Hello,One of the biggest issues facing our industry today is the looming deadline to comply with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGB). Not everyone is aware so here is a quick introduction.VGB is a federal law enacted December 19, 2007 as part of the Energy Bill, HR 6 . It was passed to help stop suction entrapment.First, congress gave responsibly to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to write Rules and enforce them. Here is some of what the CPSC was asked to enforce:1. All Suction Outlet Fittings, aka, drain covers, must be designed, tested, and certified to conform to ASME/ANSI A112.19.8-2007, An American National Standard for Suction Fittings for Use in Swimming Pools, Wading Pools, Spas, and Hot Tubs. Enforcement begins December 19, 2008. It means all those old style drains cannot be sold or installed in any pool or spa after this date. New compliant suction outlet fittings will have one of three marks on a visible surface; "ASME A112.19.8-2007" or the swimmer logo below, or "VGB 2008" the most important designation created by the CPSC after the first two were removed from the standard.

2. All Public pool and spa suction systems must comply with VGB beginning December 19, 2008, or before they can be opened again. VGB requires replacement or elimination of all suction outlet fittings (drain covers, fasteners, and in some cases the sump) and the suction piping system must meet minimum VGB requirements. Pumps without submerged suction fittings are in compliance with VGB, but any pump with drains in the water will need some work.Single drain pools and spas require new suction outlet fitting plus a single drain backup system. Qualified single drain backup systems include:I Safety Vacuum Release Systems (SVRS), orII Suction-Limiting Vent, orIII Gravity Drainage System, orIV Automatic Pump Shut-off SystemThis is the tip of the iceberg, but you get a sense of what is going on.There is also a Voluntary Grant Program that is intended to give the individual states an incentive to regulate residential pools and spas. To qualify, the state would need to pass a law consistent with Rules the US Consumer Product Safety Commission will introduce in the next few months. Because the Grant Program is a work in progress, lets cover that in the future, once we know more. For now, suffice it to say it would apply to all residential pools and spas, new and existing. It will require suction system regulations and drowning prevention barriers. Remember this is a voluntary program the state would have to enact, it is far from automatic.One final comment, if you are interested to know why this subject, check out my profile under the "Pool Genius Network - Faculty and Advisers" tab.Steve--
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  • And most importantly ELIMINATE as many suction outlets as possible! To Quote the CPSC:

    CPSC staff recommends that to ELIMINATE and not just MITIGATE the drain entrapment hazard
    in pools and spas, pool owners should disable old drains or build new pools without any drains and
    use gutters, overflows and/or skimmers to provide water to the pump.

    More information can be found here: CPSC Guide to VGBA Compliance.
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