Article by: Josh Himme, PSW Sales Manager
We have been getting many inquiries about fiberglass pools. We are very cautious about them and have chosen to not work with them for several reasons. For starters, there is no structural integrity. No concrete footing. No stability. You are essentially putting a vessel filled with water that is over 100,000 pounds on a 6-inch open-graded base material, and a 3/8 thick (at best) fiberglass shell. With our freeze and thaw cycles, fiberglass pools in my opinion are very volatile.
The embedment material could potentially wash out, causing voids under the shell. If there are voids under the shell, it could result in cracking. If the vessel cracks, it needs to be drained and repaired. Fiberglass pools are not supposed to be drained because the backpressure of the backfilling material could potentially cause fiberglass wall failure.
Fiberglass pools are relying on a sump system to prevent the shell from coming out of the ground. If the homeowner is instructed to periodically check the sump and they forget, they become liable. These few items are just scratching the surface of why I choose not to work with fiberglass pools.
Fiberglass pool installers rely on the manufacturer warranty on the vessel itself so, if they have any failure, builders tend to just wash their hands of it.
In my opinion, fiberglass pool installing is not pool building. New pool contractors are geared more toward fiberglass because they take minimal construction knowledge, installation time is quick, and labor hours are low. Within the last 5 years, there has been a large increase in faulty fiberglass contractors trying to make their way into the pool business as a means of business growth to stay in line with consumer demand.
In my opinion, take a step back and evaluate your overall goal. If you are investing your time, effort, and money into a project like this, do your research. We understand your lifestyle is important, but so is your safety and the longevity of your pool.