Water Safety Laws & Hot Tubs

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Owning a hot tub is a privilege and a responsibility for homeowners. While it gives you a place for relaxing at the end of a long day, it also requires you to take responsibility for the hot tub. You must follow the codes or laws in your city and state that govern the use of hot tubs.

Keep in mind that you are responsible for the safety of others who spend time in the hot tub.

Posting Signs

Any time a water source is open to the public, you must post signs relating to safety. Country clubs, apartment complexes, public housing and hotels are just a few examples of locations that might have a hot tub open to the general public. Often times, the hot tub is located near a swimming pool or other relaxation devices. The owner of the property is legally responsible for posting the signs.

Sign Examples

The type of sign required for your hot tub area varies depending on the state or city. In most cases, you must warn users that those with diabetes, low blood pressure, high blood pressure and elderly people should not use the hot tub. Signs should also warn guests not to sit in the hot tub if they have recently used alcoholic beverages or certain medications. Some states require signs that the hot tub is not to be used by children, unless the children have adult supervision. The signs must be posted within three feet of the hot tub.

Temperature Regulations

In 1979, the United States government issued a warning that hot tubs should not reach temperatures that exceed 40 degrees Celsius. Eventually the temperature restriction became a regulatory law that prohibited hot tubs from reaching higher temperatures. The government issued the warning after 10 people died in hot tubs with water over 40 degrees C in a single year. If you have an older-model hot tub, it might still reach the higher temperatures.

Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Act

The federal Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Act introduced new safety regulations for hot tub owners. The act officially became legal in 2008. According to the act, hot tub owners must install grates and use drain covers on the hot tub. These safety devices reduce the risk of someone accidentally injuring themselves in the hot tub. Depending on where you live, you might be required to install a pool enclosure that blocks the hot tub from the street or a cover that keeps the hot tub locked when not in use.