Are all in-ground pool vinyl liner warranties the same?
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.