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Spa and swimming pool skimmer boxes, filters, outlets and covers

Maintain the safety of your home spa or swimming pool

If you have an in-ground or transportable portable swimming pool or spa, there are steps you can take to minimise the risk of serious injuries and death associated with these devices when they are unsafe models or do not work as intended.

Do an immediate check for unsafe filters, outlets and covers that can cause injury or death

Organise an immediate check to see if your spa or pool has any of these filters and outlet devices:

  • an open potty-shaped skimmer box that children or adults can sit on
  • outlets or filters that are open and can trap hair or body parts
  • single drainage outlets at the bottom of the pool or spa, rather than on the sides
  • outlet and filter covers that can easily come off and give access to filters or outlets that can trap hair or body parts or cause serious internal injuries.

If you have any of these, products you should:

  • immediately stop using the pool or spa
  • replace any unsafe skimmer boxes, outlets, filters or covers with models that comply with Australian or American voluntary standards
  • ask reputable pool and spa suppliers for proof that any products they provide you with are designed to minimise the likelihood of entrapment of any part of a person's body or hair by the outlet when in use.

Safe models to look for

Safe models are those covered by Australian and American voluntary standards. These standards include Australian or ASME / ANSI / ASTM 'Standard having the purpose of reducing or minimising the likelihood of entrapment' and include:

  • AS1926.3
  • AS2610.2
  • AS2818
  • ANSI A112.

Conduct an annual safety check

Organise a reputable spa and pool supplier to conduct an annual check of your pool to ensure that filters and outlets are:

  • safe and meet current Australian or American voluntary standards
  • are working as intended and have no blockages or problems that could increase the water pressure and create a force that could trap and drown the user.

If your annual check reveals problems, act immediately to organise a qualified expert to repair any problems with your pool or spa that could cause injury or death.

Avoid unsafe spas and swimming pools in other locations

If you are using spas and swimming pools in public or other private places, do a check before you enter the water and avoid using spas or swimming pool that have:

  •  a bottom drain outlet—if these are blocked or damaged they can create significant pressure that can trap and pin a person under water and cause drowning
  •  installed or moulded skimmer boxes that have no lid or have a lid that children can easily remove—children have been disembowelled after sitting in open skimmer boxes.


A permanent ban on pools and spas with unsafe design features was declared on 1 February 2011. This page includes information on hazards and how to comply with the ban.


Check for any recalls related to this page.

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