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Frequently Asked Questions

Swimming Pools | Hot Tubs & Spas

Swimming Pools

I’m going to build a swimming pool. What permits are required?
If you are installing only a pool, then only a pool permit is required. The permit will cover the actual building of the pool and related electrical and plumbing work. To obtain the permit, you will need to submit a construction plan showing how the pool will be constructed as well as a plot plan showing the location of the pool and any required setbacks.
Should the pool have a gas heater, a separate plumbing permit is required to install the gas line. A separate mechanical permit is required to install the heater. Once the gas line is installed and before it is covered over it is required to be inspected and tested so the inspector can determine that there are no leaks. The heater location is inspected to determine compliance. The heater vent termination must be located no closer than 4 feet to a common property line. This excludes common areas, streets and alleys.
Refer to the Permit Requirements for more information.
Permits may be obtained from the One Stop Shop / Permit Services, at 7447 E Indian School Road, Suite 100. For more information call 480-312-2500.

  • We have no children. Are we required to install a barrier per city ordinance?
    The Uniform Building Code, as well as the Scottsdale Revised City Code Section 31-31-2 Amendments to the Uniform Building Code does not mention any age limits for compliance. Anyone installing a pool must comply with the barrier ordinance.

  • We want to sell our home. The pool was installed 20 years ago. Are we required to bring the barrier up to present day codes?
    Some cities have ordinances that require all pools, regardless of age, to meet present day barrier requirements before the house can be listed for sale. Scottsdale has no such requirement at this time. Scottsdale has had a pool barrier ordinance of some kind for many years, whatever barrier requirements were in force when the pool was built is still in force today.

  • The plaster on our pool is flaking off and needs to be re-done. Are we required to get a permit and, if so, are we required to comply with the pool barrier ordinance of today’s code?
    The city contends that nothing has changed on the pool. Re-plastering is general maintenance and requires no permits or inspections. The barrier ordinance under which the pool was constructed is still in effect.

  • We have a dog door which enters into the area where the new pool will be located. Is this allowed?
    If the opening in the dog door is greater than 4 inches in any direction, it is treated as any other door would be that separates the inside of the house from the pool. Removing the dog door or sealing it up using tamper-proof screws with bring the door into compliance with the barrier ordinance.

  • I’ve had my pool inspected and approved. My doors have city approved, battery operated alarms installed on them. I’ve been told that now that the pool has passed inspection, I should remove the batteries so the alarm wont be an annoyance. What could happen to me if I were to disconnect the alarm?

    Obviously, the loss of a human life is the worst thing that could happen --
    2 seconds IS too long.

    Scottsdale Revised City Code Section 31-32 (pdf / 405 kb / 45 pgs) states, "It is the responsibility of the property owner and any other person in responsible charge of a swimming pool to ensure that the required swimming pool barrier, including all gates, doors, locks, alarms, and latches are maintained in safe and good working order at all times. No person shall alter or remove any portion of a swimming pool barrier except to repair, reconstruct, or replace the barrier in compliance with the provisions of this chapter."
    Scottsdale Revised City Code Section 31-33 (pdf / 405 kb / 45 pgs) states that any person who violates, disobeys omits or refuses to comply with any provision of the code is guilty of a Class 1 Misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof may be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or imprisonment for a term not to exceed six (6) months, or both, at the discretion of the City Magistrate. Each day the violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.

  • We want to build a pool. What are the pool barrier requirements of the City of Scottsdale?
    Scottsdale Revised City Code ARTICLE III, Section 31-32, sub-Section 3109.7, states that it is the responsibility of the pool builder to inform the pool owner of all pool barrier requirements or be in violation of Section 31-32, and subject to the penalties stated therein. An exerpt of the code is provided here for your reference; The Scottsdale Revised City Code Section 31-32 (pdf / 405 kb / 45 pgs) states the ordinance in it’s entirety.

Hot Tubs & Spas

Are there any special requirements for Hot Tubs/Spas?
All hot tubs and spas require an approved pool barrier, whether or not the installation is inspected.

You do not need a permit -

  • If you are installing an above ground fiberglass tub/spa that has a "plug in" filter & motor installation, and you have a dedicated ground fault circuit for the tub, and;
  • If the tub has no direct water connection.

You must get a permit -

  • If you need to install a new electrical circuit or if your new equipment is to be hard wired, or if you are making a water connection or altering the water system.

A minimum plumbing permit is required if you are connecting to the water supply. This permit is available on line.

A minimum electrical permit is required for the new circuit. This type of permit is not currently available on line.

Once the gas line is installed and before it is covered over it is required to be inspected and tested so the inspector can determine that there are no leaks. The heater location is inspected to determine compliance. The heater vent termination must be located no closer than 4 feet to a common property line. This excludes common areas, streets and alleys.

Please be aware that part of the inspection is to make sure that any windows, doors, etc., within 5' of the tub have tempered glass. Also any electrical and any metal post, poles and the like, within 5' are grounded and bonded.

If you are installing an in-ground concrete (gunite) spa, plans and permits are required.