A swimming pool is a worthy investment for any homeowner. It provides a place for your family members to have fun and relax when the temperature hits the highs of the eighties. It is a joy to hear the sounds of your kid’s laughter as they play games in the swimming pool on a sunny afternoon.
But swimming pools require frequent maintenance and repairs to keep them running and safe. A well maintained swimming pool can last up to 30 years or even more. However, once in awhile you are likely to experience leakages, faulty pumps or incidences where the water fails to move. These are common problems that may necessitate you to look for pool repair services near you.
Types of repair & swimming pools repair cost
If you have a swimming pool, you might be wondering what kind of problems or faults you likely to experience with it that may have you searching for a pool repair contractor. Or most likely you already have a problem with your pool, and you are not aware of the costs of repair.
A swimming pool is a significant investment in your home. The average cost of putting up a concrete pool can soar up to $50,000. Therefore, if you have one, you need to invest in frequent maintenance and repairs to make sure it serves the intended purpose and preserve its value.
Pool’s repair cost can vary depending on a variety of factors such as the size of the pool, the type of the pool you have, the extent of the damages and many others. However, the average cost of repair can range from $251 to $880 with the average cost being $556.
Here some of the repairs you may need for different types of pool and their cost.
Pools come in two different categories:
- In-ground pools
- Above-ground pools
These two types of pools may have the same maintenance routine such as algae control, water treatment, etc., but the repairs for each are different since they are built with different materials.
In-ground pools are permanently installed in the ground, a process that involves digging a big hole in your compound. They are long lasting and a bit expensive to build. However, they do add aesthetic value to your home for they create a beautiful view of your landscape.
Most of the in-ground pools are made of vinyl, fiberglass or most popular concrete (gunite) which is very durable and can be created in your preferred shape. Since the in-ground pool is quite involving in its initial installation, (a task that needs special handling )when it comes to repairs it is best if it’s handled by a professional.
Here the most common repairs for an in-ground pool.
Fiberglass Liner Problems and Repairs
Fiberglass liner is way much stronger, and unlike vinyl liner, it needs fewer repairs. They are a popular option for pool owners due to their durability. They also do not allow room for mold or algae growth.
If you are experiencing cracks and scratches with your fiberglass liner, it may be easier to resurface it and paint the affected area and the rest of the pool with refinishing gel coat. Even though this process is time-consuming, and requires the pool to be empty, it is affordable and cost-effective. The whole process can cost you an average of $300.
Most common problems with fiberglass liner include;
- Bulging walls due to improper backfills
Sand can cause imbalance and become heavier than water especially if it’s oversaturated causing the fiberglass to bulge. It’s advisable to use gravel during installation to avoid this problem.
With time, the gel coat will fade out and may need a repaint. A professional will charge you around $700 for a 500sq ft. The pool will need some minor repairs in the process of painting such as patching up small cracks, so a professional is better off handling the painting
Swimming pool vinyl liners can last up to 15 years with proper maintenance. Even though some concrete in-ground pools do not have liners, most of them are usually coated with a thin coating of vinyl. The vinyl liner works perfectly for a pool for its nonporous meaning that you will not deal with algae growth.
However, with time you are likely to deal with a couple of problems with the vinyl liner which include the following:
Even though you can reduce the effects of sun damage by covering the pool or having a protective shield installed, with time damages will still catch up. The swimming pool liner mostly falls up above the water line. The sun will occasionally reflect on the exposed part wearing it down with time.
Remember the water consist of chemicals. If there is a chemical imbalance in the water, it’s likely to tear up the liner prompting a need for a protective shield. It can cost you $530 for 150feet.
The vinyl is mostly held into place by use of a bead that goes around the edge of the pool. It is usually stretched to fit perfectly into this bead. However, some factors can cause the bead to pop out or lose its elasticity. They include;
- A poorly fitted liner can cause the bead to pop out
- Age of the bead-with time the bead gets stretched and can longer hold the liner in place
- Weather conditions can cause contraction and expansion, which can make the bead lose its elasticity
Even though a homeowner can repair and pin the bead back to its place, a replacement may be necessary. Purchasing a bead can cost you an average of $129 -$300 for 150 feet.
Sometimes the liner may have been poorly installed making it wrinkle and fold. Water pressure and other weather conditions can also lead to the wrinkles. A professional will charge you $100-$250 to fix this problem.
These are very common with vinyl liners. If the rips are minor, you can use a DIY kit to fix them which can cost $10-$30. However, if the tears are extensive or you are not able to identify the source of the leaks, you may need a professional to do it. They will charge a range of $100-$500.
However, if the vinyl liner has major problems with leaking which cannot be fixed through minor repairs, you may need a full replacement. A professional will charge around $1700-$2500 to do a complete replacement.
