International Building Code Section 3109


International Building Code 3109.1

General. Swimming pools shall comply with the
requirements of this section and other applicable sections of
this code.

International Building Code 3109.2

Definition. The following word and term shall, for the
purposes of this section and as used elsewhere in this code,
have the meaning shown herein.
SWIMMINGPOOLS.Any structure intended for swimming,
recreational bathing or wading that contains water over 24
inches (610 mm) deep. This includes in-ground, above-ground
and on-ground pools; hot tubs; spas and fixed-in-place wading
pools.

International Building Code 3109.3

Public swimming pools. Public swimming pools shall
be completely enclosed by a fence at least 4 feet (1290 mm) in
height or a screen enclosure. Openings in the fence shall not
permit the passage of a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) sphere. The
fence or screen enclosure shall be equipped with self-closing
and self-latching gates.

International Building Code 3109.4

Residential swimming pools. Residential swimming
pools shall comply with Sections 3109.4.1 through 3109.4.3.
Exception: A swimming pool with a power safety cover or
a spa with a safety cover complying with ASTM F 1346.

Barrier height and clearances. The top of the
barrier shall be at least 48 inches (1219 mm) above grade
measured on the side of the barrier that faces away from the
swimming pool. The maximum vertical clearance between
grade and the bottom of the barrier shall be 2 inches (51
mm) measured on the side of the barrier that faces away
from the swimming pool. Where the top of the pool structure
is above grade, the barrier is authorized to be at ground
level or mounted on top of the pool structure, and the maximumvertical
clearance between the top of the pool structure
and the bottom of the barrier shall be 4 inches (102 mm).

Openings. Openings in the barrier shall not
allow passage of a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) sphere.

Solid barrier surfaces. Solid barriers which
do not have openings shall not contain indentations or
protrusions except for normal construction tolerances
and tooled masonry joints.
532 2006 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE.
SPECIAL CONSTRUCTION

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 swimming
pool side of the fence. Spacing between vertical members
shall not exceed 1.75 inches (44 mm) in width.
Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members,
spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1.75
inches (44 mm) in width.

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, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed
1.75 inches (44 mm) in width.

Chain link dimensions. Maximum mesh
size for chain link fences shall be a 2.25 inch square (57
mm square) unless the fence is provided with slats fastened
at the top or the bottom which reduce the openings
to no more than 1.75 inches (44 mm).

Diagonal members. Where the barrier is
composed of diagonal members, the maximum opening
formed by the diagonal members shall be no more than
1.75 inches (44 mm).

Gates. Access gates shall comply with the
requirements of Sections 3109.4.1.1 through 3109.4.1.6
and shall be equipped to accommodate a locking device.
Pedestrian access gates shall open outward away from
the pool and shall be self-closing and have a self-latching
device. Gates other than pedestrian access gates shall
have a self-latching device. Release mechanisms shall be
in accordance with Sections 1008.1.8 and 1109.13.
Where the release mechanism of the self-latching device
is located less than 54 inches (1372 mm) from the bottom
of the gate, the release mechanism shall be located on the
pool side of the gate at least 3 inches (76 mm) below the
top of the gate, and the gate and barrier shall have no
opening greater than 0.5 inch (12.7 mm)within 18 inches
(457 mm) of the release mechanism.

Dwelling wall as a barrier. Where awall of a
dwelling serves as part of the barrier, one of the following
shall apply:
1. Doors with direct access to the pool through that
wall shall be equipped with an alarm that produces
an audible warning when the door and/or its
screen, if present, are opened. The alarm shall be
listed in accordance with UL 2017. The audible
alarm shall activate within 7 seconds and sound
continuously for a minimum of 30 seconds after
the door and/or its screen, if present, are opened
and be capable of being heard throughout the
house during normal household activities. The
alarm shall automatically reset under all conditions.
The alarm shall be equipped with a manual
means, such as touchpad or switch, to temporarily
deactivate the alarm for a single opening. Such
deactivation shall last for not more than 15 seconds.
In dwellings not required to be Accessible,
Type A or Type B units, the deactivation switch
shall be located 54 inches (1372 mm) or more
above the threshold of the door. In dwellings
required to be Accessible, Type A or Type B units,
the deactivation switch(es) shall be located at 54
inches (1372 mm) maximum and 48 inches minimum
above the threshold of the door.
2. The pool shall be equipped with a power safety
cover that complies with ASTM F 1346.
3. Other means of protection, such as self-closing
doors with self-latching devices, which are
approved by the administrative authority, shall be
accepted so long as the degree of protection
afforded is not less than the protection afforded by
Section 3109.4.1.8, Item 1 or 2.

