VGBA Compliance

VGBA Compliance

Pool Envy® believes in sharing the message of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in respect to the VGBA – and this act when pool plastering is completed. An important notice is that you cannot ignore the law because you cannot afford it.

VGBA Grandfathering does not exist

Yes. Section 1404(c)(1)(i) – “each public pool and spa in the United States shall be equipped with anti-entrapment devices or systems that comply with the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 performance standard or any successor standard;” There is no grandfather clause for public pools and spas constructed before December 19, 2008

VGBA pool compliance

We are approached by golf clubs, hotels, and other commercial operators that want pools resurfaced. – Just because your head is shoved into the ground, does not invalidate Federal Law. When we engage with a client, we will ask you about your VGBA compliance. Many organizations have had since 2008+ to ensure that their facility meets standards.When resurfacing a swimming pool – the company is messing with the drain cover. Even IF this is not your reality, it is reality in court.

Why VGBA Matters

  • When replastering a swimming pool; it is imperative to verify the pool has an engineering plan approval or compliant drain covers meeting all requirements of the VGBA.
  • The act changed in 2021, and has additional requirements regarding field-built sumps.
  • Do we recall, “ignorance of the law is not an excuse?” VGBA is a federal law, and cannot be ignored.


The photo below involves a VGBA approved fitting being replaced on a pool where a NON-approved VGBA fitting had been previously modified. Engineering plans, covers, and following the rules is not the lowest price. It is however, imperative.

What you can do to learn more about VGBA?

Why VGBA matters with RFPs, Bid Requests, and Pool Plastering

Lastly, this is why when making sweeping RFPs or bid requests; you MUST be certain that you are following the rule of law. As an industry, we are seeing step up in enforcement. We are seeing increased insurance costs. We are seeing consequences. In the most recent revision of VGBA, the onus, and burden is placed upon the installer NOT the manufacturer.  We saw an engineering plan signed and stamped that specified 29″ between main drains. The law is 36″ – Trust, but always verify.  Pool safety depends on everyone working together to avoid negligence.

When pricing come in higher than anticipated, it may be that you found a pool company that follows standards.  You should ask clarifying questions to ensure that this is the case. Be aware that pool companies who want to simply do the least amount of work may bid on your project without the knowledge necessary to ensure your pool is compliant.  If this happens, the pool operator will be liable for any problems that occur.

Too often we still see emails from pool operators that, “none of the other contractors mentioned this.” – The reality, just because someone’s cousin who knows someone, who is related to a person who is friends with the guy next to a neighbor, does not mean that rules no longer apply.  Furthermore, there are civil and criminal penalties that can be handed out by the enforcement arm of the CSPC.  Do what is right, and everything will be great.  The cost to do it correct is far less expensive than the cost to have a death or injury claim as of the result of your negligence.


VGBA Compliance New 10 Drain Cover over SOFA
VGBA drain where the engineer had the spacing violating standards


Swimming pool contractor licensed in Wisconsin and Texas. CPO Certified and PHTA Certified instructor.

Author: poolenvy

Swimming pool contractor licensed in Wisconsin and Texas. CPO Certified and PHTA Certified instructor.

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