Pools, Hot Tubs, and Spas

The installation of an above-ground/in-ground pool, hot tub, and/or spa within the City of Wheaton requires a pool permit issued by the Building and Code Enforcement Department. A pool permit is required when the pool has the capability of containing a water depth of 24-inches or greater or a surface area greater than 250 sq. ft. This includes hot tubs and spas. Additional items that are associated with pools, such as enclosures (fences), decks, electrical service lines, electrical lines to pumps and or heaters or light fixtures and gas lines to heaters also require permits.

Note: The term “pool”, as used in this guideline, also applies to hot tubs and spas.

The guidelines listed below identify required submittals that will go along with the permit application; such as code issues you need to follow during design and construction, required inspections, fees, etc.

Required Submittals

  1. Application for Permit
    Provide an Building Application for Permit that has been filled out and include all required information that is pertinent to the proposed scope of work such as; site address, description of work, contractors to be used on the job and their respective costs per trade, total cost of work to be performed, complete applicant contact information, etc.
  2. Plat of Survey
    Provide two (2) copies of a legal plat of survey marked to identify the following:
    • Location of the pool including the dimensions of the pool;
    • Dimensions from the side and rear property lines to pool;
    • Location of a minimum 4 ft. high pool enclosure (fence);
    • Identify the location of electrical outlets, overhead or underground electrical service line and any underground cables;
    • Discharge location of the pool drain.
  3. Grading Plan
    Provide two (2) copies of a grading plan that meets the specifications identified in Grading Plan Requirements - Type I for any in-ground pool.
  4. Installation Manual
    Provide a copy of the installation manual for the pond/waterfall equipment including filters, pumps, heaters, lights.
  5. Contractor Registration
    Contractors are required to be registered per City of Wheaton registration requirements. General, electrical and mechanical contractors can refer to the documents titled Contractor Registration Guidelines and Contractor Registration Application Form Contractor Registration Application for additional information.
  6. Plan of Pool
    Provide a plan and section of the in-ground pool that depicts pool construction, electrical grounding and bonding methods, and a plumbing riser diagram. Indicate the location, type, size and burial depth of the electrical and/or gas line supplying the pool.

Current Codes
See Codes & Design Criteria that will identify codes that may be applicable to your construction project.

Significant Codes - Building

  1. Pool Construction shall conform to the adopted International Residential Code 2012 Edition Appendix G.
  2. At least one means of egress shall be provided from private pools. Treads of steps and ladders shall have slip-resistant surfaces and handrails on both sides, except that handrails are not required where there are not more than four steps or where the steps extend the full width of the side or end of the pool.
  3. Every person owning land on which there is situated a swimming pool that has the capability of containing 24 inches or more of water in depth at any point, shall erect and maintain thereon an adequate enclosure surrounding the pool area. The Director of Building and Code Enforcement has interpreted this to mean either a fence, side of a pool or other permanent structure or a combination of the above. The enclosure shall extend not less than 4- feet above the ground. All gates shall be self-closing and self-latching with latches placed at least 4-feet above the ground. All gates shall open out, away from the pool. Enclosures (fences) shall be constructed so as to prohibit the passage of a sphere no larger than 4 inches in diameter through any opening or under the fence. Fences shall be designed to withstand a horizontal concentrated load of 200 lbs. applied on a one square foot area at any point of the fence. Alternative devices such as a natural barrier, pool cover or other protective devices shall be by approval of the Building representative only and shall be an acceptable enclosure as long as the degree of protection afforded by the substituted device or structure is not less than the protection afforded by the enclosure, gate and latch described herein.
  4. Refer to the International Residential Code 2012, Appendix G for additional requirements for in-ground pools.

Significant Codes - Zoning
Location of pools of any type are allowed in the rear yard; not allowed in front of the corner side yard. Side and rear setback: 10 ft. (setback includes, pool, pool deck, and any related equipment, etc.) No zoning separation from the house.

