AquaStar Pool Products has voluntarily discontinued
Model #LP8AVXXX of its VGBA-approved suction outlet covers
for retesting purposes.
The company noted inconsistent product test results and
concerns over improper installation.
Customers were advised that any outstanding product
should be returned for replacement with comparable models,
according to a letter to distributors dated July 28.
The action affects Model #LP8AVXXX, including frame and
sump options LP8SBxxx, LP8SBVxxx and LP8SBACxxx.
The decision was made out of an “abundance of
caution,” said Wade Arens, head of research,
testing and technical support at San-Diego-based
AquaStar officials noted that no incidents have ever
occurred on a pool or spa with one of their covers.
“AquaStar proudly stands behind all of our
products,” said company co-founder Olaf Mjelde.
“We continue to produce a full line of
VGB-compliant drain covers.”
To comply with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa
Safety Act, all suction outlet covers must meet the
ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 standard. That means the products must
undergo a series of tests to check for degradation (due to
UV exposure), fastener corrosion, structural soundness and
the potential for hair entanglement or body entrapment.
Three organizations are approved to carry out product
testing and certification: the National Sanitation
Foundation (NSF), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), and the
International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical
Officials (IAPMO). This also involves inspecting
manufacturing plants to verify that products are being
However, according to some industry experts,
“holes” in the standard have caused
inconsistent results. For example, the type of pump used in
a test can drastically affect results from lab to lab, or
even at the same lab from week to week, Arens said.
“We want to be absolutely certain that
we’re always going to get safe flow
rates,” he said. “When we had the product
retested recently, we discovered that we got variances of
20- to 40 percent depending on how high the cover was
As a result, the letter also recommended that
distributors contact customers to remind them “to
verify the installation elevation of this model is a
minimum 3/8ths of an inch from the plaster level to the top
of the cover” and “advise them that we
have a free bushing kit available upon request to properly
correct any installation at a lower