15A NCAC 18A .2532       SPAS AND HOT TUBS

Spas and hot tubs shall meet all design specifications for swimming pools and wading pools included in Rules .2512 through .2530 of this Section with the following exceptions:

(1)           The circulation system equipment shall provide a turnover rate for the entire water capacity at least once every 30 minutes.

(2)           The arrangement of water inlets and outlets shall produce a uniform circulation of water so as to maintain a uniform disinfectant residual throughout the spa.

(3)           A minimum of two inlets shall be provided with inlets added as necessary to maintain required flowrate.

(4)           Water outlets shall be designed so that each pumping system in the spa (filter systems or booster systems if so equipped) provides the following:

(a)           Where drains are provided, drains shall be unblockable or shall consist of two or more drains connected by a "T" pipe.  Connecting piping shall be of the same diameter as the main drain outlet.  Filter system drains shall be capable of emptying the spa completely.  In spas constructed after April 1, 2000 drains shall be installed at least three feet apart or located on two different planes of the pool structure.

(b)           Filtration systems shall provide at least one surface skimmer per 100 square feet, or fraction thereof of surface area.

(5)           The water velocity in spa or hot tub discharge piping shall not exceed 10 feet per second (3.05 meters per second); except for copper pipe where water velocity shall not exceed eight feet per second (2.44 meters per second).  Suction water velocity in any piping shall not exceed six feet per second (1.83 meters per second).

(6)           Spa recirculation systems shall be separate from companion swimming pools.

(a)           Where a two-pump system is used, one pump shall provide the required turnover rate, filtration and disinfection for the spa water.  The other pump shall provide water or air for hydrotherapy turbulence without interfering with the operation of the recirculation system. The timer switch shall activate only the hydrotherapy pump.

(b)           Where a single two-speed pump is used, the pump shall be designed and installed to provide the required turnover rate for filtration and disinfection of the spa water at all times without exceeding the maximum filtration rates specified in Rule .2519 of this Section.  The timer switch shall activate only the hydrotherapy portion of the pump.

(c)           Where a single one-speed pump is used, a timer switch shall not be provided.

(7)           A timer switch shall be provided for the hydrotherapy turbulence system with a maximum of 15 minutes on the timer.  The switch shall be placed such that a bather must leave the spa to reach the switch.

(8)           The maximum operational water depth shall be four feet (1.22 m) measured from the water line.

(9)           The maximum depth of any seat or sitting bench shall be two feet (61 centimeters) measured from the waterline.

(10)         A minimum height between the top of the spa/hot tub rim and the ceiling shall be seven and a half feet.

(11)         Depth markers are not required at spas.

(12)         Steps, step-seats, ladders or recessed treads shall be provided where spa and hot tub depths are greater than 24 inches (61 centimeters).

(13)         Contrasting color bands or lines shall be used to indicate the leading edge of step treads, seats, and benches.

(14)         A spa or hot tub shall be equipped with at least one handrail (or ladder equivalent) for each 50 feet (15.2 meters) of perimeter, or portion thereof, to designate points of entry and exit.

(15)         Where water temperature exceeds 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius), a caution sign shall be mounted adjacent to the entrance to the spa or hot tub.  It shall contain the following warnings in letters at least ½ inch in height:


                -Pregnant women; elderly persons, and persons suffering from heart disease, diabetes, or high or low blood pressure should not enter the spa/hot tub without prior medical consultation and permission from their doctor;

                -Do not use the spa/hot tub while under the influence of alcohol, tranquilizers, or  other drugs that cause drowsiness or that raise or lower blood pressure;

                -Do not use alone;

                -Unsupervised use by children is prohibited;

                -Enter and exit slowly;

                -Observe reasonable time limits (that is, 10-15 minutes), then leave the water and cool down before returning for another brief stay;

                -Long exposure may result in nausea, dizziness, or fainting;

                -Keep all breakable objects out of the area.

(16)         Spas shall meet the emergency telephone and signage requirements for swimming pools in Rule .2530(f).

(17)         A sign shall be posted requiring a shower for each user prior to entering the spa or hot tub and prohibiting oils, body lotion, and minerals in the water.

(18)         Spas are not required to provide the lifesaving equipment described in Rule .2530(a) of this Section.

(19)         In spas less than four feet deep, the slope of the pool wall may exceed 11 degrees from plumb, but shall not exceed 15 degrees from plumb.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 130A-282;

Eff. May 1, 1991;

Amended Eff. May 1, 2010; January 1, 2006; July 1, 2004; February 1, 2004; April 1, 1999; January 1, 1996; July 1, 1992.