RESOURCES

Verify A Contractor or Company

  • Verify if a person or company is a licensed pool/spa contractor with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations' Construction Industry Licensing Board www.myfloridalicense.com
  • Verify if a person or company is compliant with Workers' Compensation Insurance requirements with the Florida Department of Financial Services www.mycfo.com
  • Verify a company's corporate status and officers with the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations www.sunbiz.org

Federal, State, and Local Codes

Florida Department of Health

Swimming Pool Safety

Swimming Pool Industry

  • Pool & Spa News Magazine Online
  • AQUA Magazine Online
  • Aquatics International Online
  • Pool Science Magazine Online
  • Luxury Pools + Outdoor Living Online
  • National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF)
  • Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP)
  • Independent Pool & Spa Service Association (IPSSA)
  • Master Pools Guild (MPG)
  • National Plasterers Council (NPC)
  • Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA)
  • American Concrete Institute (ACI)
  • The Portland Cement Association (PCA)

FAQs

"Sometimes God calms the storm.  At other times, he calms the sailor.  And sometimes he makes us swim."  ~Author Unknown


  • Cities in the Tampa Bay Area We Serve
  • Explanation of Code References on DOH Inspection Reports
  • Help Avoid Damage During a Hurricane or Tropical Storm

Q: Will you travel to my location for a FREE remodel bid or to perform repair services or drop of supplies?
A: Yes. If you live in the following cities. Bay Pines, Belleair, Belleair Beach, Belleair Bluff, Belleair Shores, Clearwater, Clearwater Beach, Crystal Beach, Dunedin, Gulfport, Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores, Kenneth City, Largo, Madeira Beach, North Redington Beach, Oldsmar, Ozona, Palm Harbor, Pass a Grille, Pass a Grille Beach, Pinellas Park, Redington Beach, Redington Shores, Safety Harbor, Saint Petersburg, Saint Pete Beach, Seminole, South Pasadena, Tarpon Springs, Tierra Verde, Treasure Island. Bayonet Point, Elfers, Holiday, Hudson, Port Richey, New Port Richey, Odessa, Trinity, Carrollwood, Macdill Air Force Base, Northdale, Palma Ceia, Tampa, Temple Terrace, Town N Country, Westchase.


Q: I just received an inspection report from my local health inspector.  What does it mean?

A: The inspection report will contain the results of any regular or special inspection.  Violations are marked for correction and the inspection is graded.  Not all violations yield the same degree of grading.  Typically pools and spas inspections are graded as satisfactory, unsatisfactory, pool closed.  Explanation of Code References from an inspection report are below.  