Pool structure as barrier. Where an aboveground
pool structure is used as a barrier or where the
barrier is mounted on top of the pool structure, and the
means of access is a ladder or steps, then the ladder or
steps either shall be capable of being secured, locked or
removed to prevent access, or the ladder or steps shall be
surrounded by a barrier which meets the requirements of
Sections 3109.4.1.1 through 3109.4.1.8. When the ladder
or steps are secured, locked or removed, any opening
created shall not allow the passage of a 4-inch-diameter
(102 mm) sphere.

Indoor swimming pools. Walls surrounding
indoor swimming pools shall not be required to comply
with Section 3109.4.1.8.

Prohibited locations. Barriers shall be located so
as to prohibit permanent structures, equipment or similar
objects from being used to climb the barriers.

International Building Code 3109.4.1

Barrier height and clearances. The top of the
barrier shall be at least 48 inches (1219 mm) above grade
measured on the side of the barrier that faces away from the
swimming pool. The maximum vertical clearance between
grade and the bottom of the barrier shall be 2 inches (51
mm) measured on the side of the barrier that faces away
from the swimming pool. Where the top of the pool structure
is above grade, the barrier is authorized to be at ground
level or mounted on top of the pool structure, and the maximumvertical
clearance between the top of the pool structure
and the bottom of the barrier shall be 4 inches (102 mm).

Openings. Openings in the barrier shall not
allow passage of a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) sphere.

Solid barrier surfaces. Solid barriers which
do not have openings shall not contain indentations or
protrusions except for normal construction tolerances
and tooled masonry joints.
532 2006 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE.
SPECIAL CONSTRUCTION

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 swimming
pool side of the fence. Spacing between vertical members
shall not exceed 1.75 inches (44 mm) in width.
Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members,
spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1.75
inches (44 mm) in width.

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, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed
1.75 inches (44 mm) in width.

Chain link dimensions. Maximum mesh
size for chain link fences shall be a 2.25 inch square (57
mm square) unless the fence is provided with slats fastened
at the top or the bottom which reduce the openings
to no more than 1.75 inches (44 mm).

Diagonal members. Where the barrier is
composed of diagonal members, the maximum opening
formed by the diagonal members shall be no more than
1.75 inches (44 mm).

Gates. Access gates shall comply with the
requirements of Sections 3109.4.1.1 through 3109.4.1.6
and shall be equipped to accommodate a locking device.
Pedestrian access gates shall open outward away from
the pool and shall be self-closing and have a self-latching
device. Gates other than pedestrian access gates shall
have a self-latching device. Release mechanisms shall be
in accordance with Sections 1008.1.8 and 1109.13.
Where the release mechanism of the self-latching device
is located less than 54 inches (1372 mm) from the bottom
of the gate, the release mechanism shall be located on the
pool side of the gate at least 3 inches (76 mm) below the
top of the gate, and the gate and barrier shall have no
opening greater than 0.5 inch (12.7 mm)within 18 inches
(457 mm) of the release mechanism.

Dwelling wall as a barrier. Where awall of a
dwelling serves as part of the barrier, one of the following
shall apply:
1. Doors with direct access to the pool through that
wall shall be equipped with an alarm that produces
an audible warning when the door and/or its
screen, if present, are opened. The alarm shall be
listed in accordance with UL 2017. The audible
alarm shall activate within 7 seconds and sound
continuously for a minimum of 30 seconds after
the door and/or its screen, if present, are opened
and be capable of being heard throughout the
house during normal household activities. The
alarm shall automatically reset under all conditions.
The alarm shall be equipped with a manual
means, such as touchpad or switch, to temporarily
deactivate the alarm for a single opening. Such
deactivation shall last for not more than 15 seconds.
In dwellings not required to be Accessible,
Type A or Type B units, the deactivation switch
shall be located 54 inches (1372 mm) or more
above the threshold of the door. In dwellings
required to be Accessible, Type A or Type B units,
the deactivation switch(es) shall be located at 54
inches (1372 mm) maximum and 48 inches minimum
above the threshold of the door.
2. The pool shall be equipped with a power safety
cover that complies with ASTM F 1346.
3. Other means of protection, such as self-closing
doors with self-latching devices, which are
approved by the administrative authority, shall be
accepted so long as the degree of protection
afforded is not less than the protection afforded by
Section 3109.4.1.8, Item 1 or 2.

