Swimming Pool and Spa Suction Fittings: A Crucial Standard Revised

Swimming Pool and Spa Suction Fittings: A Crucial Standard Revised Image

After years of development, a revision has been released of ANSI/APSP 16-2011: American National Standard for Suction Outlet Fitting Assemblies (SOFA) for Use in Pools, Spas, and Hot Tubs.

The update of this crucial standard, meant to aid in suction entrapment prevention, was conducted through the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) review process and consensus balloting of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP) Standards Consensus Committee on August 18, 2017.

The new standard, ANSI/APSP/ICC 16-2017, incorporates updated requirements and methodology for the testing, documentation and application of suction outlet fitting assemblies (SOFAs) that are used in recreational water facilities.

ANSI/APSP/ICC 16-2017 is currently under review by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for adoption as the recognized successor standard referenced in the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGBA), a federal law that requires all public pools and spas, both new and existing, to be equipped with compliant suction outlet fitting assemblies. Should the CPSC decide to adopt ANSI/APSP/ICC 16-2017 into the VGBA, SOFA manufacturers and recreational water facilities would have an 18-month implementation period to become compliant with the new requirements.

The updated language includes increased test-method detail and test-equipment requirements aimed at improving testing repeatability. ANSI/APSP/ICC 16-2017 also lists new requirements for suction outlet fitting manufacturers. These include:

• Hair entrapment flow testing and accompanying certified flow ratings for all cover and sump combinations;

• Testing and certification of suction outlet covers for flow ratings on all applicable sump configurations. The previous standard versions treated the certified flow rating of a suction outlet as a characteristic of the suction outlet cover only. The revised standard treats the certified flow rating as a characteristic of the complete assembly. With this new approach, suction outlet covers that can be installed on multiple sump configurations must be tested and certified for each;

• Hair entrapment flow testing and accompanying flow ratings for all unique sump connection ports;

• Increased testing of sump connection ports. Previous methods allowed for a SOFA to be tested using just one of the ports that may be present on a sump. New requirements not only stipulate that each sump and cover combination be tested and certified, but that all connection ports of the sump within 16 inches of the cover surface have to be tested for hair entrapment;

• Testing of suction outlet covers for the sharpness of bather-accessible edges;

• Specified earth bonding requirements for metal components;

• Specified dimensional requirements for circulation plumbing connections;

• 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 for ANSI/APSP/ICC 16-2017, as well as decades of experience in suction outlet fitting assembly compliance, experts at NSF International are well-positioned to provide product testing for suction outlet fitting assemblies. Contact David Nance at dnance@nsf.org or 734-827-5662 for more information.

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