5 Hidden Hassles of Owning a Swimming Pool

A middle-aged man looking very annoyed

Pools are wonderful for many reasons, but let’s be honest, they also have some pretty obvious downsides. Most people understand that they cost a small fortune to install. Most people are also aware that building a pool saddles the homeowner with additional maintenance and safety issues.

Unfortunately, there are also hassles that the average non-pool owner doesn’t know about. If you really want to weigh the pros and cons of owning a pool, these lesser known problems better be on the scale (along with the lesser known benefits, which we covered in a previous article). While the following “hidden hassles” may not tip the balance against getting a pool, they’re still good to know about before you make the big decision.

1. Excavation Complications

Remember that scene in Poltergeist where skeletons emerge from a pool excavation to take revenge on the homeowners who desecrated their burial grounds? We’re not saying you have to worry about digging up zombies in your backyard, but there could be other nasty surprises lurking beneath the surface of your yard that could really complicate pool installation. Rock, roots, water – you don’t know what might be down there until your pool builder starts digging. This means you could waste money on a pool project that has to be abandoned due to impossible conditions, or spend a lot more to complete a more-difficult-than-expected install.

2. Leaks

The fact that there’s a branch of the pool industry that specializes in leaks tells us two things 1) it’s a relatively common problem, and 2) it’s not easy for pool owners (or even non-specialist professionals) to fix. What makes a pool leak so annoying is that it really needs to be fixed pronto in order to avoid damage to your pool structure and yard. And yet, because some water loss is normal due to evaporation and splashing, you may not even realize you have a leak at first. It’s enough to make a pool owner paranoid.

3. Mysterious Pool Chemistry Problems

Visit a pool troubleshooting forum, and you’ll find many people asking for help with their pool chemistry problems – algae, cloudy water, discolored water, you name it. In many cases, the problem comes down to outdated equipment or a lack of proper maintenance. But due to environmental factors and whatnot, there are also stubborn pool chemistry issues that even your friendly neighborhood pool guy may not be able to handle. Pool maintenance can be a time-consuming job even under normal circumstances. A challenging case brings extra headaches.

4. Unwanted Pests

It’s hard to relax by the pool when you’re constantly swatting away bugs. Proper pool sanitation can eliminate annoying pests like backswimmers and water boatmen and prevent your pool from becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Also, being smart about what plants you choose to put around your pool can minimize bees and the like. But even those steps might not be enough to keep your pool area pest-free, especially if you live somewhere that has lots of troublesome critters.

5. Unwanted Guests

In addition to attracting insects, pools can also attract human pests. In other words, when you have a pool, people have a way of inviting themselves over – whether they’re friends of yours, friends of your kids, or friends you didn’t know you had. Of course, if you’re a people person who likes lots of company, this could actually be a positive. On the other hand, if you’re more of the private or introverted type, the pressure to be social could wear on you over time.

Still thinking about getting a pool? Frankly, if the price tag isn’t enough to scare you off, then it’s doubtful that any of these “hidden hassles” will deter you. Still, it never hurts to get all the information you can. When you’re taking the plunge into pool ownership, you want to know exactly how deep the water is.