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Thread: Bottom Drain law? (2016)

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    Bottom Drain law? (2016)

    Hello Friends!
    i was unable to find anything recent on the topic of Bottom Drains being required. So, the backstory!
    My Vinyl liner died. It was old when I bought the house so it wasn't my fault.
    The local installer is telling me that he must install 2 bottom drains to be compliant with Federal Law that requires 2 bottom drains so no one gets stuck to one again. I believe he was quoting the Brady pool act.
    My pool is old, and does not have any bottom drains. It has 2 skimmers though.
    Is this something anyone has run against recently?
    Thanks for sharing your experience!
    19K gal, IG, 16x32 vinyl, sand filter and 1HP pump look like Hayward models, on an Intermatic timer.
    Testing with K-2006, LaMotte Borate strips, Aqua Check salt strips to fill in all the spaces in Pool Math!

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Bottom Drain law? (2016)

    I know of no laws or requirements that a pool MUST have a bottom drain. Now, if it does it should be Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act compliant.

    As one of the methods for a pool to be compliant is to disable an existing non-compliant bottom drain I don't see where two need to be added to a pool that doesn't have any. My gut feeling is that the guy is trying to inflate the work for more $$$

    Ask him to please provide a copy of the "law" or a citation/statute number so you can look it up.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Bottom Drain law? (2016)

    Virginia Graeme Baker act (or something similar) calls for dual main drains 3' apart or one long bottom drain over a certain square footage, due to the risk of entrapment / evisceration with smaller single main drains. If you do some research on this site though, you'll notice that many are in favor of no main drains at all. Common reasons include the fact that proper circulation and cleaning can be accomplished with strategic skim units and returns, the risk of liner / plumbing failure under the pool structure where access is difficult, and additional labor and expense.

    IMHO, I would go without main drains, especially if you're not already plumbed in for them. You don't mention dimensions of your pool, but based off your gallonage, your two skimmer should be more than sufficient for cleaning / circulation. How many returns do you have?

    EDIT: Tim beat me to it!
    Eric Adams, Technical Specialist, Radiant Pools

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Bottom Drain law? (2016)

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    My gut feeling is that the guy is trying to inflate the work for more $$$

    Ask him to please provide a copy of the "law" or a citation/statute number so you can look it up.
    Much of these new laws, statutes, etc are passed for commercial pools and even if they are passed to cover residential pools, pools that are already built are exempted and it only applies to new constructions. You need details. If in doubt, contact your local government such as city, county and state.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Bottom Drain law? (2016)

    Thanks guys! I was of the same opinion that it would only count for pools that already had one drain only as well, but my Google skills were failing me as well as my lack of comprehension of the language lawyers use. The pool is 16x32 oval with 8' deep end and a very narrow 3' shallow end. I was able to get good circulation with the system as is. (2 skimmers, 2 returns, and the leaves pile in one small area for easy removal).
    I am not sure the local installer is trying to up the cost as much as he may be wrong about the application of the law, or trying to price himself out of the job. I have had lots of experience with that recently in this area.
    I will ask for a copy of the law/ordinance/statute thingy and see what happens.
    19K gal, IG, 16x32 vinyl, sand filter and 1HP pump look like Hayward models, on an Intermatic timer.
    Testing with K-2006, LaMotte Borate strips, Aqua Check salt strips to fill in all the spaces in Pool Math!

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    Re: Bottom Drain law? (2016)

    There is no law requiring you to add one or more main drains to your existing pool with no main drain. He's probably just misunderstanding the law. In any case, ask him to cite the specific law and the section that he claims applies.

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    Re: Bottom Drain law? (2016)

    He may be saying that since you are replacing the liner that counts as a retrofit or renovation which means you must bring it up to current code. He might be correct there. That would be your local law.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Bottom Drain law? (2016)

    Ours was built in 2013 and has 2 drains in the deep end. I thought that was standard.
    18k: IG: Black Granite Liner: Aspen: 16x33.5: SWG: Polaris 280

    My pool build new-pool-build-in-nh-t60957.html

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Bottom Drain law? (2016)

    Quote Originally Posted by doobs41378 View Post
    Ours was built in 2013 and has 2 drains in the deep end. I thought that was standard.
    If you have drains, two is standard. Any other method of compliance is more expensive.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Bottom Drain law? (2016)

    Our pool/spa was completed two months ago and both have two drains.


    30,000 Gallon Pool IG (Pool 18' X 38' / Spa 7' X 7') - Pentair IC40 SWG - (1) Pentair Intelliflo 2 VST Pump - Pentair DE FNS-Plus 60 Filter - Pentair Mastertemp 400 Heater - Pentair Easytouch 8 - Pentair Electronic valves - Pentair 5G Color LED Pool/Spa Lights - Pebble Sheen Mini Tahoe Blue - Auto Fill/Over Flow - Taylor K-2006C - Completion 3/2016.

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    Re: Bottom Drain law? (2016)

    Just so when I forget and search for the answer again I can find it
    Locally, the recommendation for leaking or going bad bottom drains is to abandon them in place.
    New pools with a bottom drain must have 2, but a residential pool does not need to have a bottom drain system.
    Some careful aiming with returns can get very good circulation and that seems to be enough for my pool and the recommendation of the crew doing my new liner.
    19K gal, IG, 16x32 vinyl, sand filter and 1HP pump look like Hayward models, on an Intermatic timer.
    Testing with K-2006, LaMotte Borate strips, Aqua Check salt strips to fill in all the spaces in Pool Math!

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    Re: Bottom Drain law? (2016)

    When we had our liner installed four years ago, I was told the same thing. Our pump has an automatic shutoff if it detects any sort of blockage on the drain, or skimmer. Because of this, I was able to get out of them "Having to do it."
    26,000 Inground Vinyl, 16' x 32'. Pentair Intelliflo SVRS, with 30" Hayward Pro Sand filter.

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