Pool structure as barrier. Where an aboveground
pool structure is used as a barrier or where the
barrier is mounted on top of the pool structure, and the
means of access is a ladder or steps, then the ladder or
steps either shall be capable of being secured, locked or
removed to prevent access, or the ladder or steps shall be
surrounded by a barrier which meets the requirements of
Sections 3109.4.1.1 through 3109.4.1.8. When the ladder
or steps are secured, locked or removed, any opening
created shall not allow the passage of a 4-inch-diameter
(102 mm) sphere.

International Building Code 3109.4.1.1

Openings. Openings in the barrier shall not
allow passage of a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) sphere.

International Building Code 3109.4.1.2

Solid barrier surfaces. Solid barriers which
do not have openings shall not contain indentations or
protrusions except for normal construction tolerances
and tooled masonry joints.
532 2006 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE.
SPECIAL CONSTRUCTION

International Building Code 3109.4.1.3

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 swimming
pool side of the fence. Spacing between vertical members
shall not exceed 1.75 inches (44 mm) in width.
Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members,
spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1.75
inches (44 mm) in width.

International Building Code 3109.4.1.4

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, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed
1.75 inches (44 mm) in width.

International Building Code 3109.4.1.5

Chain link dimensions. Maximum mesh
size for chain link fences shall be a 2.25 inch square (57
mm square) unless the fence is provided with slats fastened
at the top or the bottom which reduce the openings
to no more than 1.75 inches (44 mm).

International Building Code 3109.4.1.6

Diagonal members. Where the barrier is
composed of diagonal members, the maximum opening
formed by the diagonal members shall be no more than
1.75 inches (44 mm).

International Building Code 3109.4.1.7

Gates. Access gates shall comply with the
requirements of Sections 3109.4.1.1 through 3109.4.1.6
and shall be equipped to accommodate a locking device.
Pedestrian access gates shall open outward away from
the pool and shall be self-closing and have a self-latching
device. Gates other than pedestrian access gates shall
have a self-latching device. Release mechanisms shall be
in accordance with Sections 1008.1.8 and 1109.13.
Where the release mechanism of the self-latching device
is located less than 54 inches (1372 mm) from the bottom
of the gate, the release mechanism shall be located on the
pool side of the gate at least 3 inches (76 mm) below the
top of the gate, and the gate and barrier shall have no
opening greater than 0.5 inch (12.7 mm)within 18 inches
(457 mm) of the release mechanism.

International Building Code 3109.4.1.8

Dwelling wall as a barrier. Where awall of a
dwelling serves as part of the barrier, one of the following
shall apply:
1. Doors with direct access to the pool through that
wall shall be equipped with an alarm that produces
an audible warning when the door and/or its
screen, if present, are opened. The alarm shall be
listed in accordance with UL 2017. The audible
alarm shall activate within 7 seconds and sound
continuously for a minimum of 30 seconds after
the door and/or its screen, if present, are opened
and be capable of being heard throughout the
house during normal household activities. The
alarm shall automatically reset under all conditions.
The alarm shall be equipped with a manual
means, such as touchpad or switch, to temporarily
deactivate the alarm for a single opening. Such
deactivation shall last for not more than 15 seconds.
In dwellings not required to be Accessible,
Type A or Type B units, the deactivation switch
shall be located 54 inches (1372 mm) or more
above the threshold of the door. In dwellings
required to be Accessible, Type A or Type B units,
the deactivation switch(es) shall be located at 54
inches (1372 mm) maximum and 48 inches minimum
above the threshold of the door.
2. The pool shall be equipped with a power safety
cover that complies with ASTM F 1346.
3. Other means of protection, such as self-closing
doors with self-latching devices, which are
approved by the administrative authority, shall be
accepted so long as the degree of protection
afforded is not less than the protection afforded by
Section 3109.4.1.8, Item 1 or 2.

