New California Law Affecting The Sale of Pool Homes

Governor Brown Signed Into Law SB 442.

There is a new law affecting the sale of pool homes in California that you should be aware of.
On October 11, 2017 Governor Brown signed into law SB 442. The bill is known as the “Pool Safety Act”. The bill is very similar to one, which the governor vetoed during the previous legislative session. His stated reason for the veto was that pool safety is the primary responsibility of parents. Apparently he’s changed his position.

What does the new Bill require? 

In connection with the transfer of real property with a swimming pool or spa, the home inspection report shall include a noninvasive physical examination of the pool or spa and dwelling for the purpose of identifying which, if any, of the seven drowning prevention safety features listed in subdivision (a) of Section 115922 of the Health and Safety Code the pool or spa is equipped. It shall be noted if there are less than two of the listed seven safety features.

What Are The Seven Safety Features?

(1) An enclosure that meets the requirements of Section 115923 and isolates the swimming pool or spa from the private single-family home. "Enclosure" means a fence, wall, or other barrier that isolates a swimming pool from access to the home.

 This is an approved barrier that separates the pool from the home. The gate however fails to comply with the law.

This is an approved barrier that separates the pool from the home. The gate however fails to comply with the law.

 Gates are required to swing OUT from the pool. This gate swings in.

Gates are required to swing OUT from the pool. This gate swings in.

(2) Removable mesh fencing that meets American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Specifications F2286 standards in conjunction with a gate that is self-closing and self-latching and can accommodate a key lockable device.

(3) An approved safety pool cover, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 115921.

 There are many types of pool covers.

There are many types of pool covers.

(4) Exit alarms on the private single-family home’s doors that provide direct access to the swimming pool or spa. The exit alarm may cause either an alarm noise or a verbal warning, such as a repeating notification that “the door to the pool is open.”

 

(5) A self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 54 inches above the floor on the private single-family home’s doors providing direct access to the swimming pool or spa.

(6) An alarm that, when placed in a swimming pool or spa, will sound upon detection of accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water. The alarm shall meet and be independently certified to the ASTM Standard F2208 “Standard Safety Specification for Residential Pool Alarms,” which includes surface motion, pressure, sonar, laser, and infrared type alarms. A swimming protection alarm feature designed for individual use, including an alarm attached to a child that sounds when the child exceeds a certain distance or becomes submerged in water, is not a qualifying drowning prevention safety feature.

(7) Other means of protection, if the degree of protection afforded is equal to or greater than that afforded by any of the features set forth above and has been independently verified by an approved testing laboratory as meeting standards for those features established by the ASTM or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

 Certified Inspection Services, LLC is qualified and certified to perform a comprehensive pool inspection.

Certified Inspection Services, LLC is qualified and certified to perform a comprehensive pool inspection.

The barrier inspection required by the State of California is not a complete pool inspection. It does not include the very important evaluation of the pool electrical system or equipment. Due to the complex nature of an inground pool’s structure and its specialized mechanics, pool-industry professionals strongly recommend hiring a specially trained pool inspector. Certified Inspection Services is trained and certified for pool inspections. The complete pool inspection is an additional fee to the home inspection, but well worth the peace of mind.

About the author: Frank Rotte is the Founder of Certified Inspection Services, LLC in Bonsall, CA. Comments are always welcome! Please visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/homeinspectionsandiego/