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#166786 07/28/07 12:49 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,677
Likes: 9
I found these pools on sale in North Dakota.
Is this a storable or a permanent pool?
Which code would you inspect it to?

Greg Fretwell
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
Such pools ... and especially the ones that are supported by an inflated collar ... pose a real challenge to the various codes. This is a good example of our technology outgrowing our laws.

As with the NEC, there does exist a "Model Swimming Pool Code."The Uniform Swimming Pool, Spa, and Hot Tub Code", published by IAPMO is adopted by Reno.

While I have not read that specific code (shame on me!), I have read several of it's predecessors. Such codes typically do a much better job of defining pools than the NEC. Our AHJ is of the opinion that "NEC pool rules are for IAPMO pools."

Typical details that codes refer to in determining whether 'pool rules' apply include are:
-Depth. Less than 24" are typically exempt;
-The presence of a permanent structure, including decking, for the pool; and,
-The use. A family's backyard pool is not going to be held to the same standard as the pool at, say, a day camp.

That pool looks to be storable. It appears that assembly and storage of it are no more elaborate than that required of a camping tent. As such, I would consider the pool as an 'appliance.'

This is where things get really fuzzy. As with hot tubs, there are all manner of different classifications- all which impact code application. AFAIK, UL has no standard, or classification, for portable pools .... nor does the code require any such listing.

In practical terms .... I'd really like to see that frame bonded (or encapsulated), and a GFI be integral to that pump's connection.

Also, in practical terms, I can't see any means of enforcing such rules.

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,677
Likes: 9
If nothing else this is a 680.31 violation. I do understand it is hard to enforce since these will not be installed with a permit but we can deal with it the same way we deal with non-conforming sheds ... code enforcement. (the rat out your neighbor people). This thing is sold with 3' or 6' cords so they will also need a local receptacle or they are stringing orange cord across the yard.
Although the pool qualifies as "storable" the skid pack they sell with it doesn't.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
I think .... and I don't mean any disrespect ... that these pools are but one of many, many items that we're beginning to see that challenge the limits of governmental propriety.

I can blame my neighbor for this ... you see, he has a pool like this. He also has a few inflatable 'bounce houses.' And one of those new, nice screen house / gazebo things. Don't forget the tent like 'garage' he has covering his parking space. Nor should we overlook the massive BBQ / cooking center.
To further complicate the picture, much of this stuff gets packed up, and used at various church and school events. A few small side businesses, some fund raising.

Now, so far he's just been able to set up, operate, tear down. I guarantee that there are no licenses, permits, or inspections. It is a certainty that the health department has yet to see the grilling stand he's been setting up at football practice. The child care minions are blissfully ignorant of his bounce house. None of his 'remote' set-ups have ever complied with the NEC's 'carnival and fairground' rules.

Neither the tent set up in the back yard for 'camping', nor the screen 'gazebo', come close to meeting NEC requirements for dwellings ... a simple extension cord, and you're set. Imagine- a tent, a sleeping space ... with no AFCI! laugh

I think we have to draw the line somewhere, as to just how intrusive government ought to be ... and expect folks to be responsible for their own choices.

More specifically, we have a bit of a code conflict here: The "Swimming Pool" code says pool rules don't apply, while the NEC asserts that they do. Houston, we have a problem .... and it's not of the homeowners' making!

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,677
Likes: 9
It still brings me back to the original question, how can they sell this?

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
Ahh, THAT question ....

Back in the late 70's, I was in a position to 'welcome' many Russian immigrants to the USA. One of my first stops was at a local news stand. I would pull, seemingly at random, five or six magazines from the rack, and show the newcomers the ads.

Breast creams. Potency pills. Lock picks. False ID. Kung-Fu weapons. Tear Gas. Radar detectors. Marijuana growing accessories. Escort services. All these, and more, were advertised.
My point? Welcome to America. Here we have a free market, and are a free nation. Just because someone sells something does NOT mean that item is effective, safe, or even legal; you can get in loads of trouble if you are stupid. It is YOUR responsibility ... not that of some government agency to screen / approve things for sale.
Coming from a place where such control was the norm, this visit was a real eye-opener.

