Swimming Pool Inspections: What Inspectors Check For and the Cost

Pool Inspection

If you a looking to purchase a new home with a swimming pool, the condition and the safety of the pool is just as important as the rest of the home. Pools can be a great addition to a home, and often adds to the property value of a home. But a pool that is not in good condition can be a money pit and a constant headache. This is why it’s important to get a pool inspection before you consider purchasing a new home. If you know what to look for with a pool inspector, it can make you much more confident during your inspection and help you make an informed decision when you are deciding if you want to purchase the home.

What is Included in a Pool Inspection?

A proper pool inspection includes a lot of different important components. Before you are thinking of having a pool inspection done, ask your inspector what is included with their inspection of the pool.


Pool inspectors want to make sure that your summer stays fun and worry free. The types of safety aspects that they will check for includes the electrical wires are a safe distance from the pool, and the walkways around the pool do not have any slip or trip hazards.

Pool inspectors check fencing and latches to make sure they are structurally sound so no one accidentally ends up in the pool who shouldn’t be there. Fencing should be at a certain height so that kids can not climb over the fence. The exact fencing requirements vary by local laws.

Interior of Pool

Some swimming pools may have vinyl liners. Vinyl liners help keep the water inside of the pool, making sure that it doesn’t seep out. A tear in the lining could be a costly repair.

If the pool does not have a vinyl liner in it, it will be finished with several different types of plaster. Pool inspectors check the plaster to make sure there are no cracks that could lead to a serious problem in the future, some cracking is normal. They will also inspect any decorative or functional tile in the pool if any are present.


Many pools have will have underwater lights. The inspector will make sure that the lights are functioning whether if they are light bulbs or led lights. They will check for condensation inside the pool lighting fixtures, which often leads to mold or mildew issues.

Tile and Decking

The deck of your pool is where a lot of the action happens. Swimming can be fun, but so is relaxing by the pool. Kids love to dip their toes in and sitting on the edge of pool, so the edge of pool is a concern for the pool inspector. The inspector will inspect the coping which is the area directly around the pool. The coping is using 12 to 18 inches wide and made of some hard material like concrete, brick, or natural stone. Chips in the coping can lead to many further problems such as tripping hazards or debris in the pool.

The decking is any hard surface beyond the coping. The inspector will inspect the pool area for any damage or any stains. Make sure the inspector checks for proper drainage for any rainfall to avoid any further decking problems down the road.

The Yard

Inspectors may also look at the yard for safety and quality issues around the swimming pool. They often will check for the positioning of the roof gutters to make sure any rainwater won’t drain into the pool often, and natural features away from the pool to make sure they don’t affect your pool.

Pressure Tests

Before you hire a pool inspector, you want to be certain they know how to pressure test the plumbing for any possible leaks, you will be saving a lot of unwanted headaches in future. You will want to see if they will pressure test the main drain lines and some water feature lines that can not be easily pressure tested. If they do the pressure testing, you will get a written report that includes any estimates for any need repairs if any are needed.

Saltwater Corrosion

If the pool is a saltwater pool, which offers lower levels of chlorine and lower maintenance. Unfortunately, due to the presence of salt can lead to corrosion. Inspectors will check out all of the pool equipment and make sure there is no corrosion.

Pool Equipment

The pool pump is an essential piece of equipment for your pool. It will circulate water around the pool to the filters and heaters to keep your water clean and warm.

Some pools will not have pool heaters. If the pool does a pool heater, the pool inspector will assess if the heater is the right size for the pool and test it to make sure it’s working properly.

Pool accessories can make a pool more fun such as having a diving board, infinity edge or fountain. Some accessories will be really nice to have for cleanness and maintenance, such as a pool cover. Inspectors will typically check all of the pool accessories to minimize surprises in the future.

When it comes to diving boards or slides, pool inspectors will check for rust or deterioration that can lead to any future injuries. Be prepared for your pool inspector to recommend to you to remove these feature due to potential risks and liability.

How Long Does a Pool Inspection Take?

The inspection will usually take less than one hour but could take up to two hours, depending on the size of the pool and the number of water features and equipment.

Can You Get a Pool Inspection During Winter?

Yes, but it can be challenging due to weather circumstances. You have a few options for getting a pool inspection during the winter. You can simply ask the pool service company, if they have one, to open the pool, test it and then close it back up. You can also have a pool inspector pull back the cover if the home owner has given you the green light. They can inspect the coping, tile, liner, and the deck. The inspector can also look at the pool pump and the filter system such as looking for any signs of leaks and wear and tear. You can also ask the home owner if their pool was closed professionally from a pool company. The pool company can give you a report which will show what they did when they closed it down. You usually can find out the condition and recommendations made by the pool company.

What Does a Pool Inspection Cost?

The cost of a pool inspection can lead to a number of factors including where you live, the size and condition of the pool but typically can range from $250 to $600. Some home inspectors may bundle a home inspection with a pool inspection leading to a much lower price for the pool inspection. When you hire a home inspector, make sure that they have the proper training and certifications to conduct a pool inspection.

Do Home Inspectors Check Swimming Pools?

The home inspector will usually do a basic swimming pool inspection along with the home inspection such as turning on pool pumps and heaters to make sure they are working. The home inspector won’t check for cracks or dents in the pool. For that, you will need to hire a professional pool inspector, who will run tests for any leaks. They will also scrutinize pumps, filters, decking surface, and safety covers. If you are serious about buying the home, it will be worth getting a professional pool inspection for the peace of mind. 

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