Swimming Pool Code
Building Code - 1999 BOCA Code: Section 421.0 Swimming pools
Swimming Pool Code Requirements
All pools, even temporary use or storable pools, require a Building Permit. If a pool contractor is doing the work, they should apply for the permit, and present their state H.I.C. registration and proof of Workers Compensation Insurance. Only if all the work will be performed by the homeowner, should the owner apply for the permit.
A man-made body of water is considered a pool if it meets the following conditions, in accordance with Section 623.1:
o If the water level is more than 24" deep
o If the surface area is greater than 250 square feet
o If it has a permanent water recirculating system
o If it involves structural materials
Remember – Pool safety is the responsibility of the pool's owner. The requirements for barriers, fences, gates, latches and the means of direct entry into a pool area are designed to provide protection against accidental drowning, particularly for small children. However, nothing can replace direct supervision by an adult.
Gating protection must be installed prior to filling pool with water.
Filing requirements include the building permit application, copy of Workers Compensation Insurance or homeowner waiver form, two copies of plans sufficient to describe the project, including the site plan and pool alarm statement.
SECTION 421.0 SWIMMING POOLS
421.1 General: Swimming and bathing pools shall conform to the requirements of this section, provided that these regulations shall not be applicable to any such pool less than 24 inches (610 mm) deep or having a surface area less than 250 square feet (23.25 m2), except where such pools are permanently equipped with a water-recirculating system or involve structural materials. For the purposes of this code, pools are classified as private swimming pools or public swimming pools, as defined in Section 421.2. Materials and constructions used in swimming pools shall comply with the applicable requirements of this code.
1. Health Department Regulation: No person shall construct, substantially alter or reconstruct a swimming pool, other than for a single-family residence, until the construction documents and water discharge provisions have been approved by the Department of Public Health, in accordance with the regulations adopted pursuant to Section 91a-36, C.G.S.
421.2 Definitions: The following words and terms shall, for the purposes of this section and as used elsewhere in this code, have the meanings shown herein.
Pools, swimming, hot tubs and spas
Above-ground/on-ground pool: See definition of private swimming pool.
Barrier: A fence, a wall, a building wall, the wall of an above-ground swimming pool or a combination thereof, which completely surrounds the swimming pool and obstructs access to the swimming pool.
Hot tub: See definition of private swimming pool.
In-ground pool: See definition of private swimming pool.
Power safety cover: A pool cover, which is placed over the water area, and is opened and closed with a motorized mechanism activated by a control switch.
Private swimming pool: Any structure that contains water over 24 inches (610 mm) in depth and which is used, or intended to be used, for swimming or recreational bathing in connection with an occupancy in Use Group R-3 and which is available only to the family and guests of the householder. This includes in-ground, above-ground and on-ground swimming pools, hot tubs and spas.
Private swimming pool, indoor: Any private swimming pool that is totally contained within a private structure and surrounded on all four sides by walls of said structure.
Private swimming pool, outdoor: Any private swimming pool that is not an indoor pool.
Public swimming pool: Any swimming pool other than a private swimming pool.
Spa: See definition of private swimming pool.
421.3 Permits and construction documents: A swimming pool or appurtenances thereto shall not be constructed, installed, enlarged or altered until construction documents have been sub-mitted and a permit has been obtained from the code official. The approval of all city, county and state authorities having jurisdiction over swimming pools shall be obtained before applying to the code official for a permit. Certified copies of these approvals shall be filed as part of the supporting data for the permit application.
421.3.1 Construction documents: Construction documents shall accurately show dimensions and construction of the pool and appurtenances and properly established distances to lot lines, buildings, walks and fences, as well as details of the water supply system, drainage and water disposal systems, and all appurtenances pertaining to the swimming pool. Detailed construction documents of structures, vertical elevations and sections through the pool showing depth shall be included.
421.4 Locations: Private swimming pools shall not encroach on any front or side yard required by this code or by the governing coning law, unless in accordance with specific rules of the jurisdiction in which the pool is located.
421.5 Structural design: The pool structure shall be engineered and designed to withstand the expected forces to which the pool will be subjected.
421.5.1 Wall slopes: To a depth up to 2 feet 9 inches (838 mm) from the top, the wall slope shall not be more than one unit horizontal in five units vertical (1:5).
421.5.2 Floor slopes: The slope of the floor on the shallow side of the transition point shall not exceed one unit vertical to seven units horizontal (1:7). For public pools greater than 1,200 square feet (111.6 m2), the slope of the floor on the shallow side of the transition point shall not exceed one unit vertical to ten units horizontal (1:10). The transition point between shallow and deep water shall not be more than 5 feet (1524 mm) deep.
