DECODING ISPSC FOR SWIMMING POOL HARDWARE INSTALLATION
The 2021 International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC) states that “Outdoor pools and spas and indoor swimming pools shall be surrounded by a barrier.” A barrier, such as a fence and a gate, helps prevent accidental drownings in pools, spas, and other water features – a properly-closed pool gate ensures that young children can’t easily approach a hazardous situation. Self-closing gates with effective latches are a common solution to ensure optimal pool safety. However, according to the ISPSC, installers of pool hardware need to be vigilant of gate members placement in order to maintain safety.
For example, when a door latch and hinge are placed too close to one another, the hardware can be used by youngsters as a ladder, which can be used to crest the gate and get into the pool area. In this case, it’s best to install the hardware on the gate’s poolside so that it is not accessible to children wanting to get in. For more specific information about installation codes 305.2.5 and 305.2.6 related to swimming pools, please see below.
CODE 305.2.5 CLOSELY-SPACED HORIZONTAL MEMBERS
305.2.5 Closely-spaced horizontal members. Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is less than 45 inches (1143 mm), the horizontal members shall be located on the pool or spa side of the fence. Spacing between vertical members shall not exceed 1 3/4 inches (44 mm) in width. Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1 3/4 inches (44 mm) in width.
Hinge and latch considerations
Members refers to any items attached to the fence and gate. This includes items like hinges, handles, locks and decorative parts, to name a few. Depending upon how they are positioned on the gate they can be referred to as either vertical or horizontal.
When the distance between the tops of the horizontal members are placed below 45 inches, the vertical member must not exceed 1 3/4 inches spacing, and any decorative cuts should not exceed 1 ¾ inch width. Similarly, the horizontal members need to be installed on the poolside when the distance is not wide enough. Take the essential hinge and latch components for example, if the gate is too narrow then one or both of these items must be placed poolside.
CODE 305.2.6 WIDELY-SPACED HORIZONTAL MEMBERS
305.2.6 Widely-spaced horizontal members. Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is 45 inches (1143 mm) or more, spacing between vertical members shall not exceed 4 inches (102 mm). Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, the interior width of the cutouts shall not exceed 13 /4 inches (44 mm)
Hinge and latch considerations
Unlike code 305.2.5, this code emphasizes the vertical members. When the horizontal members are placed over 45 inches apart, the vertical member must not exceed 4 inches spacing. In addition, any decorative cuts should not exceed 1 ¾ inch width. So when the gate is wide enough to allow for more than 45 inches between the hinge and latch, and you do not have any decorative parts placed in the middle then you can satisfy this code.
THE WATERSON OPTION
Waterson Gate Closer Hinges combine speed control self-closing technology and traditional hinge mechanism into one attractive component. Available in full surface and mid-post versions, Waterson Gates Closers are crafted from durable 304, 316, and 316L marine grade stainless steel. These low maintenance gate closer hinges are easily adjustable to meet ADA & ICC A117.1 requirements for 5lb opening force and closing speed. When installing Waterson hinges, please refer to ISPSC, IRC or local codes to ensure that you are maintaining optimal safety.
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