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2015 Pool & Spa Code

Discussion in 'Pools, Spas, Hot Tubs' started by Keystone, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. Keystone

    Keystone Registered User

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    305.4. Where a wall of a dwelling unit or structure serves as part of the barrier and where doors or windows provide direct access to the pool or spa through the wall, one of the following shall be required:

    Shortened versions
    1. UL 2017 alarms on every window having a sill less than 48” AFF.

    2. Listed & labeled safety cover.

    3. Self closing & latching house doors.

    Now as I read and attempt to comprehend this, the code is stating;
    1. UL 2017 alarms at every window with direct access to the pool/spa area?
    2. Cover for pool self explanatory however still insane.
    3. House or screen door self closing and latching?

    Please tell me this is a bad dream and I’m missing here?

    What in Sam Hill prompted these dramatic changes?
     
  2. Ty J.

    Ty J. Sawhorse

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    This is an ongoing struggle that I've been resisting, particularly the listed and labeled safety cover. No fences required with a safety cover is obscene.

    Totally not in favor of the safety covers as they are dependent upon the end user covering every time they exit. I often talk to perspective pool owners and have them contact their homeowners insurance; insurance so far has always required a code compliant fence even if pool code permits exemption.
     
  3. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    What is the big deal. They are requirements and certainly doable. Required by code.
     
  4. Keystone

    Keystone Registered User

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    The big deal is what prompted these changes? We went from door alarms at house doors to likely alarms at the majority of 1st floor windows facing the pool area. Has there been incidents of occupants “escaping” ones own household into the pool area? At what point do we stop protecting people and have them be responsible for themselves in there own household.


    Obviously this will be enforced whether I agree with it or not. Just because something is doable doesn’t mean it should exist without legitimate cause and this is what I am seeking to understand.
     
  5. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    Drowning kids jerk a lot of knees....Shirley a kid wouldn't use a tool to gain access to the window at 49".....
     
  6. fatboy

    fatboy Administrator

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    I did not know that windows were added..........I could get the doors..........windows? Pushing the envelope. Goes back to caregivers watching the kiddos....
     
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  7. Keystone

    Keystone Registered User

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    On 2nd consideration maybe the windows should be alarmed! We have tamper resistant receptacles and if we have to protect the people from themselves with this then its only logical we alarm window openings.

    New code proposal; Dwellings not demonstrating a means of required egress shall not have functioning windows.

    Commentary; Parents, family, friends, house sitters and caregivers that own and or operate dwellings have been deemed incompetent therefore all necessary steps to limit non-essential windows are strictly limited solely to bedroom(s).
     
    #7 Keystone, Mar 23, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
    fatboy likes this.
  8. fatboy

    fatboy Administrator

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    New to the 2024.........
     
  9. inspecterbake

    inspecterbake Sawhorse

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    What about 2nd story windows do they need to have alarms the code only says all doors and windows.
     
  10. ADAguy

    ADAguy Registered User

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    Watch "America's Home Videos" The higher the opening the greater the temptation to jump out of it (smiling).
     
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  11. VillageInspector

    VillageInspector Sawhorse

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    You know what this is going to lead to? People are going to place a pool barrier a foot away from their house and claim this makes having to redo their exit doors and placing alarms on their first floor windows a moot point. Then what do we do?
     
  12. Rick18071

    Rick18071 Sawhorse

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    Do the windows on the second floor that face thew pool area that have sills less than 48" require alarms?
     
  13. Glenn

    Glenn Corporate Supporter
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    These three requirements came into the code in the new Appendix D in the 1995 CABO code. They carried forward into the 2000 IRC in appendix G. In 2015 the IRC appendix G was deleted and provisions moved into the 2015 ISPSC. These are not new...they have just be resurrected from the hiding place in the appendix.
     
  14. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    Pennsylvania has always adopted Appendix G for pools and spas so that is no change.
     
  15. Rick18071

    Rick18071 Sawhorse

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    So when a fence that is also the pool barrior goes all around the property and the house is inside of the fence every window that is under 48" from the floor on every story would need an alarm besides all of the doors? I have seen a few houses like this but not since the window alarm rule started.

    Also as the 2009 IRC said and the 2015 ISPSC (we skiped 2012) still says:
    The top of the barrier shall be not less than 48 inches
    (1219 mm) above grade where measured on the side
    of the barrier that faces away from the pool or spa.

