Fiberglass Pool Installations Gone Wrong

Pool catastrophes make excellent fodder for popular home video shows. In fact, the “above ground pool collapse video” is an entire sub-genre unto itself. You may have seen it. Some hapless (or sometimes conspiring) guy performs a stunt, the walls of his pool buckle, and he experiences the epic, comically biblical sensation of being washed across the backyard in a deluge of 5,000 gallons of water. Many of these pools have intractable problems related to poor installation or insufficient maintenance. If these above ground mishaps are so common, it begs the question: are there also instances of inground pool installations gone wrong? While most mistakes come from DIYers, inexperienced, or unscrupulous installers taking shortcuts or ignoring the fundamentals, some of the most experienced pool installers can make mistakes. The best installers learn from those mistakes and take corrective action.Pool Installation

We don’t recommend DIY pool installation, but we do suggest that pool buyers be as informed as possible so that you can make sure your pool installation goes smoothly. Here are six ways you can ensure yours is not a story of fiberglass pool installations gone wrong:


  • Be Prepared. Do your research and ensure your dealer has good reviews from other installations they’ve done. Ensure that you and your dealer are on the same page when regarding the process, budgeted costs, timeline and resources required for your fiberglass pool installation. Set up a pre-construction meeting with your dealer to get you off on the right foot.
  • Proper Tools. The fiberglass pool installation process requires heavy equipment, underground electrical work, the movement of utilities and more. Too many accidents happen when trying to make-do with equipment not suited to the job. The bottom line:it’s best to hire a professional
  • Proper Placement or Depth. This is a multifaceted issue. To avoid pools popping out of the ground or cracks, your fiberglass pool shell must be placed in the ground with a recognition of drainage, easements, home location and soil type. Hydrostatic pressure will be an issue that every dealer and the pool owner will need to be aware of both during installation and throughout the pool’s lifetime, especially in low-lying areas. Survey your yard with your dealer and ask how they prevent wall bulge.
  • Correct Materials. Ask your dealer what they’re using to fill in and around the pool and why. When you see a fiberglass pool that has shifted or is settling, it could be because the installer chose to use sand as backfill when crushed stone was called for. See if your dealer uses innovations such as the Backfill Eliminator. 

  • Concrete work. The concrete around your pool should integrate with the fiberglass in a way that looks like it was designed together. Sounds simple, right? Actually, understanding the coping and cantilevered design of pool decking isn’t an art every concrete contractor knows or understands. Get a tight, clean concrete edge by working with a concrete contractor that has experience with putting concrete around a fiberglass pool.r.
  • Get work under warranty. One of the sad laments of the DIY pool installer is the lack of recourse when something goes wrong. Getting work done by a bonded, experienced professional has two benefits: one, the work will be done right the first time and two, should the work not be done right the first time, you have the right to make a claim on repair work. 


Good luck with your fiberglass pool installation. And don’t forget the first rule—find a dealer or installer you can trust. If you do, it follows that you’ll find great people, great products and a process you can trust. Do that, and your fiberglass pool installation will go right!