Maintaining an indoor swimming pool

by Leslie
(Central Massachusetts)

I am looking into buying a house with an indoor swimming pool. What would I need to know exactly to know if this indoor building has the proper ventilation, exhaust etc.?

My husband does not want to buy it because he is afraid of how much it will cost to maintain year round. Can you give me an idea of how much we may have to spend. It is a saltwater pool inground pool with a slide. Thank you.

Hi Leslie. The indoor pool page has much info. to look over. It talks about vapor barriers, de-humidification, heating, etc... Due to the nature of the question, it's time prohibitive to go into all the details about owning an indoor pool. Entire manuals have been written about them, and they cannot possibly cover every scenario and every situation in every part of the country. There are variables that even the most experienced pool builder has not encountered yet.

Without an actual walk-thru of the area, I can only give general advice.

Controlling moisture in the pool room is essential. Pool cover, whether bubbled solar cover, or auto covers can reduce evaporation. They also conserve heat and energy.

The humidity level of the room should be maintained at 50 to 60 percent. this can be accomplished by exchanging humid air for fresh or by installing a de-humidification system.

To reduce evaporation, the air temperature inside should be two to four degrees above the pool water temperature.

Openings such as windows, skylights and sliding glass can also lead to excessive heat in the summer.

Skylights and high windows should be retractable and allow the Summer hot air escape. If not, you might spend more on cooling the pool room in the Summer.

Vapor barriers are of the utmost importance. This heavy duty plastic is what keeps the moisture in the pool room. Unfortunately, vapor barriers are
an area where poor choices are often made. Some rooms have flimsy barriers where others may not have any at all.

Concerning the cost of maintenance, again, there are many variables to consider. The pool chemistry is the same, i.e. 1 gallon of chlorine will treat 10k gallons of water. 12 oz. of muriatic acid will reduce the pH 0.2 per 10k gallons. These is constant throughout the world.

Without knowing the size of the pool and your user habits, I can only give general advice.

In general and offering a ballpark educated guess, I would say the monthly cost for chemicals would be cheaper than an outdoor pool. Less chemicals would be needed due to the pool being in a controlled environment. And no grass or leaves floating in the pool would cut down on cleaning time.

Salt pool have a tendency to increase the pH due to the chlorine cell, so you'll need to keep muriatic acid on hand to maintain the correct pH level of 7.2 - 7.8.

On average, and everything being considered as best I can, for chemicals, you're looking at about $20 per month.

Electricity is another issue. Pool motors and dehumidification will need to be taken into consideration. And then there's the unexpected cost of something breaking, leaking, or needing to be replaced.

This is not unlike anything else. I look at it like buying a car. We cannot go to the dealership and say, "I want a vehicle". The salesman will drill down and ask questions such as are you going to commute? How far? Any kids? Do you have a delivery service? Are you in construction?

Of course you don't want a Chevy 3500 Quad-Cab if you commute 70 miles per day. And you don't want a VW Beetle if you're in construction.

Hope this helps and good luck with your house and pool.


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