InterNACHI's Standards of Practice for Inspecting Pools & Spas
- Definitions and Scope
- Limitations, Exceptions and Exclusions
- Residential Pool and Spa Inspection
- Glossary of Terms
1. Definitions and Scope
1.1. A residential pool and spa inspection is a
non-invasive, visual examination of the accessible areas of a pool or spa (as
delineated below), performed for a fee, which is designed to identify defects
within specific systems and components defined by these Standards that are both
observed and deemed material by the inspector. The scope of work may be
modified by the Client and Inspector prior to the inspection process.
- The residential pool and spa inspection is
based on the observations made on the date of the inspection, and not a
prediction of future conditions.
- The residential pool and spa inspection will
not reveal every issue that exists or ever could exist, but only those material
defects observed on the date of the inspection.
1.2. A material defect is a specific issue with a
system or component that may have a significant, adverse impact on the value of
the property, or that poses an unreasonable risk to people. The fact that
a system or component is near, at, or beyond the end of its normal, useful
life is not, in itself, a material defect.
1.3. A residential
pool and spa inspection report shall identify, in written format,
defects within specific systems and components defined by these Standards that
are both observed and deemed material by the inspector. Residential pool
and spa inspection reports may also provide causes for these defects and
possible future options that may include remediation or further evaluation. Residential
pool and spa inspection reports may include additional comments and
- Inspectors are not required to inspect or
perform any action not explicitly detailed in this these Standards.
2. Limitations, Exceptions &
- Inspectors are not required to inspect or
perform any action not explicitly detailed in these Standards.
- Inspectors are not required to come into
direct contact with pool or spa water.
- Inspectors are not required to enter the pool
- Inspectors are not required to drain a pool or
spa in order to inspect it.
- A residential pool and spa inspection is not
- A residential pool and spa inspection will not
identify concealed or latent defects.
- A residential pool and spa inspection will not
deal with aesthetic concerns, or what could be deemed matters of taste,
cosmetic defects, etc.
- A residential pool and spa inspection does not
include items not permanently installed.
The inspector is not required to determine:
condition of any component or system that is not readily accessible.
service life expectancy of any component or system.
size, capacity, performance or efficiency of any component or system.
cause or reason of any condition.
cause for the need of correction, repair or replacement of any system or
with codes or regulations.
presence of evidence of rodents, birds, bats, animals, insects, or other
presence of mold, mildew or fungus.
existence of environmental hazards.
existence of electromagnetic fields.
hazardous waste conditions.
manufacturers' recalls or conformance with manufacturer installation, or any
information included for consumer protection purposes.
replacement or repair cost estimates.
of the cost to operate any given system.
The inspector is not required to operate:
system that is shut down.
system that does not function properly.
system that does not turn on with the use of normal operating controls.
shut-off valves or manual stop valves.
electrical disconnect or over-current protection devices.
The inspector is not required to:
any action that contradictions any laws or regulations.
any component of the pool or spa.
any personal items or other obstructions, such as, but not limited to: furniture,
equipment or debris.
open or uncover any system or component.
or access any area that may, in the inspector's opinion, be unsafe.
anything that may, in the inspector's opinion, be unsafe or dangerous to
him/herself or others, or damage property, such as, but not limited to negotiating
guarantees or warranties.
or perform any engineering services.
or perform any trade or professional service other than a pool and spa inspection.
the history of the property, or report on its potential for alteration,
modification, extendibility or suitability for a specific or proposed use for
the age of construction or installation of any system, structure or component
of a unit, or differentiate between original construction and subsequent
additions, improvements, renovations or replacements.
the insurability of the property.
3. Residential Pool
and Spa Inspection
The inspector shall inspect from ground level:
adjoining structure as it relates to the pool or spa;
solar heating system;
pumps and motors;
pool heater; and
The inspector shall describe:
type of swimming pool or spa;
impacting the inspector’s ability to inspect the unit, including water clarity;
condition of visible components or systems present in the unit;
type of drain installed;
readily accessible component with functional or material defects;
type of filtration system; and
types of safety barriers.
