What to consider when doing pool fence or gate repairs

Is your pool fence or gate requiring repairs or maintenance? Maybe you’re looking to upgrade or extend the pool area? If you think it’s time for a change or some repairs, it’s essential to know what to consider when doing pool fence or gate repairs.

When would repairs, maintenance or changes be necessary?

Whether you have had a pool for quite some time or recently installed one, there are various reasons why you may need repairs or changes to your pool fence or gate. Common reasons include:

  • General wear and tear over a long period of time.
  • Sudden, unexpected damage to the pool fence or gate.
  • A need for a fence extension due to renovations or extended pool area.
  • Replacement of sections or hardware such as gate latches and self-closing mechanisms

No matter the reason for repairs or changes, there are certain things you’ll need to consider.

swimming pool inspection

Will the repair render the pool fence or gate non-compliant with safety standards?

Suppose you are making significant repairs or changes to your pool fenced or gate. In that case, you will likely need to have it re-evaluated by a safety inspector so that you can have your safety certificate reissued by your council. In some cases, it may be necessary to obtain a building permit from your local council before conducting any construction – this is usually necessary if you renovate or build additional barriers, however, general repairs do not require a building permit.

Does it need to be repaired or replaced?

Pool barrier safety is more important than ever, and there are hefty fines for non-compliance. It is important to assess whether a repair on your pool fence or gate is sufficient or whether a complete replacement is required. For minor wear and tear or standard maintenance, pool owners can often complete the repairs themselves. However, replacement or reconstruction may require a qualified builder and re-evaluation of safety by a qualified inspector.

Will you upgrade the entire pool fence and gate instead?

You may intend to conduct some simple repairs and find that the pool fence or gate requires an upgrade. Before going ahead with any enhancements, it’s an excellent opportunity to assess the pool area and whether or not you plan to extend it. Is the need for repairs a result of premature damage, and what can you do to prevent that happening again? Has the area allowed enough space for movement and gardens or could you do with creating a larger space within the pool barrier? Assessing these things prior to upgrading or replacing your fence and gate can save you money down the track.

Consider what has changed since your last safety inspection

If it has been a while since you first installed your pool or spa fence and gate, things may have changed in the surrounding area. Trees and shrubs may have grown larger, impeding on the once-compliant non-climbable zone. Perhaps you’ve invested in new outdoor furniture that can now be used as a climbing object for children to scale the pool barrier. 

Completing repairs and replacements on your pool fence and gate involves maintaining safety compliance. Therefore, repairs should include an assessment of the entire area to ensure all safety criteria are met.

pool inspections

What to do if you have made changes to your pool fence or gate since your last inspection

If you have made major changes to your pool fence or gate since your last safety inspection, you will need to have your safety certificate reissued. Read more about everything you need to consider when making major changes to a pool barrier after you’ve lodged a safety certificate.

Summary of considerations

As you may find, there is a lot to consider before making repairs to your pool fence or gate. So here’s a summary to use as a guide.

General considerations:

  • What caused the need for repair or replacement? Was it simple wear and tear, or is there an underlying issue that needs to be addressed to prevent further repairs?
  • Are there things you disliked about your pool fence or gate before that can be updated while you do repairs? Will this require a building permit or reviewed safety certificate?
  • Will you carry out the repairs or upgrade? Or will you contact a professional to do the job?
  • Check for damage, rusting, hazardous elements such as sharp edges and projections.
  • Does the gate still self close and self latch?

Depending on the changes or repairs you make, you may require a building permit. Here’s a summary guide to help you:

  • Repairs – No permit required
  • Renovations – A building permit may be required
  • Upgrading – Building permit required
  • Relocation of a pool or spa – Building permit required
  • An additional barrier required – Building permit and safety inspection required

If you are conducting basic repairs, do a self-assessment to ensure you adhere to the basic safety criteria:

  • the pool barrier fence must be a minimum of 1200 mm high.
  • it must maintain a continuous non-claimable zone (NCZ) so remove any tree branches, shrubs or furniture that can be climbed.
  • any gaps around, below, or between the barrier must not exceed 10cm.
  • a pool or spa barrier gate must swing outward, away from the water.
  • the gate must be self-closing and self-latching.
  • the latch cannot be locked in the open position.
  • no adjustments or alterations should be possible without the use of tools.

If you are unsure whether your pool and spa fence or gate still meets safety standards, contact us for a pre-compliance consultation and find out a full list of rectifications required to pass safety evaluations.


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