If you own a backyard pool, or if you’re thinking of installing one, pool safety should be your number one priority. A major factor of promoting pool safety involves teaching and enforcing the right kind of behavior around the pool, such as supervising children, not swimming while intoxicated, and taking regular rest breaks. Aside from these helpful pointers, it’s also crucial to consider environmental safety factors. That’s where reducing the risk of electrical shock comes into the picture. No matter how carefully a swimmer is following the rules, they could still suffer injury or even death if care isn’t taken to prevent electrical hazards.
In our first article, we discussed the importance of working with a professional electrician and making sure they follow industry standards concerning lighting and voltage. In this article, we’ll look at some more electrocution prevention pool safety tips.
Make Sure Your Pool’s Lighting & Pump are Properly Wired and Installed
This point, again, emphasizes the need to work with an installer who really knows their job. Even if you go with a low-voltage lighting option, you’re not out of the woods as far as preventing electrical shock in the pool. If the lighting or your pool’s pump isn’t installed or wired correctly, something could short circuit or send currents from other sources into the grounding wire. In either of these nightmare scenarios, you could end up with an unsafe electrical current in the water.
Pay Attention to Both Bonding and Grounding
Bonding is also key to pool safety. Bonding involves directly connecting all electrical and non-electrical metallic components of your pool (such as metal hand rails) together via wire. Bonding thus creates a contained network that will “house” the leaking electricity within your pool area in the event of a malfunction. By connecting all electrical and all metallic components of your pool by wire, you offer the electricity a path with minimal resistance, so in the event of a problem, the electricity will flow through the wired components and trigger the circuit breaker with minimal risk to those inside the pool water.
Grounding is where bonded pool components are connected to the earth. Components are first connected by wire to the electrical panel and then to the ground. In the event of excess electrical current flowing through the network, grounding is intended to dissipate that current away from the pool and into the ground. Ideally, all electrical and non-electrical metallic components of the pool (including metal pool rails) will be connected together and ultimately connected to the ground. This ensures that there is no electrical potential (ie voltage difference) occurring among any of the components or the ground. Dangerous electrical currents will then be diverted to trigger the circuit breaker and to be absorbed into the ground. If bonding and grounding is not properly done, electrocution could result.
Don’t Skimp on Safety to Save Money
Sometimes people who want to save a little money on pool installation decide to go it alone or hire someone without proper credentials to put in the initial electrical wiring for their pool’s pump and lighting elements. The same can be said of pool owners with existing backyard pools who decide it’s time to upgrade to newer, more energy-efficient lighting or equipment. Though the desire to reduce costs is understandable, this is one area where it’s not wise to cut corners.
If you need to cut costs, seek instead to lower costs on the aesthetic elements of your pool décor, such as purchasing used patio furniture and repainting it, or buying perennial plants at the end of the season to add some character to your landscaping. You can also try to find savings by researching to find out about energy-efficient equipment and energy saving tips. Anything related to pool safety, however, such as lighting, electrical wiring, grounding, and bonding, should be taken care of by an expert. Rather than inviting electrical shock tragedies in your pool, make sure you’re doing all you can to prevent them.
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This is well worth a read. You presented great insight and information. Thanks.