Pool and Spa Regulations

SECTION 3109
SWIMMING POOL ENCLOSURES AND SAFETY DEVICES

3109.1 General.
Swimming pools shall comply with the requirements of Sections 3109.2 through 3109.5 and other applicable sections of this code. 

3109.2 Definition.
The following term is defined in Chapter 2. 

SWIMMING POOLS.

3109.3 Public swimming pools.
Public swimming pools shall be completely enclosed by a fence not less than 4 feet (1290 mm) in height or a screen enclosure. Openings in the fence shall not permit the passage of a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) sphere. The fence or screen enclosure shall be equipped with self-closing and self-latching gates. 

3109.4 Residential swimming pools.
Residential swimming pools shall be completely enclosed by a barrier complying with Sections 3109.4.1 through 3109.4.3. 

Exception: A swimming pool with a power safety cover or a spa with a safety cover complying with ASTM F 1346 need not comply with this section.

3109.4.1Barrier height and clearances.
The top of the barrier shall be not less than 48 inches (1219 mm) above grade measured on the side of the barrier that faces away from the swimming pool. The vertical clearance between grade and the bottom of the barrier shall be not greater than 2 inches (51 mm) measured on the side of the barrier that faces away from the swimming pool. Where the top of the pool structure is above grade, the barrier is authorized to be at ground level or mounted on top of the pool structure, and the vertical clearance between the top of the pool structure and the bottom of the barrier shall be not greater than 4 inches (102 mm).

3109.4.1.1 Openings.
Openings in the barrier shall not allow passage of a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) sphere.

3109.4.1.2 Solid barrier surfaces.
Solid barriers which do not have openings shall not contain indentations or protrusions except for normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints.

3109.4.1.3 Closely spaced horizontal members.
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), the horizontal members shall be located on the swimming pool side of the fence. Spacing between vertical members shall be not greater than 1-3/4 inches (44 mm) in width. Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall be not greater than 1-3/4 inches (44 mm) in width.

3109.4.1.4 Widely spaced horizontal members.
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 be not greater than 4 inches (102 mm). Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall be not greater than 1-3/4 inches (44 mm) in width.

3109.4.1.5 Chain link dimensions.
Mesh size for chain link fences shall be not greater than a 2-1/4 square (57 mm square) unless the fence is provided with slats fastened at the top or the bottom that reduce the openings to not more than 1-3/4 inches (44 mm).

3109.4.1.6 Diagonal members.
Where the barrier is composed of diagonal members, the opening formed by the diagonal members shall be not greater than 1-3/4 inches (44 mm).

3109.4.1.7 Gates.
Access doors or gates shall comply with the requirements of Sections 3109.4.1.1 through 3109.4.1.6 and shall be equipped to accommodate a locking device. Pedestrian access doors or gates shall open outward away from the pool and shall be self-closing and have a self-latching device. Doors or gates other than pedestrian access doors or gates shall have a self-latching device. Release mechanisms shall be in accordance with Sections 1010.1.9 and 1109.13. Where the release mechanism of the self-latching device is located less than 54 inches (1372 mm) from the bottom of the door or gate, the release mechanism shall be located on the pool side of the door or gate 3 inches (76 mm) or more, below the top of the door or gate, and the door or gate and barrier shall be without openings greater than ½ inch (12.7 mm) within 18 inches (457 mm) of the release mechanism.

3109.4.1.8 Dwelling wall as a barrier.
Where a wall of a dwelling serves as part of the barrier, one of the following shall apply: 

  1. Doors with direct access to the pool through that wall shall be equipped with an alarm that produces an audible warning when the door or its screen, if present, are opened. The alarm shall be listed and labeled in accordance with UL 2017. In dwellings not required to be Accessible units, Type A units or Type B units, the deactivation switch shall be located 54 inches (1372 mm) or more above the threshold of the door. In dwellings required to be Accessible units, Type A units or Type B units, the deactivation switch shall be located not higher than 54 inches (1372 mm) and not less than 48 inches (1219 mm) above the threshold of the door. 
  2. The pool shall be equipped with a power safety cover that complies with ASTM  F 1346. 
  3. Other means of protection, such as self-closing doors with self-latching devices, which are approved, shall be accepted so long as the degree of protection afforded is not less than the protection afforded by Item 1 or 2 above. 

3109.4.1.9 Pool structure as barrier.
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 ladder or steps, then the ladder or steps either shall be capable of being secured, locked or removed to prevent access, or the ladder or steps shall be surrounded by a barrier that meets the requirements of Sections 3109.4.1.1 through 3109.4.1.8. Where the ladder or steps are secured, locked or removed, any opening created shall not allow the passage of a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) sphere.


3109.4.2 Indoor swimming pools.
Walls surrounding indoor swimming pools shall not be required to comply with Section 3109.4.1.8.

3109.4.3 Prohibited locations.
Barriers shall be located so as to prohibit permanent structures, equipment or similar objects from being used to climb the barriers.

3109.5 Entrapment avoidance.
Suction outlets shall be designed and installed in accordance with ANSI/APSP-7.