A revision to the suction outlet standard named in the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGBA) is near completion.

ANSI/APSP/ICC-16-201x: Standard for Suction Outlet Fitting Assemblies for Use in Pools, Spas, and Hot Tubs has progressed in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) balloting process to a vote by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP) Standards Consensus Committee. It also has been submitted for public review and comment. This follows significant work since 2015 by the Standard Writing Committee and Technical Committee.

The document under review, which is a revision of ANSI/APSP-16-2011, incorporates updated requirements and methodology for the testing, documentation and application of suction outlet fitting assemblies that are used in recreational water facilities.

ANSI/APSP-16-2011, as the recognized successor to ASME/ANSI A112.19.8-2007, is the current and enforced performance standard for suction outlet fitting assemblies under the VGBA, the federal law that requires all public pools and spas, both new and existing, to be equipped with compliant suction outlet covers. Following the current approval process by its standards writing organization, ANSI/APSP/ICC-16-201x would be submitted to ANSI for approval as an American National Standard. It would further be submitted to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission for consideration as the successor standard to ANSI/APSP-16-2011, and thus for incorporation into federal law under the VGBA.

Important changes

Changes in ANSI/APSP/ICC-16-201x include improved clarity for testing procedures to eliminate instances that require laboratory interpretation. For instance, the language will include increased detail in the hair-entrapment testing procedure. Added specifications will be given for hair-entrapment testing equipment such as pumps, test hair, mounting surfaces and suction piping. Additional detail has also been added to requirements for head-loss testing and specifications of body-entrapment test equipment and acceptance criteria.

The revised standard also places emphasis on treating an entire suction outlet fitting assembly (SOFA) as the focus of the testing and certification requirements. A SOFA includes the sump and cover combination as well as fasteners and other frames and adapter rings. This emphasis leads to further regulations for covers intended to be installed on “generic” sumps with regard to applicable sump piping outlet locations, sizes and distances.

New language also clarifies the requirements for SOFAs designed or constructed in the field, as specified by registered design professionals.

Needed references

ANSI/APSP/ICC-16-201x also incorporates references to multiple industry standards that address:

• Testing bather-accessible sharp edges

• Dimensional requirements for pipes and fittings that connect to circulation system piping

• Bonding requirements for metal components

• Expanded product marking requirements

• Expanded literature requirements

• Additional fastener instructions, including torque requirements

• New required language that addresses maintenance, replacement, modification and allowable installation configurations

With representation on the Standard Writing Committee that developed this proposed revision, NSF International experts are well positioned to work with suction outlet fitting assembly manufacturers toward product testing and compliance. Contact [email protected] for more information.