Concrete problems and repairs
Concrete and gunite are the most common type of in-ground swimming pool. Most of the common problems associated with these pools include:
Sometimes the pool can have minor cracks, especially in the plastic coating. The cracks can also extend to the concrete or gunite and may need to be widened to be filled with caulking. A professional will charge you around $65 to handle the cracks.
These can cost you a lot if the damage is diverse or force you to demolish the pool altogether. Sometimes when the water table is high, hydrostatic pressure can pile up beneath your pool and push the pool to pop out.
You can prevent this problem from occurring by having a hydrostatic pressure relief valve installed when building the pool. It will cost as little as $14 and save you from major costs in the future.
These can look like a spider web. They are bad for a pool if left unattended. They happen when poorly made substrate separates from the pool leaving a section unfilled and unsupported. A professional will charge you $700 -$1000 for 150 sq ft pool to refill the hollow spot and resurface the pool.
Plumbing Leaks in the feeder lines
If there are leaks in your pool, the problem might not be with the pool but the plumbing work. Remember, an in-ground pool has the main line that feeds the pool with water and another line that takes away the water. It also has pool filter pump that can also be faulty and cause leakages.
Finding the exact point where leakages are happening in the feeder lines can be a daunting task for a homeowner. The process requires time and specialized equipment to fix the problem. It would be advisable to have a pro replace the line or repair the leak and save yourself the bulk of labor needed. A professional will charge $1000 to fix the leaking problem.
However, if the source of the leak is not in pipes or plumbing, but the pool itself, and the leak is easy to identify, you may spend around $20 on a patch kit to fix it. You will need to follow the instructions to the letter when fixing the leak. It’s important to note that leaks are not that obvious to find and the process can be tiresome.
If the leak is hard to find, a professional will come in handy. You will charge an average of $350 to find the leak and repair it.
The above-ground pools are less expensive as compared to the in-ground pools. They come fabricated and take minimal time to install. Their cost of repair is also not as expensive as the concrete or gunite pools.
Here are some of the repairs associated with Above-ground pools.
This type of a pool is installed into a framework that needs a solid ground for support. With time, due to age or natural disasters such as an earthquake, the frame can collapse or get damaged.
A professional will charge you $1300-$1700 for a replacement. Make sure you give out the correct details of the model of your pool including measurements to make sure that all the parts will fit correctly after installation.
The most common problems associated with above-ground pools are leakages in the liner. The leaks can be fixed with a patch kit that can cost an average of $10 to $30. However, if the tears are extensive, you may need to replace the liner at an average of cost of $300.
Other additional common repairs for swimming pools
Even with constant maintenance, your pool is likely to experience problems that need repairs. Some of these repairs need a professional contract to handle them to ensure that the pool is safe is to use.
This is one component of the pool that is likely to have problems and in need of frequent repairs. Most of the problems in a motor pump could be; electrical short, the bearings, or the capacitor. Also, the age of the pump could lead to some issues.
The pump helps keep your pool water clean and hygienic. If the pump water has a problem, the pool water may stop circulating and cannot heat or filter. If this happens, it’s safe to call a professional to fix the motor. Replacing the motor can cost $185 for a .75hp motor or $350 for a .2.5hpmotor.
Your pool can sometimes experience blockages in the heating tubes due to building up of minerals. If this happens, the heating system may stop functioning, and you may need a professional contractor to come and diagnose the problem.
The average cost of repairing a pool heater is $394. However, if the problem is left unattended, the cost goes up to around $1200. It’s advisable to have a professional handle the pool heater.
DIY VS Professional Pool Repair Services
There are some occasional pool maintenance routines that a homeowner can carry out. With the right tools, you can take of your pool and reduce the number of repairs needed in future.
Here are some simple tasks that you can DIY:
Testing of PH levels
Testing PH level of your pool is essential. Every pool owner is required to have a test kit. It’s used to test levels of chlorine, alkalinity, bromide, and acidity. You can get a test kit at $15. It’s important to note that the testing solution needs replacement with time. It will cost you around $8 for a set of replacement solution.
Every swimming pool needs chlorine. It helps keep the pool free of bacteria that can be harmful. You can add to the floating time release dispensers or add it during the routine maintenance. The tablets can cost an average of $60 – $70 for a 25- pound container, while two gallons container of liquid chlorine costs around $7.50.
Adding muriatic acid
Muriatic acid lowers the PH levels of water in the pool. It also keeps mineral build up at a minimum level, stops bacteria from growing and keeps the pool clean for use. You can add the acid yourself but make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions keenly to avoid adverse harm. A gallon of muriatic acid costs around $7.70.
Addition of soda ash
Soda ash neutralizes the excess acid by raising the PH levels of your pool. Caution should be exercised not to apply too much soda ash which can cause bacteria to thrive or lead to a build-up of minerals that can clog your plumbing system. You can buy a 6-pound container at $8.
