Almost 20% of Brisbane residents have a pool, many of these people will get a pool inspection.
If you are looking at buying a house with a pool in Queensland, it is a great idea to get some advice from a pool professional.
Like a pre-purchase building inspection, a pre-purchase pool inspection can save you from costly repairs that you might miss when looking at the property.
In addition, all residential pools must comply with state government regulations by having a pool safety certificate and be registered on the Government’s pool safety register.
Having an unregistered pool is both dangerous and can result in a fine of $235.60-$2356 to the owner.
Pool Safety Certificate
A pool safety certificate is given to properties that pass a pool safety inspection as evidence that the pool meets government standards.
When buying a home with a pool, it can be sold to you with or without a pool safety certificate.
The seller must give you a copy of the certificate, which they can access on the pool register which is kept by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).
However, if you are not given a pool safety certificate you must receive a Form 36-notice of no pool safety certificate prior to entering a contract of sale.
The seller must send a completed copy of the form to the QBCC, before the settlement of the property.
However, if you are renting, the owner must give you a pool safety certificate.
Some pools have clear barriers rather than traditional fences. They still need to comply with the standards set by the QLD government.
A pool must be pass inspection before it is certified. As such, a pool safety inspection should be carried out.
This must be conducted by a qualified professional and can cost anywhere from $100 to $250, depending on the size of the pool.
To become an accredited pool safety inspector, they must complete the 10660NAT Course in Swimming Pool Safety Inspections.
Always ensure any inspector you hire has this course completed.
The main issues of pool safety include fences, climbable objects, gates, doors, signage, doors and windows.
Most compliance is based on making sure the pool is not easily accessible to children.
Fences must be at least 1200mm from the top to the ground level. The gap between the bottom of the fence and the ground should be 100mm.
There must be a gap of at least 900mm between any horizontal railings on the outside, while gaps for vertical railings cannot exceed 100mm.
If the horizontal rails do not have a gap of at least 900mm, then they must be on the inside and the gaps between vertical rails still cannot exceed 100mm.
Claimable objects must be at least 900mm away from the outside of any fence that is less than 1800mm high. For climbable objects inside the fence, climbable objects must be 300mm away.
For fences that are 1800mm high or more, all climbable objects in the pool area should be 900mm from the fence.
Any climbable object too close to the fence effectively reduces the effective height of the fence for the purposes of an inspection.
The pool gate must not open inwards and must be self-closing and self-latching from all positions.
Latches must be at least 1500mm from the ground and 1400mm above the highest horizontal bar.
If not, it must be necessary to reach over through the fence at a height of 1200mm off the ground in order to open.
Alternately, it must be at least 1000m above the highest horizontal bar of the fence and 150mm below the top of the gate.
It may also be necessary to put a 450mm radius shield around the latch with no openings larger than 10mm.
Pool gate hinges thicker than 100mm must be 900mm apart or more. If this is not possible, the lower hinge must have a non-climbable safety cap to prevent climbing.
A compliant CPR sign must be displayed near the pool so that it is easily visible near the pool.
Doors and windows
As per the guidelines, no door from the house or other building should lead directly into the pool area. Any entrant should always be required to go through the proper gate.
Any window that opens into the pool area must have a security screen or must not open wider than 100mm.
Provided all these elements of your pool meet the standards, your pool will receive a Pool Safety Certificate.
Pre-Purchase Pool Inspection
A pre-purchase pool inspection determines the integrity of the pool and ensures everything is working as it should.
This inspection looks at elements such as the appearance of the pool surface, pool filtration, pumps, light, water/chemical balance, pool cleaner, skimmer box, baskets and more.
The underground plumbing might also be inspected, checking for leaks.
Upon completion of an inspection, you will be issued a full written report that will go over the details.
Using information about any faults, you can negotiate with the seller about the price of the home.
Pool Handover Inspection
If you are new to owning a pool, a pool handover inspection is a great way to learn how to properly maintain and care for your new pool.
The technician will teach you how to clean the pool, including cleaning the filter and pump.
You will also learn about chlorination and whether to use salt, chlorine or some other form.
You will be taught when and how to empty baskets.
Furthermore, the training will teach you how to adjust timers and settings.
Different pools have different needs, so it is vital to contact an expert and get a pool handover.