What does the Act mean for pool techs?
Florida swimming pools and spas are required to replace the main drain covers with VGB compliant covers. Florida’s newer public swimming pools (since 1977), and spas (since 1993), have been built with gravity drainage to a collector tank. These pools would only need to replace the main drain grate/cover to comply with the VGB Act. In Florida, there are still some older spas that were built with a suction-limiting vent system. These facilities, also, will only need to replace their main drain grate/cover to be in compliance with the VGB Act. The old direct suction pools and spas are required to replace the main drain grate/cover and provide direct suction safety devices. https://www.floridahealth.gov/ environmental-health/swimmingpools/_ documents/approved.pdf
What are the basic requirements of this law?
The VGB Act requires two basic items for all public pools and spas to comply: 1.Main drain grate/cover has to be replaced with one that meets the requirements of the new ASME/ ANSI A112.19.8-2007 performance standard.
2.Direct suction system and its entrapment hazard has to be mitigated by one of six methods below:
• Safety Vacuum Release System conforming to ASME/ANSI standard A112.19.17 or ASTM standard F2387. The device should be capable of providing a vacuum release at a suction outlet caused by a high vacuum occurrence due to a suction outlet flow blockage.
• Suction-Limiting Vent System with a tamper-resistant atmospheric opening. This system has a pipe vented to the atmosphere that connects to a suction pipe between the pool and the pump. When an entrapment of vacuum occurs, air from the vent pipes replaces the water in the suction pipe by breaking the vacuum.
• Gravity Drainage System with a collector tank (required in Florida).
• Automatic Pump Shut-Off System.
• Drain Disablement device or system, or;
• OtherSystemsthattheConsumerProduct Safety Commission (CPSC) approves.
Who can perform the work?
VGB main drain covers can only be replaced or retrofitted by a Florida licensed pool contractor. A pool tech that has a pool operator certification cannot perform this level of work.
What should a licensed pool tech look for?
Drain covers require a certain amount of care to assure the pool’s safety and compliance with the VGB federal law. Pool techs look at drain covers look as deceptively simple. But even experienced pool professionals have had some errors with installation of these drain covers in the field. For instance, small, blockable drain covers meant for lower flows sometimes are installed in systems with modern, high-powered pumps. For this reason, properly replacing a drain cover involves more than just choosing to install any drain cover with a VGB stamp. Instead, the drain cover model must be suitable for the specific pool project. The drain shall be rated to accommodate the pump’s highest possible flow and not the rate at which it is expected to run most of the time. Pool techs should look up the pump manufacturer’s published performance curve for the particular model. This is an effective way to find the potential flow. Once that is known, a drain cover with a higher flow rating can be selected. This still does not cover all items. Pool techs need to understand that sump depth presents another compatibility issue when installing VGB main drain covers.
What form is required to be submitted for a VGB main drain cover replacement?
The Florida Department of Health requires that Form DH4157 is submitted for any suction outlet drain cover replacement immediately after installation. The form can be found and submitted to the local county Environmental Health Office at www. floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/ swimming-pools/_documents/dh4157. pdf.
Form DH4157 https://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/swimming-pools/_documents/dh4157.pdf