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Swimming Pool Construction and Inspections

This page highlights the important circulation outlet construction requirements for either a pool or spa, and then outlines the inspection process for pool construction.

Circulation Construction Requirements

Circulation outlets. The suction outlets of the pool or spa must:

  • Have at least two circulation suction outlets per pump that are hydraulically balanced and symmetrically plumbed through one or more ‘’T’’ fittings. There must be 3 feet of seperation in any direction between suction outlets OR be designed to use alternatives to suction outlets, such as skimmers or perimeter overflow systems to conduct water to the recirculation pump.
  • Have the capacity to completely turn over the water in: ½ hour or less for a spa or spray ground; one hour or less for a wading pool; two hours or less for a medical pool; and six hours or less for all other types of swimming pools.

Anti-entrapment grates. Cover the suction outlets with anti-entrapment grates, as specified in the ANSI/APSP-16 performance standard or successor standard designated by the Consumer Products Safety Commission, that cannot be removed except with the use of tools. Slots of openings in the grates or similar protective devices must be of a shape, area and arrangement that would prevent physical entrapment and would not pose any suction hazard to bathers. Any backup safety system that an owner of a new swimming pool or spa may choose to install in addition to the above requirements must meet the standards as published in the document, Guidelines for Entrapment Hazards: Making Pools and Spas Safer published by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. If altering an existing pool or spa, the work must include upgrading to include anti-entrapment grates, as specified in the ANSI/APSP-16 performance standard or successor standard designated by the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Inspection Requirements

Typically, inspections occur at seven junctures of the construction process. It is vital that construction be performed in a manner and sequence that enables these inspections.

  1. Underground Electrical Inspection. Occurs after installing the underground electrical conduits.
  2. Underground Plumbing Inspection. Occurs after installing gas and/or water lines and prior to backfill.
  3. Pre-Gunite Inspection. Occurs after excavating the pool and installing all reinforcement steel.
  4. Potting Inspection. Occurs after the pool is gunited.
  5. Pre-Deck Inspection. Occurs after installing deck reinforcing steel and before placing pavers or concrete for the pool deck.
  6. Pre-Plaster Inspection
  7. Final Inspection. Occurs after all other inspections are signed off; may be concurrent with the Pre-Plaster Inspection.

Pool Plumbing Systems

Swimming pool plumbing systems are closed systems and are not regulated in the Plumbing Code. Therefore, they are not inspected by the City’s Building Division. However, when a water pipe inlet is installed to re-fill a pool, it must comply with backflow requirements per the Plumbing Code (UPC).

For Public Swimming Pools Requirements, Contact

Santa Clara County Health Department (408) 918-3400

A PDF handout version of this information is available on our Building Handouts and Forms page.