Is Your Pool Electrical Safe?
Electric shock is a danger that you cannot see, hear or smell. And it is even more dangerous around water. Electrical dangers in and around the pool can result in electric shock and even death. When setting up electric equipment around the pool area, there are a few simple rules to follow to avoid electrical danger.
4 Common Electrical Dangers Around Swimming Pools
1. Keep electrical equipment away from the pool
It’s very simple; water and electricity do not mix. If you need to have electrical equipment set up in the pool area, you must take extreme care. If equipment that is not designed to operate in water such as compressors to blow up pool toys or radios fall or slide into the pool, that equipment puts a current of electricity into the pool. Once that a body of water becomes what we call “live”, touching literary anything outside the pool like a metal pool ladder or metal net handle can cause a person to receive an electric shock.
Electrical equipment for the pool also poses the danger of electrocution. If the wires are damaged, eg by UV or your dog chewing on Ghent (don’t laugh, we’ve seen it happen) they could put an electric current through the water that is harmful to people in and around the pool. Good practice would be to have at least 2m distance from the ledge of the pool to any electrical equipment.
2. Wiring for pool lights
While all new electrical installations stipulate the use of RCDs (safety switches), older installs may not have one. Make sure that the electrician that installs wiring is licensed and experienced with pools and the challenges around pools.
Underwater lights in the pool are really cool. However, should they crack, electricity may come in direct contact with water and that’s not going to be healthy. There is also the possibility that the wiring for the pool lights can wear and pose a danger as well.
To minimise the danger of the wiring and damage to the bulbs of the pool lights, it is best to conduct regular checks for defects and to familiarise yourself with the wiring system in terms of how long since installation and if the wiring is up to code. If you are unsure if there was to be an issue with the lights or the wiring, then talk to your electrician to check before it could be fatal.
3. Do not use extension cords in the pool area
Never use an extension lead, electrical appliances and cords near your pool. It would only take a splash from inside the pool or someone dripping onto the cord to present an electrical danger. Water coming into contact with an extension cords can fault them and it only takes a small piece of damage to a cord to cause an electric current.
Where possible, use battery-operated appliances and. Minimising and even eliminating the use of cords around the pool area will reduce the risk of accidents occurring that could possibly cause an electric.
4. Thunder and lightning
You should never use the pool during thunder and lightning. While the chances may seem rather small, if lightning were to strike in the water, it produces an electric current even more than faulty electric wiring. If the lightning didn’t strike the water, but instead the equipment that keeps the pool wired and running, the risk would be just the same, so avoid the pool.
Swimming in during thunder, rain and lightning may seem like a fun idea, the safe option though is to get out of the water and eliminate any danger.
Educating your children on pool safety
Kids love swimming in the pool and as the become teenagers, have the radio blaring on the television set to show their favourite program. We as adults sometimes love to watch sports while in the pool. However, if the appliance needs a cords to operate, or, if by accident, the device falls into the water, there is the risk of electric shock.
While the goal is not to eliminate fun from the pool area, it is important to be educated about the safest practices to have fun. For instance, using a battery-operated radio and keeping it a safe distance away from the pool is the safest.
It is also important to inform anyone how impending electrocution feels to the body. Warning signs often include tingling, inability to move and cramps. If any of these signs are present, exit the pool as quickly as possible avoiding metal objects such as pool ladders and rails.
Making sure your pool has no electrical dangers doesn’t mean removing the fun from swimming. It means being educated and aware towards the warning signs and being prepared if something were to go wrong. Above all, make sure that the pool and a professional who knows all the rules and regulations regarding pool safety has installed its equipment.