You can replace the filter cartridges occasionally. Their pricing depends on size and capacity. A single 10-inch cartridge can cost you as much as $75 (high end one), while a cartridge of a two-pack of 4.5 inches can cost $13. Sand filters cost around $12 for a 50-pound container.
A skimmer is used to collect debris in your pool. Your pool needs to be frequently skimmed nearly every day. If left unattended, the debris can settle at the bottom of your pool and cause damages to the pool liner. A skimmer costs around $7.
Protecting the pool with a cover
Pool covers are best for protecting your pool from falling debris when not in use. Covering your pool will help you keep away many problems in the long term and save you money. A good pool cover can cost you around $580.
Pool Repair Costs
Estimated cost of repair for most homeowners
|Estimated cost of repair||Cost
|The average low-end cost||$80
|The average high end||$2500
Specific repairs and average costs
|Resurfacing and painting fiberglass liner for minor cracks||Average $300
|Repainting the gel coat of a fiberglass liner||$700 for 500ft
|Purchasing a Protective shield for a pool ||$530-$580 for 150ft
|Vinyl liner beads||$129-$300 for 150ft
|Repairing a wrinkled liner||$100-$250
|Purchasing a patch kit||$10-$30
|Major repairs for Vinyl Liner||$100$500
|Replacing a vinyl liner||$1700-2500
|Minor concrete/ gunite cracks||$65
|Hydrostatic pressure pump||$14
|Refilling a hollow spot||$700-$1000 for 150 sqft
|Fixing pipe and plumbing leaks|| Average $1000
|Fixing leaks inside a pool||Average $350
|Replacing a collapsed wall for an above-ground pool||$1300-$1700
|Replacing a pump motor||$185 for a .75hp
$350 for a 2.5hp
General maintenance DIY costs
|PH level test kit||$15
|Chlorine||Tablets -$60 -$70 for a 25-pound container
$7.50 for a gallon container
|Muriatic acid||$7.70 for a gallon container
|Soda ash||$8 for a 6-pound container
|Filters||$75 for a single 10-inch cartridge –high end
$13 for a two pack of 4.5-inch cartridge
Maintaining your poor will help you save some costs repair that result from neglect. However, some repairs are complicated and time-consuming. Hiring a contractor to handle them is the right decision.
Here some of the repairs that are best handled by a professional contractor.
- Heater repairs
- Motor repairs
- Filter and pump repairs
- Valve repairs
- Equipment replacement
- Upgrading and repairing of the lighting system
How to Hire the Right Pool Repair Contractor
A swimming pool is one of the most expensive investments for most homeowners. When it comes to having it repaired, you need to take your time searching for the right contractor to do the job. You do not want to risk the lives of your loved ones through a poorly done repair that could potentially jeopardize the safety of your pool.
Here tips to help you search for right pool repair contractor.
Ask around for referrals
You can ask from friends or people close to you for recommendations. Ask the person giving you the referral relevant questions about the contractor before you contact them. For example; how was their working experience with the said contractor? Were they timely? Was their work satisfactory? Are they affordable?
Asking around can help you know the contractors to avoid and save you disappointment.
You can search on online platforms
Another way getting the right pool repair contractor is through the use of the online platforms. Most service providers have websites detailing their services and their pricing. Make sure you read reviews left by people who have contracted them in the past to know the quality of their services.
When looking at reviews, concentrate on the number of good reviews. If there are a lot of good reviews, the better. Look at the ratings; how do people rate them? Are they getting five stars? These are the things that will tell you if the contractor is the right candidate.
Get several quotes
Before hiring, you need to interview two to three contractors and get their price quotes. Pricing alone should not be the
determining factor when hiring, but having several quotes will save you the risk of being exploited.
10 Questions to Ask Your Pool Repair Contractor
1. Ask for references
Any reputable contractor will be willing to give out references that can help you get information about them from past clients. Ask for a minimum of three contacts of their recent clients. Call the references to gain insights into their services, get to know if they are reliable, and possibly learn about their labor charges.
2. Ask about experience
Experience in any field is vital. You do not want to hire a novice to work on your pool repair work. Get to know the number of years the firm has been in operation. How many clients have they worked for so far?
A company that has been in operation for several years is likely to be trustworthy and competent at their services. Also, a contractor with several years of operation has probably worked on several pools and has at one time dealt with a repair similar to yours.
3. Ask if they are licensed
Most pool contractors are required to be in possession of working licenses that show that they are qualified and legally allowed to do pool installation and repairs. Ask to see a copy of their license just to be sure. A reputable pool contractor firm will have all the necessary documentation in place.
4. Find out if they are insured
It’s important to find out if the firm you are about to contract for pool repairs is insured. Ask for a copy to verify if the insurance is current. Is their staff well covered as well? Does the company have a policy for their workers? Do they have a workman’s compensation?
