Ohio Building Codes: Making Sure Your In-Ground Pool Meets Regulations

At Brothers Grimm, we love working with homeowners to install beautiful pools and transform backyards into personal spas. While we wish we could always jump right into projects for our customers, many procedures, pool codes, and regulations need considered and adhered to before homeowners can even break ground on a pool. 

We want to help you avoid any roadblocks in your project and ensure a proper in-ground pool installation so you can enjoy your pool for years to come. Keep reading to learn more about how building codes and regulations for in-ground pools can affect your pool installation, then get in touch with our experts at Brothers Grimm for help navigating the complexities of Ohio building codes.

Pool landscaping and design up to pool code

Importance of Understanding Laws Regarding In-Ground Pools

There are many important reasons why you must adhere to all codes and standards before putting in an in-ground pool. Among these reasons are ensuring compliance with various other structures and infrastructure in the surrounding area, and most importantly, ensuring safety.

A prominent example of the necessity to follow pool zoning requirements and perform the appropriate checks is because of the digging required to install a pool in the ground. If you begin digging in a location without filling out permits, considering pool codes, and having the proper checks made, you could face a fine, or worse, destroy some of the subterranean wildlife or even hit a gas line. 

Regarding the safety of others, if you do not put up the proper markers around your pool, such as a fence, adults or children could accidentally fall in and injure themselves or drown. Accordingly, many jurisdictions require a minimum height for fencing around pools.

How Pool Building Codes Could Affect Your Installation

The theory behind all building codes is to keep people safe, thus making your pool enjoyable. However, there may be associated costs and time factors that you have yet to consider. It should also be considered that sometimes zoning can have a greater effect than codes on your pool build.

Might Affect Your Final Bill

There are no statewide pool codes and laws. That means all rules and codes are decided upon a county-by-county basis. Within that county, building regulations for swimming pools are universal; everyone must adhere to them. However, every pool installation has inherent differences. Some pool code factors for your installation might not have been relevant for a neighbor. These variations range from the type of house you have, the condition of your yard, and the layout of various electrical, water, or other city works. All these factors may lead to additional labor or part charges. 

Could Take Longer Than You Think

Along the same vein, these variables might change the price of your overall project, but they may also change the duration of the project overall. Applying for permits and taking the necessary steps to assess the location of your pool takes time. Plus, any specific issues or workarounds due to code restraints or other factors may take more time to correct than others. However, ensuring a safe and compliant pool installation is always worth any additional time. 


Building codes refer to the actual installation of the structures associated with your pool, whereas zoning involves the use capabilities of the land itself. Even if you personally own the land, there may be zoning requirements that will determine how you use it. For example, even if you are building the pool exclusively on your own property, there are times when you may still require the consent of your neighbors due to zoning issues. It is best to consider all zoning requirements when building a pool, as well as ensuring all building codes are adhered too.

Ohio Building Regulations For In-Ground Pools

To reiterate, there are no codes that universally regulate private pools in Ohio. The pool codes that a structure requires varies county by county. Certain areas have different rules than others. However, certain strictures apply almost universally. The finer points, such as the amount of feet from the property line and the amount of water that must be circulated on a daily basis may differ, but location and circulation in themselves are integral parts of pool design and must be considered. 

Electrical Requirements

Special attention needs given to the electrical components of a swimming pool. These components can include lighting, filtration, and heating apparatus. Anything electrical can prove deadly when introduced to water. As a result, bonding is a critical step in any pool and must be performed by a licensed electrician to avoid electrocution. 

Water Circulation

Stagnant water creates a health hazard. When there is no consistent movement, a pool can become a perfect breeding ground for germs, bacteria, and other creatures, making swimming a hazardous experience. A careful blend of chemicals within the pool can prove helpful to keep it clean; however, more is needed. In-ground pools must be built with an intricate circulation system to keep the water running so it will not be susceptible to the growth of harmful bacteria or germs. According to pool codes in Cleveland, the pool filtration system must be able to cycle the pool twice within a 24-hour period.

Hard For Children and Animals to Access

Children are a chief concern of swimming pool building codes. Strict fence laws for swimming pools are prevalent in pool-related zoning codes. In Akron, the pool must be surrounded by an adequate enclosure, include self-latching gates, and be at least four feet tall. Such precautions and others like them help protect children and animals from accessing the pool and causing themselves any harm.

Depth for Diving Boards & Slides

Pool codes are very particular regarding the depth of a pool. For example, in Canton, diving boards must have 15 feet of unobstructed headroom above the board, and the board cannot exceed 3 meters. Apart from this, if you plan to include a diving board or a slide in your designs,  you must ensure the pool is deep enough to accommodate them. Plunging into a pool without adequate depth can result in serious bodily injury.

Distance from the House

A common zoning code affecting in-ground swimming pools regards the pool’s location on the owner’s property. For example, in Medina, the zoning code states that a pool cannot be in the front yard. It must be at least five feet away from existing structures. However, in Cleveland, it must be at least 10 feet away from the property line. 

Building Your Pool With Brothers Grimm

Following all pool codes in your county and refraining from cutting corners will help ensure a successful in-ground pool installation. You can rely on our professional pool design and installation experts at Brothers Grimm to get the job done. We take our work seriously so that you can enjoy your pool leisurely. Contact us today to begin work on your family’s new favorite pastime.