421.5.3 Surface cleaning: All swimming pools shall be provided with a recirculating skimming device or overflow gutters to remove scum and foreign matter from the surface of the water. Where skimmers are used for private pools, there shall be at least one skimming device for each 1,000 square feet (93 m2) of surface area or fraction thereof. For public pools where water skimmers are used, there shall be at least one skimming device for each 600 square feet (55.8 m2)) of surface area or fraction thereof. Overflow gutters shall not be less than 3 inches (76 mm) deep and shall be pitched to a slope of one unit vertical to 48 units horizontal (1:48) toward drains, and constructed so that such gutters are safe, cleanable and that matter entering the gutters will not be washed out by a sudden surge of entering water.
421.5.5 Steps and ladders: At least one means of egress shall be provided from private pools. Public pools shall provide ladders or other means of egress at both sides of the diving section and at least one means of egress in the deep section and the shallow section if diving boards are not provided. Treads of steps and ladders shall have slip-resistant surfaces and handrails on both sides, except that handrails are not required where there are not more than four steps or where the steps extend the full width of the side or end of the pool. Treads and risers of the pool steps shall conform to the following:
1. Step treads shall have a minimum unobstructed horizontal depth of 10 inches (254 mm) and a minimum unobstructed surface area of 240 square inches (0.15 m2).
2. Risers shall have a maximum uniform height of 12 inches (305 mm) as measured at the centerline of the tread. The height of the bottom riser shall not vary more than plus or minus 2 inches (51 mm) from the uniform riser height.
421.6 Water supply: All swimming pools shall be provided with a potable water supply, free of cross connections with the pool or its equipment.
421.6.1 Water treatment: Private swimming pools shall be designed and installed so that there is a pool water turnover at least once every 18 hours. Filters shall not filter water at a rate in excess of 5 gallons per minute per square foot (205 L/min/m2) of surface area. The pool owner shall be instructed in the care and maintenance of the pool by the supplier or builder, including treatment with high-test calcium hypochlorite (dry chlorine), sodium hypochlorite (liquid chlorine) or equally effective germicide and algaecide, and the importance of proper pH (alkalinity and acidity) control.
421.6.2 Drainage systems: The swimming pool and equipment shall be equipped to be emptied completely of water and the discharged water shall be disposed of in an approved manner that will not create a nuisance to adjoining property.
421.7 Appurtenant structures: All appurtenant structures, installations and equipment, such as showers, dressing rooms, equipment houses or other buildings and structures, including plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems, shall comply with all applicable requirements of this code.
421.7.1 Accessories: All swimming pool accessories shall be designed, constructed and installed so as not to be a safety hazard. Installations or structures for diving purposes shall be properly anchored to insure stability.
421.8 Equipment installations: Pumps, filters and other mechanical and electrical equipment for public swimming pools shall be enclosed in such a manner as to provide access only to authorized persons and not to bathers. Construction and drainage shall be arranged to avoid the entrance and accumulation of water in the vicinity of electrical equipment.
421.10 Enclosures for private swimming pools, spas and hot tubs: Private swimming pools, spas and hot tubs shall be enclosed in accordance with Sections 421.10.1 through 421.10.4 or by other approved barriers.
421.10.1 Outdoor private swimming pool: Note - Gating must be installed prior to filling pool with water. An outdoor private swimming pool, including an in-ground, above-ground or on-ground pool, hot tub or spa shall be provided with a barrier which shall comply with the following:
1. The top of the barrier shall be at least 48 inches (1219 mm) above finished ground level measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool. Where the top of the pool structure is above finished ground level, such as an above-ground pool, the barrier shall be at finished ground level, such as the pool structure, or shall be mounted on top of the pool structure. Where the barrier is mounted on the pool structure, the opening between the top surface of the pool frame and the bottom of the barrier shall not allow passage of a 4-inch (102 mm) diameter sphere.
2. Openings in the barrier shall not allow passage of a 4-inch (102 mm) diameter sphere.
3. Solid barriers shall not contain indentations or protrusions except for normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints.
4. Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is less than 45 inches (1143 mm).
5. Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is 45 inches (1143 mm) or more, spacing between vertical members shall not exceed 4 inches (102 mm). Decorative cutouts shall not exceed 1¾ inches (44 mm) in width.
6. Maximum mesh size for chain link fences shall be a 1¼-inch (32 mm) square unless the fence is provided with slats fastened at the top or the bottom which reduce the openings to not more than 1¾ inches (44 mm).
7. Where the barrier is composed of diagonal members, such as lattice fence, the maximum opening formed by the diagonal members shall be not more than 1¾ inches (44 mm).