Significant Codes - Electrical
All electrical work is to comply with the adopted 2011 Edition of the National Electrical Code, Article 680. The following excerpts are the most commonly referenced sections and apply to pools, hot tubs, and spas. It is recommended that a licensed electrician perform the electrical installations.

Clearance to Conductors:

  1. Underground wiring may be direct burial cable, 24 inches below grade, PVC, a minimum depth of 18 inches below grade, or rigid metallic conduit, a minimum of 6 inches below grade.
  2. 2. Underground service cable shall not be permitted under the pool or within 5 feet of the inside wall of the pool. When the space limitations prevent service cables from being routed 5 feet or more from the pool, such cables must be installed 24 inches deep in 4-inch metal conduit for the entire length. (NEC, 680).
  3. 3. Horizontal limit of aerial clearance (to the nearest electrical wires, lights, etc.) shall not measure less than 10 feet from the inside wall of the pool, platform, tower or observation stand. (NEC 680-8)
  4. 4. Angled clearance in any direction from the edge of the pool to 0-750 volt power lines shall be at least 22- feet 6- inches and at least 25-feet 0-inches for 750-15,000 volt lines. Refer to Table 680-9 and figure 680-8. (Do not attempt to measure exact distances to live wires due to the danger of electrocution.)

Receptacles (NEC-680-6):

  1. An outlet for pool/pump may be located between 5 feet and 10 feet from the edge of the pool only if it is single locking type (twist lock) and ground fault circuit interrupt (GFCI) protected.
  2. One 120-volt GFCI protected convenience outlet is required and shall be a minimum of (not closer than) 10 feet and a maximum of (not further than) 20 feet away from the pool.
  3. All 120-volt receptacles located within 20-feet of the inside wall of a pool shall be protected by a GFCI.
  4. Extension cords are not permitted around the pool.
  5. Cord-connected equipment must have a twist lock plug & accompanying outlet if within 10 feet of the pool.

Overhead Lighting:

  1. Lighting fixtures or lighting outlets shall not be installed over the pool or over the area extending 5 feet horizontally from the inside wall of a pool unless 12 feet above the maximum water level.
  2. Lighting fixtures or lighting outlets located within 5 feet to 10 feet of inside walls of the pool must be GFI protected unless they are 5 feet or more above the maximum water level, and rigidly attached to a permanent structure.

Switching Devices:
All switches must be located at least 5 feet away from the inside wall of the pool unless separated from the pool by a permanent barrier. (680-6(c)).

All metal parts of the pool, installed pool equipment, electrical conduit, and fixed metal parts within 5 feet horizontally from the inside wall of the pool and 12 feet above the maximum water level, shall be bonded together with bare copper wire of a size no less than number 8 AWG.

Under Water Light Fixtures:
Fixtures shall comply with provisions of NEC-680-20(a) (b) (c) (d). All circuits supplying lighting fixtures shall be GFCI protected if operating at more than 15 volts. Submit the manufacturer’s specifications and installation instructions.

Significant Codes - Plumbing

  1. Hose valves (also known as yard hydrants or hose bibs) with threaded spigots shall have backflow protection such as fixed air gap fitting, reduced pressure principle backflow preventer assembly or atmospheric vacuum breaker unit attached to the hydrant spigot (890.1140/1130(f)(3).
  2. Piping carrying backwash or other wastewater from a swimming pool filter shall be installed as indirect waste to the building drain or building sanitary waste system. Piping utilized to drain water from the pool proper, such as the main drain waste and gutter waste shall be installed as an indirect waste to a storm sewer or discharged to surface. The Plat of Survey shall indicate the location of the pool water discharge to grade and shall be approved by the City Engineering Department prior to installation in order to ensure that the discharge does not create a nuisance to adjacent properties.

