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Monthly Electrical Costs to Run a Swimming Pool: What Should You Expect?


pool eletrical costsPotential swimming pool owners often times wonder how much they'll spend on a monthly basis for electrical/ power usage with their new swimming pool. Considering long term costs on a pool should certainly factor into one's purchasing decision, such a question makes quite a bit of sense.

Unfortunately, every pool is different in terms of how much electrical is used and therefore the monthly costs can vary significantly as well. So keep this in mind as you read the following, as these are General Guidelines.

2 Speed and Variable Speed Pump/Filter Systems (includes salt)

Pump manufacturers have become much more energy and cost conscious over the past 10 years or so, with most pool companies now making 2-speed and variable speed pumps a standard part of their basic installation. For example, at River Pools and Spas we include a 2-Speed Whisper Flow Pump by Pentair on all of our packages. In the majority of cases, pool owners will run this pump on low speed 24/7 during the summer, which is a very good idea because it allows for constant filtration and sanitation. Although the high speed is used at times, (especially when vacuuming) the pump is not running full-speed nearly as often.

Typical Monthly Cost on Electric Bill: $30-$50

1-Speed Pump (includes salt)

For whatever reason, and much to my dismay, there are still a decent amount of companies out there that are only installing 1-speed pumps on new pool installations. This leaves the homeowner with 2 choices: Run the pump on high speed 24/7, or have it on a timer, turning on and off at 8 hour (average) intervals. As you can imagine, both these options have their drawbacks.

Average Monthly Cost: $75-$150

Heat Pumps

Heat Pumps, which use electric instead of gas or propane, are a relatively efficient way to heat (and also cool) a swimming pool. Although the size of a heat pump does make some difference, the biggest factor on its electrical consumption has to do with the pool's location/region and ambient temperature outside. So for the sake of creating some type of estimate, most heat pumps will add $75-$250 per month in electrical expenses, again depending on their usage.

Inground Hot Tubs

This is a tough one to answer considering there are many ways to build an inground hot tub. Notwithstanding, running an inground hot tub can often times consume as much if not more electrical than an inground pool, especially if it utilizes an electric heater.

Typical Monthly Power Consumption:  $75-$300


So there are some general guidelines for those of you looking for expected energy costs and consumption. Keep in mind also that I've listed monthly (not yearly) costs in this article because most pools in the United States are not open year-round.

Note*** If you're considering the purchase of an inground pool and live outside of the Va/Md/Wva area, receive a quote from our affiliate site here. If you live in the Va/Md area and would like to receive a pool quote from River Pools, please click here.

Marcus Sheridan

Questions? Comments? What have been your experiences? What are the numbers in your area? As always, we'd love to hear from you.

