Fiberglass Benefits in the Northeast...

l1ltaral1l

Bronze Supporter
Jul 16, 2019
529
Walnutport, PA
I tried a search, but was too impatient to weed out the threads to find what I was looking for regionally.

I've been very open about our recent pool build on some of the local parenting groups I'm in. Someone messaged me asking if we got quotes for fiberglass - as that is what they want. I told her we did not, but asked why she wanted fiberglass. Her answer - Because a friend has a liner pool and they just had to replace the liner and they don't want that maintenance. So now I'm trying to make sure she is checking out the TRUE reviews of each type in our region. We're in Eastern PA - about 75 min north of Philly. I don't know of anyone who has Fiberglass around here, but maybe it's a viable option.
 
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jtburf

Well-known member
Jun 8, 2015
481
Houston, TX
We did fiberglass as the gunite pool did not have the warranty we liked, we have a 35 year warranty on this one. I am 54 doubt I am going to be worried about the pool when I am 89.

Leisure Pools out of Tennessee.


John
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
16,056
Northern NJ
I think fiberglass pools work fine in the Northeast. We have seen some threads of FG installs in NJ. You don't see them that much around here because most folks want more choices in size and shape then what you can get in FG.

I am skeptical about long term warranties. Typically they only cover manufacturingd efects. And then only replace the defective materials and not all the labor involved.
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
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Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,886
Central MD
My perhaps unfounded view is that given the choice between liner and FG, I'd choose liner. Liners can be replaced relatively inexpensively and you have basically a brand new pool. If a FG pool has problems with the surface, it's needs resurfacing which is a whole different animal than getting a new liner. Or a bulging side due to a high water table, big problem on FG. These are my reasons, which may not actually hold water (the second one mainly) but just my brain working on that decision. Given the money to do so, I'd get a gunite pool over a liner, so FG would be my third choice. That said, at the beach, I could see liking a FG pool. Not sure why I view that differently, but people's views on things, mine included, aren't always rational.
 
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l1ltaral1l

Bronze Supporter
Jul 16, 2019
529
Walnutport, PA
I wasn't sure if the install was different (not as easy) in an area with a heavy freeze/thaw cycle. But I honestly know very little about them.

The experienced contractor was also another concern.
 

FlapjackMcCoy

Bronze Supporter
Aug 13, 2019
66
North Carolina
I did a quick search in the installation manual for my Viking pool and there is no mention of frost or freeze. You can always contact Viking directly and ask, I have a few times and they are pretty responsive. An experienced installer would know your particular area better though. Soil type, etc..
 

tank47

Bronze Supporter
Apr 28, 2019
91
NJ
I think there is always spin based on who is selling what but I feel like I remember reading somewhere that fiberglass is really popular in Canada. I know I've seen countless builds on the brand I chose in Canada. I did a fiberglass build over the winter that is almost finished, so about the only help I can provide is possibly to deter you away from the builder we went with and some other things to look out for depending on what you end up selecting if you do go the fiberglass route. But I don't think there is any issue due to freeze/thaw. I'm in NJ right outside of Philly.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
As you can imagine, there are pros & cons with all 3 types of pools. While I currently live down south, I can't see any reason why the weather itself should really be a driving factor in a choice between vinyl or liner. More than anything, proper water chemistry is always the most significant issue. Contrary to popular belief or pool installer sales techniques, FG pools are not simply "easier to manage". If the chemistry gets out of whack, the gelcoat can change (stains or chalky), but that's regardless of the location or temperature. Proper winter closing techniques certainly would apply, but no different really than any other type of pool to protect the equipment, plumbing lines, etc. As long as the shell is full of water at all times, movement shouldn't be an issue.

I do agree with comments above about proper installation. Like the longevity of any structure, a FG pool's base is of upmost importance to ensure it remains level, stable, etc. But again, that really applies to just about any pool type. For locations with very high water tables (north or south), water management (i.e sump pump, french drain, etc) should be evaluated to help ensure the base remains stable.

A FG pool was our choice for two reasons - an ever-changing flex in our clay soil and dogs. We didn't want the first doggy-paddle swipe to tear a brand new liner. Beyond that, the decision to go with one pool type over another is generally about personal choices like style, shape, depth, color, and let's not forget ........ COST. Ugh.
 
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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,145
Morris Cnty NJ
Fiberglass works fine anywhere and is usually midrange with liner being cheaper and gunite being the priciest. It used to be a compromise between the two, but with all the additions available like liner over stairs and benches/swimouts that has come to an end. Gunite let's you build literally anything you want, tables, stools, firetables, bars, right in the pool. fiberglass gives you some of that stuff toned down if you want it, they have some models with integrated tanning ledges and stairs/spa combos. Liner pools can do some pretty cool things nowadays, and with liner over stairs average people dont know its a liner pool anymore. they are cheaper to install and maintain, and are more forgiving in the long run, all 3 major styles have their plus and minus. there are companies making pools out of septic tanks and shipping containers, theres even an old farm Silo out there, depends on how deep your pocketbook is
 
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sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
1,589
Chapel Hill, NC
asked why she wanted fiberglass. Her answer - Because a friend has a liner pool and they just had to replace the liner and they don't want that maintenance.
My daughter lives in Easton and has a gunite pool. 40+ years old and still going strong. I had a hybrid fiberglass wall/concrete bottom pool, installed 25 years ago and after about 10 years the fiberglass gelcoat was blistering. By 20 years the blisters were cracking. I had been meticulous about maintaining pool chemistry. We had the fiberglass walls ripped out and replaced with gunite.

We did fiberglass as the gunite pool did not have the warranty we liked, we have a 35 year warranty on this one. I am 54 doubt I am going to be worried about the pool when I am 89.
If the warranty is all that draws to to fiberglass, forget it:

1. The installer will probably be out of business 5-10 years out.
2. The manufacturer will inevitably blame "pool chemistry" or "bad installation"and not honor the warranty
3. Cosmetically, gelcoat oxidizes and will look "chalky" after a few years.
 

jtburf

Well-known member
Jun 8, 2015
481
Houston, TX
If the warranty is all that draws to to fiberglass, forget it:

1. The installer will probably be out of business 5-10 years out.
2. The manufacturer will inevitably blame "pool chemistry" or "bad installation"and not honor the warranty
3. Cosmetically, gelcoat oxidizes and will look "chalky" after a few years.
Funny, I never stated finish or cosmetic issues.
Pool was installed by the Manufacture and the warranty I speak of is structural. NO builder in Houston we were quoted by would offer more than a 1 year gunite warranty. Fiberglass saved us 10K, we had/have a very limited space for a pool and it was our best option.

Glad you know all the facts though.

Oh yeah, a 22 day install not 6 months like I read about daily here.

John
 

mariane

LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2012
897
Southeast Michigan
We have an vinyl lined AGP which is different but . . . our liner lasted 12 years and we just replaced it in 2018. The reason it only lasted 12 years is because I did some really dumb things with chlorine and chemistry by my own device and by pool store advice. And since we needed to fix the rust on the wall, we decided to replace the liner. It actually could have gone more years if I had been following TFP advice from the start.
Hope this helps.