How much does a pool cost to run?

For most people considering purchasing a pool this is a question very nearly top of mind – perhaps second only to the initial capital outlay: how much does a pool cost to run?

A photo of a pool in Ashburton.

Pool Chemical Costs

At Momentum Pools we build our pools with standard features including full tiling, salt water chlorination and an auto pH dosing systems made by Zodiac. When we first commission the pool after filling we add approx 20Kg of pool salt / 5000litres of water (approx 8 bags ). This salt can be purchased from Bunnings for approx $8 / bag. For continuous use a pool requires 20kg of salt per 5000L of water per year.

Electricity Costs

When we build clients swimming pools we always specify variable speed pumps and solar heating such as Sunbather’s solar heating and Zodiac’s compact heating. And against trend I offer clients the following advice:

Run your pool equipment for the minimum amount of time each day.

This means in summer run your filter pump for 4 hrs per day and less in Winter. Top dose sanitiser levels through adding granulated chlorine manually. Yes – your pool equipment can do this – but the energy intensive processes, provides a poor cost return. Overall, the running costs associated with running a pool are complex with many variables as well as the interplay within the variables themselves adding to the complexity.

Filter Pumps
In low speed mode use 0.6Kw of electricity x 4hrs = $0.48 per day*

Solar Pump
Assuming 4hrs of use per day = 0.6Kw of electricity x 4hrs = $0.48 per day*

Salt Chlorinator
Assuming 4hrs of use per day = 0.6Kw of electricity x 4hrs = $0.48 per day*

*Based on a rate of $0.20 per kWhr

For an accurate comparison of energy providers visit

 Water Cost

To calculate the approximate initial water cost, please try our pool filling cost estimator.

In terms of evaporative water loss – even with solar heating your pool should only lose water in the peak summer season from mid November through to mid March. On average approx 5 – 10mm of water per day or 0.005 – 0.01m of water will be lost off the surface of the pool. This means a total water loss for the period of 120 days x 25 ( sqm ) x 0.005 – 0.01 = 15 – 30cm of water or 15,000 – 30,000L. Whilst this figure seems high its offset by Melbourne rainfall in this period on average of 250mm for the 120 days or approx 9500L of water hence the average pool will need a net water input of approx 5000 – 20,000L of water for the year or approx $20 – $80 of water.