Pool Certify have many years of experience inspecting pools and spas around the Sydney area. During this time, there have been certain questions around pool certification and safety that we get asked a lot, so we’ve put together a list of 10 common questions to make it easy to find the right information.
1. Why did swimming pool laws come into effect?
In the 1970s and 1980s, there were no laws about safety in private, backyard pools, and people were a lot less aware of the risk. This is when there was a peak of drowning incidents, which made the government realise that something needed to be done.
The Swimming Pools Act 1992 was brought in to try and reduce these deaths, and since then, the number has been significantly lower. But sadly, deaths still do happen in private pools and spas, many of which are preventable by ensuring you follow compliance rules around fencing and access to your pool.
2. I’m selling my home. Does my pool need to be inspected?
If you are planning on selling or leasing a property with a pool, then your pool will need to be inspected by a Category E1 Accredited Certifier, such as the team at Pool Certify. If it passes, we will issue a swimming pool Certificate of Compliance, which you’ll need during the selling or leasing process.
3. What if the pool doesn’t meet compliance standards?
Pools that are non-compliant are a little trickier. You could either invest in bringing it up to code and getting it re-inspected, or you could ask for a Certificate of Non-Compliance. The Certificate of Non-Compliance is valid for a year, and means the purchaser takes on the responsibilities of repairs, with 90 days to do so. Therefore, a non-compliant pool can be off-putting to potential buyers.
Properties can’t be leased with non-compliant pools, so if you’re a landlord, you’d need to make the adjustments and then get it inspected again.
4. I’m staying put – do I still need an inspection?
If you have an existing pool and aren’t thinking of moving, then the short answer is no, there’s no legal requirement to get a pool inspection or compliance certificate.
That said, there are many reasons why it still makes sense to get your pool inspected. One being that if you have a non-compliant pool, someone could report it and you could end up with the hassle of a fine and legal threats. Most people prefer to simply get the inspection done and save themselves a lot of bother. On the spot fines can be up to $550, more than the cost of an inspection, and court penalties can run up to $5,500 in NSW.
A non-compliant pool could also land you in legal trouble if someone were to be injured while using it. There have been a few cases where a pool death has led to manslaughter charges for the homeowner, one of which came about because the area wasn’t properly fenced. Nobody wants to end up in a horrendous situation such as this one when it’s easily avoidable by getting a pool barrier inspection.
5. Can I just do my own pool inspection?
You can certainly do your own initial inspection while you’re waiting for a certified inspector to come and visit. In fact, it’s encouraged to double-check everything between inspections on a regular basis, checking everything is still in place.
Some things you should check include:
- Pool gate – it needs to be outward opening, at least 120cm high and self-closing and latching. Never prop a gate open, ever.
- Fences – fencing must meet the height requirements, which depend on your pool, and shouldn’t have any gaps over 100mm
- Access – within 1200mm of your pool, there should be nothing that could be climbed on, from a chair to a rock or plants with branches
- CPR sign – every pool should have clear sign showing how to do CPR which should be inside the enclosure
You should also check there are no items inside your pool enclosure such as BBQs, or dining tables, clothes lines or cubby houses.
While you can check these things yourself to begin with, regular inspections by a certified inspector are still highly recommended, as many things can be missed by homeowners. Pool inspectors go through rigorous training to spot hazards, so they provide a much more thorough inspection.
6. Do I need an annual pool inspection?
A certificate of compliance is valid for three years, so an annual inspection isn’t necessary. However, if you make changes to your pool in this time, or you just want additional reassurance, then you should book an additional inspection. This makes sense where you are a Landlord so you have an added layer of protection from any liability.
7. Does my spa need to be compliant?
The same law applies to any structure excavation or vessel which can be filled with water to a depth of more than 30cm (just under a foot). Even smaller spa pools are around 60cm in depth, so would be included under The Swimming Pools Act 1992 and all the above information would apply.
Above ground pools and even inflatable pools also need to abide by fencing rules if they can be filled to over 30cm, so check before you get a paddling pool out for the kids.
8. Do you only inspect home pools?
Pool Certify don’t just inspect backyard pools. Our clients include:
- Real estate agents
- Property managers
- Strata managers
- Owners of hotels, motels and other accommodation with a pool
- Owners of caravan parks
Our services are available to anyone who has a pool that needs to be inspected, wherever it may be situated. Pools that are shared, such as those in hotels and apartment complexes, will still need to meet strict safety standards. These types of pools are required to be compliant at all times.
9. Do you offer inspections in my area?
We work in Sydney and the Greater Sydney area, and you can find a comprehensive list of areas we cover on our website. Unsure whether we cover your area? Just ask!
10. How can I get in touch with Pool Certify?
It’s easy to get in touch with Pool Certify, whether you want to ask a question or arrange for a pool inspection. Call us on 0400 248 448 or e-mail email@example.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.