Home inspectors support the inspection of pools in today’s due diligence to purchasing a home. Inspections were at one time only given importance to the huge mansions you see in wealthy areas. Today it is different. Many homes today, especially in the South have pools. As a home inspector, you will need to decide if you consider it part of the total package or not.
ASHI Standards of Practice (SOP) encourage for the pool to be included and gives you guidelines. Check them out at to give you a methodical process.
Being Realistic with the Client
Tell your client what your methodology is for the pool inspection. Put the objective and scope of the inspection in writing. It is prudent to have your pool inspection scope reviewed by your attorney. Review with your client prior to the inspection and then discuss the findings with your client after your inspection. Answer questions and be concise.
An example of a limited pool inspection may state:
“Our inspection is limited and encourages you if you desire to take this a step further with a pool specialist that is qualified to determine more in depth inspection.”
We will not take apart heaters, filters, and pumps. Our inspection does not include water chemistry. We do not include the following in our inspection: Cleaning system, pool heater operation, and chemical injectors.
Charging Extra Increases Risks
Many home inspectors charge extra for pool inspection. We encourage you not to. Errors and Omissions insurance is paramount to protect yourself and the company. It would be a disaster to have a problem with a pool inspection and not be covered.
Give Attention to Pool Barrier Requirements
Pool barriers help prevent injuries and save lives. Take this seriously in your pool inspection. If you are unfamiliar, look to the IRC2003 (Internal Residential Code) and go to Section AG105. Regulations change from state to state so is familiar with yours. This is an important service and you will want to be inclusive.
Information on Pool Electrical
Bear in mind that the service for the pool equipment will more than likely terminate near a subpanel. Inspect as any subpanel including the necessary separation for neutral conductions as well as grounding conductors. Some pool systems service terminates by timer box or boxes. Make sure it is sound and without unprotected wires which may lead to a huge electrical hazard.
There are many areas to check and it is paramount you acquire an inspection routine to follow. Electrical receptacles must be spaced according to code. Lights and fans have codes. Check that the lights work. Some areas of the code across the country strongly prohibit service drops over pools. Become familiar with your area code.
Remember to check the pool circulating system in its entirely. Pool interiors are inspected with common sense. Don’t take any area lightly when it comes to pool inspections.
Do you your homework and come up with a plan that is included in the code of your jurisdiction. Your client is paying you for a service and you want to do a good job. Pools are fun but they can also cause problems that are serious.