That's how they can sell it. Whether the customer will be allowed to use it, or if it is properly designed, are separate issues.

How would I inspect it? I wouldn't ... not any more than I'd inspect a TV set. IMO, it's an appliance.

Last edited by renosteinke; 07/30/07 09:15 AM.
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,677
Likes: 9
OK so you are saying if I put a plug on a 2 ½ton package AC unit it is a portable air conditioner. Good to know.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,288
Likes: 4
"OK so you are saying if I put a plug on a 2 ½ton package AC unit it is a portable air conditioner. Good to know.
Greg Fretwell "

Funny, but not on my watch...that is IF you got a permit, and called for an inspection.

As to the pool...the storable kind get bought, put up & the orange cords are stretched out.

As above, I would hope there is a GFI....

As to selling and making it...above and beyond my control. It's between the buyer and the supreme being of their choice I guess.

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
Originally Posted by renosteinke
I think .... and I don't mean any disrespect ... that these pools are but one of many, many items that we're beginning to see that challenge the limits of governmental propriety.

John, I understand what your saying and agree to it to a point.

How much should the Govt. do to protect us from ourselves?

Here is the problem I have and it hits close to home.

Many of my wifes family and friends have these pools and I am hitting a stone wall with my wife explaining how these can be very dangerous.

Why is that?

Because my wife's mindset and that of most consumers is this.

The Govt. would not allow these to be sold if they where not safe.

Is that the right mindset to have?

Probably not.

Is it the mindset of a modern American?

I think so.

I understand that the safety of these depend on the homeowner but lets be real here.

How many homeowners in this day and age have the electrical knowledge and common sense required when supplying these pools with power.

In my opinion these pools will kill innocent victims while rarely injuring the one who ran the power out to the pool.

I have tried to get my wife to keep our kids out of these is very tough when the rest of the family is in having a good time and I come across as a safety nut.

I figure the best I can do is give my wife a GFCI cord set and ask her to install it on the cord to the pool and leave it there.

I will be very surprised if these pools do not end up being recalled at some point.

Sorry for ranting but I see tragedy in the making.

John, I am not trying to stir the pot here just talking.

Originally Posted by renosteinke
It is YOUR responsibility ... not that of some government agency to screen / approve things for sale.

I wish that where true.

It's not as black and white as you make it sound.

Many items that where legally sold have been recalled because the Govt. has determined that they are unsafe.

From lead in children's toys, to the car you drive, from the blade brake on a rotary mower to the safety's that stop a washing machine from spinning with the lid open.

We are a long time past being able to sell whatever we want with disregard to how people use it or misuse it.

Our we better off now or where we better off before...???

I surely will not pretend to know the answer to that question but I do know that because of this Govt. intervention on so many fronts that the younger generation expects that the Govt is protecting them from harm and that what is sold at Wal-Mart is 'safe'. frown

Consumers are between a rock and a hard place.

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
I understand completely, Bob. You're quite right; no man is an island, and we are all forced to rely upon others on a daily basis.

"Legal" and "wise" are two very different concepts. When an unfortunate event happens, it is a natural reflex to thing "if only ...'
Yet, even when all intentions are honorable, inviting the State to step in and take charge is directly contrary to the results we seek.

There's little point in going off on some esoteric political debate; that's already done quite well in many other places. I just think we need to see that rules, authorities, have limits ... that things exist outside those limits ... and it's not simply a game of trying to lever the limit out to bring within whatever we're worried about.

Can that pool be made safe? Sure. Can it be made dangerous? Sure. The difference lies in the hands of the guy setting it up. It's no one else's job to see that he learns how to do that.

Some recent scandals (not trade related) have really shown folks that 'cheapest' may not be always a good thing. Those tragedies aside, it is a good thing for folks to learn that price isn't everything.

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