  1. Appearance/Algae/Clarity. 64E-9.004(1)(c) & (3); 64E-9.017(1)(c). The pool shall be free from floating debris, sediment, dirt, algae. The main drain shall be visible.
  2. Deck/Walkway. 64E-9.004(3); FBC 454.1.3.1.3; 454.1.7.7; 454.1.8.5. Pool deck areas shall be free from sediment, debris, dirt, standing water, and algae; and refinished as needed to maintain safety/sanitation. Wet decks shall be unobstructed.
  3. Tile/Pool Finish. 64E-9.004(3); 64E-9.017(1)(h). Pool finish and tile shall be maintained in a safe and sanitary condition. 
  4. Depth Markers. FBC 454.1.2.3.1. Minimum 4 inch high, permanent, dark contrasting depth markings must be located on both sides of the pool at the shallow end, slope break, deep point and deep end wall, and every 25 feet. The markers must be installed inside and outside the pool, and have FT and IN abbreviated, or spelled out.
  5. Handrail/Ladder. FBC 454.1.2.5.1 & .5 Handrails must be provided for all pool steps and must be securely anchored in the pool deck and the bottom step. “Figure Four” handrails must be securely anchored in the pool deck and must extend to above the bottom step. Ladders must be provided and must be securely anchored in the pool deck and must rest against the pool wall with a 3 to 6 inch clearance.
  6. Step Markings. FBC 454.1.2.5.3. All step edges must have a 2 inch contrasting marking on the tread and riser (3/4 inch by 2 inch bullnose tile may be substituted) which shall extend the full length of each step and be slip resistant. Tile used on horizontal surfaces of steps, treads, benches, deck, markers and swimouts must be slip resistant.
  7. Suction Outlet Covers. Section 514.0315(1), F.S.; 64E-9.008(3)(a) & (10)(c); 64E-9.017(1)(e) & (g). All suction outlet covers/ grates shall be maintained as properly secured, intact, tested, reported to DOH on Verification form DH4157, and in compliance with the national anti-entrapment standard cited in section 514.0315(1), F.S. 
  8. Gutter Grates/Skimmer. FBC 454.1.6.5.3.1 & 2. Gutter drains must be covered by a fully intact grate. Skimmers must have a weir in place, deck cover secured in place and the basket must be in place and clean.
  9. Lighting Pool/Area. 64E-9.008(7). Underwater and outside lighting shall be provided for night swimming in accordance with the FBC, or the pool must be closed at night. 
  10. No Diving Markings. FBC 454.1.2.3.1. Areas of the pool which are not part of an approved diving bowl shall have dark contrasting “NO DIVING” markings every 25 feet.
  11. Diving Board. FBC 454.1.2.7. Diving boards must be secured and slip resistant. Required guard rails must be intact. Stanchions must be removed if board is removed.
  12. Pool Cover. 64E-9.008(5). A floating cover/blanket must be secured, or pool must be inaccessible to bathers. Cover/blanket shall not obstruct wet deck when removed.
  13. Pool Side Shower. FBC 454.1.6.2. All outdoor pools must have a rinse shower located on the pool deck within perimeter of the fence.
  14. Life Hook with Pole. 64E-9.008(3). A shepherd’s hook securely attached to a one piece pole not less than 16 feet long must be provided. The life hook must be fully accessible and visible from the pool. Pools over 50 feet in length must have a shepherd’s hook along each of the longer sides of the pool.
  15. Life Ring with Rope. 64E-9.008(3). An 18 inch diameter lifesaving ring with sufficient rope attached to reach all parts of the pool must be provided. The rope must be in good condition. The ring must be fully accessible, visible and not tied down or locked. Pools over 50 feet in length must have a lifesaving ring along each of the longer sides of the pool.
  16. Safety Line. 64E-9.008(4); FBC 454.1.2.2.3.2. Pool floors with a slope break must have a safety line mounted 2 feet before the slope break towards the shallow end using cup anchors. The safety line must have visible floats. It may be removed temporarily for lap swimming only while a safety attendant or lifeguard is present.
  17. Rules Posted. 64E-9.004(4); 64E-9.008(6) & (13)(f). Signs shall be maintained legible from the pool deck as approved by the jurisdictional building department addressing: bathing load, pool operation time, no-diving, animals, glass, food/beverages, showering, swimming while ill, swallowing pool water, and additionally for spa pools: temperature, spa use time, minimum age, and vulnerable person caution.
  18. Lifeguard/Instructor/Pool Technician Certification. 64E-9.008(2); 64E-9.018. If lifeguards or swimming instructors are provided, they must be certified by the American Red Cross, YMCA, or other nationally recognized aquatic training program. Swimming instructors must also be first aid and CPR certified; and swimming instructors of developmentally disabled students must also be certified in accordance with section 514.072, F.S. Proof of a certification is required at the pool site. Unless exempt under section 514.075, F.S., pool service technicians shall be certified under a DOH approved course.
  19. Supplies. 64E-10. Sanitary facilities must be furnished with toilet tissue, soap, single use paper towels or automatic hand-drying device, and waste receptacle.
  20. Clean. 64E-10. Sanitary facilities and floors shall be maintained in a cleaned and disinfected condition.
  21. Approved Test Kit. 64E-9.004(9). All pools must have an approved test kit on site capable of testing free chlorine (with DPD reagent), combined chlorine, pH, calcium hardness and total alkalinity. Pools utilizing chlorine generators must have a sodium chloride test kit. Pools using quaternary ammonium compounds must have a quaternary ammonium test kit. Pools using chlorine stabilizer must have a cyanuric acid test kit. NSF 50 certified halogen test strips may only be used for an Epsom salt (MgSO4) tank.