Maintenance and Draining of Pools

  1. Per the International Residential Code, water treatment for private pools shall be designed and installed so that there is a pool water turnover at least once every 18-hours. Filters shall not filter water at a rate in excess of 5 gallons per minute per square foot of surface area. The pool owner shall be instructed in proper care and maintenance of the pool by the supplier or builder, including the use of high-test calcium hypochlorite (dry chlorine), sodium hypochlorite (liquid chlorine) or equally effective germicide and algaecide, and the importance of proper pH (alkalinity and acidity) control. All recirculation systems shall be provided with an approved hair and lint strainer installed in the system ahead of the pump.
  2. The swimming pool and equipment shall be equipped to be emptied completely of water. The discharged water shall be disposed of in an approved manner that will not create a nuisance to adjoining property. When draining the pool, the water shall be discharged into the nearest storm sewer when available.

Demolition of In-Ground Pools

  1. The City of Wheaton Building Department has accepted burial of in-ground pools as long as:
  2. A permit application and a Type I Grading Plan are submitted to identify the location of the buried pool.
  3. A minimum of 12-18 inches of the top edge of the pool is to be removed and bottom of the pool is to be broken up in such a manner that does not allow the accumulation of water.
  4. Backfilling is not to contain any organic material or any debris except for clean concrete from the pool itself, that have no toxic materials attached such as paint or adhesives. Backfill material is to either be gravel or soil.
  5. Call 630-260-2050 to schedule an inspection of the broken-up pool prior to backfill.
  6. Call 630-260-2066 to schedule a final grading inspection.

This guideline includes basic requirements. Refer to the International Residential Code for additional requirements.

Permit Fees
For associated Planning, Engineering and Building fees, please refer to Appendix B7 Fee Schedule per the Wheaton City Code - Community Development Fees.

For associated Sewer and Water fees, please refer to Appendix B8 Fee Schedule per the Wheaton City Code - Public Works/Sewer & Water Fees.

Spas and Hot Tubs

Significant Codes - Electrical

  1. Installation of spas and hot tubs located indoors are governed by the following requirements:
  2. All receptacles and switches shall be a minimum of 5 feet from inside the wall of the tub.
  3. At least one receptacle must be located within 5 feet to 10 feet of the inside wall of the tub.
  4. Any receptacle located within 10 feet of the tub must be GFI protected.
  5. Receptacles that provide power to the tub must also be GFI protected.
  6. Lighting fixtures and lighting outlets over or within 5 feet of the tub must be at least 7½ feet above the maximum water level of the tub and must be GFI protected.
  7. Fixtures which are rated for damp locations and contain no conductive surfaces may be installed less than 7½ feet from the tub if they are GFI protected.
  8. Fixtures located 12 or more feet above the tub need not be GFI protected.
  9. The metal parts of the tub, tub equipment, electrical conduit, and any other metal surfaces and additional electrical devices or controls located within 5 feet of the inside wall of the tub shall be bonded together with copper wire of a size no less than #8 AWG.

The inspections listed here are required for all pool (all types), hot tub and spa projects. Additional inspections may be needed based upon the scope of work for your project. If you are required to have additional inspections, they will be listed on your Plan Approval Notice that will be attached to the approved plans.

To schedule an inspection, please call 630-260-2050 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Plumbing inspections are available on Tuesday or Thursday only. Please allow for a minimum of 24 hours notice when scheduling inspections. Plumbing inspections must be scheduled no later than 3:30 p.m. the day before the desired inspection date.

Type of Inspection
When to Call
Installation of underground electrical or mechanical (gas) piping associated to pool.
Prior to backfilling trench(s).
Electrical Work (Including bonding of all metal components for in-ground pools, spa/hot tubs adjacent to pools).
Prior to concealment of rough electric.
Please have a copy of the Water Treatment Guidelines available for inspector review.
After the pool has been installed, and after all associated equipment is operational and the enclosure (fence) is complete.

Contact Us
City of Wheaton Building & Code Enforcement Department
Address: 303 W. Wesley Street, Wheaton, IL 60187
Phone Calls:
Phone: 630-260-2050
Inspection Scheduling: 630-260-2050
Planning & Zoning Department: 630-260-2080
Business hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Fax: 630-260-2195 (contractor registrations, certificates of insurance & bonds)

Revised 9/14/2018