Hines Pool & Spa knows swimming pool and spa safety.

We maintain a relationship with City and State health organizations in order to better provide the information the commercial and residential pool operator requires to keep a safe environment. From barrier codes to anti-entrapment, we can answer your questions and head you in the right direction. Pool and spa safety is the responsibility of everyone in our industry and we are glad to offer in-depth information concerning code compliance and the safety of your swimmers.

Safety Links

US Consumer Protection Commission Pool Safety Site

Texas Health Department and Swimming Pool Safety

CDC pages for swimming safety

Safe Kids Worldwide: Swimming Safety Tips

Drowning Prevention Foundation

Colin's Hope – Drowning Prevention

Recreational Waterborne Illnesses

Cryptosporidium and other Recreational Waterborne Illnesses (RWI’s) are on the rise. This parasite is chlorine resistant and causes severe diarrhea for up to 2 weeks. Luckily, Crypto and other parasites can be prevented with UV systems or Pulsar® CRS crypto removal systems.

Split Drains and Child Safety

A missing or broken single main drain cover can allow a child to become stuck to the powerful suction, causing drowning or severe injuries. A split drain spreads the suction and is much safer than traditional, single drain designs. 

What is a main drain and why does it present a danger to my children?

The term “main drain” is misleading; a main drain doesn’t drain the pool. It is a suction fitting that, along with your skimmers, allows your pump to take water from the pool and send it to your filter. The main drain can have significant suction that is diffused by a proper anti-vortex main drain cover. If this cover is missing, loose or broken, all of the suction is applied through a rather small opening. The suction can be especially high if a skimmer is blocked by a full basket. Having only one main drain is no longer considered safe, as shown by a significant number of drownings and eviscerations over the years.

Are residential pools required to have split drains?

All pools built after 2006 must have split drains. While older pools are not required by law to have split drains (they are “grandfathered” in), doesn’t it make sense to protect your children with the latest safety designs?

Is a split drain the only modification required to reduce entrapment danger?

Safety experts advise layers of protection to reduce risk as much as possible. The split drain reduces the risk of entrapment significantly, but does not eliminate it. Why? Because like any physical device, they can break or become inoperative due to poor maintenance. One of the drains could become blocked with leaves, for example, defeating the design. A further safety feature required on public pools is an SVRD device than eliminates suction altogether if it senses a blockage. These can be rather expensive to install properly, however, and are not necessary unless you have heavy leaf drops in your pool or you are concerned about improper pool maintenance.

What does it cost to install a split drain in my pool?

Each pool is different, so we have to see your pool to give you an estimate. If you are planning to have your pool resurfaced, the cost of installing the split drain at the same time saves money.

The VGB Act

What is a VGB grate? Am I required to have them?

An unsafe main drain can create too much suction and trap a swimmer, causing drowning or severe injury. The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act requires a new, safer design for all main drain grates on public pools. If you have a residential pool, you are not required to comply with this new law, but we recommend that you consider doing so for the safety of your family.

To learn more about the VGB Act, see these helpful links below:

Learn more about the Virginia Graeme Baker Act

FAQ's for Virginia Graeme Baker Act for anti-entrapment