TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator James Beach that would require licenses for pool and spa servicers, builders and installers was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee today.
“By creating a means of verifying these contractors’ qualifications, we are adding a level of professionalism to the industry and a layer of protection for consumers,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington/Camden).
The bill, S-2091, would establish the Pool and Spa Service Contractors and Pool and Spa Builders and Installers Advisory Committee, under the existing Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors. They would manage the licensing program and regulate licensed individuals and businesses, and would be required to meet at least twice a year. The committee would consist of seven members, of various trades, appointed by the governor to three year terms.
The committee would set standards, as well as approve and issue licenses. It would design the license application, and determine the fees associated with licensing, and the licensing process. They would be responsible for establishing a code of ethics, and taking appropriate actions if that code or other aspects of the law were violated.
Applicants would be required to establish their qualifications by presenting one of several certifications delineated the in the bill. Contractors or installers would be able to work without certification for the first 24 months following the enactment of the bill if they can provide certain documentation.
Licensees and employees would be required to display identification cards issued by the board at all times during working hours and their business vehicles would need to be clearly marked with the business name. The bill also establishes guidelines for employees of licensees and outlines their employer responsibilities.
Unlicensed individuals would be prohibited from advertising that they were authorized to perform pool and spa service contracting, or building and installation. Prohibition of advertising by unlicensed individuals would take effect 360 days after the establishment of the committee.
The pool service licensee would be permitted to perform all plumbing, heating, and electrical work necessary to service, modify, repair, replace, alter, or maintain any pool or spa at already existing connections. They would also be permitted to service, repair, and maintain the heating components of spa heaters. Licenses would be issued for a three year period. Certain work related to servicing pools would still require a licensed electrician, plumber, or HVAC contractor.
The building and installation licensee would be permitted to perform tiling, excavation and grading, and installation of all circulation equipment.
The bill would take effect on the 180th day following enactment.
It was approved by a vote of 4-1 and advances to the Budget and Appropriations Committee for further consideration.