Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Laws

Hazards caused due to various kinds of entrapments in spa or hot tubs are nothing new to you or the world. But, a healthy and fun-filled spa experience is the real way to enjoy your spa ownership. To ensure that you stay safe while rejuvenating in your Hot Tub, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) (the federal agency responsible for enforcing the Pool and Spa Safety Act) makes compliance checks and recalls that are associated with products.

What does the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act say?

VGBA aims to improve the safety of public and private pools, hot tubs and spas, to trim down child drowning, to lessen the number of suction entrapment incidents, injuries and deaths; and to inform the public on the significance of constant supervision of children in and around water.

What do the mandatory provisions of the Pool and Spa Safety Act cover?

The federal mandates in the Act pertain to two issues:

•    The manufacture, import, and sale of suction outlet fittings (drain fittings and covers) and
•    Entrapment avoidance systems in public pools and spas.

Federal and State Requirements

•    Sec. 1404: Top Priority for Public Pool and Spa Owners/Operators All pool/spa drain covers manufactured, distributed or entered into commerce on or after December 19, 2008 must meet ASME/ANSI A112.19.8– 2007.
•     All public pools and spas must be retrofitted with covers that meet the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8– 2007 standard.
•    On or after 12/19/08, 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.
•    As of 12/19/08, all public pools and spas, both new and Existing, be equipped with certified covers on every suction outlet.
•    All public pools and spas that have a single drain other than an unblockable drain must employ one or more additional options.
•    All public pools and spas with a single main drain other than an unblockable drain (drain sump of any size or shape that a human body cannot sufficiently block to create a suction entrapment issue), shall also employ one or more of the following devices:

o    Separated drainage system per ANSI/APSP 7,
o    Safety vacuum release system (SVRS) that complies with ANSI/ASME A112.19.17 or ASTM F2387; Suction-limiting vent system; gravity drainage system;
o    Automatic pump shut off;
o    Drain disablement;
o    The equivalent system determined by the CPSC.

What you need to do?

In order to make your spa or hot tub compliant with the safety norms, you need to get it retrofitted before you get the new issued suction covers installed in your spa. To be able to replace the suction covers you have to retrofit the hot tub.  You need to buy suction covers manufactured as per the new regulations – 2.5 inch DSG VGB Suction Wall fitting (2009 or later) or 2.5” Grey VGB Suction Wall fitting (2009 or later) You then have to call for a hot tub service technician re-plumb to retro fit the hot tub to make it compatible to hold new fittings. If you have bought a new spa or hot tub (After 2009), it is quite obvious to have the new improved suction covers pre-installed.

2.5 inch DSG VGB Suction Wallfitting (2009 or later)

2.5 inch DSG VGB Suction Wallfitting (2009 or later)

What could be Frustrating and what you need to understand?

The repair and replacement process can cost you time and money, if you have bought your spa or hot tub before 2009. This could be annoying.

The new suction replacements conform to the new regulations. These new suctions require a slightly larger hole in the spa shell and also the addition of a ¾” relief line terminated in a Hartford loop on all 200 GPM suction replacements. The Harford loop will require 9’ of ¾” vinyl tubing and a clamp. This is why your hot tub needs to be retrofitted.

Confused? You actually don’t have to be! Just purchase new suction wall fittings – 2.5 inch DSG VGB Suction Wall fitting (2009 or later) or 2.5” Grey VGB Suction Wall fitting (2009 or later) and leave everything else on your spa technician. You can always call your Master Spas customer support at 1800-860-7727 for any query.