    The code specifically says 48" above grade and not walking or standing surface or floor (like it says about windows in ISPSC or guards in the IRC) So this means if there is a deck in the back of the house by a pool you measure the hight of the barrior from the grade, not the floor of the deck. So if the deck floor is more than 12" above grade the barrior on the deck would only need to be 36" above the deck floor?
     
  16. Glenn

    Glenn Corporate Supporter
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    Grade is defined as "finished ground level" This means that the final finish of the ground is grade, not the dirt itself. That could be concrete, flagstone or a deck. Every time a clearance is referenced in the IRC to "grade" it is in relation to the surface at which something can accumulate (people in this case, snow and vegetative debris in others) This applies to things like the clearances beneath combustion air openings. This is similar to the term "paved surfaces" when looking for clearances to things like weepscreeds.

    Other times the IRC refers to "earth or exposed earth" such as in 318 for decay resistance or in chapter 7 for wall coverings. These clearances are related to the actual properties of the earth (moisture, vegetation, insects, mud splash).

    My entire comment above is why the building official has the authority to interpret the code. It's not about words, wordplay or loopholes. Its about creating a barrier to stop clever children of a young age.
     
  17. Rick18071

    Rick18071 Sawhorse

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    R102.1 General. Where there is a conflict between a general
    requirement and a specific requirement, the specific requirement
    shall be applicable.

    I always went by this and grade sounds specific to me.

    IRC definition:
    [RB] GRADE. The finished ground level adjoining the
    building at all exterior walls

    I don't think you could have two grades at the same place (the ground under the deck and the deck floor). And if the wood deck floor is grade we would be measuring underground wiring, piping, bottom of wood siding, etc. from the deck floor rather the grade underneath the deck in the IRC.

    And the code requires measurements form other surfaces besides grade for the bottom of mesh fencing but not to the top of the the fencing/barrier.. Why would it not say the same thing for the measurement to the top of the barrier?

    1. The bottom of the mesh fence shall be not more than
    1 inch (25 mm) above the deck or installed surface
    or grade.

    2. The maximum vertical clearance from the bottom of
    the mesh fence and the solid surface shall not permit
    the fence to be lifted more than 4 inches (102 mm)
    from grade or decking.
    3. The fence shall be designed and constructed so that
    it does not allow passage of a 4-inch (102 mm)
    sphere under any mesh panel. The maximum vertical
    clearance from the bottom of the mesh fence and
    the solid surface shall not be more than 4 inches
    (102 mm) from grade or decking.

    In the IRC the receptacle required within 20' of the pool shall be located not more than 6 feet, 6 inches
    (1981 mm) above the floor, platform or grade level serving pool.



    .
     
  18. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    I would not say that the second floor is "direct access"...I mean really it is the fastest and most direct, but access to the pool is limited with broken legs,and not the intent of this section IMO....
     
  19. Glenn

    Glenn Corporate Supporter
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    Rick18071. It sounds like a code modification proposal is needed in the pool code too. I stand by interpretation for the intent and purpose. Clearly I think we all agree this is an oversight in the text that is meant to convey the purpose.
    Grade, earth, exposed earth, decks, porch, patio, paved areas, concrete, walking surfaces, etc. These terms are far from consistent in the I-codes but probably should be. I believe there are two fundamentals, that I explained previously. 1) when we are talking about the final physical surface for which things can rest upon for clearance reasons (in which there can certainly be two, a deck and a patio below) 2) When the properties of the earth created special conditions (generally when the code says "earth, exposed earth, soil". This is a big thing that could use fixing! Good discussion!
     
  20. HForester

    HForester Member

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    I think some "reasonableness" can be gained from the intent. Consider a 2nd story operable window that is truly above grade by a full story plus whatever it is to the window sill. Can a child make it to the ground without injuring themselves (to an extent where they are no longer are interested in getting into the pool.) Maybe a teenager or tween can do it. Younger children, maybe not. And it is the younger children that the barrier requirements are aimed at. (A younger child typically can't make it over a 4 foot barrier unless they can climb it and the code regulates opening size and projections). However, if the 2nd story has a deck outside the window and the deck has stairs to the pool area.... Or perhaps the second story is not truly above grade that far (i.e. the first story is half below grade. Code officials are just going to have to evaluate each situation and make a decision as to whether the arrangement meets the intent of the code. It would be great to have a clear answer about this but the code just isn't there yet.
     
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