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ADA Compliant Pool Lift - What Makes Them Different?

Pool lifts are great tools that can help disables individuals get in and out of pools. The American Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that all public pools install a pool lift when they are able to. For example, all schools, hotels, and public facilities must at least have a plan in place that outlines when they can install an ADA pool lift. This ensures that people with disabilities can enjoy the same activities as others, with the same independence, ease, and convenience.

ADA pool lifts have specific parameters that make them ADA compliant. If you install a lift that is not ADA compliant, problems can occur. The ADA standards are essentially put in place to provide disabled individuals access to public pools while keeping them safe. Therefore, it is in everyone’s best interest to comply with ADA standards when purchasing and installing a lift.

That being said, ADA pool lifts are different from typical pool lifts because of the specifications that must be met. Below is a comprehensive list that explains what exactly makes a pool lift chair ADA compliant. Keep reading to find out!

What Makes a Pool Lift ADA Compliant?

1. Height

From the deck to top of the seat surface, the distance must be a minimum of 16 inches and a maximum of 19 inches. This is an estimate that will suit both adults and children. Therefore, an adjustable chair is much more efficient. 

2. Width

The width of the seat must be a minimum of 16 inches wide. However, the standard is 17.5 inches, with 20 inches separating the armrests. Therefore, because the standard is larger than the minimum requirement, most pool lifts will meet this requirement easily.

3. Footrest

A footrest that moves with the seat is required on all ADA pool lifts. However, an adjustable padded footrest is not needed and is simply optional. Spa lift chairs, on the other hand, do not require footrests.

4. Armrests

Armrests are not required. However, if there is an armrest on the chair, it must be removable or be able to fold completely out of the way. This will help individuals transfer from wheelchair to lift seat. 

5. Weight Capacity

Single person pool lifts must be able to accommodate at least 300 pounds. Moreover, it must be able to sustain a static load of one and a half times the rated load. This ensures that the majority of individuals can use the lift without difficulty.

6. Seat Movement

The seat must be able to submerge at least 18 inches below the surface of the water. This ensures that individuals will be able to move from the chair to the pool with ease. The lifts must also be installed far enough away from the pool’s edge that individuals can transfer from wheelchair to lift with easily and safely.

7. Location

The ADA guidelines state that all ADA compliant lift chairs must be installed where the water does not exceed 48 inches. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if the entire pool is deeper than 48 inches, you can install the lift in an area that exceeds the limit. 

8. Fixed in Place

All pool lifts must be fixed in place, or anchored down. That means that portable pool lifts are not ADA compliant. In some cases, public pools that owned a portable lift simply fixed it in place instead of purchasing a whole new lift. However, if it is too difficult to acquire a fixed pool lift and proof can be supplied that you are unable to purchase one, then it is acceptable to not have a fixed pool lift and a portable one will suffice. 

9. Unassisted Operation

Controls and operating systems must be present on deck level and water level at all times and can be used without the assistance of others. Additionally, the controls must be operable with less than five pounds of pressure. Having unassisted operation in both the water and on deck is one of the most important parameters an ADA pool lift must have because it ensures no one is stranded in the water.

Start Shopping for Your ADA Pool Lift Today!

Now that you understand all the specificities an ADA pool lift chair must have, it’s time to start shopping for the right one for your pool. Amica Medical Supply offers affordable ADA-approved pool lifts that are perfect for any pool. Contact them today for more information!

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