It’s essential to have insurance details checked since the technicians and workers will be working on your property. Pool repair can be risky, and accidents can happen. You do not want to be held liable and incur medical expenses in case someone slipped and fell while working on your pool.
5. Ask about the cost
Discuss the cost of labor upfront. Get to know how much they will charge for that particular repair and weigh your budget to see if you can afford the contractor. Make sure you have all the details of the repairs needed so that you get the exact amount required to complete the project.
6. Ask about their technicians and workers
If you are contracting a firm to do repairs for you, they will have to send technicians to do the jobs. Find how long they have had their staff and their qualifications. Trust a company that has retained its team for several years for it means they are well experienced and reliable.
7. Ask if they cater for damages incurred during repairs
Pool repair can be a complicated process and accidents are likely to happen. What happens when one of their technicians causes damages that may be costly? Do they have liability insurance? Get a contractor who can take responsibility for damages caused by their staff in the repair process. Have this information before hiring to avoid misunderstandings in the future.
8. Do they provide a written guarantee?
Sometimes the repairs being done may be a bit costly. You may need a written guarantee from your contractor to assure you that they will deliver as per your expectations and that they will leave your pool in a working condition. A contractor who is not sure about their services may not agree to this, and that should be a red flag.
9. Ask about their location
If you get contractor through the internet or referrals, ask for their location. Do they have offices? Where are they located? If possible, visit them just to confirm you are working with a legitimate company.
10. Ask how long it will take to complete the repair job
It’s vital to know how long it will take your contractor to complete your repairs. A timeline will help you plan yourself accordingly and also avoid unnecessary delays by the contractor. Some contractors due to a busy schedule may take longer to finish your repairs, so it’s important to clear the time issue beforehand.
The above questions will enable you to gauge your potential contractor to see if they are the right choice to do your repairs.
How to Avoid Being Scammed When Hiring a Pool Repair Contractor
Scam contractors are nothing new in the home improvement business. Sometimes a contractor can appear genuine and manage to convince you that they will deliver to your expectations but they end up stealing from you instead. It is advisable to vet a contractor before hiring to avoid the risk of being scammed.
Here are valuable tips that will help you avoid getting scammed by dishonest contractors.
Avoid paying upfront
A contractor out to rip you will ask for a full payment even before he starts the repair and may use a myriad of excuses as to why you should pay him up front. Sometimes they will tell you they need to rent equipment, order materials and most likely ask for a big percentage of pay before the work starts.
The recommended amount you can pay before the repairs begin is 10% or less of the total job. This is to establish that you are serious about the job and enable the contractor to start off. Paying the contractor before a job begins sets you up to the risks of a disappearing contractor or getting a poor job.
The license land insurance lies
Some fraudulent contractors may convince you that they are licensed, and yet they are not. Such people are likely to be unqualified and do a shoddy job with substandard materials. Ask for a copy of the license and if possible follow up with the licensing department for confirmations.
Also, confirm insurance details. Do not take their word for it. A reputable contractor will provide you with all the necessary documentation before you sign a contract. Confirm that they have workers liability to avoid being liable in case of accidents while on your property. If a contractor is not willing to hand over these details, then that should be a red flag, and you should avoid dealing with them.
Get a written contract
Make sure everything you agree over is put down in writing and signed by both parties. Understand the contract details before you sign. The agreement should have all the relevant information correct such as dates, costs, guarantee policies, etc.
Ask for the physical address
A reputable contractor should have an office somewhere. Be careful of contractors who have nothing other than a mobile phone number to reach them. You need to know the location of their company just in case there is a need for a follow-up on failed repairs.
Avoid being pressured to limited offers
Do not be fooled by limited special offers and get pressured to sign up for a contract. It’s possible that you being ripped off with exorbitant charges and the contractor don’t want you to know. Take time and think it over. Get several quotes to make a price comparison and to be sure that whatever you are being charged is the average cost.
Be wary of contractors who hike prices
If a contractor agrees to a quote and then comes later claiming that the price of materials has gone up while halfway through the job and needed to charge you more, do not agree to it. The contractor should not underbid for a job, and if he does, then he should cover for his mistakes and not you. Some unscrupulous contractors a likely to use this stunt and charge more than you expected for a simple repair.
Swimming pools can bring an enjoyable experience for you and your family members. They provide an excellent venue for outdoor activities and relaxation. However, the installation process does come cheap hence the need for proper maintenance and repair. To keep the pool running and safe, you need to take care of repairs the moment they are detected to avoid incurring enormous costs when the damages get out of hand.
Homeowners can handle some minor problems, but the bulk of repairs such as heating repairs are better off left to a professional. Exercise caution when searching for repair services to avoid getting ripped off or get poor services. Carry out proper investigations to ensure that you hire the right person for the repairs.