When you’re investing in an inground pool, it pays to do your research first. But there’s one thing a lot of homeowners forget to ask about – the warranty. When you get car repairs done, buy a major appliance, or have a roof fixed, the first thing you might ask is how long the car or home warranty lasts. So why not when you get a pool?
Any contractor or manufacturer that stands by their work will offer a multi-year warranty. It’s not only how you know what’s covered should something go wrong. The warranty is also a measure of how confident a company is of its work. If they don’t stand by it, you should take your business elsewhere.
However, there’s more that goes into inground pool warranties than just a piece of paper. In this article, you’ll learn about the different types of warranties you need. You’ll also discover where to look for inground pool warranties and what to look for in a pool warranty. Ready? Let’s dive in.
Types of Inground Pool Warranties
By the time you’re ready to take that first dip in your brand new pool, you should have several warranties in place. One comes from the pool manufacturer. That covers the swimming pool itself. Another is from the pool builder, guaranteeing that the work they do gets done well.
Finally, you should know about the warranty for your pool’s equipment. That includes all of the valves, filters, and pumps that are crucial parts of your pool and make it functional. Mechanical parts experience the most wear and tear of any part of your pool.
So, when you’re calling or clicking around for information, find out about:
- The manufacturer’s warranty
- The workmanship or builder’s warranty
- The equipment warranty
Not only should you ask about the warranty, but you should read it yourself. Installers may not be familiar with the terms of a pool warranty. Always confirm the warranty in writing before paying for materials or labor.
Pool Manufacturer Warranty for Fiberglass and Vinyl Liner Pools
The first inground pool warranty to look at is the one from the manufacturer of your pool. They’ll look a little different depending on if you’re getting a fiberglass pool or a vinyl liner pool.
Fiberglass pools should come with two warranties instead of one. The first covers the structure of the pool. The second covers the gel coat. The gel coat is what separates the fiberglass from the water. It’s what you see when you look down into the pool.
The gel coat can develop blisters and cracks if it’s incorrectly made. A minor amount is to be expected and doesn’t affect the structure of your pool. Be sure you know what will void the warranty. For example, if you decide to do some sanding or alterations, your warranty might no longer cover damages.
The length of gel coat warranties can be very different from company to company. Regardless of what you hear, the industry standard is not one year. Warranties for 20 years from the date of purchase, warranties for as long as the first buyer owns the pool, and lifetime warranties are all available.
The warranty for the fiberglass structure should protect you against leaks. Shop around for a 25-year or lifetime warranty on your fiberglass pool. Make sure to read the warranty yourself before you commit.
Vinyl Liner Pools
Vinyl liner pools don’t need a gel coat because of the material they’re made from. They are made from strips of vinyl fused together to keep out leaks. At the bare minimum, warranties for vinyl liner pools should cover these fused seams.
Inground pool warranties for these types of pools are often prorated. This means you get full coverage for the first few years. After that, the coverage is pretty scant. For example, it will read like a 25-year warranty. When you look closer, the warranty barely covers anything after the first two years.
Since concrete pools are built, not manufactured, you won’t find this type of warranty for them. Instead, look to the builder for warranties for both the labor and the materials.
Workmanship Warranty from the Pool Builder for the Construction Process
Whether you buy a premade inground pool and have it installed or have a pool built on your property, you’ll need pool builders. They have to dig the hole, prepare the ground, and either install the pool or construct it. The same company might even build your deck.
Pools are very heavy when full of water. If the contractors don’t prepare the ground properly, your pool could sink or shift. If the pool has a minor leak, you may not notice it until areas of your yard become mysteriously wet.
The workmanship (or builder) warranty should cover these circumstances. You should also make sure the builder has insurance for any accidents or damage to your property. If they cut into a sewer line while they’re digging, you don’t want to have to pay for the repairs yourself.
If you’re installing a fiberglass or vinyl liner inground pool, the builder warranty will only cover the work they do. If you’re building a concrete pool, the warranty should cover all of the materials plus the labor.
It takes at least a full year for your new pool to experience a natural weather cycle. Extreme low and high temperatures can dramatically alter your swimming pool. Make sure your workmanship warranty lasts longer than a year so your pool has a chance to respond to your local climate.
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Equipment Warranty from the Manufacturer for Your Pool Equipment
The equipment warranty is an easy one to overlook. While you play in your new pool or gaze at it from your patio, you’re probably not going to think about its inner workings. Without the pump, filters, motor, and heater, your pool could easily go from refreshing to stagnant and gross.
Getting a warranty for the pool’s equipment will ensure that you can replace any broken parts without having to pay for replacements out of your pocket. Most equipment warranties do require that the equipment be installed by a licensed professional.
Beware of bundles. It makes sense to bundle pool equipment because most pools need the same set of items. If one item in that bundle doesn’t qualify for the warranty, it may negate the warranty for the others.
Where To Find Inground Pool Warranties
The equipment warranties are typically the easiest to find. Many suppliers have them up on their websites. You can also check the packaging. If you see the equipment you like but don’t see its warranty, contact customer service for a copy. If customer service isn’t available, that may be another concern.
The builder should go over the warranty upfront with you before any construction begins. If they’re reluctant to or try to redirect your questions, this is a major red flag. Get a copy in writing before you sign paperwork for anything beyond an initial consultation.
Many manufacturers have their warranties available online or through the dealer selling the pool. Just ask the salesperson if you’re shopping in a showroom. You can also check for tags with this information attached to displays. Reviews and references are also a good source of information.
Also, check your home warranty coverage. Occasionally, home warranties will have pool coverage.
It may seem daunting to sift through all of this information when you’re getting ready to have a pool installed. But don’t fret, we’re here to help. Be sure to read my pool planning guide and most common questions to ask during the pool construction process as well.
Have questions? Drop me a line.