For a spa pool/hot tub to be classified as a ‘small heated pool’ it must:

  • have a surface area of water of 5m² or less
  • be a minimum of 760mm high above the adjacent floor or ground
  • have no steps
  • have a complying safety cover.

Do I need a building consent to install a spa pool?

A spa pool, that does not meet the classification of a ‘small heated pool’, is classified as a residential pool and will require a building consent before installing a pool barrier.

A ‘small heated pool’, if covered with a compliant safety cover, will not require building consent.

Does a small heated pool need to be inspected?

Yes, but only if the safety cover is not fitted with lockable snap fasteners.  (See also “Does a small heated pool need to go onto the SDC pool register?”)

Does a small heated pool need to go onto the SDC pool register?

Only if Council have not verified that the small heated pool is fitted with a lockable safety cover. An inspection is required to confirm the means of restricting access.

When can covers be used as barriers for small heated pools?

Under the Act, barriers for residential pools that are ‘small heated pools’, such as spa pools and hot tubs, need to restrict access only when the pool is not in use. This enables covers to be used as barriers for certain small heated pools.

What is an acceptable safety cover for a small heated pool?

Safety covers can be the barrier that restricts access to a small heated pool, where the water surface area is 5m2 or less. The Building Code will allow a safety cover where the side walls of the pool are at least 760mm high and cannot be climbed.

A safety cover must have signage indicating its child safety features, and must be able to:

*   restrict entry of children under five years of age when closed

*   withstand a foreseeable load i.e. the weight of a 5yr old child

*   be readily returned to the closed position.

What is meant by the term “lockable safety cover”?

A cover for a small heated pool (5m2 of water area or less) which can be locked by means of a mechanism for keeping the lid fastened and is operated by a key.

My spa/hot tub is indoors. Do I need a barrier?

Young children are at risk if they have unrestricted access to pools in the home environment. Therefore, existing and new indoor pools are now subject to the same barrier requirements as other residential pools.

For example, doors to the pool room must not be able to be readily opened by children and would need to be self-closing or have an alarm. Alternatively, a compliant safety cover can be used for an indoor small heated pool.

My swimming pool only has 350mm of water at the bottom.  Do I need a barrier?

Yes.  As it is partially filled it must comply with section 162C of the building Act 2004.