Swimming Pools

Call Before Digging

Contact Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators (JULIE) at 800-892-0123 prior to digging post holes.

Inspections are required for:

  • Site / footing (to approve pool location, reinforcement, and footing prior to the placement of concrete)
  • Framing (after pool installation and prior to backfilling)
  • Final (upon completion of the pool and fencing

Additional inspections may be required for electrical and plumbing work if permits are issued. For more information, call the Building Department at 847-223-8515 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Building Permit

Building permits are required for the construction of above-ground swimming pools with a depth exceeding 24 inches, in-ground swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs.

Electrical Permit

Electrical permits are required for the extension of circuits or new circuits serving swimming pool equipment. Installation of junction boxes, ground fault circuitry, pool grounding, etc., shall conform to the National Electrical Code (NEC) requirements.

Plumbing Permit

Plumbing permits are not required for the swimming pool plumbing when the plumbing is only circulating the pool water and is separated from the sanitary sewer or potable water supply. Plumbing permits are required if the swimming pool plumbing is connected to the domestic potable water supply or sanitary sewer.

Plans

Plans shall be submitted to the Building Department to obtain a permit. Provide a Plat Plan showing the following information:

  • Proposed swimming pool, hot tub, or spa location (show distances to property lines)
  • House and adjacent structures
  • Location of overhead or underground electrical wires (provide dimensions from swimming pool, hot tubs, and spas)
  • Fence or other swimming pool enclosure
  • Provide a deck-framing plan where the decks of wood construction or walkways are supporting hot tubs or spas (see the Building Department handout on Wood Deck Requirements)

Setbacks and Swimming Pool Location

Swimming pools shall be located in the rear yard only and may not be located in a required easement.

Building Code

The swimming pool, hot tub, or spa shall be constructed in accordance with Appendix G or the 2003 International Residential Code:

  • In-ground swimming pools shall be designed and constructed in conformance with ANSI / NSPI-5
  • Above-ground or on-ground swimming pools shall be designed and constructed in conformance with ANSI / NSPI-4
  • Permanently installed hot tubs and spas shall be designed and constructed in conformance with ANSI / NSPI-3
  • Portable hot tubs and spas shall be designed and constructed in accordance with ANSI / NSPI-6

Fence (Barrier) Requirements

An outdoor swimming pool, including an in-ground, an above-ground, or on-ground pool, hot tub, or spa shall be provided with a fence (barrier), which shall comply with the following:

  • The height of the fence shall be at least 48 inches (1219 millimeters), measured on the side of the fence, which faces away from the swimming pool, with a maximum height of six feet (1829 millimeters). The maximum vertical clearance between grade and the bottom of the fence shall be two inches (51 millimeters), measured on the side of the fence, which faces away from the swimming pool. Where the top of the pool structure is above grade, such as an above-ground swimming pool, the barrier may be mounted on top of the swimming pool structure. Where the barrier is mounted on top of the swimming pool structure, the maximum vertical clearance between the top of the pool structure and the bottom of the barrier shall be four inches (102 millimeters).
  • Openings in the fence shall not allow the passage of a four-inch diameter sphere.
  • Solid barriers that do not have openings, such as a masonry or stone wall, shall not contain indentations or protrusions except for the normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints.
  • Where the fence is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the top of any horizontal members is less than 45 inches (1143 millimeter), 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 millimeters) in width. Where there are decorative cutouts within the vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1.75 inches (44 millimeters) in width.
  • Where the fence is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the top of the horizontal members is 45 inches (1143 millimeters) or more, spacing between vertical members shall not exceed four inches (102 millimeters). Where there are decorative cutouts within the vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1.75 inches (44 millimeters) in width.
  • Maximum mesh size for chain link fences shall be 1.25-inch square unless the fence is provided with slates fastened at the top or the bottom, which reduces the openings to not more than 1.25 inches (44 millimeters).
  • Where the fence is composed of diagonal members, such as a lattice fence, the maximum opening formed by the diagonal members shall not be more than 1.75 inches (44 millimeters).
  • Access gates shall comply with all requirements above, and shall be equipped to accommodate a locking device. Pedestrian access gates shall open outward away from the swimming pool and shall be self-closing and have a self-latching device. Gates other than pedestrian access gates shall be a self-latching device. Where the release mechanism of the self-latching device is located less than 54 inches (1372 millimeters) from the bottom of the gate the release mechanism and openings shall comply with the following:
    • The release mechanism shall be located on the pool-side of the gate at least three inches (76 millimeters) below the top of the gate.
    • The gate and fence shall have no opening greater than 1/2-inch (13 millimeters) within 18 inches (457 millimeters) of the release mechanism.
  • Where a wall of a dwelling services as part of the barrier, one of the following conditions shall be met:
    • The swimming pool shall be equipped with a powered safety cover in compliance with ASTM ES 13-89.
    • All doors with direct access to the swimming pool through that wall shall be equipped with an alarm, which produces an audible warning when the door and its screen, if present, are opened. The alarm shall sound continuously for a minimum of 30 seconds immediately after the door is opened and be capable of being heard throughout the house during normal household activities. The alarm shall automatically reset. The alarm system shall be equipped with a manual means, such as touch pad or switch, to temporarily deactivate the alarm for a single opening. Such deactivation shall last not more than 15 seconds. The deactivation switch shall be located at least 54 inches (1372 millimeters) above the threshold of the door.
    • Other means of protection, such as self–closing with self-latching devices, which are approved by the Building Department, shall be acceptable so long as the degree of protection afforded is not less than the protection afforded by the previously described methods.
  • Where an above-ground swimming pool barrier is mounted on top of the swimming pool structure, and the means of access is a ladder or steps, then:
    • The ladder or steps shall be capable of being secured, locked, or removed to prevent access. When the ladder or steps are secured, locked, or removed, any opening created shall not allow the passage of a four-inch (102 millimeters) diameter sphere.
    • The ladder or steps shall be surrounded by a fence or barrier, which meets the qualifications of all requirements above.

Fence or Barrier Exceptions

Spas or hot tubs with a safety cover, which complies with ASTM F1346, shall be exempt from the requirements to provide a barrier.

Some homeowners associations have special requirements or covenants regarding fences. You may want to check with your homeowner's association or your closing papers prior to selecting a fence.

Electrical Code Requirements

  • Clearances from services-residential swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs shall be located so that there is at least a 10-foot (3048 millimeters) horizontal clearance from the edge of the pool to any overhead power line and at least five-foot (1524 millimeters) horizontal clearance from the edge of the pool to any underground electrical wiring.
  • At least one Ground Fault Circuit interrupter (GFI.) protected receptacle, 125-volt, 15- or 20-ampere general purpose receptacle shall be located between 10 and 20 feet (3048 millimetersto 6096 millimeters) from the inside wall of the swimming pool at a height of not more than six feet six inches (1981 millimeters) above the swimming pool apron.
  • Receptacles that provide power for the water pump motors or other loads directly related to the circulation and sanitation system shall be permitted to be located between five feet and 10 feet (1524 millimetersto 3048 millimeters) from the inside walls or the pool and shall be single outlets and of the locking and grounding type. They are required to be G.F.I. protected.
  • Any 125-volt outdoor receptacle located within 20 feet (6096 millimeters) of the inside wall of the swimming pool must be G.F.I. protected.
  • Switches shall not be located within five feet (1524 millimeters) horizontally of the inside wall of the swimming pool unless separated from the swimming pool by a fence or wall.
  • An accessible power disconnecting means (for equipment associated with the swimming pool) shall be provided and located within sight of the swimming pool, not closer than five feet (1524 millimeters) from the inside wall of the swimming pool.