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In a historic move that is expected to cause widespread
reverberations throughout the pool and spa industry, the Consumer
Product Safety Commission has recalled approximately one million
drain covers from at least eight manufacturers.
“The recalled drain covers were incorrectly rated to handle
the flow of water … which could pose a possible entrapment
hazard,” said a press release from the agency.
The move primarily affects kiddie pools, wading pools and inground
spas, as well as single-drain pools that do not have an unblockable
drain, gravity feed system or drain covers installed before Dec.
In cases where retrofits or replacements are necessary,
manufacturers will pay for parts and labor, said Scott Wolfson,
CPSC public affairs director. Affected manufacturers are
establishing which service companies are approved to carry out the
work, he added.
CPSC has advised that public pools and spas needing a replacement
or retrofit be closed down. “We know this is a very difficult
message to share with the public as we roll into Memorial Day
weekend,” Wolfson said, acknowledging the opening of peak
season for many public pools. “But better to address this now
than in the middle of the swim season when a child was hurt on one
of these recalled drains.”
The agency also hopes to maintain the nation’s recent track
record when it comes to child entrapments. “There is a zero
death rate for children in recent years related to drain
entrapments,” Wolfson said. “We want to keep it that
The CPSC launched an investigation earlier this year to determine
whether the testing methods used to approve drain covers were
sufficient to determine the safety of the product. All covers are
required to comply with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa
Safety Act, which went into effect in December 2008.
The investigation began after officials with one testing
laboratory, NSF International, launched a complaint against fellow
lab IAPMO regarding testing methodology. NSF claimed it had
retested covers approved by IAPMO and found that the products did
not perform as rated. CPSC was directed to look into the
Drain-cover models from the following manufacturers are part of
what CPSC has said is a voluntary recall: A&A Manufacturing,
AquaStar Pool Products, Color Match Pool Fittings, Custom Molded
Products, Hayward Pool Products, Pentair Water Pool and Spa, Rising
Dragon Plastics and Waterway Plastics. Click here for a partial list of recalled
Wolfson said some manufacturers already have the parts necessary to
make retrofits or replacements. Others are still ramping up
production. He admitted getting those parts and the labor necessary
to install them will be major hurdles, especially since most
facilities have been working full time just to get ready for the
Interested parties also can check with manufacturers’
Websites to find the affected drain-cover models. Those with a
recalled cover are told to contact the manufacturer to receive a
replacement or retrofit.
CPSC has set up a Drain Cover Recall Hotline at 866.478.3521 and a
dedicated Web page www.apsp.org/draincoverrecall.