Pool Liner Life Expectancy
One of the great benefits for those of you who winterize your pools with a safety cover is that it keeps your liner out of the sun and chlorine-free for perhaps six months of the year. A liner is a big investment, and you want it to last as long as it can. Properly winterizing your pool and using a safety cover can greatly extend the life of your liner.
A Safety Cover not only keeps your liner out of the sun and chlorine free, but it keeps your swimming pool free of the debris that would otherwise create a mess in an uncovered pool. Protecting your pool from debris will also save you money on costly seasonal maintenance such as re-painting and re-plastering, and eliminate the need for messy spring clean-ups.
Below is a breakdown of our safety cover materials. You can also click here for more information on safety covers.
SAFETY COVER SELECTION CHART
NO! The chances are almost certain that you will never collect on an extended pool liner warranty. That’s why some companies love to sell them, they are pure profit for the manufacturer.
In a previous post we explained that your pool warranty covers the seams only. If a seam is going to fail, it will do so in the first six months, probably in the first week. In this case, the dealer almost always replaces the liner at no charge to you. As such, the standard warranty is sufficient to protect you.
Since all other problems that can happen with your in-ground pool liner are specifically excluded from the warranty, there is really nothing to buy extended coverage for.
They used to be, but that is no longer the case. There are two parts to every in-ground pool liner warranty – the full coverage period and the pro-rated period during which you will pay for the portion of the liner you have used. You will see these listed as 20 year pro-rated warranty, three years full.
The important part is the full coverage period which is the true effective life of your warranty. Since the average like of a liner is seven years, and since the warranty covers the seams only, three years full coverage is more than adequate.
The companies touting five year full coverage, know they are covering against something that virtually never happens in year four or five. Those extra years are of no benefit to you.
By the same token, watch out for any companies that shout TWENTY YEAR WARRANTY but then show 1 year full in small type. In essence, you are getting a one year warranty. No matter what happens after the first 12 months, they can say you’re now in the pro-rated period (like a tire or battery warranty) and I can provide you a new liner for $2000 or so.
You can read the fine print if you want to, but most warranties say essentially the same thing. Making sure you are getting three years full coverage is the key.
Almost every pool liner warranty in the industry covers the welded seams only and nothing else. The seams, of course, are very important but if they hold for a week, they will most likely hold for seven years. If there is going to be a problem that is covered by your warranty, it will be evident soon after the liner is installed. It is very rare for a seam to fail after the first six months.
What is not covered are all the other things that may happen to your liner such as material defects, print fading, irregularities in printing, damage from pool chemicals, wind and ice damage, rips, tears or holes that can be snagged or punched in the liner.
Even if you do have a legitimate split seam warranty issue, your warranty does not cover installation, freight or the cost of water and chemicals.
Like Dad always said, warranties are designed to limit the manufacturer’s liability, not to benefit the consumer. Pool liner warranties are not any different.
The average life of a vinyl pool liner is seven years. Though some make it 10 years or longer, seven years is the expectation. If you live in a cooler climate where the pool is covered six months of the year, it may last twice as long as one in Texas that is exposed to the sun 12 months out of the year.
You can extend the life of your liner by keeping the PH and chlorine levels in the proper range. However, after seven years of exposure to sunshine and chlorine, it will most likely be time for a new liner.
*Pattern pictured is Logan.