Swimming Pools, Spas, Hot Tubs, and Equipment
I’m often asked what the scope of a swimming pool inspection is. And it can be difficult to explain to people what’s actually happening when they pay me to “walk around” a pool.
The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) and the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) have specific Standards Of Practice (SIP) regarding swimming pool inspections. And from those SOP’s I have developed a fairly comprehensive protocol for inspecting swimming pools which many of my clients consider to be an excellent value.
Above ground pools and “portable” or pre-manufactured hot tubs are not considered as real estate improvements and so are beyond the scope of a typical TREC PI inspection.
The inspection will be performed by a generalist and does not replace a specialist opinion, more factual information and/or opinions can be made available via specialized studies and test contracted from engineering firms or a reputable swimming pool contractor. Verifying and/or certifying that the swimming feature(s) meet all current municipal codes is beyond the scope of a TREC inspection. Guaranteeing safety is beyond the scope of a TREC inspection. More information may be available on at this link http://www.homeinspector.org/membersonly/docs/pool_standards.pdf
The scope of a Good Home Inspection “pool” inspection: This will be a limited visual inspection based on what is present and visible at the time of inspection. All comment is based solely on what was present, visible, operable, and accessible at the time of inspection.
• The type of pool construction will be identified.
• The general condition of the pool interior surface will be commented on, including but not limited to an age approximation and the presence of algae.
• Any visible cracks on the pool liner will be commented on, either generally or specifically.
• Below ground leakage is beyond the scope of this inspection.
• A comparative measurement will be made to help determine whether the pool shell is level.
• The presence or lack presence of the water supply back-flow prevention will be reported on.
• The drain covers will be inspected (if visible from standing next to the pool), including notations about blockable covers.
• Visible deficiencies in the skimmers, covers, baskets and weirs will be reported.
• The presence or lack presence of the drain system back-flow prevention will be reported on.
• The presence or lack presence of a back-wash holding tank will be reported.
• The presence or lack presence of an in-line chlorinator will be reported.
• The presence or lack presence of a salt sanitation system will be reported.
• The type of filter will be identified. The filter will not be disassembled.
• The filter pressure will be recorded.
• The pool service light will be inspected.
• The pool timer(s) will be inspected, including location considerations. The control timers will be inspected by manual operation. Timer programing is beyond the scope of a TREC inspection.
• The presence or absence of freeze protection for the pool equipment will be reported. The operation of freeze equipment is beyond the scope of a TREC inspection.
• Abnormalities and/or concerns with the pool motor(s), including electrical bonding on that specific equipment, will be inspected for and commented on when lacking.
• Deficiencies in the pump piping and valves will be reported. Operating individual valves is beyond the scope of this inspection. Good Home Inspection might inspect a water feature but that it will happen is in no way implied or guaranteed, nor should it be expected.
• The presence of above ground pipe leakage will be inspected for. Below ground leakage is beyond the scope of ta TREC inspection.
• The type of heater and it’s energy source. The general condition of
the pool heater and operation will be commented on, including but not limited to an age approximation.
• The presence or lack of presence of automatic pool cleaning equipment. Operation and performance of the cleaning equipment is beyond the scope of this inspection. The equipment, if any, should be in place and operation at the time of inspection.
• The presence or lack of presence of safety barriers and entrapment issues will be noted.
• The operation of the pool interior light(s), including GFCI protection will be inspected. Low voltage LED type lighting systems are beyond the scope of this inspection.
• The surface conditions around the pool of items such as the pool apron (including drainage away from the pool), mastic sealer, and copping ties will be inspected and commented on.
• The general conditions of ladders and stairs in and around the pool will be inspected and deficiencies will be reported.
• Diving boards and slides are beyond the scope of this inspection, I consider them to be safety hazards and removal is recommended.
Bud Rozell, ACI – TREC 4088 @ 214-214 4961