Pool maintenance: DIY or hire a professional?

In this article, we take a look at the benefits of DIY approach or hiring a professional team to keep up your pool maintenance and have it ready to just dive in.

What does a professional pool team do?

If you’re thinking of hiring an experience pool maintenance team to look after your pool, you’d no doubt be keen to know exactly what they’re doing. On a weekly or bi-weekly basis, you’ll pool service will include:

  • Vacuuming the surfaces of the pool;
  • Skimming debris from the water’s surface;
  • Scrubbing surfaces including the walls and steps;
  • Emptying the skimmer baskets;
  • Ensuring the filters are running efficiently;
  • Checking the water’s pH;
  • Balancing the pool chemicals;
  • Checking the water level;
  • Shocking the pool.

A pool service team can also be engaged to open the pool in spring and close it again at the start of winter.

The cost difference

Pool Maintenance 01

The annual investment of owning a pool requires commitment. It can be expensive to run pool equipment and purchase the required chemicals, in addition to the costs of hiring a professional outfit.

Engaging a pool service company for a one-off clean will cost on average $100. A weekly or bi-weekly cleaning service can cost between $50-$100. A regular monthly clean by a professional service will range from $60-$90.

Factors that influence the cost of your pool service include:

  • The size of your pool – large pools take longer to clean and require more chemicals.
  • Location – a pool located near foliage, trees or a wooded area will collect more debris than one that’s in an open space. Likewise, you’ll need more frequent service if your pool is located in an area with high rainfall.
  • Type of pool – chlorine, salt water and natural pools will all range in the costs to maintain the equipment and clean the water.
  • Usage – a pool that gets a lot of use will require more maintenance than one that’s used occasionally on the weekends.
  • Pool equipment – the efficiency and quality of your pool equipment will influence the work required. Add-ons such as heating or lighting may also require more repairs and service callouts.

Doing the pool maintenance yourself may reduce your costs slightly, but not necessarily as much as you might expect. Firstly, you’ll need to purchase all the cleaning supplies, chemicals and equipment to carry out the clean.

To purchase the just the chemicals, can cost you around $30 per month. Testing kits are about $20 with replacement solutions required. Filter replacement cartridges start at $30 for the basic, costing up to $300 for high-end products. Replacement sand costs around $12 for 20kg and DE for filtering approximately $5 for a 5kg bag.

Most do-it-yourself pool cleaners will spend between $20-100 per month to keep their pool in good shape.

The time and effort required

There’s an obvious difference in the level of effort required to clean a pool yourself versus picking up the phone and hiring a pool service.

The first time you clean a pool, you may feel overwhelmed. However, as you gain experience balancing chemicals, replacing filters and finding the most efficient way to clean the surfaces will come naturally.

Depending on the equipment used, cleaning a pool yourself can take up to one hour and a half and you’ll need to do this weekly. However, on average most will spend 45 mins a week and a little bit of elbow grease to maintain their pool. This doesn’t include replacing equipment or balancing chemicals.

Take a look at our pool cleaners guide before you purchase your equipment. 

As a pool maintenance service will use professional-grade tools, they can complete the entire job under an hour. Best of all, this can be while you’re at work, spending time with your kids or simply relaxing.

The quality

A professional pool clean often looks better than a DIY job, simply because they’re experts in this field and use the professional-grade equipment. The difference in quality, will, however, greatly depend on the experience of the pool maintenance company you choose to hire.

If you do understand the process of balancing chemicals, own quality equipment and have the time, there’s no reason you can’t achieve as good as a result as a professional service. The key to having a pool that’s clean and operating well is taking the time to learn the ins and outs of pool maintenance.

Learn how and when to backwash your pool here

Looking after your pool is not only the way to keep your water looking appealing, it’s also important for you to protect your home’s asset. There are advantages to both DIY and hiring a professional.

If you are thinking of taking care of the cleaning yourself, you’ll want to make it a long-term commitment. You don’t want to purchase all the cleaning supplies and equipment only to decide you’d prefer to pay someone else to do it for you. If you’re still unsure, we recommend you hire a professional team and keep a close eye on what’s involved before you commit to either option.

Feature image: pool designed by Bower Architecture.