8. Access gates shall comply with the requirements of items 1 through 7 of Section 421.10.1 and shall be equipped to accommodate a locking device. Pedestrian access gates shall open outwards away from the pool and shall be self-closing and have a self-latching device. Gates other than pedestrian access gates shall have a self-latching device. Where the release mechanism of the self-latching device is located less than 54 inches (1372 mm) from the bottom of the gate: (a) the release mechanism shall be located on the pool side of the gate at least 3 inches (76 mm) below the top of the gate; and (b) the gate and barrier shall not have an opening greater than ½ inch (13 mm) within 18 inches (457 mm) of the release mechanism.
9. Where a wall of a dwelling unit serves as part of the barrier and contains a door that provides direct access to the pool, one of the following shall apply:
a. All doors with direct access to the pool through that wall shall be equipped with an alarm, which produces an audible warning when the door and its screen, if present, are opened. The audible warning shall commence not more than 7 seconds after the door and door screen, if present, are opened and shall sound continuously for a minimum of 30 seconds. The alarm shall have a minimum sound pressure rating of 85 dBA at 10 feet (3048 mm) and the sound of the alarm shall be distinctive from other household sounds such as smoke alarms, telephones and door bells. The alarm shall automatically reset under all conditions. The alarm shall be equipped with manual means, such as touch pads or switches, to deactivate temporarily the alarm for a single opening from either direction. Such deactivation shall last for not more than 15 seconds. The deactivation touch pads or switches shall be located at least 54 inches (1372 mm) above the threshold of the door.
b. All doors with direct access to the pool through that wall shall be equipped with a self-closing and self-latching device with the release mechanism located a minimum of 54 inches (1372 mm) above the floor. Swinging doors shall open away from the pool area.
10. The pool shall be equipped with a power safety cover. Where in a closed position, the cover shall be capable of holding a weight of 485 pounds (2157 N), shall not have any openings that allow passage of a 4 ½-inch (114 mm) sphere and shall incorporate a system to drain standing water that collects on the cover. The cover control switch shall be permanently installed in accordance with NFPA 70 listed in Chapter 35, and be key-operated and of a spring-loaded or momentary-contact type. Where the switch is released, the operation of the cover shall stop instantly and be capable of reversing direction immediately. The switch shall be in the line of sight of the complete pool cover.
11. Where an above-ground pool structure is used as a barrier or where the barrier is mounted on top of the pool structure, and the means of access is a fixed or removable ladder or steps, the ladder or steps shall be surrounded by a barrier which meets the requirements of items 1 through 9 of Section 421.10.1. A removable ladder shall not constitute an acceptable alternative to enclosure requirements.
421.10.2 Indoor private swimming pool: All walls surrounding an indoor private swimming pool shall comply with Section 421.10.1, item 9.
421.10.3 Prohibited locations: Barriers shall be located so as to prohibit permanent structures, equipment or similar objects from being used to climb the barriers.
Exemptions: The following shall be exempt from the provisions of this section:
1. A spa or hot tub with an approved safety cover.
2. Fixtures which are drained after each use.
421.10.5 Temporary enclosures: A temporary enclosure shall be installed in accordance with Section 3304.2 prior to the commencement of the installation of any in-ground swimming pool.
Exception: Where a permanent enclosure is provided prior to excavation.
421.11 Diving boards: Minimum water depths and distances for diving hoppers for pools, based on board height above water, shall comply with Table 421.11(1) for public pools and Table 421.11(2) for private pools.
The maximum slope permitted between point D2 and the transition point shall not exceed one unit vertical to three units horizontal (1:3) in private and public pools. D1 is the point directly under the end of the diving boards. D2 is the point at which the floor begins to slope upwards to the transition point (see Figure 421.11).
421.12 Accessibility: Public swimming pools, when less than 50 meters in length, shall be provided with ramps or approved fixed or portable lifting equipment for the purpose of providing assisted access to the water for persons with disabilities. Public swimming pools, when 50 meters or more in length, shall be provided with ramps. All public swimming pools, pool decks, toilet facilities, showers, locker and dressing areas shall be accessible and located along accessible routes.
421.12.1 Slopes and handrails: The slopes of ramps for accessibility, where required, shall not exceed one unit vertical to eight units horizontal (1:8) where located at least 24 inches below the water line and one unit vertical to 12 units horizontal (1:12) above that point. Ramps shall be provided with handrails on both sides in accordance with Section 1022.0.
Model Energy Code Requirements (As Applicable):
504.5 Swimming pools.
504.5.1 All pool heaters shall be equipped with an ON-OFF switch mounted for easy access to allow shutting off the operation of the heater without adjusting the thermostat setting and to allow restarting without relighting the pilot light.
All swimming pool heaters must be equipped with a readily accessible on-off switch so occupants can easily turn off the heater when not needed.
504.5.2 Pool covers. Heated swimming pools shall be equipped with a pool cover.
Exception: Outdoor pools deriving over 20 percent of the energy for heating from renewable sources (computed over an operating season) are exempt from this requirement.
