One of the things that never cease to amaze me is that people spending a few hundred dollars on a television set, washing machine or other consumer product will take the time to examine the warranty, on their prospective purchase, in detail and ask questions of the salesman until they are clear on what is and isn’t covered. They will ask what parts are covered, what aren’t, whether labor is covered, whether the warranty is prorated or not, what might void the warranty. They want to know every little detail before they lay their hard earned cash on the counter.
That is not the amazing part, though that is just good sense. What is amazing is these same people will spend $5,000 or more, with the sky being the limit, on having a swimming pool, remodeled and ask nothing beyond; how long is the warranty period? Then accept a simple answer like 1 years, 3 years, or 10 years without asking for any further explanation. They just take the answer, put it in their feel good pocket and keep going.
The fact of the matter is, most people don’t ask questions because they really don’t know what to ask. Unlike the examples above, swimming pools are not something they have a lot of experience buying and unless they have previously owned a pool have no idea what all is involved in operating one.
That is the purpose of this article to remove the mystery of swimming pool warranties and help you become a better educated consumer.
Three Types of Warranties
Unbeknownst to most people, there are actually three separate warranties associated with their swimming pool. They are:
- Pool Surface Warranty- covers the pool surface itself
- Tile & Masonry Warranty- covers tile, coping, decking and stone work
- Equipment Warranty- covers pool equipment like lights, pumps, filters, control systems, etc.
Pool Surface Warranty
This is the warranty that covers the actual finish of your pool. On a concrete or Gunite pool this will normally be for a period of around 2-5 years and will cover such things a plaster pop-off or issues with the craftsmanship of the pool’s finish. The elite companies will warranty their work for 10+ years.
An area that you want to pay close attention to is your responsibilities as a pool owner. Today’s pool finishes are better than they have ever been, but keeping them in top condition is highly dependent of you properly maintaining the chemistry of your water and water levels. Calcium build up, surface etching, or cracking due to improper maintenance will not usually be covered.
Tile & Masonry Warranty
The tile, masonry, and hardscape work, on a pool, is what lifts it from just a large container of water to a work of art. It gives it its personality and helps establish the atmosphere of the entire area. The warranty on this part of your pool is, in most cases, very straight forward as long as you use a reputable contractor.
A good contractor will stand behind his work, but; there is always a but, they cannot be held responsible for things that are beyond their control. Happenings such as earthquakes, ground settling, will not normally be covered by the warranty. Still the fact that a good company will back their workmanship for an average of 5 years and even cover the mastic (adhesives) that they use for 12 months is a good indicator of the quality of their work.
Each equipment manufacturer has their standard warranty for homeowner installed products. The big 3 manufacturers, Pentair, Hayward and Jandy will extend their warranties up to 3 years provided you use an authorized contractor to install their products. They know and you should also that no piece of equipment is better than its installation. Using a contractor that, they know, meets their standards gives them the confidence to extend their warranty.
As with most things, the best warranty is knowledge. Before having any work done on your pool, read all of your papers carefully to be sure what is and isn’t covered. Ask for references and then check them thoroughly. Call pool service companies, they will most likely know who does quality work and who has had issues. After all, their business is taking care of them. Above all, do your homework and don’t be afraid to ask questions.