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What Makes the Best Fiberglass Pools Last So Long? (Part 2)

Fiberglass inground pools last a long time. That's a well-established fact. You can reasonably expect to get decades of use out of your fiberglass pool. And now that you're thinking about which one to buy, you'll want to find out...

How Fiberglass Pools Last So Long

We've already gone over how quality manufacturing makes pools last. Now it's time to take a look at the impact quality installation has on a fiberglass pool's longevity.

Fiberglass Pool Installation Quality

Because we've installed hundreds of fiberglass pools over the past few decades, we have a solid grasp on what makes for good fiberglass pool installation. We also know the wrong way to do it – our expertise comes by trial and error as much as it comes by theory.

There are a few areas of fiberglass pool installation where corners can be cut. Here's why we don't.

1) Backfilling

Backfilling (filling the gap between the pool shell and the ground around it) with dirt is cheaper than backfilling with gravel. However, dirt settles over time, slowly – and you could end up with cracks in your concrete deck as a result. That can lead to lessened pool integrity. Gravel costs more but settles faster. And a benefit is that it provides good drainage.

2) Concrete Quality

Regular concrete reinforced by rebar is cheap and acceptable. Fiber-reinforced concrete is more expensive. But it's much stronger, more resilient, and requires less time (lower labor cost) to pour.

3) Plumbing Integrity

Many fiberglass pool installation contractors will run the plumbing straight out from the pool, then make a 90 degree turn up towards the pump at ground level. But with the plumbing running straight out, there's nothing under it to support it when the backfill material is packed in. That can put stress on the plumbing and lead to leaks around the seal in the pool wall.

The higher-quality alternative is to run the plumbing 90 degrees down toward the ground so it has a supportive surface when the backfill is performed.

Questions You Can Ask

To get the best quality fiberglass pool installation, ask specific questions. Here are several to start with:

  •  What material do you use for backfill – dirt or gravel?
  • Do you use fiber-reinforced concrete for the deck?
  • How do you make sure the plumbing is supported as it exits the pool shell?
  • How do you hold your installers accountable for quality?

If your fiberglass pool is manufactured, installed, and maintained the right way it'll last longer than you own your home – even if you retire in it.

So that's how Quality Installation makes the best fiberglass pools last so long. Now let's finish this series with the third factor: Quality Maintenance.

(If you're just joining us, feel free to check out Part 1 of the fiberglass pool series, dealing with Quality Manufacturing.)

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