McNichols VGB Resource Center
As of December 20, 2008, all commercial and semi-commercial aquatic facilities were required to replace all pool main drain grates with products compliant with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. (ASME/ANSI A112.19.8a-2008)

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, failure to comply with the requirements of the Act may result in pool closure.

McNICHOLS® Fiberglass Grates can help you become compliant! They meet the strict UV test requirements under this new federal pool and spa safety act. They are approved for all
commercial and semi-commercial pools, spas, hot tubs, waterparks and fountains.

Need a Professional Engineer? McNICHOLS can connect you to a Registered Design Professional in your area. For assistance, call us at 1-800-237-3820 or click on Contact Us and submit a request.

Are you a Professional Engineer? If you are licensed to perform VGB certification, call us at 1-800-237-3820 or email us at marketing@mcnichols.com to be included in our directory of Registered Design Professionals.
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McNICHOLS® MS I-4010 and MS I-4015 High Strength Fiberglass Grates are suitable for all custom field fabricated pool main drain grates and suction outlet covers. Our grates have 40% open area and are ideal for pool and waterpark applications. They have been subjected to UV radiation weathering and then tested for tensile and impact strength to meet the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act requirements.

McNICHOLS® MS T-1810 High Strength Fiberglass Grates are well-suited for above waterline walking areas with a bar spacing of 0.40" or less.
 
VGB Compliant Products and Load Tables
PRODUCT FEATURES:
  • Fiberglass grates are available custom sized to meet specific design requirements or in full panels
  • Product is non-conductive and installations require no bonding
  • Grates offer a large percentage of open surface area
  • Available colors include White, Grey and Yellow
  • PRODUCT APPLICATIONS:
  • Large Area Pool Main Drain Grates
  • Suction Outlet Covers
  • Splash Pads
  • Gutter Grates
  • Interactive Water Features
  • PLEASE NOTE:
    Our field fabricated product is NOT fully approved and requires certification by a registered design professional (RDP) or professional engineer (PE). The engineer needs to certify that the product as used by the consumer meets the requirements of ASME/ANSI A112.19.8-2007 (with addendum 8a-2008), including flow rates, UV exposure, and durability. Please also note that the RDP or PE must document that the drain cover meets the new standard and provide a copy of the certificate to the pool owner/operator.
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    Who should I contact about becoming VGB compliant?
    Could my facility be shut down if I am not in compliance?
    What types of drain covers are available to purchase that meet the specifications of the VGB Act?
    Why are the Fiberglass Grates preferred over the dome-shaped manufactured drain covers?
    Can McNICHOLS cut the Fiberglass Grates to fit my specific drain size requirements?
    Can Stainless Bar Grating be used in these applications?
    How do I fasten the grates?
    What documentation must I keep on hand to show I am VGB compliant?
    Can McNICHOLS provide a summary of test results?
     
    *Who should I contact about becoming VGB compliant?
    Answer: Contact McNICHOLS Company at 1-800-237-3820 for assistance in finding a Registered Design Professional in your area. A Registered Design Professional will be able to offer professional advice to you concerning the VGB design and certification requirements of your pool or spa. Back to top of the section

    *Could my facility be shut down if I am not in compliance?
    Answer: Yes. Failure to comply with the requirements of the Act may result in pool closure. Back to top of the section

    *What types of drain covers are available to purchase that meet the specifications of the VGB Act?
    Answer: There are two classifications of basic drain covers that must meet the specifications of the VGB Act.

    Field Fabricated Drain Systems (supplied by McNICHOLS): Field Fabricated Drain Systems are typically used in larger systems (public pools, waterpark facilities, lazy rivers, wave pools, commercial-sized pools, and other water-related attractions). The entire drain system (water flow rate, drain grate, sump, pump, valves, etc) must be certified by a Registered Design Professional. McNICHOLS® Fiberglass and Stainless Steel Bar Gratings meet the strength and UV resistance requirements of the VGB Act. McNICHOLS® Fiberglass Grates meet the three (3) primary requirements for field fabricated grates:
    1). 750-hour certified UV and degradation testing (published test results available upon request)
    2). Open area requirements
    3). Strength requirements (Strength test data is variable depending on the grate chosen. Please refer to our standard load tables.)

    [MS I-4010 Load Table] [MS I-4015 Load Table]
    NOTE: Other requirements for Field Fabricated Drain Systems, like flow rate or hair entanglement resistance, apply to the entire system and not specifically to the grates.

    Manufactured Drain Covers (not supplied by McNICHOLS): These drain covers are manufactured to specific sizes and shapes for specific types of drains. They are typically molded plastic. Most are designed for smaller drains and are often dome-shaped to prevent a body from completely covering and potentially sealing the drain. These drains must be certified and labeled by the manufacturer.
    Back to top of the section

    *Why are Fiberglass Grated preferred over the dome-shaped manufactured drain covers?
    Answer: Fiberglass Grates offer superior strength, as documented in our load tables. Additionally, the flat design of the finished grate is often preferred for shallow pools, wave pools, and lazy rivers where bumping and trip hazards are a concern.
    [MS I-4010 Load Table] [MS I-4015 Load Table] Back to top of the section

    *Can McNICHOLS cut the Fiberglass Grates to fit my specific drain size?
    Answer: Yes. Most of our orders are cut-to-size. Back to top of the section

    *Can Stainless Bar Grating be used in these types of applications?
    Answer: Yes. 316 Stainless Steel (also supplied by McNICHOLS) can be used. However, it must be electrically bonded (grounded) during installation to meet code. McNICHOLS® Fiberglass Grates, on the other hand, are non-conductive. Therefore, no electrical bonding is required. Back to top of the section

    *How do I fasten the grates?
    Answer: McNICHOLS offers fasteners, such as hold-down clips, bolts, nuts, or screws. These fasteners must be 316 Stainless Steel as a minimum. Standard slotted screw heads are not permitted. The Registered Design Professional will specify the fittings they want used. Some applications will require self-tapping screws for attachment into existing frames or ledges. The spacing between the bearing bars requires a narrow installation tool (possibly a power hex wrench). Back to top of the section

    *What documentation must I keep on hand to show I am VGB compliant?
    Answer: You must keep the certification and documentation by the Registered Design Professional available for any inspection team that may require that information. Back to top of the section

    *Can McNICHOLS provide a summary of the test results?
    Answer: Yes. The test results are provided in the tables below. Stork Material Technology, an independent testing facility, tested McNICHOLS® Fiberglass Grates for tensile strength and impact strength after being subjected to ultraviolet (UV) radiation weathering. The independent testing was performed in accordance with ASTM D638 for tensile testing and ASTM D256 for Izod impact testing.
    Back to top of the section
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    If you would like more information on how McNICHOLS can help you become VGB complaint, call us at 1-800-237-3820, or click here to find a location near you. You can also fill out the form below and a Customer Service Specialist will contact you directly.