The information below is extracted from the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, Department of Justice and provides relevant information for ADA code compliance. Please ensure you are ordering the proper rail goods in accordance to your ADA code requirements. If you have any questions, please contact Customer Service at 1-800-737-5386.

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2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design 

Summary of Handrail & Grab Rail Code Requirements – For Swimming Pools 

242 Swimming Pools, Wading Pools, and Spas
242.1 General. Swimming pools, wading pools, and spas shall comply with 242.
242.2 Swimming Pools. At least two accessible means of entry shall be provided for swimming pools. Accessible means of entry shall be swimming pool lifts complying with 1009.2; sloped entries complying with 1009.3; transfer walls complying with 1009.4; transfer systems complying with 1009.5; and pool stairs complying with 1009.6. At least one accessible means of entry provided shall comply with 1009.2 or 1009.3.

EXCEPTIONS:

  1. Where a swimming pool has less than 300 linear feet (91 m) of swimming pool wall, no more than one accessible means of entry shall be required provided that the accessible means of entry is a swimming pool lift complying with 1009.2 or sloped entry complying with 1009.3.
  2. Wave action pools, leisure rivers, sand bottom pools, and other pools where user access is limited to one area shall not be required to provide more than one accessible means of entry provided that the accessible means of entry is a swimming pool lift complying with 1009.2, a sloped entry complying with 1009.3, or a transfer system complying with 1009.5.
  3. Catch pools shall not be required to provide an accessible means of entry provided that the catch pool edge is on an accessible route.


Advisory 242.2 Swimming Pools. Where more than one means of access is provided into the water, it is recommended that the means be different. Providing different means of access will better serve the varying needs of people with disabilities in getting into and out of a swimming pool. It is also recommended that where two or more means of access are provided, they not be provided in the same location in the pool. Different locations will provide increased options for entry and exit, especially in larger pools.
Advisory 242.2 Swimming Pools Exception 1. Pool walls at diving areas and areas along pool walls where there is no pool entry because of landscaping or adjacent structures are to be counted when determining the number of accessible means of entry required.

242.3 Wading Pools. At least one accessible means of entry shall be provided for wading pools.  Accessible means of entry shall comply with sloped entries complying with 1009.3.

505 Handrails

505.1 General. Handrails provided along walking surfaces complying with 403, required at ramps complying with 405, and required at stairs complying with 504 shall comply with 505.
Advisory 505.1 General. Handrails are required on ramp runs with a rise greater than 6 inches (150 mm) (see 405.8) and on certain stairways (see 504). Handrails are not required on walking surfaces with running slopes less than 1:20. However, handrails are required to comply with 505 when they are provided on walking surfaces with running slopes less than 1:20 (see 403.6). Sections 505.2, 505.3, and 505.10 do not apply to handrails provided on walking surfaces with running slopes less than 1:20 as these sections only reference requirements for ramps and stairs.

505.2 Where Required. Handrails shall be provided on both sides of stairs and ramps.
EXCEPTION: In assembly areas, handrails shall not be required on both sides of aisle ramps where a handrail is provided at either side or within the aisle width.
505.3 Continuity. Handrails shall be continuous within the full length of each stair flight or ramp run. Inside handrails on switchback or dogleg stairs and ramps shall be continuous between flights or runs.
EXCEPTION: In assembly areas, handrails on ramps shall not be required to be continuous in aisles serving seating.
505.4 Height. Top of gripping surfaces of handrails shall be 34 inches (865 mm) minimum and 38 inches (965 mm) maximum vertically above walking surfaces, stair nosings, and ramp surfaces. Handrails shall be at a consistent height above walking surfaces, stair nosings, and ramp surfaces.
Advisory 505.4 Height. The requirements for stair and ramp handrails in this document are for adults. When children are the principal users in a building or facility (e.g., elementary schools), a second set of handrails at an appropriate height can assist them and aid in preventing accidents. A maximum height of 28 inches (710 mm) measured to the top of the gripping surface from the ramp surface or stair nosing is recommended for handrails designed for children. Sufficient vertical clearance between upper and lower handrails, 9 inches (230 mm) minimum, should be provided to help prevent entrapment.
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Figure 505.4 Handrail Height

505.5 Clearance. Clearance between handrail gripping surfaces and adjacent surfaces shall be 1 1/2 inches (38 mm) minimum.

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Figure 505.5 Handrail Clearance

505.6 Gripping Surface. Handrail gripping surfaces shall be continuous along their length and shall not be obstructed along their tops or sides. The bottoms of handrail gripping surfaces shall not be obstructed for more than 20 percent of their length. Where provided, horizontal projections shall occur 1 1/2 inches (38 mm) minimum below the bottom of the handrail gripping surface.

EXCEPTIONS:

  1. Where handrails are provided along walking surfaces with slopes not steeper than 1:20, the bottoms of handrail gripping surfaces shall be permitted to be obstructed along their entire length where they are integral to crash rails or bumper guards.
  2. The distance between horizontal projections and the bottom of the gripping surface shall be permitted to be reduced by 1/8 inch (3.2 mm) for each 1/2 inch (13 mm) of additional handrail perimeter dimension that exceeds 4 inches (100 mm).


