All pools and spas should be built and installed in compliance with the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code which requires compliance with the National Electrical Code. PHTA encourages inspection, detection, and correction of electrical hazards in and around swimming pools, hot tubs and spas. This is especially the case for pools and hot tubs that have been around for a while.
Q. Are there any electric safety guidelines for pool and spa owners?
A. Yes, owners of pools and spas should make sure their pool or spa is built and installed in compliance with the International Swimming Pool & Spa Code (ISPSC), which requires compliance with the National Electrical Code (NEC). It is equally important that all manufacturers’ instructions must be followed with regard to installation and maintenance.
Q. How do I know if my pool or spa is in compliance with the ISPSC and NEC?
A. The best protection for families is inspection, detection, and correction of electrical hazards in and around swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas. Consumers are encouraged to have their pool or spa inspected by a PHTA professional.
Q. My pool seems to be fine. We’ve been using it for years. Why should I bother with an inspection?
A. Proper maintenance and upkeep is critical, especially for older pools and equipment, which not only exhibit the effects of age but also were not built to modern standards. This is especially important in seasonal climates where the pool often goes unused for months. Older pools can pose a higher risk of exposure to stray current (regardless of its source) just due to wear and tear of existing equipment that may have not been inspected in years. Aging electrical wiring, damaged underwater lighting in light niches, sump pumps and vacuums that are not grounded, and lack of proper equipotential bonding are all concerns. All of these hazards present an even greater risk if the lighting, circuits, and nearby receptacles are not protected by Class A Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupters (GFCIs) – one of the best safety devices to prevent electrocution. All of these issues can be evaluated and addressed by a PHTA industry professional. It is important to remember that in some states, licensure is required to do such electric work.
Q. What technical standards should my pool and spa professional know in regards to electric safety around water?
A. In addition to the International Swimming Pool & Spa Code (ISPSC) and National Electrical Code (NEC) requirements, a pool professional should refer to the following American National Standard Institute (ANSI) approved standards: For residential pools, ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 American National Standard for Residential Inground Swimming Pools states: Electrical components installed in and/or adjacent to an inground residential swimming pool shall comply with the requirements of the latest published edition of the National Electrical Code NFPA 70 (NEC), the jurisdiction having authority and any federal, state, or local codes. In areas where no authority has jurisdiction, the latest published NEC and any federal, state, or local codes shall apply.
For public swimming pools, ANSI/APSP/ICC-1 2014 American National Standard for Public Swimming Pool states: The electrical installation shall meet the requirements of the National Electrical Code (NEC) NFPA 70, as adopted by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), or the latest public edition of the (NEC) NFPA 70, if it has not been adopted by any AHJ or other entity.
Q. Where can I find more information?
A. For additional information, contact Nicholas Capezza, PHTA Director of Codes and External Standards.