ASSEMBLY REGULATED PROFESSIONS COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR

ASSEMBLY, No. 224

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED:  JUNE 6, 2016

 

      The Assembly Regulated Professions Committee reports favorably the Assembly Committee Substitute for Assembly Bill No. 224.

      This committee substitute provides for the licensing of pool and spa service contractors and pool and spa builders and installers.  The substitute also establishes a Pool and Spa Service Contractors and Pool and Spa Builders and Installers Advisory Committee in the Department of Law and Public Safety, under the Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors.  The committee is to consist of seven members who are residents of this State as follows: two members who have been pool and spa service contractors for at least five years immediately preceding their appointment and are members of the Northeast Spa and Pool Association; two members who have been pool and spa builders and installers for at least five years immediately preceding their appointment and are members of the Northeast Spa and Pool Association; one member who is a licensed plumbing inspector employed by a municipality; one member who is a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO; and one public member.

      To be eligible for licensure as a pool and spa service contractor, an applicant must be at least 18 years of age and be of good moral character. In addition, the applicant must meet qualifications established by the board, in consultation with the committee, regarding experience, continuing education, financial responsibility and integrity, and establish his qualifications to perform and supervise various phases of pool and spa service contracting as evidenced by successful completion of, and having earned, one of the following: an Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP) certification as a Certified Service Professional (CSP), an APSP certification as a Certified Service Technician (CST), or an APSP certification as a Certified Building Professional (CBP), or for those persons who only service and maintain portable spas, an APSP certification as a Certified Hot Tub Technician (CHTT), or any other certification acceptable to the board in consultation with the committee.

      To be eligible for licensure as a pool and spa builder and installer, an applicant must be at least 18 years of age and be of good moral character.  In addition, the applicant must meet qualifications established by the board, in consultation with the committee regarding experience, continuing education, financial responsibility and integrity and establish his qualifications to perform and supervise various phases of pool and spa building and installation as evidenced by successful completion of, and having earned, certification as a Certified Builder Professional (CBP) from the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP) or such other certification acceptable to the board in consultation with the committee.

      The provisions of this substitute do not apply to: electrical contractors regulated by the Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors pursuant to P.L.1962, c.162 (C.45:5A-1 et seq.) and persons in their employ while working on the electrical components of a swimming pool; plumbing contractors regulated by the State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers pursuant to P.L.1968, c.362 (C.45:14C-1 et seq.) and persons in their employ while working on the plumbing components of a swimming pool; or HVACR contractors regulated by the State Board of Examiners of Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors pursuant to P.L.2007, c.211 (C.45:16A-1 et seq.) and persons in their employ while working on the heating components of a swimming pool.  It is not the intention of the bill to authorize a person who engages in licensed pool and spa service contracting or licensed pool and spa building and installation to perform the work of electrical contractors, plumbing contractors, or HVACR contractors, as the case may be, unless licensed to perform that work pursuant to P.L.1962, c.162 (C.45:5A-1 et seq.), P.L.1968, c.362 (C.45:14C-1 et seq.), or P.L.2007, c.211 (C.45:16A-1 et seq.).

      The substitute stipulates that no person shall advertise that he is authorized to engage in, or engage in pool and spa service contracting or pool and spa building and installation unless he satisfies the requirements of this substitute.

      “Pool and spa building and installation” is defined in the substitute as the excavation and grading, construction and installation of pools, tiling and coping, and installation of all circulation equipment including pumps, filters, heaters, sanitizers and chemical feeders.  It does not include direct connections to a sanitary sewer system or potable water lines, nor the grounding and bonding of any metal surfaces or the making of any electrical connections, or the direct connection to any natural gas or propane gas source.

      “Pool and spa service contracting” is defined in the substitute as the performance of all plumbing, heating, and electrical work necessary to service, modify, repair, replace, alter or maintain any pool, including above-ground pool, hot tub, spa or similar recreational or therapeutic equipment, where such work commences at an outlet, receptacle, connection, back-flow preventor or fuel supply pipe previously installed by a person holding the proper license.  Swimming pool service and repair work includes: (1) the renovation or repair of non-potable water components of a pool, above-ground pool, hot tub or spa, including, but not limited to, the shell, concrete finish or vinyl liner of such pool, hot tub or spa; and (2) the draining, acid washing or backwash filtration of a pool or above-ground pool.  The renovation or repair of non-potable water components of a pool, hot tub or spa required to be installed, renovated or repaired, or the sale, installation, service or maintenance of a heater for a pool, hot tub or spa, by a licensed electrician, plumber or HVACR contractor shall not be considered swimming pool service and repair work.

      The substitute provides that the Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors shall have the following powers, or may delegate them to the Pool and Spa Service Contractors and Pool and Spa Builders and Installers Advisory Committee: to set standards and approve licenses for applicants for a pool and spa service contractor or pool and spa builder and installer license and issue a license to each qualified applicant; to determine the form and contents of applications for licensure, licenses and identification cards; to adopt a code of ethics for licensees; to issue and renew licenses and identification cards; to set the amount of fees for pool and spa service contractors and pool and spa builders and installers licenses, license renewals, applications, examinations, and other services provided by the board and the committee; to refuse to issue or suspend, revoke, or fail to renew the license of a licensee pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1978, c.73 (C.45:1-14 et seq.); to maintain a record of all applicants for a license; to maintain and annually publish a record of every licensee, his place of business, place of residence and the date and number of his license; to take disciplinary action in accordance with P.L.1978, C.73 (C.45:1-14 et seq.) against a licensee or employee who violates any provision of the bill or any rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to the bill; to adopt standards and requirements for and approve continuing education programs and courses of study for licensees and their employees; to review advertising by licensees; and to perform any other duties as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this substitute.

      Pool and spa building and installation licenses and pool and spa service contracting licenses shall be issued to qualified applicants for a three-year period, upon payment of a licensing fee. License renewals shall be issued for a three-year period upon the payment of a renewal fee.

      In addition, the substitute requires every licensed pool and spa service contractor and every pool and spa builder and installer and every employee or other person engaged in the unsupervised building, servicing, or maintenance of a pool to, at all times during working hours, display an identification card issued by the board.  The identification card shall contain the following information: the name, photograph and signature of the person to whom the card has been issued; the business name and address and license number of the licensee; the expiration date of the card; and any other information the board deems appropriate for identification purposes.

      Furthermore, the substitute stipulates that no person shall be employed by a licensed pool and spa service contractor or a pool and spa builder and installer, to build, install, or service a pool or, except in the case of a licensee, shall otherwise engage in the building, installation, or service thereof:

      (1)  unless the person is of good moral character;

      (2)  where the work is to be performed other than under the field supervision of a licensee, the person shall have at least three years of practical experience and shown proof of successful completion of and having received the APSP Certified Maintenance Specialist (CMS) certification, or higher, or equivalent certification as prescribed by the Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors, in consultation with the Pool and Spa Service Contractors and Pool and Spa Builders and Installers Advisory Committee; and

      (3)  where the work to be performed is limited to cleaning of pool equipment and components, pool vacuuming, sanitation of water, and backwash filtration, the licensee is responsible for training that person in basic pool safety and maintenance as prescribed by the board, in consultation with the committee.