump for better circulation.
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