Spa pool regulations in Victoria (Rules, recommendations and more)

Wondering what the rules and regulations are for installing a spa pool or swim spa in Victoria? In this article we answer your questions and explain what you need to know for a safe, straight-forward installation.

When you’re installing a spa pool or swim spa, finding the right information and working out what rules apply to your space can feel a little overwhelming! We understand. That’s why we’ve explained everything you need to know in a clear and simple way.

After reading this article you should have a good understanding of the rules and requirements for installing a spa or swim spa in Victoria.

Spa pool regulations in Victoria - your questions answered

What information does this article cover?

The first section of this article applies to Victoria and covers spa building permits, registrations, installation, safety barriers and general questions for this region only.

The second section covers rules that apply Australia-wide including:

  • where to place your spa or swim spa
  • spa installation
  • electrical requirements
  • customising your spa
  • using your spa
  • Spa World™ learning centre

Please note the majority of spa-related questions also apply to swim spas.

Important: This document provides a simplified overview of current regulations in reference to Spa World™ products. It is not a complete guide. We advise all customers to seek independent advice in relation to their own personal site requirements. The information in this article was accurate at the time of writing. This can change without notice and you must check the latest information with your local council.

Do I need a permit for my spa in Victoria?

Your new spa is required by law to have an approved pool safety barrier installed around it. You will need a building permit before the safety barrier is installed.

Do I need a permit to put a spa on a deck in Victoria?

You will need a building permit for decks that are attached to a building such as a house or swimming pool, regardless of size. A building permit is also required for a detached deck, regardless of size.

Is my spa considered a swimming pool in Victoria?

The current Australian Standard defines a swimming pool as: Any structure containing water to a depth greater than 300 mm and used primarily for swimming, wading and paddling. This also includes a bathing pool, wading pool, or spa pool.

Does my spa pool or swim spa need to be registered with my council in Victoria?

As a new spa owner, you are issued a form 23 certificate from the building surveyor once the pool safety barrier and any other building works have been inspected and approved. The next step is to submit the form 23 to your local council, along with the property owner’s registration application.

On 1 December 2019, new laws to improve swimming pool and spa safety came into effect in Victoria. This includes new registration, inspection and certification requirements for property owners.

Can I install my spa or swim spa over an easement in Victoria?

If you’re planning to position your spa pool or swim spa over an easement or an asset of a relevant authority e.g. the council, you may legally need to apply for consent.

We recommend that you contact a certifier. Taking this action is likely to save you time and money. Certifiers have the expertise to identify what requirements you need to meet and how to achieve them. Visiting your local council is another option.

Do I need a concrete slab for my spa?

We can provide generic concrete slab designs for both swim spas and portable spas that are suitable for most soil types. Please email compliance@spaworld.com.au for more information.

Does my new spa need to be fenced with a pool safety barrier?

Yes, all new spa pools and swim spas in Victoria need a pool safety barrier. These barriers also require a building permit. It’s important to note that a lockable hard-cover is not considered to be a suitable barrier in Victoria.

Do I need a registered builder to install the safety barrier for my spa?

Yes, you do need a registered builder to install your spa safety barrier and you should contact a builder that is qualified to do this type of building work. There is the option of installing the spa barrier yourself as an ‘owner-builder’. However, you may need to apply for a certificate of consent from the VBA (Victorian Building Authority) for work valued at more than $16,000.

Does Spa World™ have the required plumbing certificate for its products?

Yes, all Spa World™ products have the relevant plumbing approvals as required by legislation.

Can my boundary fence form part of the spa safety barrier?

Yes, a boundary fence can act as part of a barrier to a spa pool or swim spa if the height of the fence is at least 1800mm on the inside. A boundary fence also needs to have a non-climbable zone with a 900mm radius from the top of the inside of the barrier.

Does my new spa need a CPR sign?

A CPR sign on display near your spa is not mandatory in Victoria. However, SPASA - Swimming Pool and Spa Association (Australia) recommends that a CPR sign should be placed within the immediate vicinity of all spa pools, even though this is not legislated in every state.

Do spas from Spa World™ have electrical approvals?

Yes, all Spa World™ products have the legally required electrical approvals Do you need a copy of these certificates? Please contact compliance@spaworld.com.au

Can I put a spa or swim spa on a deck?

Yes, you can place a spa on top of a deck. If you are planning to do so, the deck should be assessed and designed by a structural engineer. The purpose of this is to ensure the deck is capable of holding the weight of a filled spa or swim spa.

Spa building regulations in Australia - your questions answered

Can I put a spa or swim spa into a deck?

Yes, you can install a spa into a deck. It’s important to remember that there are many things to consider in order to have trouble-free use of your spa for years to come. For more information, head to the Spa World™ learning centre.

Can you manually carry or lift a spa into position?

Spa pools are heavy and we do not recommend that you lift one manually. It is best to read our pre-delivery guide for professional advice and handy tips before making plans to move your spa.

Do I need a crane to install a swim spa?

Yes, you will need a crane to install a swim spa. There are several options to consider, depending on accessibility to your spa space. A Hiab truck may be able to do the job, otherwise it will be necessary to hire a crane.

How do I get a spa or swim spa in my backyard?

The answer to this question will depend on access to your property and the desired location of the spa pool or swim spa. There are a number of points to consider before your spa delivery and when you purchase a spa from Spa World™ you will need to send through property access details.

