I was surprised to see the drain covers were recalled, but as I think about it more I am outraged about what has happen here. Stop and consider this; VGB was entrapped, so they passed a law that required "anti-entrapment" covers that were not yet available yet. Rather than put off the compliance date until good product was available they insisted on a dead line that obviously rushed product development and did not allow time for testing of the required products. To top it off they made it mandatory to put them in dual drain gravity return systems which made no sense in deep pools.
So they sold us covers, made us pay to have them installed and made us paid to have them certified. Then after we all install them they find out the covers are not meeting their specifications and they recall many of them.
So, the manfacturers made the drain covers and had no problem advocating for the covers and selling them to us right? But here is the kicker; now the recall by saying dual drain gravity return systems need not replace the recalled covers. This truly acknowledges that we never needed to put them on the dual drain gravity system pools to start with. So the manufacturers made the bad covers, sold them to us and we paid to have them certified and put in. So now when they should be giving us new covers that meet the standards, should be paying for our change-out and should be paying for re-certification of the new drains. But they are not. Because now that it would cost them way more than they made off of this law to recall drain covers and pay the associated replacement and certification costs, they are saying no one has to replace them in our dual drain gravity return systems.
They must be laughing to the bank about all the money municipalities and others spent during the largest fiscal crisis in years on their faulty products and the fact they don't have top pay to replace something they did wrong.
The only thing I think you are forgetting is the fact that the manufacturers of covers and suction relief valves assisted in writing the bill and actively lobbied for its passage. Sad to see so many profit off of a tragic situation.
This now seems the norm for producers of products they cant sell. Make it mandatory, make it a law. Lobbyists and politicians with hands in each others pockets. Return common sense to Washington, institute term limits and get the bums out.
Let's go back to the original problem. The drain on which VGB was entrapped was in a jacuzzi tub adjacent to a pool, NOT the drain at the bottom of a standard pool! I don't know the exact numbers, but I doubt that very many people have been eviscerated on a pool drain. I'm all for safety, but I am also all about being reasonable and intelligent when making knee-jerk decisions!
I put in an Endless Pool, designed for use without a main drain, just a skimmer. The county health department demanded that I put in the appropriately spaced, with a tee connection, 2 main drains. Now let's see, which would be safer, NO main drains or two? Of course, I had to replace the covers with "approved" covers, even though it is physically impossible to block both drains simultaneously (and they are on the wall, not the bottom!)
The amount of time, money, and irritation this has cost is totally ridiculous.
Several night ago, I sent Ohio Representative Steve Chabot a letter regarding the entire drain cover dilemma.
Anyone with half a brain knows the real reason Congressman Baker's grandchild drowned was because no one was watching!
The only way a human being can be trapped on a drain cover on the bottom of a pool is if the suction is so intense the body cannot pull off. This can only happen if the pump is too large for the system it is pumping. I do not believe getting stuck has anything to do with the actual drain cover.
Today, in Cincinnati, our Board of Health representative told us that the new drain covers are only certified for a 3 or 5 year period. Then, the drain cover certification expires and facilities have to get new ones! How can an industry that is over 75 years old suddenly fall victim to this farce that is facing us today?
When we make laws based on emotional losses instead of logic and knowledge we run a high risk of a snowball of blunders such as those rolling over us with the drain cover issue.
The pool manufacturers lobby developed VGB in a closed session. The lobby took advantage or Former Sec. of State James Baker’s misfortune (Virginia Graeme Baker who drowned by entrapment in a hot tub - not a pool, is James Baker's granddaughter) and used Mr. Baker as a front man to help make VGB a law. The lobby snuck VGB in as and an amendment to a totally unrelated bill. Our pool was entrapment free before VGB. We have multiple drains for each pump. Yet VGB and the ANSI test was written to test each drain cover on a SINGLE ANSI defined sump. Written this way, the law requires a VGB drain grate on each sump. Now the CSPC tells me to continue to use my recalled, non compliant, Hayward drain covers because I have multiple drains per pump. They are giving me permission to violate the law they pushed through Congress.
By the way, the CSPC is now justifying this law by saying the VGB law has kept children safe. But by far, the major cause of child drowning deaths in pools is due to inattention by responsible parties. VGB was sensationalized for a profit.
The cost of this bill for my pool was 7 Hayward drain covers plus 3 hours installation time working underwater with scuba gear. Multiply this by all the pools in the United States and you see the drain cover manufacturers clearly profited at the expense of all multi drain pools in the US. All aquatics facility suffered, and non-profits like mine were force to comply when we could have used this money for water safety courses for children. What is particularly troubling is barring summer fun for the thousands of children whose neighborhood pools were closed because of the inability to comply with VGB.
To comply with the law ALL recalled drain covers should be returned to the manufactures for warranty replacement with compliant drain covers. Tit for tat, this should hit the manufacturers in the pocket book like VGB did for us. This recall crisis in the pool industry will cost the drain cover manufacturers dearly. I’ve always maintained that there is Divine justice. What goes around comes around. Do any other aquatic facility operators think justice has been served, or should more be done?
Good points Robert... As I stated in my initial post, they should not only have to replace them but pay the costs to re-install and re-certify them. We spent over $40,000 making 9 pools compliant in my City...
When the law first came out I said, "If we spent only a portion of this money on treaching kids to swim and making lifeguards smarter, stronger and faster we would save waaaaay more lives"
Jim, I don't know what state you are in, but I emailed my Southwest Ohio House Representative to inform him about this farce. I hope more of our readers will do the same and get the snowball effect rolling.