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  1. #1
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    Default Pool inspection requirements in CA

    Are you California HI s inspecting pools for saftey requirements only or do you inspect for cracked tiles, surface defects and stuff like that too?

    Also,
    if there is a fence that meets the requirements but the gate no longer latches when it self-swings back, then that would be written up as an must- be -immediatly -fixed, saftey issue, is that correct?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Chambers View Post
    Are you California HI s inspecting pools for saftey requirements only or do you inspect for cracked tiles, surface defects and stuff like that too?
    Also,
    if there is a fence that meets the requirements but the gate no longer latches when it self-swings back, then that would be written up as an must- be -immediatly -fixed, saftey issue, is that correct?
    Hi Elizabeth,

    The new-ish pool safety requirements for HIs is now contained in the same section of the California Business & Professions Code (section 7195 ) that defines a home inspection. This was modified to comply with Senate Bill SB-442 in January of 2018.

    I do not inspect pools, but I am now required to comment on the presence/absence of the 7 defined safety measures (well... actually 6 because the 7th is stupid).

    Many folks have evaluated the new requirements and the general consensus is that the law was poorly conceived and executed. Home inspectors are now on the hook for the lack (or functionality) of safety measures, but buyers/sellers are not required to do anything about them. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the legislature will make any attempt to revise. The nanny state continues to limp along.

    The primary problem is the requirement that the inspector verify that the safety measures meet ASTM standards. But, there is no way for an inspector to verify that ASTM standards have been met as we do not carry the equipment necessary to do so. So, many CREIA inspectors are noting which safety measures are present, which are absent, and disclaiming ASTM standards.

    https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/f...201720180SB442
    http://sd29.senate.ca.gov/news/2017-...governor-brown
    http://www.capradio.org/articles/201...in-california/
    https://www.vceonline.com/swimming-p...s-sb-442-2017/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin...Spa_Safety_Act

    As far as your specific question, I have yet to see a pool that is compliant. They all get safety comments.

    Last edited by Gunnar Alquist; 06-11-2018 at 06:17 PM.
    Department of Redundancy Department
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    Thank you Gunnar,
    I think I umderstand it better now. Inspect for the
    7 saftey requirements, report if, yes they are in place, which are in place and whether the ones that are in place are functioning as intended (gate latch for example) or report no they are not in place and which ones are not in place?
    Then disclaim the rest of it as being beyond the scope of a home inspection....


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    There should be at least 2 of the 7 on only new consruction and remodeling of pools. And, one of the requirements on older pools?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    Hi Elizabeth, to make this easy:

    - I report which of the 7 drowning prevention safety features are present, on every pool.
    - I report if there is less than 2 of the 7 drowning prevention safety features are present, on every pool.
    - I report all safety issues associated with every pool.

    if I am also doing the pool inspection, then I also comment on the rest of the pool and pool equipment (leaking valve, rusted heater, missing sediment trap...).

    Certified CREIA Inspector
    Certified NSPF Pool & Spa Inspector
    Level I Thermographer

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Chambers View Post
    There should be at least 2 of the 7 on only new consruction and remodeling of pools. And, one of the requirements on older pools?
    That is part of the problem. SB442 and the B&P code states that the HI is required to notify the client if less than 2 of the 7 are present (new, old, whatever), but not that it be corrected or upgraded. Plus, take a careful look at each of the 7. #1 states that the enclosure isolate the pool/spa from the home. Most fences surround the lot, but the pool is still accessible from the house, which is not acceptable according to the current law. #2,3, 6 & 7 all state meeting ASTM standards.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Bryan View Post
    Hi Elizabeth, to make this easy:

    - I report which of the 7 drowning prevention safety features are present, on every pool.
    - I report if there is less than 2 of the 7 drowning prevention safety features are present, on every pool.
    - I report all safety issues associated with every pool.

    if I am also doing the pool inspection, then I also comment on the rest of the pool and pool equipment (leaking valve, rusted heater, missing sediment trap...).
    Bill,

    How do you deal with the Virginia Graham Baker Act regarding the drain cover? Do you report on it with all pools or only those that you inspect? The reason I ask is that is now stepping farther into the pool inspection that I am comfortable, plus it is not mentioned in SB442 or the B&P code.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    “Although the pool and spa drains appear to be at least 3' apart, I cannot see, from the side of the pool / spa, if the drain is equipped with recommended anti-entrapment drain covers. The way to tell if your drain covers are anti-entrapment, is to look for "ASME/ANSI A112.19.8" or "ASME/APSP-16 2011" displayed on the cover. If this is not on the cover, for safety reasons, I recommend these anti-entrapment drain covers be installed on the drains.”

