Many people say that swimming pool electrocution is as simple as feeling a little tingling sensation. While this may be true, it is not an insignificant incident that should be ignored. Those who have already experienced this think that it is an event that should not happen to them again.
While your first instinct may be to look for nicked wires on the filter equipment or the pump; or you may even go as far as digging up your pool’s grounding wires that are deeply buried in the plumbing system, do not do the repair yourself.
The CPSC or the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has recorded 60 cases of deaths due to swimming pool electrocution and approximately 50 injuries because of shock in the years 1990 till 2002. Of these numbers, 13 occurred because of underwater pool lights; 10 because of pool pumps; 9 from pressure washers or pool vacuums; ad 28 from plugged devices such as stereos, radios, and power tools. The smallest figures are rare occurrences but this does not mean that electrocution cannot happen in any place and in the unlikeliest situations.
One of the widely circulated tragedies happened on June 10, 1991, when three men were electrocuted in an amusement park pond in Ohio. While a pond may be considered different from a swimming pool, still, the accident proves that electrocution can happen around or in a pool and practically any body of water.
The GFI Installation
Although swimming pool electrocution is quite rare, it is important to follow some codes by installing a GFI or ground fault interrupter. Also known as a GFCI or ground fault circuit interrupter, this can help protect people from electric shock around or when in pools. This can also be installed inside the bathroom, pond, garage or laundry area. This means that you can use it in any place where moisture and electricity constantly mix.
Your GFI is bound to trip at 5 mA in order to protect anyone who comes in contact with electricity in a swimming pool. This device must be regularly checked and replaced if
There are incidents that brought about the laws and codes that are now being observed by swimming pool owners. Virginia Graeme Baker died inside a pool suction entrapment. Her death resulted in the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.
Yet another death resulted in a safety law – Yasmin Paleso’o died of a swimming pool electrocution incident which brought about the legislation of the Yasmin Paleso’o memorial Swimming Pool Safety Law. This law, in particular, requires every pool owner to install a GFI safety device.
Safety Comes First – Always!
If you want to be able to meet your local building codes, then you should be best friends with the local building inspector. Ask for advice from this expert as well as a reputable electrician so that you know that your swimming pool is properly wired. The experience of these experts should help you make an educated decision with regard to the installation of the wiring system around your pool.
Have a professional swimming pool builder come in and install your pool as well as its wiring system. Be firm about the need to prioritize safety. Tell the pool builder that you are willing to cover the cost if they are not covering additional tasks required in creating a safer swimming environment.
Keep in mind that you do not have to be dirt-cheap when it comes to safety. Remember that this can cause you problems that are too difficult to bear later on. As the saying goes, it is always better to be safe than sorry.