Home Pools In A Covid World

Do You Know Water You’re Doing?

Home Pools in a COVID World

With COVID still very much in the news, and vacation spots across the country still closed, more and more people have been turning to staycations and improving their facilities. Pools and hot tubs have become the new hot item, with supply shortages across the region. What secondary expenses go into a pool or hot tub? Not many people consider it, but what kind of pool or hot tub you get can venture into some potential electrical minefields.

In this article, our Bickimer electrical experts pull back the curtain to discuss each type of pool and hot tub’s unique electrical needs.

What Are My options?

In-Ground Pools

In-ground pools are the most durable, but most expensive in terms of purchase. Whether you get a vinyl lining, tile, or concrete, you can pay as much as $100,000 for an in-ground pool, with the average around $40,000-50,000. These pools are the most durable, lasting 20-40 years with few structural issues.


In-Ground Pool
Above-Ground Hard Pool

Aboveground Hard Sided Pools

There are several aboveground options available. The most durable is the hard-sided pools. Often constructed of aluminum or treated steel, these pools can last 10-15 years with no issues. However, the liners often need to be replaced every 5-8 years. The average cost of a hard-sided pool is $10,000-$15,000

Aboveground Soft Sided Pools

Soft-sided pools offer the best balance between price and durability. These use a thicker liner rather than walls, with an aluminum or PVC frame. Less durable than hard-sided pools, they can still last around 10 years if maintained correctly. Soft-sided pools can range from a few hundred dollars for a small model to $2,000-$4,000 for larger models.

Soft Sided Pool
Inflatable Pool

Aboveground Inflatable Pools

We aren’t talking that little toddler pool your grandma bought every summer with these. Larger inflatable pools have a conical shape. Rather than a frame, these pools use the water and inflated sides to hold their shape. The most substantial advantage to these pools is quick setup time, and that they can be emptied, deflated, and stored safely for the winter. Provided they don’t tear (some small tears can be patched much like a tire), inflatable pools can offer the same durability as permanent pools. Because they can be stored during the winter, and thus require no winter maintenance, opening or closing, maintenance costs can be significantly lower than others on this list. Prices are roughly the same as their soft-sided cousin, depending mostly on size and depth.

Hot Tubs

There are a million options when it comes to hot tubs. The two major categories are inflatable and hard-sided, but there are tons of options in-between. Generally speaking, though, all hot tubs have the same electrical needs. Most mid-level hot tubs are around $4,000-$6,000, with lower-end units around $1,500 and top-end models around $35,000. It can be said that the cheaper your hot tub, the higher its energy consumption. Cheaper means thinner, and thinner means it can’t retain heat easily, so that $500 deal you got on Facebook may end up costing you a lot more in the long run, just keeping it hot.

hot tub

Get to the Electrical!

 We will! We promise! There are a couple of other factors you’ll need to consider before deciding which unit would be best for you:


Location, Location, Location

It’s old and tired, but it’s very accurate when it comes to pools and hot tubs. Tempting as it is to get that thing in the middle of your yard and keep the kids from breaking a window, the further from the house it is, the more expensive it will be to set up. It’s all too easy to run a long cable out to the pool only to run over it with a lawnmower and burn out your electrical panel.



How easy is it to get to your main electrical panel? Where is it? How old is it? Is it a breaker box, or is it still an old fuse box? All of these questions will have a bearing on what it will cost to power and maintain your pool or hot tub systems.

Now The Electrical!

We finally got there in the end. Before you choose what kind of pool or hot tub you’d like, you must understand the power requirements. Small, basic, cheap pools usually only come with a small pump that can be plugged into a dedicated external outlet with a weatherproof cover. Anything beyond that does have unique power requirements, though. Large pumps, pool cleaning vacuums, filters, heating units, lights, sound systems, and jets will influence the kind of power you need.

  • Small Single Pump Pools

    Small aboveground pools 10 feet or less, holding less than 500 gallons, usually require an exterior outlet that you can plug them directly into. All exterior outlets must have in-use, all-weather covers that protect moisture from getting through to the wires.

  • Above-Ground Hard/Soft Frame & Large Inflatable Pools

    Larger pools come with much more powerful pumps that draw a much more substantial amount of power. It’s recommended that all larger pools use a dedicated 20amp circuit. These require a large gauge of wire to deliver a consistent amount of energy.


  • Hot Tubs

    Virtually all hot tubs are power hogs. They draw a lot between the heater units, multiple pumps, sound systems, control panels, and lights. It’s recommended that all hot tubs use a dedicated 60amp breaker on a subpanel with a manual disconnect close to the hot tub.


  • In-Ground Pools

    As the most expensive option on the list, naturally, these pools have the most extensive power requirements. In-ground pools have massive pump systems, independent motors for jets and fans, and complex filtration systems. It’s required in many areas for all in-ground pools to have their own 100amp dedicated sub-panel with individual breakers for each part of the system.


A Final Word



You’ve had a lot of information thrown at you in this article, and it’s no doubt made your decision even harder. If you’re unsure precisely what you will need, or how much it might be for each of the options we’ve described, have an experienced, licensed electrician take a look at your electrical setup. They’ll be able to provide detailed pricing, as well as explain the requirements and regulations in your area. A few companies, like Bickimer Electric, can offer free virtual estimates, allowing us to price all of your needs safely, and quickly.


Whatever your final decision, the expert electricians at Bickimer Electric have you covered. Give our friendly team a call at 913-313-6751, or book online using the handy buttons above. Ask about our FREE virtual estimates, for all your pool needs.

Proudly serving the Kansas City and surrounding areas, Bickimer Electric is your number one Kansas City electrical specialist!