It is an accepted fact that water and electricity make for a dangerous combination. A person should always observe safety practices when these two elements are present, such as in boats, in a jacuzzi, and even in more mundane locations such as the kitchen or the bathroom. A swimming pool is no exception. And yet you have pools equipped with lights, and sometimes you may find lights and electrical outlets located around the pool. There is also the possibility of electrical equipment falling into the pool. How do you ensure electrical safety around swimming pools?
- Pool equipment should be inspected by licensed electricians at least twice a year
Wear and tear happen naturally over time, and wirings may become corroded, connections may become loose, and safety protective devices like GFCIs may cease to function correctly. Calling in a licensed professional to inspect that everything is in proper working order keeps accidents to a minimum.
While cases of people dying from electrocution or electric currents in swimming pools are rare, it has been known to happen. And the cause is often faulty or poorly-maintained wiring and pool and electrical equipment.
- Make sure that you have a compliant GFCI
GFCIs are required to be installed on the bottom right side of every swimming pool control panel. And yet not all swimming pools have GFCIs, and not all that have these little circuit breakers are compliant.
GFCIs are necessary installations in swimming pools because they are designed to trip and to shut off the power to the pool immediately if a stray electric current is detected. It can save lives. But having one installed is not enough. You have to make sure that it was installed properly and up to code standards by a licensed electrician, and you also have to make sure that periodic inspections are conducted to make sure that it is still functioning because over time, your GFCI may become damaged or may require replacement. Making a schedule for preventive maintenance through periodic electrical safety examinations should be standard if you have a pool.
- Electrical devices, electrical equipment, and appliances should be kept at least five feet away from the edge of the pool
Electricity powers everything these days, and many of them are often used near or around swimming pools. Radios, speakers, blenders, grills, phones, television sets – people sometimes push the bounds of safety by bringing these kinds of electrical equipment near swimming pools.
At a minimum, these kinds of devices and equipment should be kept at a safe distance away from the edge of the pool, by a distance of at least five feet. In fact, they should not be located near a pool at all, because the surroundings of a pool will often be wet, which means electrical hazards can be created even outside of, but within the vicinity of a pool area. The same rule should apply to electric cords, cables, and wires.
If any of these should fall into the pool, the first thing you should do is to make sure that nobody goes into the pool. Turn off the power to the pool, have everyone get out of and away from the water, and then call an ambulance. Do not attempt to retrieve the object yourself, but instead call an electrician or a licensed pool contractor for assistance.
- Know how to turn off the power in an emergency
This entails knowing the location of the electrical switches and circuit breakers for your pool. If anything should go wrong, the first thing you should do is to turn the power off.
Also, it is good to have a fiberglass hook handy. If electrocution does become a possibility at your pool, you will need to be able to reach people or things, without putting yourself in harm’s way. Metal conducts electricity, so you should stay away from metal objects and ladders. A fiberglass rescue hook, on the other hand, is a safe way to reach a person in the pool and can be used to pull a person out of the water without endangering yourself or anybody else.
Professional electricians at www.electriciancolumbusohio.com can help you with all your electrical installation & repair needs.