Home InspectionInspector ThoughtsPool InspectionsReal Estate

10 California Pool Safety Act Myths

California Pool Inspections



I previously wrote about the California Pool Safety Act, the new California law affecting all homes sold with a pool here. 

I have been getting numerous emails, calls and messages from Real Estate agents and even other home inspectors about how this law affects them. Here are a 10 myths I have been asked about vs the truth.

Myth: This new pool law is part of the Trump Tax plan for 2018.
Truth: This act was signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown and only affects California.

Myth: This law only affects new pools, while pools built in the past are exempt.
Truth: False. This law has no grandfathering provisions. Any pool that is part of a single family home real estate transaction is affected.

Myth: An existing pool fence is automatically compliant as one of the 7 provisions.
Truth: False. This law has no grandfathering provisions for pre existing fences, but does have very specific requirements that a fence must meet to be considered compliant. A pre-existing fence may not meet these standards.

Myth: As part of this law, the home inspector is now obligated to inspected the entire pool at no extra charge.
Truth: False. A home inspector is only obligated to observe if there are pool barriers installed as part of the home inspection. Pumps, filters, lights, pool heater, the pool deck, electrical and other safety issues will not be covered without a pool inspection at an extra charge.

Myth: This is only a disclosure. No action by the buyer or seller is required.
Truth: While there is no enforcement to force the buyer or seller to add barriers, the law is very specific that the pool barrier must be documented in the home inspection report, which then makes it a negotiable item. Further, if a pool owner has a drowning incident at their home, and it was documented in the home inspection report less than two barriers were installed and no action was taken, this could become a sticking point in determining liability.

Myth: Compliance with the California Pool Safety Act means a pool is safe.
Truth: The California Pool Safety Act only address barriers between the pool and home. It does not address electrical shock hazards, ground fault protection, bonding, or other safety issues that would be part of a pool inspection.

Myth: If a home owner do not have children, this law does not apply to them.
Truth: False. This law has no provisions for if children are present in the home or not.

Myth: This law affects everyone with a swimming pool.
Truth: This law only applies to homes as part of a real estate transaction, as well as new pools added to an existing home, and remodels of existing pools. Public pools and community pools controlled by an HOA are not affected. If your home is not for sale, and you are not remodeling your pool or adding a new pool, this law does not apply.

Myth: This law only affects pools, but not spas.
Truth: False. Spas are included. Although hot tubs or spas with locking safety covers do not have to comply with this law.

Myth: All home inspectors are qualified to do a pool inspection.
Truth: False. Not all home inspectors have the qualifications, knowledge or experience to do a pool inspection.

If you are buying a home, with or without a pool, call IM Home Inspections to book your home inspection at 818-298-3405.