A bill has been introduced in the Connecticut legislature that, if passed, would require pool and spa builders to obtain a construction license specific to the profession.
The law would lay out the qualifications, testing and education
necessary to attain and renew a pool-builders license, making it
one of only a handful of states with such specific demands. Most
others across the country only require registration on par with a
If made into law, SB 863 also will raise penalties for violators of
the state’s existing pool service license.
The bill, endorsed by the Northeast Spa & Pool Association and
its Connecticut chapter, CONSPA, contains language similar to that
of Connecticut’s service licensing law.
The hope is that SB 863 will increase the industry’s barriers
to entry, thereby raising the standard of professionalism.
“You won’t have a carpenter working out of a pickup
truck all of a sudden claiming that he’s a pool builder, so
it helps in that manner,” said Ed Nejame Jr., co-owner of
Nejame & Sons in Danbury, Conn.
SB 863 has passed its first committee and now must be reviewed by a
second to make sure it won’t impose a fiscal burden on the
state. If the bill passes there, it goes to Connecticut’s
Congress for approval.
Last year, a similar piece of legislation progressed all the way to
the Senate, but died on the last day when a senator unexpectedly
The bill states that Connecticut’s commissioner of consumer
protection would have until July 1, 2012 to define how the state
will implement the license, including the cost, experience,
examination and continuing education that would be required.
Experienced builders can be grandfathered in if they meet the
regulations. Such contractors would have until Jan. 1, 2014, to
apply for that status.
Holders of the pool builders license would not be permitted to
perform work in electrical, plumbing, heating or cooling, unless
the equipment is actually part of the pool or spa. Connecticut
requires a master electrician to wire panel boxes, and a licensed
plumber to connect the fresh water supply to the pool and connect
gas lines for heating.
A contractor who operates without the appropriate license or
willfully employs someone without the document would be required to
pay restitution or serve up to five years’ probation. In
addition, the violator could be sentenced to up to six months in
prison, a fine up to $1,000, or both.
The Department of Consumer Protection also can impose civil
penalties of up to $1,000 for the first violation, up to $1,500 for
a second violation, and up to $3,000 for subsequent violations
within three years after the second.