  22. Free Chlorine/Bromine. 64E-9.004(1); 64E-9.017(1). Free chlorine level must be between 1-10mg/L (parts per million) in conventional swimming pools, inclusive; or 2-10 ppm bromine. Spa pools & IWFs must maintain 2-10 mg/L free chlorine, or 3-10mg/L bromine. The maximum disinfectant level for indoor conventional swimming pools is 5 mg/L chlorine or 6 mg/L bromine. Pool owner must prohibit pool use when water quality is outside these parameters.
  23. pH. 64E-9.004(1); 64E-9.017(1). The pH in all pools shall be maintained between 7.2 and 7.8, inclusive. Pool owner must prohibit pool use when water quality is outside these parameters.
  24. Chlorine Stabilizer. 64E-9.004(1). The concentration of chlorine stabilizer (cyanuric acid) shall not exceed 100 ppm in conventional pools or 40 ppm in spas.
  25. Spa 104°F, ORP, Oils. 64E-9.008(8) & (12). Spa pools have a maximum temperature of 104° F. Spas must have an ORP auto controller to aide in pH and disinfection with water potential between 700 and 850 millivolts, unless spa pool is exempt by age & size. Oils, minerals, and lotions may not be used by patrons.
  26. Wading Pool: Quick Dump. 64E-9.008(11). All wading pools must have emergency drainage capabilities.
  27. Water Level/Control. 64E-9.004(6); FBC 454.1.6.5.11. The pool water level shall be maintained for continuous skimming flow during periods of non-use. A manual and automatic fill device shall be provided and shall discharge into the collector tank.
  28. Disinfection Feeder. 64E-9.008(10)(e); 64E-9.017(1). A properly sized disinfection feeder and/or generator shall be provided. Electrical pumps must be electrically interlocked with the recirculation pump. Feeders/generators must be certified under NSF/ANSI 50.
  29. pH Feeder. 64E-9.008(10)(e); 64E-9.017(1). pH adjustment feeders must be provided on all pools, and must be electrically interlocked with the recirculation pump.
  30. Chemical Container/Labeled. FBC 454.1.6.5.16.2 & .3. Solution reservoirs shall have at least 50 percent storage capacity of the solution pump and shall be labeled.
  31. Filter / Pump. 64E-9.004(5) & .008(10). The filter & pump shall be properly sized and operable, at the design flow rate.
  32. Vacuum Cleaner. FBC 454.1.6.5.12. All pools shall have a vacuum cleaning system. (Except for spa and wading pools of 200 square feet or less.)
  33. Flowmeter. 64E-9.008(10)(b); FBC 454.1.6.5.13. All pools shall have a functional flowmeter capable of reading from 1/2 to 1&1/2 the design flow rate.
  34. Thermometer. 64E-9.008(8); FBC 454.1.6.5.14. Pools equipped with a heater must have a functional in-line thermometer mounted downstream of the heater outlet.
  35. Pressure/Vacuum Gauges. 64E-9.008(10)(d). All vacuum filter systems shall have a functional vacuum gauge before the pump. All pressure filter systems shall have a functional pressure gauge mounted before and after the filter.
  36. Equipment Room Drainage/Vent/Lighting/Clean. 64E-9.008(10) & (13);FBC454.1.5.1-.9. Equipment room shall: have Drainage, ventilation, lighting and be clutter free.
  37. Cross Connection. 64E-9.004(l)(a). An air gap must be provided in the fill line and in the waste line. Vacuum breakers shall be provided on all hose bibbs in the sanitary facilities, pool area and equipment room area.
  38. Gas Chlorine: Room/Area. FBC 454.1.6.5.16.1. Pools that utilize gas chlorine must: have a locked chlorine room, continuous forced draft ventilation exhausting at floor level to outside, 30 foot-candles illumination with switch outside the room, scales to weigh the cylinders with all cylinders chained. Area shall have roof and 6 foot chain fence.
  39. Waste Water Disposal. FBC 454.1.6.5.15. Waste water must discharge through an air gap and be disposed of in accordance with local requirements.
  40. D.E. Separator. FBC 454.1.6.5.5.15. Pools with D.E. filters shall be equipped with D.E. separation devices. (Tanks with air bleed/isolation valves and bottom drains)
  41. Other Equipment. 64E-9.008(10). Auxiliary equipment must not interfere with the attainment of the design flow, i.e. ionizers, UV, ozone generators, heaters, etc.
  42. Equipment Change. FBC 454.1.10. All equipment changes must have prior approval from the jurisdictional building department when they have jurisdiction, or the DOH. 
  43. Approved Chemicals. 64E-9.004(1)(d). All chemicals used in public pools must meet NSF Standard 60, Drinking Water Treatment Chemicals-Health Effects.
  44. Maintenance Log. 64E-9.004(10). Daily record must be kept for pH and disinfectant residual tested each day the pool is open for use, and weekly for Cyanuric Acid.
  45. Inspection Posted. 64E-9.004(7). Pools requiring membership or admission fee must post the latest DOH pool inspection report in plain view of existing/potential patrons.
  46. Safety-514.0315(2), F.S. 64E-9.008(3)(a) & (10)(c); 64E-9.017(1)(e) & (g). All equipment room anti-entrapment systems shall be installed by a licensed contractor, maintained as functional, tested, reported to DOH on Verification form DH4157, and in compliance with the national anti-entrapment standard cited in section 514.0315(2), F.S. Suction Limiting Vent systems require annual tests; Safety Vacuum Release systems require testing per manufacturer.
  47. Fences/Gates: FBC 454.1.3.1.9; 454.1.5.1 & 2. Pools approved after May 2004 code revision shall have a minimum height fence, with no breaches, and with operable self-closing, self-latching gates. Equipment and chlorine gas area fence/gate shall be secure and locked. Wading and specialty pool fences/gates shall be sustained as installed.
  48. Other. Items so marked violate sections of Chapter 64E-9 or FBC not listed above, and are explained in the comments section.


