FIBERGLASS INNOVATIONS OF 2018
In all fairness to Thursdays Pools, they are pushing the envelope and forcing other manufacturers to search for new methods of improving the fiberglass pool and its installation process. I am by no means singling them out to scrutinize them. I am actually a big fan of what they do. The fact is that Thursdays is at the forefront of most of the change hapenning in the Fiberglass Pool Industry, so rightfully it makes sense to talk about what they are up to! If any other manufacturer would step to the plate with the ambition to improve and energize the industry I would be compelled to blog about them as well. For now its Thursdays.
That being said I did visit the Thursdays Pools manufacturing plant in Indiana a few weeks back and was given a plant tour by owner Bill Khamas. I was able to see the newest advances I critiqued in 2018 in person and I do have to admit I have changed my postion on labelling these ideas as gimmicks.
THE GEO -HYDRO VALVE
On the surface this looks like a great technology that Thursdays Pools developed. As all experienced pool builders know there is a need to eliminate hydrostatic pressure from under and around every pool going in the ground. If it works as sold it is a great idea. I have yet to see it first hand to see how the parts that can fail are able to be replaced. That would be the only drawback is if there is a difficulty to replace parts that will wear overtime. I am looking forward to getting my hand on one of these soon and I will report back with more info at that time.
After the plant tour I have seen the Geo Hydro Valve first hand and the design is sound. The only concern I have is the check valve that prevents the water from being drained out of the pool is not replacable. Over time the rubber gasket inside that check valve may deteriorate and the pool may eventually leak from that point. This would be hard to remedy other than plugging the wall fitting to prevent draining. Thus eliminating the use of the entire Geo Hydro Valve althogether. If that check valve gasket issue can be overcome this is a great idea. What I can appreciate as a fiberglass pool builder is that Bill and Ed are making an effort to improve the way fiberglass pools are made. (2019)
THE GEO ANCHOR POOL WALL
Now this is a great idea and not so much a gimmick. Only time will tell if it truly works and there are certain concerns that may arise with the design. The only concern I would have is the strength of the rolls of fiberglass that are used as geo grid. Is it strong enough to hold together under pressure? How well is it attached to the pool? If a pool is under severe hydrostatic pressure what will happen to the shell where the fabric is attached? This could be a great idea that I could see mimicked by other builders in the future. I think this system really needs to be tourture tested before I can sign off. This is a great idea and smart for Thursdays Pools to patent. This could be easily copied and I'm sure it will once the patent runs out. Not a gimmick at all! (2019)
THE BACKFILL ELIMINATOR
This is an interesting new development in the fiberglass world. I found a brief blurb about it in Aqua Magazine. I could not find any more info on the Thursdays Pools website or the internets in general.
From the information I found, The Backfill Eliminator is an integrated structural support that eliminates the need for additional backfill under tanning ledges, which simplifies the installation of fiberglass pools. An access panel allows installers to reach plumbing and wiring, and louvers create free flow of groundwater under the ledge.
I am skeptical of this system for a few reasons. If the pool is under severe stress from ground movement what will happen to the piers? Will they cause the shell to push up or bulge or if a pier settles for any reason will it cause the shell to sag? As you all know I am not a fan of polyester resins. When the Backfill Eliminator System encounters ground water will it deteriorate due to the use of polyester resins. If the system deteriorates will the pool experience settling, or structural and gel coat damage. There are too many questions for me on this idea. For now I am, as always a skeptic. I love the idea and the effort to bring these ideas to production but until I see one in the ground for 10 years in the frozen north I remain skeptical.
After viewing this system in person it does look like a great idea. We were not allowed access to look inside the sytem to see how the pvc piers attach to the pool shell. The other thing that struck me as strange is that these systems are build independant from each other and then glassed in after the fact. I wasnt given much info on how well the 2 pieces meld together and how flexing and ground movement affects that joint. From a builders standpoint it really makes building pools with tanning ledges efficient. The additional cost for this option is more than made up for in the amount of labor and material saved on site to build this style of pool. It will take a few years of these pools being in the ground to know for sure, but if it holds up and works as planned it will mean good thing for the future of fiberglass pools. (2019)
The Beach Entry Fiberglass Pool
Thursdays Pools hit a grand slam with its latest innovation to the fiberglass world, in the Beach Entry Fiberglass Pool. Long has it been begged for by fiberglass pool clients and now it is finally available. Novel idea, and I am anxious to see it when it is released in 2019. Hats off to Thursdays Pools. I will be interested to see if other manufacturers will follow suit.