It’s common knowledge that water and electricity don’t mix, so if you have a pool in your backyard you need to be especially careful. Electrical charges underwater can be hard to detect, they don’t make a sound and aren’t very visible, but by the time they’re discovered, it could be too late. Shocks in bodies of water are especially dangerous as they can cause people to drown, so it’s important that you take the necessary precautions to make sure that you keep your pool safe from electrical hazards.
Water and electricity are a bad mix. For this reason, it’s especially important to make sure that all electrical appliances are kept away from the pool, and that the necessary electrical fittings such as pool lights, are regularly inspected.
Signs of Hazard
It’s very difficult to detect the warning signs of an electrified pool, however, there are a few things to look out for which could save lives. Here are a few signs:
• Tingling sensations, spasms, jolts and muscle cramps.
• The inability to move, or feeling as though something is holding you in place.
• Other swimmers seem panicked or confused or are avoiding a certain area.
• The pool lights are flickering.
If you notice any of these signs, the best cause of action is to evacuate the pool, avoiding metal surfaces such as ladder. The power should then be turned off at the electrical box immediately.
Typical Electrical Hazards
Electrical accidents involving a pool are not particularly common compared to other electrical accidents, however, there is still a risk to be aware of. Generally, there are two main categories, accidents from risky behaviour and accidents from faulty or hazardous equipment.
Risky behaviours include:
• Using appliances near the water, such as radios and TVs.
• Extension cords being used near the water which may fall in or get pulled in.
• Swimming in a storm.
Equipment Hazards include:
• Old electrical wiring that has not been inspected.
• Faulty underwater lights.
• Pumps and power washers that are not grounded properly.
If water is electrified, there is the possibility that holding a pool net or cleaner or even a metal pool ladder will cause electrocution through conductivity.
How To Prevent Electrical Hazards In Your Pool
To prevent electrical accidents in your pool it is important to cover both bases of hazard, risky behaviour as well as faulty equipment.
Electrical equipment powered by a mains supply should never be used around the pool. It’s important that pool users learn of safe electrical practices, this is especially essential for children. While you don’t have to eliminate fun, they need to learn of the best safe practices, for instance, instead of a radio with a cable, battery operated speakers a safe distance away are a much safer option. Most importantly, there should always be supervision around the pool area.
Another easy way to keep your pool area safe from electrical hazards is to schedule regular maintenance by a qualified electrician. It’s beneficial to upgrade all electrical aspects of your pool when possible, including your lighting and pumps. Newer equipment is less likely to malfunction than older equipment and installing electricals with a Ground-fault Circuit Interrupter or GFCI, can serve as a failsafe that shuts down when current is detected in water.
If you are installing a new pool or buying a new house with a pool, you should request an inspection by an electrician.
If you have any questions about electrical hazards, or if you’d like ideas to keep your pool safe please don’t hesitate to give us a call.
With over 9 years of experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on providing fast and efficient service of the highest quality. If you have any questions regarding electricity in your house or are looking for a quote for electrical installations, repairs, or general maintenance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with HunterCON today.