    Gunnar, there is currently no requirement to upgrade drain covers on a residential pool. However, you are only supposed to be able buy the new acceptable drain covers. So, if you get a new pool or a remodel, the contractor should put on the proper drain cover.

    i always recommend a drain cover upgrade.

    Certified CREIA Inspector
    Certified NSPF Pool & Spa Inspector
    Level I Thermographer

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    Another aspect is: How old is the drain cover?

    The longest time before replacement is 10 years, some manufacturers are even less (from here): http://www.poolmanagementgroup.com/r...to_be_replaced

    Life spans of drain covers:



    • DS 360 3 years
    • Aqua Star 5 Years
    • Paramount / SDX-Retro 5 Years
    • Hayward: cover, frame and screws must be replaced every 7 Years from date of manufacture stamped on the cover
    • Waterway 7 Years
    • Lawson 10 Years
    • A&A 10 Years
    • Triodyne Anti-Hair Snare Drain Cover 7 Years


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Bryan View Post
    “Although the pool and spa drains appear to be at least 3' apart, I cannot see, from the side of the pool / spa, if the drain is equipped with recommended anti-entrapment drain covers. The way to tell if your drain covers are anti-entrapment, is to look for "ASME/ANSI A112.19.8" or "ASME/APSP-16 2011" displayed on the cover. If this is not on the cover, for safety reasons, I recommend these anti-entrapment drain covers be installed on the drains.”
    Gunnar, there is currently no requirement to upgrade drain covers on a residential pool. However, you are only supposed to be able buy the new acceptable drain covers. So, if you get a new pool or a remodel, the contractor should put on the proper drain cover.
    i always recommend a drain cover upgrade.
    Bill,

    Thank you for your wording on the cover upgrades. I am going to see how I can integrate in my current documentation. While I recognize that there is no requirement to upgrade drain covers, there is also currently no requirement to upgrade the "safety measures" on existing pools. Yet, I am now "on the hook" for them and I am concerned that I may also be, by default, for the nonconforming drain cover.

    Fortunately, pools are not overly common in my area.

    Jerry,

    We just hope that pool owners maintain their pools and replace broken and worn parts.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Jerry,

    We just hope that pool owners maintain their pools and replace broken and worn parts.
    I was thinking along the lines of a generic comment, such as is likely used for smoke alarms (which are commonly mis-referred to as smoke detectors) - something to the effect of: Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years, the age of the smoke alarms is not known, as such, we recommend replacing all smoke alarms upon closing. Closing, settlement, occupancy - whatever word/wording works best for you and your area.

    With pools, the wording could be revised to something like - Swimming pool drain covers should be replaced every 10 years or less, depending on the cover, the age of the swimming pool drain covers is not known, as such, we recommend replacing all swimming pool drain covers upon closing. (Then include the table and provide its source - the more authoritative the source is, the better.)

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    Jerry,

    Good idea. I will see how to incorporate those into my report.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    I thought of a wording change - instead of just "upon" closing/settlement/etc, make it "upon ... and prior to occupying/occupancy".

    That way someone can't wiggle around the "upon" by saying to the effect of "Your Honor, there is not a practical way for us to replace (whatever) upon closing because we were AT the closing, not AT the property."

    The additional wording allows you to respond with "Your Honor, that is why we said PRIOR TO occupying ... they had time to replace or make arrangements for replacement PRIOR TO occupying ... "

    ... just pondering a ponderable ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    Unfortunately, you are probably right. We can't just be inspectors, we have to be amateur attorneys as well.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    Old thread, new question.
    Do you look for a bonding wire and to see if the pool pump is grounded?
    At this one house the pool pump had two screws, one on the top of the pump and one on the end of the pump. I saw a solid copper conductor that was sticking out of the soil about a foot away from the pump, but not connected to anything.

