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Are Polymer Pools Stronger than Steel Pools?

March 21, 2016

The construction of a vinyl liner pool is done by attaching pool walls to each other to make a framework.  Once the framework is all attached to each other, there is a ballast beam (pool footing) of concrete poured around the base.

The concrete around the base of the pool walls acts like a big bear hug around the pool that prevents it from moving for many years to come. A good pool contractor makes sure that the base of the pool wall along with the braces are fully covered in concrete.

What are the pool walls made of?

Pool Wall Materials

There are many types of wall structures that make up the vinyl liner pool designs, but here are the 2 most common.

  • Polymer Pools
  • Steel Pools

Steel walled vinyl liner pools have been around since the 1950’s and are used across all the U.S.  The steel pools have walls that are 14 Gauge Steel with G235 (Z720) galvanized coating.

Polymer pools are made of structural design resin (really strong plastic) that has been around for 30+ years. Every 10 years or so the formulas of the polymer walls change as technology gets better and more advanced.

Are Polymer Pools Stronger than Steel Pools?

At the end of the day you want your pool to be the strongest and most reliable pool in the neighborhood. You want to have the freedom of selecting vinyl liner pool designs that meets you needs and style.

Polymer walls have a higher strength ratio than steel walls. The polymer pool walls have uniform rigidity, flatness and strength derived from the strategic placement of ribs.
The one draw back is that they can’t create every type of radius that is sometimes needed in vinyl pool designs.

Steel walls have a 2-3  ribs in them for strength, and can be manufactured into ANY radius needed. That is great for freeform pools as there is no limit to the vinyl pool designs that are available.

The main draw back to steel pools is that they WILL RUST at some point reducing their overall strength. Polymer pools will not rust or corrode as they are basically a really strong rigid plastic.

Polymer Pools vs. Steel Pools, do your Research

Talk to your pool contractors when getting your inground pool prices and see what they recommend. A red flag should be when a pool builder doesn’t install both or has never installed both.

Polymer walled pools are hands down much stronger, but you might be limited if you are looking for an exact radius on freeform vinyl liner pool designs. If the vinyl pool designs can be modified, a steel walled vinyl liner pool the way to go.