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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.
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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.

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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
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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
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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.

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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
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    Default Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    Jerry,

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

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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 ...

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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.

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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!!!


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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
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  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.

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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.


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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
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  19. #19
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    Default 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?
    Yes I do, I come across this concern quite often and find that many electrician's generally have no clue what the pool equipotential bonding actually is, they assume it just a grounding wire, I personally call it out for a qualified pool contractor for further evaluation. Someone that is more familiar with this concern for a corrective repair.


    "The pool and or (pump and or heater) equipment does not appear to be properly bonded. Metal parts of electrical equipment associated with the pool and or spa water circulating system should be properly grounded and bonded to the equipotential bonding grid in accordance with equipment instructions. Recommend a qualified pool contractor for further evaluation and any corrective action that may be needed."


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Rowden View Post
    Yes I do, I come across this concern quite often and find that many ele9ctrician's generally have no clue what the pool equipotential bonding actually is, they assume it just a grounding wire, I personally call it out for a qualified pool contractor for further evaluation. Someone that is more familiar with this concern for a corrective repair.


    "The pool and or (pump and or heater) equipment does not appear to be properly bonded. Metal parts of electrical equipment associated with the pool and or spa water circulating system should be properly grounded and bonded to the equipotential bonding grid in accordance with equipment instructions. Recommend a qualified pool contractor for further evaluation and any corrective action that may be needed."
    Thanks for that wording Gary. Thanks Gunnar and Jerry for your comments as well.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Rowden View Post
    Metal parts of electrical equipment associated with the pool and or spa water circulating system should be properly grounded and bonded to the equipotential bonding grid in accordance with equipment instructions.
    ( ... Cringing ... )

    "grounded and bonded"

    Those two, when used together as used, creates a level of confusion as pool bonding is not related to "grounding".

    The water circulating system is not "grounded", it is "bonded" to the equipotential bonding grid, which, to an unintentional degree is, by virtue of how it is installed, does create a 'ground', albeit not an intentional ground (it is not even considered as "grounded".

    Laying a copper wire around the perimeter of the pool brings forth images of one type of grounding electrode, the grounding ring around a building (but that grounding ring is deeper in the earth contact and is intentionally "grounded"; while the bonding ring around the pool is, by virtue of being in contact with earth ... is 'somewhat of a ground' ... but it is not intended to be "grounded". Like the bonding conductor to the pool steel cast in a concrete pool which is filled with water - that steel encased in concrete is somewhat like a concrete encased electrode ... except that the concrete encased electrode is theoretically intended to provide a good grounding electrode ... whereas that concrete encased steel in the pool filled with water may actually provide a better "ground", it is not intended to be "grounded".

    Clear as mud?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    ( ... Cringing ... )
    "grounded and bonded"
    Those two, when used together as used, creates a level of confusion as pool bonding is not related to "grounding".
    The water circulating system is not "grounded", it is "bonded" to the equipotential bonding grid, which, to an unintentional degree is, by virtue of how it is installed, does create a 'ground', albeit not an intentional ground (it is not even considered as "grounded".
    Laying a copper wire around the perimeter of the pool brings forth images of one type of grounding electrode, the grounding ring around a building (but that grounding ring is deeper in the earth contact and is intentionally "grounded"; while the bonding ring around the pool is, by virtue of being in contact with earth ... is 'somewhat of a ground' ... but it is not intended to be "grounded". Like the bonding conductor to the pool steel cast in a concrete pool which is filled with water - that steel encased in concrete is somewhat like a concrete encased electrode ... except that the concrete encased electrode is theoretically intended to provide a good grounding electrode ... whereas that concrete encased steel in the pool filled with water may actually provide a better "ground", it is not intended to be "grounded".
    Clear as mud?
    But...

    The grounding conductor for the electrical appliance (pool pump motor, boiler, whatever) is connected to the chassis of the aforementioned electrical appliance and the chassis is then bonded to the pool and related metal. Therefore, the pool and its equipment are (although indirectly), grounded as well as bonded.

    No?

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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Pool inspection requirements in CA

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    The grounding conductor for the electrical appliance (pool pump motor, boiler, whatever) is connected to the chassis of the aforementioned electrical appliance and the chassis is then bonded to the pool and related metal. Therefore, the pool and its equipment are (although indirectly), grounded as well as bonded.

    No?
    Yes, BUT ...

    That is grounding the non-current-carrying metallic motor parts.

    Keep in mind that grounding is done by the equipment grounding conductor, which is not intended to "bond" anything.

    Also ... ...

    My long post was describing the condition as it existed for decades, as home inspectors find them.

    My recollection is that the NEC has added "grounding" of the pool bonding system (I will verify and add a comment with edit) which makes Gary correct in his statement ...

    I was looking for a way point out the difference between the way it was for decades and what we have come to expect to see - no grounding of the pool bonding system - and what we need to start looking for --- grounding of the pool bonding system.

    That's from my recent memory ... I'll really be cringing if I find that is wrong.

    Maybe someone can look it up before I do and give the NEC edition that change was made (I think it was 2014?).

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Added with edit as I said I would:

    My recall memory was not completely accurate, but not completely inaccurate either.

    2017 NEC, 680.26(B) says " blah, blah, blah. An 8 AWG or larger solid copper bonding conductor provided to reduce voltage gradients in the pool area shall not be required to be extended or attached to the remote panelboards, service equipment, or electrodes."

    "shall not be required to be" ... means that 'it may be', as in 'is not prohibited from being'

    But that such grounding of the bonding system is "not required" and not prohibited either.

    It does not say TO, OR NOT TO, connect the bonding conductor to the grounding conductor.

    680.26(B)(6) Electrical Equipment, however, states that, for double insulated pumps:
    "Exception: Metal parts of listed equipment incorporating an approved system of double insulation shall not be bonded.
    (a) Double-Insulated Water Pump Motors. Where a double-insulated water pump motor is installed under the provisions of this rule, a solid 8 AWG copper conductor of sufficient length to make a a bonding connection to a replacement motor shall be extended from the bonding grid to an accessible point in the vicinity of the pool pump motor. Where there is no connection between the swimming pool bonding grid and the equipment grounding system for the premises, this bonding conductor shall be connected to the equipment grounding grounding conductor of the motor circuit.
    (b) Pool Water Heaters. For pool water heaters rated at more than 50 amperes and having specific instructions regarding bonding and grounding, only those parts designated to be bonded shall be bonded and only those parts designated to be grounded shall be grounded."

    Which means that there may be one or more intentional points where the bonding grid is connected to the grounding grid, but there is only one place where that would be required ... under the one condition stated ... and it is in 680.26(B)(6)(a).

    Clear as mud now that 680.26(B)(6)(a) has been spotted?

    (I haven't looked back to see when that came into the NEC, and am not planning on doing so as it is an obscure condition which home inspectors would not be able to check any way ... unless some of you are taking covers off pumps to see what is connected to what.)

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 07-03-2019 at 09:05 AM. Reason: Edited with an update as I said I would
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