by Michael Pines, San Diego's Safety Ambassador
Over 1 million pool drains were recalled last week by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) after discovering the drains were not compliant with current laws and safety regulations. Due to high level of
risks related to the defects, the CPSC urged public pools affected by the recall to close their doors to maintain safety standards during the recall and replacement process.
CPSC Public Affairs Director Scott Wolfson noted the recall was rooted in an incorrect certification process that failed to uphold proper protocol during testing, and that the drains were improperly rated regarding water flow capacity management through the cover.
The recall comes in wake of a safety law surrounding pool drain regulations that was implemented 4 years ago after a 7-year old girl, the granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker, died after getting trapped by a hot tub drain.
Originally, the law had a grant package that was supposed to award $4 million in grants to help states bring their pools up to new safety standards. Even today, not even one state, including California, has complied with federal regulations concerning pool drains, prompting this month’s recall.
Now, both residential and community pools have been faced with the inconvenience – albeit necessary – of taking action to prevent injury due to faulty pool drain covers. The recall itself underscores how the regulation may have failed in its aim to end fatalities due to pool drain accidents. And now that the recall is underway, parents and local pools are scrambling to become compliant with current legislation.
“We need every single pool and spa in the country to be compliant with the act, and we need every single pool company to know what they have to do,” said Wolfson in a statement.
Pool owners and operators: tips to ensure pool safety
According to DrainSafe, the recommended method to retrofit a pool or spa includes “layers” of protection that includes education, updated equipment, and fine-tuning your existing equipment.
Layer #1 – Education
surrounding the pool drain recall to understand what needs to be retrofitted or updated.
Layer #2 – Lower the suction rates
Your qualified pool expert should lower pump rates to reduce the flow of suction.
Layer #3 – Get the right equipment
Ask your pool technician to install a Certified suction outlet cover on all drains.
Layer #4 – Install the right kind of vacuum
Ask your pool technician to install a Gravity Feed, Vent to Atmosphere or Safety Vacuum Limiting System or a VGB Compliant Safety Vacuum Release System depending on your pool model.
To find out more about the pool drain safety recall, go
for more info. And for more tips on car, home, and personal safety, go to
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