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Contractor confused over Arizona pool motor law


A Gilbert man says he knew about an Arizona law related to pool pumps, but his contractor didn't. He says the contractor left him high and dry having to fend for himself to find a remedy.

There has been opposition to this law in the AZ Legislature and several unsuccessful attempts to repeal it, but as of Jan. 1, 2012 it's been the law of the land. It's related to your home pool pump motor, and all the wrangling over it is leading to quite a bit of confusion.

"I thought they were basically making me out to be a liar," Derek McClaren said.

McClaren loves his pool. When the pump motor went out, his home warranty company sent out Coolwater Pool & Spa. The company left with the motor, promising to fix it and then re-install it.

"They put it back on, and then I realized the pool pump they put on was much louder, so I came around and looked and it wasn't the pool pump that had been on there," McClaren said.

It was a different motor. That wouldn't necessarily be a problem but the old motor had only a single speed, and so did the new one. McClaren had discovered online that there was an Arizona law forbidding this type of replacement, but Coolwater didn't agree.  In a voicemail left on McClaren's phone, the owner clears says "it's not a law, it got revoked in 2012."

"It's something you're not tuned into or paying attention to until you need it," Tom Burba said.

Burba, of the Arizona Association of Pool & Spa Professionals says there is a law regarding this specific matter.

"The law says if you need to replace you swimming pool filter motor, you need to replace it with a multiple-speed - 2-speed or greater," Burba said.

The goal of the law is to reduce energy usage. Burba says attempts to repeal it have failed so every pool owner and contractor needs to know it and obey it. McClaren can finally relax and enjoy his pool again. He got a different contractor to install a multi-speed motor. He wants every other pool owner to know their rights, too.

"If I wouldn't have done my own research, I would have been stuck with this pool pump that doesn't work as good and is loud," McClaren said.

There was no out-of-pocket expense to our viewer but lots of frustration. After CBS 5 News had several discussions with the owner of CoolWater Pool & Spa about this issue, he finally acknowledged the law and his mistake.

If you have your pool pump motor replaced, it has to be with a multi-speed unit - single speeds are not permitted. The law applies only to the main pool pump motor, not motors that run accessories like waterfalls.  Secondary motors can still be single-speed.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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