VGB/Title 20 Compliance
The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act
Mandatory Federal Requirements for Entrapment Avoidance
ALL public facilities MUST comply with the new law by December 20, 2008.
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Summary of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Standard
Frequently Asked Questions
Question #1: What do the mandatory provisions of the Federal Pool and Spa Safety Act cover?
Answer: The federal mandates in the Act pertain to two issues:
1. The manufacture, import, and sale of suction outlet fittings (drain fittings and covers) and
2. Entrapment avoidance systems in public pools and spas.
Question #2: What do these provisions require?
Answer: The Act requires the following — On or after 12/20/08, all suction outlet fittings and covers made, imported, or sold in the U.S. must be certified to comply with ASME/ANSI A 112.19.8, 2007 version.
2. As of 12/20/08, all public pools and spas, both new and existing, be equipped with certified covers on every suction outlet.
3. As of 12/20/08, every public pool and spa, new and existing, that has a single outlet, other than an unblockable outlet, must employ one or more of the following additional options:
- Safety vacuum release system (SVRS) that complies with ANSI/ASME A112.19.17 or ASTM F2387; or
- Suction limiting vent system; or
- Gravity drainage system; or
- Automatic pump shut-off; or
- Drain disablement; or
- Equivalent system that may be approved by the CPSC.
Question #3: Does the suction outlet cover requirement in the Act apply to pools and spas with dual or multiple drains?
Answer: Yes. Every drain in every public pool and spa must have a compliant cover by the effective date. After 12/20/08 the pool or spa cannot be open for use if the covers and system are not compliant.
Question #4: Will such covers be available in time to install before the effective date?
Answer: Some manufacturers have assured the APSP that compliant covers will be available in sufficient time to purchase and install. However, the APSP cannot speak to every cover installed, especially covers of unusual sizes and shape.
Question #5: How will I know which covers comply?
Answer: They will have the following embossed or permanently marked in a location that is visible when installed: Or, ”ASME A112.19. 8 2007” and, a flow rating “X GPM”, and “Life: X Years”, and Manufacturer and Model.
Question #6: What is a safety vacuum release system (SVRS)?
Answer: The definition in the Act is as follows: “The term ‘safety vacuum release system’ means a vacuum release system capable of providing vacuum release at a suction outlet caused by a high vacuum occurrence due to a suction outlet flow blockage.” SVRS devices must be certified to ASME/ANSI A112.19.17 or ASTM 2387-04.
Question #7: What is a suction limiting vent system?
Answer: Suction-Limiting Vent System — a pipe vented to the atmosphere that connects to the suction pipe between the pool and the pump. When a high vacuum event occurs, air from the vent pipe replaces the water in the suction pipe thereby breaking the suction. The vent opening is protected by a tamper resistant cover.
Question #8: What is an automatic pump shut-off?
Answer: Automatic Pump shut-off system — a device or system that shuts off the pump/motor when it senses a high vacuum occurrence that includes but is not limited to some of the safety vacuum release devices (SVRS) and load sensing motors.
Question #9: According to the Act, how far apart must multiple or dual drains be?
Answer: The Act does not specify. The ANSI/APSP-7 2006 standard requires that multiple drains or suction outlets be at least 3 feet apart, measured from center of sump to center of sump. Or that suction outlets be located on different planes.
Question #10: Does the Act apply to hot tubs?
Answer: Yes. Hot Tubs are considered “spas” for purposes of this act.
Question #11: Does the Act apply to residential pools and spas?
Answer: Yes. As of 12/20/08, it will be against federal law to make, import, or sell a suction outlet fitting and cover that does not comply with ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 -2007. Installation of a non compliant cover in a customer’s pool or spa would be a violation of that provision. The other federal mandates discussed above apply only to public facilities.
Question #12: How does the Act define a “Public” pool or spa?
Answer: The term is defined broadly and includes — 1.Any facility open to the public whether free or for a fee. 2. multiple family residential facilities. 3. hotels or other public accommodations. 4. facilities operated by the federal government for the military, their dependents, or for any federal agency or department.
Question #13: How do these Federal provisions or mandates compare with ANSI/APSP-7?
Answer: Each of the above provisions is entirely consistent with ANSI/APSP-7. Pools and spas built or retrofitted to comply with this standard will also comply with the Act.
Question #14: Does ANSI/APSP-7 require a pool to be closed to swimmers if the cover is not ASME compliant?
Answer: The standard requires ASME approved covers. Non-compliant covers and systems should be addressed. If a cover is broken, damaged, not secure or missing, the standard requires that the pool or spa be immediately closed to bathers.
Question #15: What is the penalty for not complying with these provisions?
Answer: That has yet to be determined by the CPSC.