International Building Code 3109.4.1.9

Pool structure as barrier. Where an aboveground
pool structure is used as a barrier or where the
barrier is mounted on top of the pool structure, and the
means of access is a ladder or steps, then the ladder or
steps either shall be capable of being secured, locked or
removed to prevent access, or the ladder or steps shall be
surrounded by a barrier which meets the requirements of
Sections 3109.4.1.1 through 3109.4.1.8. When the ladder
or steps are secured, locked or removed, any opening
created shall not allow the passage of a 4-inch-diameter
(102 mm) sphere.

International Building Code 3109.4.2

Indoor swimming pools. Walls surrounding
indoor swimming pools shall not be required to comply
with Section 3109.4.1.8.

International Building Code 3109.4.3

Prohibited locations. Barriers shall be located so
as to prohibit permanent structures, equipment or similar
objects from being used to climb the barriers.

International Building Code 3109.5

Entrapment avoidance. Suction outlets shall be
designed to produce circulation throughout the pool or spa.
Single-outlet systems, such as automatic vacuum cleaner systems,
or other such multiple suction outlets whether isolated by
valves or otherwise shall be protected against user entrapment.

Suction fittings. All pool and spa suction outlets
shall be provided with a cover that conforms to ASME
A112.19.8M, a 12-inch by 12-inch (305 mm by 305 mm)
drain grate or larger, or an approved channel drain system.
Exception: Surface skimmers.

Atmospheric vacuum relief system required.
All pool and spa single- or multiple-outlet circulation systems
shall be equipped with an atmospheric vacuum relief
should grate covers located therein become missing or broken.
Such vacuum relief systems shall include at least one
approved or engineered method of the type specified herein,
as follows:
1. Safety vacuum release systems conforming to ASME
A112.19.17; or
2. Approved gravity drainage system.
2006 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE. 533
SPECIAL CONSTRUCTION

Dual drain separation. Single- or multiple-pump
circulation systems shall be provided with a minimum of
two suction outlets of the approved type. A minimum horizontal
or vertical distance of 3 feet (914 mm) shall separate
such outlets. These suction outlets shall be piped so that
water is drawn through them simultaneously through a vacuum-
relief-protected line to the pump or pumps.

Pool cleaner fittings. Where provided, vacuum or
pressure cleaner fitting(s) shall be located in an accessible
position(s) at least 6 inches (152 mm) and not greater than
12 inches (305 mm) below the minimum operational water
level or as an attachment to the skimmer(s).
534 2006 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE.
SPECIAL CONSTRUCTION

International Building Code 3109.5.1

Suction fittings. All pool and spa suction outlets
shall be provided with a cover that conforms to ASME
A112.19.8M, a 12-inch by 12-inch (305 mm by 305 mm)
drain grate or larger, or an approved channel drain system.
Exception: Surface skimmers.

International Building Code 3109.5.2

Atmospheric vacuum relief system required.
All pool and spa single- or multiple-outlet circulation systems
shall be equipped with an atmospheric vacuum relief
should grate covers located therein become missing or broken.
Such vacuum relief systems shall include at least one
approved or engineered method of the type specified herein,
as follows:
1. Safety vacuum release systems conforming to ASME
A112.19.17; or
2. Approved gravity drainage system.
2006 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE. 533
SPECIAL CONSTRUCTION

International Building Code 3109.5.3

Dual drain separation. Single- or multiple-pump
circulation systems shall be provided with a minimum of
two suction outlets of the approved type. A minimum horizontal
or vertical distance of 3 feet (914 mm) shall separate
such outlets. These suction outlets shall be piped so that
water is drawn through them simultaneously through a vacuum-
relief-protected line to the pump or pumps.

International Building Code 3109.5.4

Pool cleaner fittings. Where provided, vacuum or
pressure cleaner fitting(s) shall be located in an accessible
position(s) at least 6 inches (152 mm) and not greater than
12 inches (305 mm) below the minimum operational water
level or as an attachment to the skimmer(s).
534 2006 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE.
SPECIAL CONSTRUCTION