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Pool Electrocution- A Shocking Experience

Pool Electrocution- A Shocking Experience

It’s summer time, which means getting in lots of quality pool time. When you, your family and friends are kicking back on a raft or having a diving contest, the last thing you are probably thinking about is the potential of anyone getting an electrical shock. There have been 60 pool electrocution deaths between 1990 to 2003 and it seems that they are becoming more and more prevalent. Since June 1, 2016 there have been at least two publicized pool electrocution related incidents- one incident was of an 8 year old at a home and another at a motel involving two adults. Don’t let this happen to you and your loved ones.

Why is this happening? Most of the time these incidents occur because the wiring, grounding and/or bonding was incorrectly done. Pool lights are not always the cause of electrocution. It is usually electricity flowing from other equipment to the pool lights that is the issue. All of the pool equipment, like the pump, lights and a heater, combined with components like a metal handrail or stairs, diving board stands and the legs on a slide add to the mix. If your pool equipment (heater, pump etc.) has faulty bonding and/or grounding, the electricity isn’t grounded and is then able to flow freely through your pool light, even if it is not turned on.  Now combine the free flowing electricity with your metal stairs and the water in your pool, and it turns your once fun and friendly pool into an enormous hazard.

Also, pool lights, like everything, don’t last forever. When a pool light stops working, make sure that you hire a trained electrician that works for a licensed company to replace them. This is not a DIY project. With any electrical project around your pool, make sure that there is ground/fault protection and that the company/electrician gets a bonding inspection. This inspection will insure that the work is done correctly and keeps everyone safe. If an electrician says that they don’t need to get permit and therefore an inspection, do not use them. Also, ask for the company’s license number. Protect yourself and others and spend a little extra to make sure the job is done up to code and as it should be.

To get information about where you may find electricity around your pool, signs of possible problems and what to do in case you need to save someone possibly being shocked in a pool, visit this website (use this link : https://www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/118887/519.pdf ) provided by the US government the American Red Cross.

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