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SWIMMING POOLS:

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CONSIDERATIONS FOR PROPERTY OWNERS

NEWS REPORT OF POOL DEATH SAN DIEGO 2011 DUE TO NO FENCE

GENERAL SAFETY CONCERNS RE POOLS

SAUNAS


INSURANCE: See below from Rachel Kettering Insurance Broker (619) 291-7777


"When we bind a risk we will ask if the property has a swimming pool. If it does the carrier will require that the pool be fenced so that the outside public does not have direct access to it. They also do not allow diving boards or old slides that have a ladder (rock enclosure sides are acceptable). If the pool meets the guidelines then coverage will cover the entire property. If the pool does not meet the carrier’s guidelines they will most likely decline to offer coverage. I would be sure the agent who insures the home is aware that there is a fenced pool and there is not a diving board or slide. The premium for properties with pools is slightly higher as there is more exposure for a loss to occur."


SAN DIEGO CITY POOL CODES 


POOL ADDENDUM TO LEASE AND LEGAL NOTES


SDCPM recommends using an attorney provided Pool addendum  for single family homes or for common area uses .SDCPM does not charge extra for this addendum.


Attorney advised:


The addendum will provide a property owner with a certain level of protection. However, it will not provide complete protection.  For example, it may not prevent a lawsuit from a neighbor’s child who is injured, as neither the neighbor nor the neighbor’s child is a signatory to the addendum.  Additionally, a property owner will be liable for his/her own fraud, gross negligence or intentional violation of law, irrespective of any language to the contrary in the Swimming Pool/Spa Addendum; that right cannot be waived by a tenant.   The Swimming Pool/Spa Addendum does contain a waiver of negligence. It is unclear whether that language is enforceable as the law has not been settled in this area (it can’t be waived for problems with the house. It might be waivable in the Fourth District, which includes San Diego, as to “non-core” amenities. It’s not clear whether a pool at a single family residence would be deemed a “non-core” amenity).  If a waiver of negligence is held to be unenforceable, the landlord will be held to the “reasonable landlord” standard.  This means that the landlord must do what a reasonable landlord would do."

 

The addendum requires the tenant to maintain renters insurance. Insurance provides a potential recovery source for an injury. 

 

A landlord may also wish to increase his/her/its liability insurance coverage for the property.

 

A landlord may also wish to have a property inspector or pool contractor inspect the pool/spa to determine if they comply with current codes, and if not, have them brought up to current codes.  Many pools do not comply with current codes relating to pool safety barriers. For example, in San Diego County, pools must be fully enclosed by a 5” fence and if there is access from the house to the pool (which is the case in most situations), they need to have alarms on each of the doors of the house that provides access to the pool, self-closing and locking doors, or a pool cover.  See http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/pds/docs/pds379.pdf .  If the pool doesn’t have necessary barriers, the landlord is exposed to greater risk.


 

MAINTENANCE : AQUA MAN POOL SERVICE  (619) 579-7326/(619) 954-5563aquamanstar@cox.net RECOMMENDATIONS BELOW


There are a few things to consider when renting out a home with a swimming pool.


First, does the homeowner insurance policy include swimming pool related incidents.
Sometimes, the policy will need to be changed to include coverage for tenants who may use the pool.
Secondly, for safety, it’s a good idea to have a fence around the swimming pool to prevent children entering the pool area without adult supervision.
An evaluation, performed by a licensed contractor, would be a good idea to see if there are any unsafe conditions existing at the pool.

LIGHTING 


Adequate lighting is another concern, trip hazards in the pool area such as damaged pool decks, diving boards, slides and large potted plants can all get in the way when people are running and playing in the back yard and these hazards should be minimized to reduce “preventable” accidents.

ELECTRICAL


Working pool and spa lights should be properly bonded and should have new GFI circuits installed to ensure the safety of the underwater lighting.

Rope dividers with safety floats can be installed at the half-way point between shallow and deep ends of the pool to let inexperienced swimmers know where the water begins to get deep.

DRAINS 


The floor of the pool and or spa should have dual main drains instead of a single main drain to prevent underwater entrapments.

The dual main drains are the law for commercial pools and spas, but are only required on residential pools and spas that have been remodeled. If the pool or spa has a single main drain, there is no current law that requires a homeowner of a residential pool to install the dual main drains until the pool is re-plastered and even under that circumstance, sometimes, the single main drain will remain as a single drain.



There are certain safety devices, known as suction limiting devices, that can serve the same function as a dual main drain and cut off suction at the pool or spa pump in the event of an obstruction at the drain cover or an underwater entrapment.

These devices are relatively inexpensive and can help provide an added layer of safety for a pool or spa with a single main drain. 

Even if a pool has the dual main drains, it’s a good idea to install a suction limiter as a back-up safety measure.


FENCING


We started installing pool safety fence earlier this year and have had some good results. The fencing is removable, easy to maintain and somewhat see-through.Homeowners like it because it gives them peace of mind without being a permanent fixture on the property.


DISABLING OF POOL


 I don’t recommend leaving pools drained for any longer than a couple days unless there is some kind of construction or repairs going on.When pools are drained, the plaster is exposed to sunlight and oxygen and in some cases, heat, depending on the weather or season.


This can ruin plaster that would otherwise have more years of service. The plaster chips, pops, cracks and in some cases, the pool can lift out of the ground some if it is drained for too long.

As to the safety aspect of an empty pool vs. a filled pool, you would be less likely to encounter a water related injury but more likely to encounter a non-water related injury.

Anyone can fall into an empty pool and break something, but with a filled pool; at least some of the persons who might happen to fall in might be able to swim or otherwise extricate themselves from the predicament; especially if there was some kind of flotation device available.

In either case, to be on the safe side, the fencing I mentioned may provide a solution. 

A “trampoline style” pool cover that stretches tightly across the entire pool surface can provide some security, but doesn’t provide any protection for the pool plaster or the possibility of the pool lifting out of the ground.


My best recommendation if the property is going to be rented would be to keep it full, provide regular pool maintenance and have the fence installed surrounding the pool.


LICENSING RULES 


As to the license requirements for servicing a swimming pool in California, the state has no special requirements such as a CPO or Certified Pool Operator. 

As far as I know, most backyard pool service companies have no such certification of even a business license.

My particular city, where I reside, has no requirement for any business license for those persons who operate a business out of their home.

I do however, maintain an active fictitious business license under the name of Aquaman Pool service and Repair as well as HandyMan Home Services and another business that I created to serve the needs of the pool industry; Skimmer Pros.

I also maintain an active C-53 contractor’s license in the state of California, which allows me to do any type of repair or remodel to a pool, spa, deck, gazebo, electrical pertaining to those areas, plumbing, gas-line, concrete and all types of pool/spa equipment.

I also maintain an active C-61 under the trade of high pressure blasting. This license is used when I perform clean-up work to structures, homes, roof-tops, pool decks, of any other surface that needs to be cleaned with a high pressure water blaster.

We started installing pool safety fence earlier this year and have had some good results. The fencing is removable, easy to maintain and somewhat see-through.Homeowners like it because it gives them peace of mind without being a permanent fixture on the property.


POOL FILTER


This should be working to protect the pool.An automatic pool cleaning/scraper will stop the pool getting dirty 

but does not protect the pool.


OTHER


 NATIONAL HOME BUILDERS SUGGESTIONS 


 SAN DIEGO HOME POOL INSPECTOR GUIDELINES