Watch this short video to find out what information is needed before your spa is delivered. You can also visit our learning centre for more details.

Can I install my spa in-ground?

Yes, you can install your spa in-ground or into a pit. However Spa World™ does not provide in-ground shells. We recommend you view the Spa World™ pre-delivery guide for further details.

Does my spa need a concrete foundation?

We recommend that you use engineered concrete slabs for your spa foundation and can even provide you with a generic engineered design.

However if you would like to place your spa on a different foundation, it should be certified by an engineer. Learn more in this article, A solid foundation for your spa - what you need to know.

Do I need approvals for my spa?

Depending on your situation, you may need approval from your local council to install a spa pool or swim spa in your desired location. We recommend you make contact to find out what requirements apply to you.

Does my spa need to be fenced?

Fencing requirement guidelines depend on many factors including product and location and this can vary between states. We advise customers to contact the local council or certifier before installing a spa.

Does Spa World™ offer an installation or compliance service?

Yes, Spa World™ offers an installation service to customers who live within a particular radius of the store location. To find out if your spa can be delivered to your property, please contact your local Spa World™ showroom.

The Spa World™ team does not install spa pools or swim spas or issue certifications for your installation. However, you can be referred to certifiers that can help you with regulations that need to be met for your installation.

Where can I find information on spa installation or delivery?

The Spa World™ pre-delivery guide will provide you with all the information you need before installing your spa. When you make your spa or swim spa purchase, you will be assigned a Spa World™ concierge who will look after you and make regular contact from the moment you make your purchase through until after delivery.

Do I need to contact a plumber when installing my spa?

No, you do not need to contact a plumber. However, if you’re installing your spa pool or swim spa into a pit, you will need a plumber to ensure an adequate drainage system is in place in order to prevent the pit from flooding.

The concrete slab for my spa is not level - What can I do?

Floor levelling products are available to help you create a level surface. If you have a fall of more than 20mm over an length of the spa, you may be able to use chocks to make the surface level. We suggest you email compliance@spaworld.com.au

Who can carry out electrical work for my spa installation?

All electrical work must be completed by a qualified electrician.

What is the maximum distance a heat pump can be installed from the spa circulation pump?

We recommend the distance between the heat pump and circulation pump should be no greater than 3 metres. The height distance between the two pumps should not be any greater than 1 metre. To learn more, read this article: How do I install my heat pump available at the Spa World™ Help Centre.

What are the power requirements for my spa?

To find out what power supply you need, refer to the tech sheet for your Spa World™ spa. This can be located and downloaded from the product page on our website.

Do spas and swim spas need electrical and plumbing approvals?

All spas need to have both certifications in order to be sold legally in Australia and New Zealand. It’s important that a spa meets all approvals for the safety of you, your family and friends. Email compliance@spaworld.com.au for more information.

Can I run my spa on an extension lead?

No, a licensed electrician must install a dedicated power supply that meets local and national regulations.

Do I need a hard cover for my spa?

Yes, when your spa or swim spa is not in use, it needs to be covered. The covers available at Spa World™ are lockable and provide a high level of insulation. Effective insulation will help reduce the running costs of a spa. Please note that leaving an empty spa uncovered and exposed to the sun will damage the acrylic shell and is not covered under warranty.

I am allergic to chlorine or don’t like the smell of chlorine – Can I use salt in my spa?

Spa World™ offers salt systems for swim spas but there are other solutions including peroxide-based systems on offer that may be better suited for you. For more information, read what to use instead of chlorine in a spa pool.

Can I choose the design and layout of jets in my spa?

No, this is not a possibility because the spas are designed and engineered to function for optimum performance and meet the relevant regulations.

Can I leave a spa empty?

Yes, you can leave your spa without water in it. However, you must follow the shut down procedure in your manual and ensure the hardcover is in the correct position. This is to reduce the effects of direct sunlight or too much heat on the spa shell. Leaving an empty spa uncovered and exposed to the sun will damage the acrylic. This is not covered under warranty.

Can I have a cold spa in summer?

You can operate your spa with cooler water in the summer. However, if the outside temperature is 40 degrees celsius, the temperature of the spa water will also be high due to ambient temperature. If you truly want a cool spa in summer, you may need to purchase an optional heat pump which can both heat and cool the spa water. Heat pumps can also save up to 70% on spa heating costs compared to electric heaters.

Can I install a spa inside my house?

Yes, it is possible to install a spa pool inside a house if the desired destination point for the spa is accessible. We recommend that you ensure your ventilation and drainage system in your house functions properly. This is to minimise any damage if the spa was to ever develop a leak.

Can I turn my spa off when not in use?

Yes, you can turn your spa off between uses however we don’t recommend that you do this. That’s because the spas are designed to filter and heat when not in use. When you turn the spa off, the filtration system cannot function and your water will need to be replaced or treated excessively in order to be safe.

In Summary

We hope this article has helped answer your questions about the rules, regulations and what you can and can’t do with your new spa or swim spa.

Is there a question we haven’t answered in this article? Contact your nearest showroom to speak to a member of the Spa World™ sales team.

You can also head to the Spa World™ learning centre where you will find an extensive range of articles and videos about the spa pools and swim spas on offer at Spa World™.

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