Recall of pool drain covers could mean holiday pool closings


by Tyler Baldwin

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 7:36 AM

Updated Friday, May 27 at 5:47 PM

PHOENIX – A government agency is recommending public pools shut down for the popular Memorial Day weekend if they can't comply with a safety recall of more than a million drain covers.

They claim that ignoring the recall could be deadly. The Consumer Product Safety Commission urged operators of public kiddy pools, wading pools and in-ground spas to "respond immediately to this call."

The new recall has thousands of pool owners in the Valley scrambling. 3TV met with a team of pool experts installing one of the only known drain covers, they say, will pass that latest round of requirements following the recall.

Brian Morris, with, showed us a pile of drain covers. According to Morris, about 95 percent of the pools have drain covers that won’t meet the new guidelines.

Morris explains, “A lot of people don’t realize in a residential pool you’re looking at suction flows of 60 to 75 gallons per minute. What that means is, a guy my size could get stuck and not be able to pull myself free.”

Between 1999 and 2010, 97 suction entrapment incidents were reported nationwide, 12 of which resulted in death.According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 82 injuries were reported in that same time period.

Virginia Graeme Baker died in a tragic incident in June 2002 when the suction from a spa drain entrapped her under the water. Her death led to new federal regulations.

The VGB Pool and Spa Safety Act requires public pools to meet certain standards for drain safety covers. However a CPSC investigation revealed that three different laboratories did not use proper protocols during the certification process.

The recalled drain covers were incorrectly rated to handle the flow of water through the cover. Adam Lindsey, with Leak Detective, is able to use scuba gear and install a new drain cover without emptying your pool. With heat like we are experiencing in the desert southwest, you can’t drain a pool.

Pools with multiple drains or gravity drainage systems do not have to replace their covers.

3TV talked to city official in Glendale and Phoenix who say they are ready for the big holiday weekend. Scottsdale said one of their pools may not meet the new requirements however that pool is actually closed for restoration anyway.


Company information for recalled pool drain covers

Company Model Information (websites) Dates Sold Remedy

(Based in Phoenix) Dec. 2008 - Apr. 2011 Replacement or Retrofit
AquaStar Dec. 2008 - Apr.2011 Replacement or Retrofit

Color Match
(Based in Surprise) Dec. 2008 - Apr. 2011 Replacement or Retrofit
Custom Molded Products Dec. 2008 - Apr. 2011 Replacement or Retrofit
Hayward Pool Products Dec. 2008 - Apr. 2011 Replacement or Retrofit
Pentair Water Pool & Spa June 2009 - Apr. 2011 Replacement or Retrofit
Rising Dragon Dec. 2008 - Apr. 2011 Replacement or Retrofit
Waterway Dec. 2008 - Apr. 2011 Replacement or Retrofit

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