III. The inspector
shall report as in need of correction:
indications of active pool or spa shell leaks;
water line tiles;
or faulty drain covers, pumps; heaters or filter housings;
settlement of pool deck; and
visibly unsafe or improper pool equipment, electrical connections, or bonding
4. Glossary of Terms
- accessible: In the opinion of the inspector, can be approached or entered
safely, without difficulty, fear or danger.
- activate: To turn on, supply power, or enable systems, equipment or
devices to become active by normal operating controls.
effect: Refers to anything that may constitute, or potentially
constitute, a negative or destructive impact.
system: Warning devices, installed or freestanding, including, but not
limited to, spillage detectors.
- component: A permanently installed or attached fixture, element or part of
- condition: The visible and conspicuous state of being of an object.
- correction: Something that is substituted or proposed for what is incorrect,
deficient, unsafe, or a defect.
defect: An irregularity or imperfection in something, which could be
corrected, but is not required.
- decorative: Ornamental; not required for the operation of essential
systems or components.
- describe: To report in writing a system or component by its type or other
observed characteristics in order to distinguish it from other components used
for the same purpose.
- determine: To arrive at an opinion or conclusion pursuant to examination.
- dismantle: To open, take apart or remove any component, device or piece
that would not typically be opened, taken apart or removed by an ordinary
service: Any professional service or creative work
requiring engineering education, training and experience, and the application
of special knowledge of the mathematical, physical and engineering sciences to
such professional service or creative work as consultation, investigation,
evaluation, planning, design and supervision of construction for the purpose of
assuring compliance with the specifications and design, in conjunction with
structures, buildings, machines, equipment, works and/or processes.
- enter: To go into an area to observe visible components.
- evaluate: To assess the systems, structures and/or components.
- evidence: That which tends to prove or disprove something; something that
makes plain or clear; grounds for belief; proof.
- examine: To visually look (see inspect).
- function: The action for which an item, component or system is specially
fitted or used, or for which an item, component or system exists; to be in
action or perform a task.
- functional: Performing, or able to perform, a function.
defect: A lack of or an abnormality in something that is necessary for
normal and proper functioning and operation, and, therefore, requires further
evaluation and correction.
- identify: To notice and report.
- indication: That which serves to point out, show, or make known the present
existence of something under certain conditions.
- inspect: To examine readily accessible systems and components safely,
using normal operating controls, and accessing readily accessible areas, in
accordance with this Standards of Practice.
report: A written communication (possibly including images) of any
material defects observed during the inspection.
- inspector: One who performs an inspection.
- installed: Attached or connected such that the installed item requires
a tool for removal.
defect: A specific issue with a system or component that may have a
significant, adverse impact on the value of the property, or that poses an
unreasonable risk to people. The fact that a system or component is near, at,
or beyond the end of its normal, useful life is not, in itself, a material
operating controls: Describes the method by which certain devices
(such as thermostats) can be operated by ordinary occupants, as
they require no specialized skill or knowledge.
- observe: To visually notice.
- operate: To cause systems to function or turn on with normal
accessible: A system or component that, in the judgment of
the inspector, is capable of being safely observed without the removal of
obstacles, detachment or disengagement of connecting or securing devices, or
other unsafe or difficult procedures to gain access.
- report (verb
form): To express, communicate or provide information in writing;
give a written account of. (See also inspection report.)
down: Turned off, unplugged, inactive, not in service, not operational,
- system: An assembly of various components which function as a
exhaustive: A comprehensive and detailed examination
beyond the scope of an inspection that would involve or include, but would
not be limited to: dismantling, specialized knowledge or training, special
equipment, measurements, calculations, testing, research, analysis, or other
- unsafe: In the inspector's opinion, a condition of an area, system,
component or procedure that is judged to be a significant risk of injury
during normal, day-to-day use. The risk may be due to damage, deterioration,
improper installation, or a change in accepted residential construction