Understanding definitions in the Code is essential for designers, installers, inspectors, and every other Code user for the correct application of requirements throughout the entire Code. Since definitions are so critical, it's important they're as clear and easy to understand as possible.
When it comes to permanently installed swimming pools, revisions were made for the 2023 Code edition to clarify exactly which pools would meet the definition of a “permanently installed swimming pool.” For the 2020 and earlier editions, the definition was located in Sec. 680.2 and included pools constructed in, or partially in, the ground. It also included all other pools with a water depth of greater than 42 in., and all pools installed inside of a building, regardless of depth, whether or not they were served by electrical circuits.
What about a pool “installed” in or on the ground? The definition used the term “constructed” rather than “installed.” A one-piece fiberglass pool set in the ground by a crane might be considered “installed” rather than “constructed” whereas a pool consisting of walls made of rebar and sprayed-on concrete would probably be considered “constructed” versus “installed.” This definition was relocated to Art. 100 and clarified for 2023. The revisions for 2023 removed the 42-in. depth as being part of the definition. So, this definition now includes pools of any depth. The 2023 definition also includes pools that are “constructed” or “installed” in the ground, and it still includes all pools installed inside of a building.
Even with the new streamlined and clarified definition, there may still be some pools that don’t quite fit into the definition yet. For example, rooftop pools come to mind. Would a rooftop pool be considered “inside” the building or “on” the building? And does a pool “constructed” inside a building fit into this revised definition? The definition includes pools “installed” inside of a building. Is there a difference between pools that are “installed” inside a building versus “constructed” inside a building? The revised 2023 definition added the words “or installed” when referring to pools in or on the ground but did not add the words “or constructed” when referring to pools inside a building. There are still many questions that will need to be answered when trying to determine which pools will be covered by this definition. I suggest having a professional and courteous discussion with your AHJ to figure it all out.