Commercial Pool Main Drains - Time is running out!

by Rob, December 6, 2008

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a mandate that all public pools and spas be in compliance with legal requirements to prevent entrapment threats on pool drains by December 19, 2008.

8" Retro-Fit Low Profile Anti-Entrapment Suction Outlet Cover and Frame
If your public or commercial pool or spa is open year round, you have just days left to comply. The VGB act requires all pools to have dual main drains with special approved drain covers. This can be costly if you have single main drains currently, to convert to dual can cost $1,200 or more per drain, and require draining the pool. We have listed some workarounds below, however, Check with your local health department to be sure!

As a minimum, all commercial, public or semi-public pools are required to i
nstall approved main drain covers, marked with ANSI/ASME A112.19.8-2007

If you currently have
only a single drain in your public pool or spa, these are your likely options:
If you already have dual main drains, at least 3 feet apart, simply replace the old covers with new covers that are imprinted with the ANSI 112.19.8-2007.  If your pool is currently “closed” for the winter, you have some extra time to come into compliance. But don’t wait until the last minute! Inspectors will be extra vigilant on the main drain issue come spring 2009. Help to make sure that your pool drains don’t cause the next victim!  Read the complete Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act here at
Pool Bill Banner 

Virginia Graeme Baker, 7-year-old grand daughter of Secretary of State James Baker, was one of the unfortunate ones. Her life ended abruptly and unexpectedly on Saturday, June 15, 2002 at a pool party in Arlington, Virginia. This horrible tragedy could have been avoided.  Read her story through her mother’s eyes at:


Abstract:  There have been at least 147 documented incidents of suction entrapment in swimming pools, including 44 deaths. Suction entrapment occurs when a swimmer, usually a small child, is trapped by the suction forces created by the water being pulled out of the drain at the bottom of the pool by the pool pump.