Pool covers significantly reduce heat losses associated with pools. Accordingly, all heated swimming pools must be equipped with pool covers.
Outdoor heated swimming pools are exempt from the pool cover requirement if they receive over 20 percent of their annual operating energy from renewable sources (such as solar heat). Note that the 20 percent refers to the heating required by the pool and is not an indication of the efficiency of the heating source.
504.5.3 Time clocks. Time clocks shall be installed so that the pump can be set to run in the off-peak electric demand period and can be set for the minimum time necessary to maintain the water in a clear and sanitary condition in keeping with applicable health standards. Electric pools must be equipped with time clocks so the pumps can be set to shut off during periods of peak utility electrical demand and set to control the length of time during which the filter runs.
504.6 Pump operation. Circulating hot-water systems shall be arranged so that the circulation pump(s) can be conveniently turned off, automatically or manually, when the hot-water system is not in operation.
Energy is required to operate the pump on a circulating line. Because hot water circulation is not required at all times in most buildings, circulating hot water systems must have controls so the pumps can be conveniently turned off when the hot water system is not in operation.
504.7 Pipe insulation. For recirculating systems, piping heat loss shall be limited to a maximum of 17.5 Btu/h per linear foot (16.8W/m) of pipe in accordance with Table 504.7, which is based on design external temperature no lower than 65o F. (18.3o C.). Other design temperatures must be calculated.
Exception: piping insulation is not required when the heat loss of the piping without insulation, does not increase the annual energy requirements of the building.
Insulating the hot water distribution system is only required where a recirculating system is installed. Recirculation loops constructed of uninsulated piping can result in significant heat losses and waste of energy.
604.1.2.1 Service water-heating systems shall be equipped with automatic temperature controls capable of adjustment from the lowest to the highest acceptable temperature settings for the intended use.
604.1.2.2 Shutdown. A separate switch shall be provided to permit turning off the energy supplied to electric service-water-heating systems. A separate valve shall be provided to permit turning off the energy supplied to the main burner(s) of all other types of service water-heating systems.
604.2 Pump operation. Circulating hot-water systems shall be arranged so that the circulating pump(s) can be conveniently turned off, automatically or manually, when the hot-water system is not in operation.
Refer to Section 504.6 for requirements relating to circulating hot-water systems.
604.3 Pipe insulation. For recirculating systems, piping heat loss shall be limited to a maximum of 17.5 Btu/h per linear foot (5.1 W per m) of pipe in accordance with Table 604.3, which is based on a design external temperature no lower than 65o F. (18.3oC.) Other design temperatures must be calculated.
Exception: Piping insulation is not required when the heat loss of the piping, without insulation, does not increase the annual energy requirements of the building
Refer to Section 504.7 for requirements relating to pipe insulation on recirculating systems.
PUBLIC ACT NO. 99-140 BY THE CT GENERAL ASSEMBLY
A ‘Pool Alarm' must be installed in all new or renovated pools. The device shall emit a sound of at least 50 decibels when a person or object weighing fifteen pounds or more enters the water in a swimming pool.
Part Three – Electrical Code – 1999 National Electrical Code
Electrical Code requirements are based on the 1999 National Electrical Code. A separate permit is required for the electrical work associated with pool installations. If an electrician is doing the work, they should apply for the permit, along with their license and proof of Workers Compensation Insurance.
Electrical outlet for the pump shall be GFI protected, single type, locking and grounded and can be located 5' to 10' from the pool. The flexible cord to the filter shall not exceed 3' in length for a permanently installed pool. The electrical outlet shall be equipped with an in-line power disconnect switch before the outlet.
At least one GFI protected electrical convenience outlet shall be installed between 10' and 20' from the pool.
All electrical equipment within 5' of the pool, all electric equipment associated with the recirculating system and panel boards which supply electric equipment associated with the pool must be properly grounded.
All metal parts of the pool, metal fittings within or attached to the pool, metal parts of electric equipment and all metal parts within 5' horizontally or 12' above the maximum water level shall be properly bonded. The bonding wire shall be solid copper not smaller than No. 8.
Underground wiring shall be in conduit. 6" deep if metal conduit is used. 18" deep if plastic conduit is used.
Storable-type pools (18' in diameter or less, 42" deep or less) may just be plugged into a GFI protected outlet which must be at least 10' from the pool.
You must have your electrical trench inspected before you backfill. A final inspection must be performed before you use your pool. Failure to adhere to the regulations and to attain a certificate of compliance could affect your home owner's insurance.
NOTE: This handout is intended to summarize a common, above-ground or in-ground pool installation. There are intricacies in the codes that may place exceptions on some of the requirements mentioned above.
A Zoning Permit is required when building a pool. For a Zoning Permit Application click here.
For specific questions, see Cindy in the Building Department...