Advisory 505.6 Gripping Surface. People with disabilities, older people, and others benefit from continuous gripping surfaces that permit users to reach the fingers outward or downward to grasp the handrail, particularly as the user senses a loss of equilibrium or begins to fall.

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Figure 505.6 Horizontal Projections Below Gripping Surface

Extensions shall not be required for continuous handrails at the inside turn of switchback or dogleg stairs and ramps.505.7 Cross Section. Handrail gripping surfaces shall have a cross section complying with 505.7.1 or 505.7.2.
505.7.1 Circular Cross Section. Handrail gripping surfaces with a circular cross section shall have an outside diameter of 1 1/4 inches (32 mm) minimum and 2 inches (51 mm) maximum.
505.7.2 Non-Circular Cross Sections. Handrail gripping surfaces with a non-circular cross section shall have a perimeter dimension of 4 inches (100 mm) minimum and 6 1/4 inches (160 mm) maximum, and a cross-section dimension of 2 1/4 inches (57 mm) maximum.505.8 Surfaces. Handrail gripping surfaces and any surfaces adjacent to them shall be free of sharp or abrasive elements and shall have rounded edges.

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Figure 505.7.2 Handrail Non-Circular Cross Section

505.8 Surfaces. Handrail gripping surfaces and any surfaces adjacent to them shall be free of sharp or abrasive elements and shall have rounded edges.
505.9 Fittings. Handrails shall not rotate within their fittings.
505.10 Handrail Extensions. Handrail gripping surfaces shall extend beyond and in the same direction of stair flights and ramp runs in accordance with 505.10.
EXCEPTIONS:

  1. Extensions shall not be required for continuous handrails at the inside turn of switchback or dogleg stairs and ramps.
  2. In assembly areas, extensions shall not be required for ramp handrails in aisles serving seating where the handrails are discontinuous to provide access to seating and to permit crossovers within aisles.
  3. In alterations, full extensions of handrails shall not be required where such extensions would be hazardous due to plan configuration.

505.10.1 Top and Bottom Extension at Ramps. Ramp handrails shall extend horizontally above the landing for 12 inches (305 mm) minimum beyond the top and bottom of ramp runs. Extensions shall return to a wall, guard, or the landing surface, or shall be continuous to the handrail of an adjacent ramp run.

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Figure 505.10.1 Top and Bottom Handrail Extension at Ramps

505.10.2 Top Extension at Stairs. At the top of a stair flight, handrails shall extend horizontally above the landing for 12 inches (305 mm) minimum beginning directly above the first riser nosing. Extensions shall return to a wall, guard, or the landing surface, or shall be continuous to the handrail of an adjacent stair flight. 

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Figure 505.10.2 Top Handrail Extension at Stairs

505.10.3 Bottom Extension at Stairs. At the bottom of a stair flight, handrails shall extend at the slope of the stair flight for a horizontal distance at least equal to one tread depth beyond the last riser nosing.  Extension shall return to a wall, guard, or the landing surface, or shall be continuous to the handrail of an adjacent stair flight.

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Figure 505.10.3 Bottom Handrail Extension at Stairs


1009.3.3 Handrails.
At least two handrails complying with 505 shall be provided on the sloped entry. The clear width between required handrails shall be 33 inches (840 mm) minimum and 38 inches (965 mm) maximum.
EXCEPTIONS:
1. Handrail extensions specified by 505.10.1 shall not be required at the bottom landing serving a sloped entry.
2. Where a sloped entry is provided for wave action pools, leisure rivers, sand bottom pools, and other pools where user access is limited to one area, the handrails shall not be required to comply with the clear width requirements of 1009.3.3.
3. Sloped entries in wading pools shall not be required to provide handrails complying with 1009.3.3. If provided, handrails on sloped entries in wading pools shall not be required to comply with 505.

1009.4.5 Grab Bars. At least one grab bar complying with 609 shall be provided on the transfer wall. Grab bars shall be perpendicular to the pool wall and shall extend the full depth of the transfer wall. The top of the gripping surface shall be 4 inches (100 mm) minimum and 6 inches (150 mm) maximum above transfer walls. Where one grab bar is provided, clearance shall be 24 inches (610 mm) minimum on both sides of the grab bar. Where two grab bars are provided, clearance between grab bars shall be 24 inches (610 mm) minimum.
EXCEPTION: Grab bars on transfer walls shall not be required to comply with 609.4.

1009.6 Pool Stairs. Pool stairs shall comply with 1009.6.
1009.6.1 Pool Stairs. Pool stairs shall comply with 504.
EXCEPTION: Pool step riser heights shall not be required to be 4 inches (100 mm) high minimum and 7 inches (180 mm) high maximum provided that riser heights are uniform.
1009.6.2 Handrails. The width between handrails shall be 20 inches (510 mm) minimum and 24 inches (610 mm) maximum. Handrail extensions required by 505.10.3 shall not be required on pool stairs.

Extracted from 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, Dept. of Justice. 

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