Advisory about a new law for remodeling homes in California that have swimming pools

SUMMARY: This new law requires that all home remodel jobs must include installation of a pool safety device, otherwise known as an anti-entrapment device

Actually, by now, it's not a "new" law any longer. It went into effect January 1 2007 but from what I'm hearing, not a lot of contractors are aware of it, which could really hurt when it comes to bidding a remodel or modification on a single family home.

Referred to as the "Swimming Pool and Spa Safety Act of 2006", it's Assembly Bill 2977 (Chapter 478, Statutes of 2006) and it amended Section 115928 of the Health and Safety Code.

The amended section states, in part:

(d) Whenever a building permit is issued for the remodel or modification of a single family home with an existing swimming pool, toddler pool, or spa, the permit shall require that the suction outlet of the existing swimming pool, toddler pool, or spa be upgraded so as to be equipped with an antientrapment (sic) cover meeting current standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)."

Building Departments now have the responsibility of assuring that permits for remodels and modifications will not be signed off on final inspection until there is some sort of assurance that the required anti-entrapment cover is installed.

But, since the law does not define what constitutes a modification, it's possible that any and all types of work can be considered a modification. This could mean that if you're remodeling your customer's kitchen, the Building Department might hold you to the pool requirement.

This could have a significant impact on your bid and if you don't know about it ahead of time you could end up in the negative on your project.

Then there's the question of, do you or your employees have the expertise to do this, or will you need to sub out this part of the job? And what is your exposure in regards to liability?

Due to the health and safety issues of this legislation, Building Departments might make this a requirement of any type of modification/remodel, just to be sure they're obeying the law.

It might be a good idea when bidding a single family home remodel/modification to contact the local Building Department and find out what they're standard procedures are in relation to this new requirement and your scope of work.

If you find that you will be held to this requirement, then educate the homeowner, let them know about this new requirement and suggest that when they are comparing bids that they make certain that the "lowball guy" (there's always at least one isn't there?) has this work figured into his estimate.

For a complete copy of the bill please follow this link:

Swimming Pool and Spa Safety Act of 2006

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