Swimming Pools

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Current Size: 80%

General Requirements


A fence or barrier must enclose all swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas.  Contact the building inspection division for height and size requirements of the fence or barrier.

Pools that are less than 150 square feet of surface area, contain less than 5000 gallons and do not have the capacity for more than 24 inches of water depth do not require permits. This exemption from a permit does not eliminate the barrier requirement.

Questions regarding swimming pools can be answered by the Community Development Building Inspections Division at 540-432-7700.

How to Apply for a Permit

Online: Submit applications, track and pay for permits online via the LAMA Permit Portal. If you are a contractor and need a registration code, call the Department of Community Development at 540-432-7700 or email permits@harrisonburgva.gov.

Via email: Permit applications may be emailed to permits@harrisonburgva.gov.

In person: Visit us at Community Development, 409 S Main St, 2nd Floor, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.


What permits are needed?

  1. A building permit is required for every swimming pool meeting the above criteria installed in the City of Harrisonburg.
  2. An electrical permit is required for most pools with specific requirements for electrical installations in and around swimming pools.
  3. A plumbing permit may be required if the pool is to be drained or backwashed. It is required to drain a swimming pool and backwash into the sanitary sewer.

What information is required?

  1. A Site Plan is required to be submitted with each building permit application. A Site Plan shall include:
  • The location and dimensions of all buildings presently on the site drawn to a scale of 1" = 20'.
  • The location of the pool in relation to the existing buildings.
  • A directional arrow indicating North.
  • The measured distance from each property line (in feet) to the edges of the pool.
  • All easements contained within the lot or which cross the lot at any location.

Information required on application:

  1. The owner's complete name, present mailing address, and telephone number.
  2. The contractor's complete name, present mailing address, telephone number, copy of state class "A", "B", or "C" contractor's registration, and city business license number.
  3. The appropriate fee, based on the total value - including labor and materials for building, plumbing and electrical work. Checks shall be made payable to the City of Harrisonburg.

Application Processing

Once an application has been submitted, it is forwarded to the planning and zoning division for review for zoning requirements. It is then returned to the building inspections division for final review, approval and issuance of the building permit.

Basic Inspections

Building: footers for decking, and slab (before poured), and final (after all other inspections passed and the barrier or fencing [minimum of 48 inches high] is in place).

Electrical: pool bonding, rough-in (for receptacles, lighting, pool motors, panelboards), and final (after all receptacles, lighting, and equipment are in place and ready for operation).

Plumbing: slab (before any piping is covered), service (where being connected to sewer), and final (ready for operation).

Posting of Permits

The building, electrical, and plumbing permits shall be displayed on the outside of the building or premises where it is plainly visible from the street, and shall not be removed until all work on the swimming pool is completed, inspected, and approved.

Codes in Effect

Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code, most current edition as adopted by the state.

Special Electrical Requirements

There are many specialized electrical requirements for swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas. Because they involve the presence of water, electricity, and people who may come in contact with both, these requirements are critical for the safety of the user. Electrical requirements for swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas vary greatly depending on type, location, and equipment selected for the use with the pool. The basic information provided in the pamphlet is NOT to be construed as being applicable to all pools, hot tubs, or spas, nor is it to be construed as all the information required for a single pool.

  1. Receptacles shall be located at least ten (10) feet from the inside walls of the pool.
  2. All receptacles shall be ground-fault-circuit-interrupter protected if installed between ten (10) and twenty (20) feet from the inside walls of the pool.
  3. Lighting fixtures, lighting outlets, and ceiling fans shall not be installed over the pool or over the area extending five (5) feet horizontally from the inside walls of the pool.
  4. Switching devices shall be located over the pool or over the area extending horizontally ten (10) feet from the inside walls of the pool.
  5. Electrical conductors shall not be located over the pool or over the area extending horizontally ten (10) feet from the inside walls of the pool.
  6. Underground electrical wiring shall not be located under the pool or within the area extending five (5) feet horizontally from the inside walls of the pool.
  7. Underwater lighting fixtures shall be protected by a ground-fault-circuit-interrupter.
  8. A bonding grid system shall be installed with all parts interconnected by means of a number 8 awg solid copper conductor.
  9. The minimum size equipment-grounding conductor permitted for pool lighting, motors, and panelboards is an insulated number 12 awg copper.
  10. In general, the wiring methods permitted are rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, and rigid non-metallic conduit.

To report any problems with the links or other content on this page, please email Nyrma.Soffel@harrisonburgva.gov.