    Pool equipment is located on a slab of concrete, out in the yard, with the rest of the pool stuff and several elect boxes containing the pump and timer, and the pool cover power ect. There were no wires attatched to the pump at all.

    I assumed the solid Copper wire sticking out of the soil was supposed to be the wire that bonds the metal fence, handrail and pool ladder (all the metal things in or near the pool), and it should be attached to the screw on the back of the pump.


    I suggested they have a qualified licenced sparky come check it out and correct the problems. All he did was attach a wire coming from one of the equipment boxes to the screw on top of the pump.

    They don't umderstand why they should call him back to chk the pool bonding, because heck he is an electric expert and I am just a Home Inspector. I think the bonding is not attatched. The owners are friends that use the pool all summer with lots of kids visiting. I am concerned.
    Should I call the elect guy and talk to him myself? Ask him why he did not attach the bonding conductor?

    Sorry for such a long post!!!


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    Elizabeth,

    You started of combining two separate things and changing terms too.

    "Do you look for a bonding wire and to see if the pool pump is grounded?"

    You looked for a "bonding" wire, and that "bonding" wire "bonds" (not "grounds") the pool pump.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  16. #16
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    Cool Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Chambers View Post
    Old thread, new question.
    Do you look for a bonding wire and to see if the pool pump is grounded?
    At this one house the pool pump had two screws, one on the top of the pump and one on the end of the pump. I saw a solid copper conductor that was sticking out of the soil about a foot away from the pump, but not connected to anything.
    Pool equipment is located on a slab of concrete, out in the yard, with the rest of the pool stuff and several elect boxes containing the pump and timer, and the pool cover power ect. There were no wires attatched to the pump at all.
    I assumed the solid Copper wire sticking out of the soil was supposed to be the wire that bonds the metal fence, handrail and pool ladder (all the metal things in or near the pool), and it should be attached to the screw on the back of the pump.
    I suggested they have a qualified licenced sparky come check it out and correct the problems. All he did was attach a wire coming from one of the equipment boxes to the screw on top of the pump.
    They don't umderstand why they should call him back to chk the pool bonding, because heck he is an electric expert and I am just a Home Inspector. I think the bonding is not attatched. The owners are friends that use the pool all summer with lots of kids visiting. I am concerned.
    Should I call the elect guy and talk to him myself? Ask him why he did not attach the bonding conductor?
    Sorry for such a long post!!!
    Hi Elizabeth,

    "Umderstand"?

    When I inspect a home with a pool or spa, I disclaim the pool and equipment. I recommend that they get a pool inspection from someone who is qualified and to make any needed corrections or upgrades. I am not comfortable inspecting pools and would prefer they get someone more qualified to do a full evaluation, even though I am now required to comment on the 7 safety items.

    Two "howevers".

    1) I will typically look at the circuit breaker panel and recommend upgrading all of the circuit breakers with GFCI (if not present).

    2) I will also glance at the pump motor(s) and heater (if I find them). If I do not see bonding, I will make a specific recommendation to have that addressed. As Jerry already indicated, the grounding is inside the junction box and I do not specifically look for that.

    Often, the pools in the homes that I inspect were constructed prior to the requirement for GFCI for the pump and heater circuits. Nonetheless, upgrading with GFCI is usually not horribly expensive and I believe worth it.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Elizabeth,

    You started of combining two separate things and changing terms too.

    "Do you look for a bonding wire and to see if the pool pump is grounded?"

    You looked for a "bonding" wire, and that "bonding" wire "bonds" (not "grounds") the pool pump.
    Correct. There should be two solid copper conductors attached to the pump. One bonds the pool equipment,and all the metal components in and around the pool together. It runs from the pool (embeded in the cement) umder the soil to the pump.
    The other is the grounding conductor that grounds the pump to the electricl system ground. This is what I understood to be true.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    The grounding conductor is one you likely won't see because it would be run with the circuit conductors ... which you shouldn't see.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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