ANSI/APSP-7 American National Standard for Suction Entrapment Avoidance in Swimming Pools, Wading Pools, Spas, Hot Tubs and Catch Basins


The residential standard is set by the APSP (Association of Pool and Spa Professionals) formerly known as the NSPI (National Spa and Pool Institute). The Arizona Registrar of Contractors holds licensed contractors to this standard. On September 11, 2006 ANSI (American National Standards Institute) approved ANSI/APSP Standard 7 for Suction Entrapment Avoidance. This standard is for all swimming pools (not just commercial pools). The Virginia-Graeme Baker Pool And Spa Safety 2008 Act was written as a way to enforce the ANSI standards on commercial pools. The VGB 2008 Act regulates manufacturing of swimming pool main drain covers. The Federal act meets us on everyday remodels because we cannot buy or install the older style main drain covers on a pool without violating what has been established by the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission). When we do install the new approved covers (the only ones that can be purchased) the installation requirements always call for secondary measures on single main drain installations.

Paddock Pools is a member of the SPSA (Southwest Pool and Spa Association). The SPSA has adopted the ANSI/APSP standards regarding swimming pools, spas, water features and similar products. To learn more about safety from the SPSA click here.

1.ANSI/APSP-7 Standard Exceeds Federal VGB Requirements.

All pools and spas are to be configured to comply with ANSI/APSP–7 American National Standard for Suction Entrapment Avoidance in Swimming Pools, Wading Pools, Spas, Hot Tubs, and Catch Basins as listed with these mandatory requirements:

  • 6 Existing pools and spas DANGER!  To avoid serious injury or death, close the pool or spa to bathers if any suction outlet cover/grate is missing, broken, or inoperative.

  • 6.1 Periodic evaluation, testing, and maintenance. Covers/grates and suction entrapment avoidance systems and related components shall be evaluated, maintained, and replaced by a person licensed or qualified in accordance with applicable manufacturer’s instructions and local law.

  • 6.1.1 Maximum flow rate of an existing system. To determine if system flow is compatiblewith the existing cover(s)/grate(s) flow rates, use one of the procedures of Appendix B, “Field checklist for identifying suction entrapment hazards."

  • 6.2 Retrofitting suction system piping or outlets. When retrofitting, the retrofit installations shall be permitted to utilize a portion of the existing facility and add or replace other elements. The retrofit shall be in accordance with applicable sections of this standard.

  • 6.3 Existing installations - Single outlets. When retrofitting existing installations with a single suction outlet that is not listed and approved for use as a single suction outlet, the existing suction outlet shall be retrofitted with either a listed single unblockable suction outlet or a listed suction outlet cover/grate and at least one of the following shall be added in accordance with 6.1.1.

  • – One or more additional listed suction outlet cover/grate located in accordance with 5.3; or
    – Convert suction outlet to return inlet by changing the piping, provided the system piping and skimmer(s) shall be capable of handling the full system flow, in accordance with Section 5; or
    – Gravity flow system in accordance with Section 5.8; or
    – Engineered vent system in accordance with 7.2; or
    – Listed manufactured SVRS in accordance with 7.1; or
    – Permanently disable the single outlet, provided the system piping and skimmer(s) shall be capable of handling the circulation and distribution requirements.

  • 6.4 Existing skimmer equalizer lines. Existing equalizer lines, when used, shall be retrofitted to comply with 4.8.1.

  • 6.5 Existing single outlet piped through skimmer. A single suction outlet piped through a skimmer and deeper than 18 inches (457 mm) shall comply with 6.3.

  • 6.6 Existing installation - Two or more outlets. When retrofitting existing installations with two or more suction outlets that are not listed, each shall be retrofitted with a listed cover/grate in accordance with 4.6 and Section 5.

If you would like to read more about suction safety in detail, you can click here to view the Frequently Asked Questions list as posted by The APSP.

Paddock's experienced Design Professionals will assist you with this very important task of remodeling your pool drain solutions to comply with the National Standard. You can meet with a Design Professional at our Gardentown Pool Pavilion or for a free in-home estimate. Schedule an appointment today to comply with the National Standard!

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