On the heels of a federal investigation into safety drain covers that raised questions about a testing agency’s methods and led to a massive recall of drain covers, the agency in question has officially withdrawn from its co-leadership position on a key drain standard.
The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials
is no longer co-secretariat of the APSP 16/APSP 17 standards. The
Association of Pool and Spa Professionals standards are set to
replace the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 standard, the standard to which
pool drain covers must comply, according to the Virginia Graeme
Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.
When ASME announced its decision to sunset the A112.19.8 standard
more than a year ago, both APSP and IAPMO filed to take over the
standard and the decision was made for the two groups to work
That was before the Consumer Product Safety Commission launched an
official investigation into the safety of anti-entrapment covers
approved as compliant with the VGBA. Ontario, Calif.-based IAPMO
and two other agencies — the National Sanitation Foundation
and Underwriter’s Laboratories — were charged with
testing the drain covers to ensure they met safety
But IAPMO’s testing methods were called into question,
prompting the CPSC to get involved. It became evident that
specifications for testing were not outlined clearly enough in the
ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 standard and as a result IAPMO’s testing
methods led to improper certification of some covers. In part,
those revelations sparked a recall or more than a million drain
Days before the recall, Carvin DiGiovanni, APSP senior director,
standards and government relations, sent a tersely worded email
announcing the change.
Russ Chaney, IAPMO CEO, maintains the excising of his group’s
name from the new standard “wasn’t related to anything
that’s been in the news the past year.”
“ Although IAPMO has a staff member who serves on the
committee and will continue to do so, given that we had limited
ability to influence the process , we felt it was best to continue
just as a committee member,” said Chaney.
At present, APSP will continue spearheading the new standards on
its own, unless another organization expresses interest in getting
involved, said DiGiovanni.
“The APSP-16 committee is in the process of making revisions
and is planning to have a draft available for comment by the end of
July,” said DiGiovanni.