As the warmer weather approaches, swimming pools across the country are reopening for the season. It is important that you don’t overlook routine maintenance and inspections especially where electrical systems are present. If you, or anyone you know has a pool, you might want to consider reading (and sharing) this newsletter so that you can better understand the issues and electrical hazards associated with swimming pool safety.
Electricity and a wet body are a recipe for disaster! That’s why all swimming pools and spas are required to have GFCI protection and proper equipotential bonding. Yet there are still electrical injuries and fatalities occurring every year.
These accidents happen for a variety of reasons:
- Installations are not up to the current codes and standards.
- GFCIs are not tested periodically as required by the manufacturers.
- Corroded and neglected and improper bonding terminations.
- Electrical Equipment Failure.
- Transient, or neutral-to-earth voltage.
Most of these conditions can be detected by routine inspection(s) and addressed by a qualified person such as a licensed electrical contractor.
If you are hiring an inspector, be sure that they understand electrical fundamentals, bonding and grounding, NEC requirements related to swimming pool bonding, Neutral-to-Earth (NEV) voltage related to utility wiring, and how to determine that swimming pools are properly bonded.
Always confirm the inspection findings in the written report delivered to you. If you find any unsafe conditions such as equipment not GFCI protected or unbonded metal parts, you should shut down the pool, correct the hazard(s), and reinspect before anyone uses the pool again.