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Johnston County Inspection Hours Mon - Fri 8:00 am - 5:00 pm  Mon - Fri 8:00 am - 5:00 pm  
Johnston County Inspection Phone 919-989-5060 919-989-5060

Johnston County Inspection Address 309 E. Market Street - Smithfield NC 27577 309 E. Market Street - Smithfield NC 27577  309 E. Market Street
Smithfield NC 27577 

Johnston County Inspection Email

Swimming Pool and Hot Tub Information

Swimmer icon

Do I need a permit?

Yes, all inground pools need a permit.

All permanently installed above ground pools need a permit.

Any portable or storable pool with a water depth at or above 24” will need a permit.

You do not need a permit for portable / storable pools with a water depth less than 24”. These pools are designed to be taken down and stored when not in use and do not require permanent wiring for the pumps.

How do I get a permit?

Fill out a pool application. Available in our office or online at Click on “Forms and Applications". You will need an approved site plan and zoning permit from the appropriate zoning jurisdiction for your address. A copy of septic permit from Environmental Health Department, 919-989-5180. This is not needed if you are on a public sewage system. Deck plans are required to be submitted with pool application if you are planning on building a deck around or up to the pool.

*What are the barrier requirements?

Barriers must be 48” tall measured from finished grade. The open space at the bottom of the barrier cannot exceed 2” from earth or 4” from concrete. Openings in the barrier shall not allow the passage of a 4” sphere. Horizontal members of the barrier must be located on the pool side of the barrier if the distance between them is less than 45”. The spaces between the vertical members cannot exceed 1 ¾”. If the horizontal members are more than 45” apart, the vertical members cannot exceed 4”. Openings in chain link fences cannot exceed 2 ¼”square, if openings are larger, slats must be installed to reduce openings to 1 ¾”. Openings in lattice fences cannot exceed 1 ¾”.

*Gate Requirements

There are two kinds of gates, pedestrian gates (usually a single gate) and access gates (usually a double gate). Openings in gates shall not allow the passage of a 4” sphere. Pedestrian gates must swing away from the pool, be self-closing and have a self-latching device. Access gates shall have a self-latching device. The release mechanism of the self-latching device shall be no less than 54” from the bottom of the gate.

*Alarm Requirements

If a wall of the dwelling is a part of the barrier and has a door with access to the pool, the door shall have an audible alarm, UL 2017 listed and labeled. Most home alarm systems do not meet this requirement. The deactivation switch of the alarm must be 54” above the threshold.

*Above Ground Pools, not protected by a barrier, such as a fence

If the sides of the pool are 48” or greater measured from the finished grade, the sides of the pool may serve as the barrier. Barriers may also be installed on top of the pools walls as long as they do not allow passage of a 4” sphere. The ladder or steps must be capable of being locked, secured or removed.


Above-Ground pool with barriers

Barriers shall be located to prohibit permanent structures, equipment or similar objects from being used to climb them.

*Hot tubs or Spas

May be exempt from barrier requirements if safety cover complies with ASTM F1346.

*What are the electrical requirements?

Swimming Pools, hot tubs, and spas must meet the provisions of the National Electrical Code (NEC) 2017 Edition, Article 680.

Some of the most common requirements are: GFI receptacles, grounding and bonding of electrical equipment, equipotential bonding, water bond and the bonding of rails, ladders, diving boards and lights.

Can I do the work myself?

Yes, if you are the homeowner, reside there and you will be the one who will be performing the work. You must sign the Owner Consent Form and you must reside at the same property for one year after the work is complete. If you are not the homeowner, the electrical work must be done by a licensed electrician.

 Pool with Spa

How much does a pool permit cost? 

  • $12.50 Zoning Fee
  • $100.00 Building Fee
  • $60.00 Electric Fee
  • $60.00 Deck Fee (Deck fee is for decks constructed around or up to above ground pools)

*The information on this page and in the brochure linked below is not all inclusive and has been derived from the Current Edition of the NC Residential Code, Appendix V and the Current Edition of the NEC, Article 680. Please consult these sections for more detailed information. Information in this brochure is not intended to replace any part of the code sections.

 Above ground pool

What Inspections Will I Need?

  • First Electrical Bonding Equipotential Bonding, bonding tapped in to pool on four areas (if required), bonding of pump, ladder and rail bases, bond rebar for poured in place pools, bonding of lights (if required).
  • Second Electrical Bonding Most above ground pools only require the first bonding inspection. Some poured in place pools could include bonding of sleeves, rebar, lights, wire in concrete, etc.
  • Footing Inspection for Decks If posts are going to be placed on solid blocks, footings can be left open and inspected at rough in, if footings are going to be poured, they will need to be inspected before pouring.
  • Rough In Building for Decks Floor framing, joist spacing and size - before decking boards are installed.
  • Rough In Electrical trenches, receptacle spacing, lights.
  • Final Building and Final Electrical When all work is completed, water bond, barriers, electrical panel, door alarm if required.



Page last updated: March 3, 2023

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