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We bought the Heat Pump to extend the season. I did not know I could use it to cool an overly hot pool also. You're awalys full of new information!
Posted @ Wednesday, May 19, 2010 12:09 PM by Bob Silkensen
We are having a leisure pool moroccan and inground leisure pool hot tub put in. The pool will have a fastlane installed. We live in boise idaho area with hot summers and cold winters. My husband would like to swim with a wet suit in the winter, maintaining the pool at around 58- 60 degrees. A contractor recommended a heat pump. My concern is that we have a heat pump/ gas heater for our house and it seems that when it cycles to the heat pump in the winter that we just get cool air instead of warm air. What if this happens with the pool as well. Also, the heat pump is fairly loud, especially when it starts up. Any comments on this. We would have to have the equipment close to windows in the house and patio.
Posted @ Wednesday, May 26, 2010 10:56 AM by karen maier-anderson
@Bob---Glad you enjoy the articles! 
@Karen--- A heat pump, although efficient and effective, is pretty much worthless when the temp drops below 60 degrees. If you plan on heating your pool when the ambient temp is below 60, figure on needing as gas/propane heater. Best of luck to you!!
Posted @ Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:21 PM by Marcus Sheridan
We are having a Leisure Riviera 34 installed in Missouri and the installer only offers single speed pumps with timer. He was going to install 1 hp Hayward Super Pump. If I have him install 2 speed pump would I stay with the 1 hp or go up in size? Should I ask him to use Pentair and if so which on and size? He said he is using 1 1/2 pipe for all lines.
Posted @ Wednesday, May 04, 2011 9:43 PM by Alex McCaul
Hi Alex, my quick answer would be this: I would certainly ask for a two-speed pump, yes. If the builder chooses one that is a 1hp, that's fine too, but many are 1.5, either way, your pool will be fine. Finally, as long as it's a decent pump (Hayward, Pentair, etc) you'll be fine. 
Good luck!!
Posted @ Wednesday, May 04, 2011 10:24 PM by Marcus Sheridan
What is your view on adding closed cell foam insulation around the pool shell before back filling. i am in the uk. Thanks
Posted @ Friday, October 14, 2011 4:06 PM by Jonathan
Tough to say Jonathan. We've never done it, I've certainly looked at it before, but I frankly don't see much purpose. If it's for insulation, the top is the important area, not what's underneath the ground. I've also never seen a spray foam that didn't deteriorate over time when used with such an application.
Posted @ Friday, October 14, 2011 6:29 PM by Marcus Sheridan
Marcus - we have decided to insulate the walls of our pool before back filling. We will use an extruded polystyrene board (XPS) specifically made for swimming pools. Its called "yellofoam xpool". 
its 50mm thick (although comes in various sizes) and has a high compressive strength (i have no links with the company and am just a private individual who has hunted high and low for a suitable insulation material !) 
our logic is that the thermal resistivity of fibreglass panels is about 50% that of the XPS board. If there is a temp gradient between the pool and the ground then the laws of physics suggest there will be heat loss from the pool to the ground, especially near the deep end as we have hit the water table. (water will encourage heat loss). We looked at spray foam and it was prohibitively expensive (around $2500) wheras the XPS boards will come in about $600 plus we will save about $100 on backfill gravel due to the volume occupied by the panels. I reckon over the life of the pool we will easily save $500 in heat loss. In the UK it is now a legal requirment under building regulations to insulate indoor pool installations. The regulation will be extended to outdoor pools in 2013. There is not much info on insulation and I can see why you say you "dont see much purpose". most pool guys we have spoken to have the same opinion as you. However, looking at it froma thermal dynamics point of view it makes perfect sense to insulate - afterall you insulate you attic and the walls of your house and they are not at the same temp as the water in your pool ! I may be wrong but think its worth the chance - we will never know if I am right or wrong as there is no way of measuring the effectiveness of this decision !! 
thank you for this website - its a very useful resourse. There are many things you do differently stateside to over here (poured cantilver coping is unheard of !) in the UK and many things that are similar- probably because fibreglass pools are not popular over here thus there is not much experience. most pools are concrete and liner or panel and liner. fibreglass is less than 20% of the UK pool market, which is odd as its about 80% of the market in france and spain ! the guy who runs the company we are buying from is from australia so brings with him experience of the fibreglass market over there. He is also , most probably, the only fibreglass pool manufacturer in the UK as most other pools are shipped in from france !! 
kind regards
Posted @ Tuesday, October 18, 2011 1:53 PM by jonathan
Wow Jonathan that's very, very interesting. Look forward to hearing how it goes for you and I'm sure you're likely just a pioneer of a practice that will be seen more and more of in the future. 
Good luck!!
Posted @ Tuesday, October 18, 2011 3:08 PM by Marcus Sheridan
Well...the pool is in and up and running. We put as much insulation around the shell as we could before the backfill. we also insulated all the pipes. we have a solar cover and an enclosure. so not much more we can do to keep the heat in. We managed to get the pump up to 29 deg c in november using only an air sorce heat pump. it was warm for november but still went down to 5 deg c air temp overnight. We are now at the point where we cant economically heat the pool using the heat pump as it has to be running all day and night. so we just run at night (we have cheap rate electricity at night). even though outdoor temp are below freezing we are still managing to hold onto some of the heat and only lose about 0.5deg c per day. this is testiment to the insulation and enclosure. We have just ordered a log burning pool heater to top the pool up for the winter..pipework fitted...just hoping santa brings it to us in time !! would love to share some photos of our project with you - let me know how to post/send pics. HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL !
Posted @ Monday, December 19, 2011 1:21 PM by Jonathan
These are very helpful estimates, but I presume they apply to inground pools. Do you have similar info for above-ground pools? We have a 30'x15', 52" high pool, and I would like to get a heater to extend the season and make it attractive to swim when I get home from work. My husband thinks the cost will be prohibitive. Any cost guidelines? Thanks.
Posted @ Friday, August 08, 2014 9:03 AM by Joan
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