On September 28, 2011 the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted to reverse it’s prior ruling on the interpretation of unblockable main drain covers in the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGB). The current interpretation requires that the sump under an unblockable cover also be of unblockable size. The reasoning for the change is to apply the VGB Act in the way that congress originally intended and to ensure that all main drains have an additional layer of protection.

The CPSC’s prior ruling stated that an approved unblockable cover properly sized and installed, regardless of the size of sump underneath it, could be installed over a single main drain to satisfy the law. This reversal will now require pools with a single main drain to add a second layer of protection such as dual main drains or a Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS). This new ruling does not effect pools with dual main drains or unblockable covers with unblockable sumps.

This ruling will effect a very large number of pools nationwide. The cost of compliance will vary, but in most cases compliance can be attained for as little as $500-$1000.

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