Q: How do I minimize damage to my swimming pool during a hurricane or tropical storm?

A: Follow the storm on the National Hurricane Center (NHC) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), raise the water level, cut power to equipment, add chemicals, remove unsecured items including unsecured pool covers from deck and pool,

  • Water Level
    Do not lower the water level in the pool for three very important reasons: - Water is needed in the pool to counter-balance the pressure (called hydrostatic pressure) which will build up outside of the pool shell during a storm. During a storm, the ground around a swimming pool will become saturated with water from the rain and flooding. When water levels in the ground rise, the pressure outside or below an inground swimming pool increases. When this happens, the pool can literally pop out of the ground which will require a very high cost of repair. A filled pool will have water pressure inside the pool which will counter-balance the pressure from the water outside the pool. This will help protect your pool. - Water is needed in the pool to protect the finish or surface of the pool from getting hit with sand, trees, flying debris, etc. - If the pool is filled or overfilled as a precaution, then contaminated water will have nowhere in your pool to flow so it will run-off to another lower location. This will assist in cleanup and help keep bacteria out of your pool. 
  • Equipment 
    Do not run pool equipment - Turn off the power, at the circuit breaker, to all of your pool equipment but do not drain water from the system. The extra water will help to weigh down the equipment. - If you can, remove the motor and store it inside in a dry place to protect this "dry end" of the pump from being damaged from water (flooding). If you do not remove the motor, the you can carefully wrap the motor in a plastic with tape or rope tied tightly around it. 
  • Chemicals 
    Shock your pool. Extra chlorine should be added to the pool to prevent contamination. 
  • Loose Deck and Pool Items 
    Remove all loose items from the pool area. These items can become projectiles which can damage your house and other things. This includes patio furniture, toys, skimmer lids, automatic cleaners, and anything that is not bolted or tied down. Loose items should only be put into the pool as a last resort. If they are in the pool, they can shift during the storm and scrape against the surface of the pool. They can be ruined by the added chemicals. If they are made of metal or glass they can stain the pool or break making cleanup very costly. If your pool is vinyl or fiberglass, don't ever put anything in the pool because the vinyl liner could tear and the fiberglass could be scratched. 
  • Pool Covers
    If you have a pool cover that is held on by water tubes or some other type of weights, do not put it on. These types of covers will be easily blown off. If you have a safety cover (this cover is attached to anchors in the deck around the pool), put it on. These covers are designed to hold even in the winds of a hurricane.