What Is The Best Pool Equipment?
The most common request for assistance I get from pool owners is "which pool equipment should I buy?" and there is simply no neutral way to answer this question.
Every pool professional has their own opinions as to the brand that they endorse to their clients. The hope is that your pool guy will promote a product that is
highly reliable - and not one that simply has the highest profit margin in it for themselves. This concern leads to a lot of people sending emails to me asking
which should they buy. Even after doing all the correct reading and researching it can still be confusing as to which brand is the right one for you - so here are
some factors that you can consider to help you answer this important question.
Which Pool Equipment Has The Best Warranty
This is, or at least should be, your biggest concern when shopping for new pool equipment including pumps, filters, heaters and salt systems. While I do have brands that I lean towards more than others, the ability to get a "lemon" can happen to anyone. How the product is supported by the manufacturer though the warranty process is very important - and something that all too many shoppers ignore. In an effort to support local dealers, most major brands of pool equipment are limiting warranty periods for online purchases. Others require proof of "professional installation" in order to receive full warranty protection. Some brands have as little as 3 months of warranty protection - or none at all for some products purchased online. Be sure that you understand the limitations of your potential warranty protection and this will certainly narrow down your choices for which products you want to buy.
One year is the most common warranty period for swimming pool equipment however some brands offer up to 3 years for certain products
What Is The Best Brand Of Pool Equipment?
There are a few different ways to answer this question - instead of picking a singular brand what I prefer to advise is that I only endorse the larger, more
established companies. The big three companies in the world of swimming pool equipment are Hayward, Pentair and Jandy. While there are many more pool equipment
manufacturers out there, and surely many of them produce good quality products, it has been my professional experience to stick with products exclusively for after
purchase support. All three of these companies are very large and have been in the pool industry basically forever. Asking which of these three is the best is like
asking who makes the best cars...any answer that you give will be completely subjective.
As it can be confusing for those not familiar with the industry - there are a number of different names and brands for pool equipment which all fall under one of the big 3 parent companies. For example, Jandy and Zodiac are the same company. Sta-Rite and Pentair are the same company and Hayward has made a business model of buying industry leading brands and adding it to their in-house banner such as with Goldline automation controls and Summit heat pumps. Anything from any of these brands would be considered top quality in the larger picture.
What Is The Best Pool Heater?
An exception to the rule above is pool heaters - sure Jandy, Hayward and Pentair all make pool heaters but there are definitely some additional brands worth
considering. Raypak / Rheem are good brand name choices for pool heaters as are Laars brand. Any of these, or any from Hayward, Pentair and Jandy are all worthwhile
considerations. If you want to know my specific, personal and professional opinion as to which is "the best pool heater" click here.
Swimming Pool Equipment Sales
Knowing you will need a new pool pump this year and having the luxury of time to research and shop around is a huge advantage as opposed to coming home after work one
day in the middle of a heat wave and discovering your pump has cooked. If you have a pump that is leaking, running hot, tripping breakers or one that is having
trouble priming, then you should be researching new pool pumps already. If you have not read the article of the importance of variable
speed pumps yet then this would be a good starting point.
Pool pumps, especially common ones (flagship products) are often used as a loss-leader for drawing in customers to sale events. What this means is that often times the supplier is willing to sell this product for at, or below their cost, in order to attract a new customer. If you know what you are looking for and are familiar with what this product is selling for other places then you can recognize this when it happens and make your purchase. Pool pump sales and pool heater sales typically happen every spring and every fall so this would be a good time to hunt for a good deal. Whenever possible try to bundle purchases together to maximize your savings through negotiation. It is also possible to contact manufacturers directly to see if they can offer any incentive to choose their products over another brand. This is something that very few customers would take the time to do, but something that can absolutely produce results. Manufacturers will not likely sell to you directly as a customer, but they may be able to provide you with back end rebates.
Swimming Pool Equipment Rebates
If you are buying new pool equipment this year I would strongly encourage you to call the manufacturer of the equipment you are considering and ask about any incentive
programs that they have. For example, Hayward often runs a bounty program on pool heaters - if you have an existing pool heater from a competing brand (alive or dead)
and pull the name plate off of it, Hayward will give you a cash rebate for this if you buy a new heater from them. This rebate can be up to a few hundred dollars and
certainly something worth exploring if you are trying to get the best deal possible.
Before you make your purchase, perhaps consider speaking to the competing brands and asking them if they can provide any incentive to choose their products instead.
Refurbished Pool Equipment
Buying manufacturer refurbished items is something that I do as a savvy shopper for any large ticket purchase I am considering to make. Doing this with swimming pools
and pool equipment however is not typically something that I would recommend. While it may be possible to save a few dollars in this way, I would much prefer to buy
last year model equipment on sale as opposed to equipment that was shown to have a failure of some kind requiring refurbishment. Pool equipment is very finicky, and I
prefer to use brand new equipment only. Buying second hand pool equipment, or manufacturer refurbished equipment, is just something that I don't recommend.
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