When it comes to the amount of money that you’re going to invest in your inground pool, the logical question to ask is: “How long is the warranty?” In asking this you would hope that the logical answer would be that it’s a lifetime warranty, but that’s not always the case. There was one instance where when asked this question a pool guy’s response was literally: “lifetime” or “twenty years” or “60 years” or whatever time frame “it” is. This is not an answer that you as a pool owner should ever be satisfied with. Some pool companies will think that you just don’t know any better. Well you’re about to spend anywhere in the ballpark of $30K to $90K so you deserve to know everything about inground pool warranties.
So, we’re going to remedy that and show you everything you need to know about inground pool warranties so that you don’t skip over this important step and make the same mistake that so many future pool owners make.
What are the Three Types of Inground Pool Warranties?
Okay, it starts with having a warranty on the pool itself directly from the manufacturer.Next, there is a warranty from the manufacturer of the pool equipment (pump, light, salt system, heater, etc.).And lastly, you have a warranty from the pool builder to cover their workmanship.Now, lets cover each one in great detail.
What does the Warranty from the Pool Manufacturer Cover?
Fiberglass Pool Warranties
So, there are actually two types of warranties when it comes to fiberglass pool shells.The first one is a structural warranty which can range from 25 years to lifetime depending on the manufacturer.This is usually the shallow and easy response given (and accepted) whenever a pool shopper asks, “What’s the warranty?”
The second warranty on fiberglass pools covers the gelcoat finish, which is the inside surface of the pool.This warranty will protect you from what are known as osmotic blisters.The finish warranty duration may vary between manufacturers, but most of them range between seven and fifteen years.But be warned, there is more to consider than just these two factors.
Warranty issues with fiberglass pools are rare, but when they do happen, manufacturers will vary dramatically in how they go about making preparations for the repair and in what they will cover following the repair.
One example is that a fiberglass pool has to be drained before it can be repaired. Draining one isn’t an issue at all, but if done incorrectly, it can result in hefty damage to the pool shell.Even with the risk involved, most manufacturers will refuse to drain the pool before repair and will instead place the burden on the customer.
A fair warning, Customers should never drain pools, ever! This is a huge problem in the industry that needs to be addressed and is yet another reason to bring it up to your builder. On top of that, most manufacturers don’t cover the water to refill the pool or the cost of the replacement chemicals. Remember that this isn’t all fiberglass pool manufacturers, there are some that deliver exceptional service through the entire process. Lastly, just because there is a piece of paper that states the pool is going to be covered under warranty, doesn’t mean there is a guarantee the manufacturer will actually make the repair. It’s honestly going to come down to integrity. The best way to discover how much integrity the company you plan to hire has is to call references, tons of them, both builders and customers. This way you won’t have to worry.
Vinyl Liner Pool Warranties
The standard claim in the industry is that liners have a 20-year warranty.
The best thing to do is ignore this claim or what anyone else says and read the warranty for yourself. Once you do, you’ll realize that there really is no warranty to speak of. The only portions of the liner that are warrantied are the seams where the sections of the liner are actually fused together. If they are defective, they’ll leak immediately. And if they do fail over time, there is little to no credit given after about two or three years. On top of this, the labor to replace the liner, water and replacement chemicals are never covered. This isn’t a knock on liners, it’s just what it is and people need to know about it.
Concrete Pool Warranties
Concrete pools (which are also known as gunite) don’t have manufacturers, they have builders.
So, there isn’t a manufacturers warranty, only a workmanship warranty by the builder.
What is the Equipment Warranty?
The pool equipment comes down to basically any component that allows the pool to function.
Pool pumps, lights, filters, salt chlorinators, heaters, automatic vacuum cleaners, automated control systems-all of these are components of the pool that are accompanied by some warranty from their manufacturer.
Most pool components come with an industry standard one-year warranty, but some builders have certain agreements with their equipment providers that extends warranty coverage up to three years and heaters up to 5 years (Jandy Heaters).
What is a Workmanship Warranty?
This warranty is the guarantee that a pool builder puts behind their own work.
The manufacturers of the pool shell and pool equipment have their own warranties, so therefore the builder must warranty the installation as well. The workmanship warranty covers major issues like plumbing leaks or leaks in the fittings in the pool, or the structural settlement or movement of the pool and/or patio. Most of the issues won’t show their face or occur in the first twelve months after construction due to the nature of the freeze/thaw cycles. This could end up meaning that many of the pool owners who only received one-year workmanship warranties from their pool builders are stuck paying the bills for these repairs. Make sure that you get a pool builder’s workmanship warranty. It’s a clear indicator of how confident a builder is in the quality of their installation.
There you have it, the three types of warranties that come with inground swimming pools.
Look for a company that has an agreement with their equipment provider so that they can offer more like a five-year warranty instead of the industry’s one-year standard.
When it comes to workmanship warranty, a great company should offer something along the lines of a 3-year workmanship warranty that covers 100% of repairs for the first year, 50% for year 2 and 25% for year 3.
The company you choose should have confidence in the quality of their work and the talent of their team.
Hopefully this has been helpful and good luck with your inground pool journey.