The Dangers of Water and Electricity

Rectangular swimming pool in a beautiful aesthetic backyard

Most people understand that electricity and water don’t mix, but modern swimming pools rely on electrical equipment to keep them warm, clean, well-lit, and sometimes covered. Electrical shocks can be dangerous on dry land, but swimming pool electric shocks come with increased risks, which is why it’s so important to learn about and respect the electrical hazards you may encounter in and around the pool area. It’s part of creating a safer swimming pool area and protecting your friends, family, and pets from potential electrocution and accidental drowning injuries.

Understanding Currents

Water and electricity are similar in that both want to flow through the path of least resistance. For water, this means where directed by your pool pump or where gravity pulls it to. For electricity, that means through the material that offers the least impedance as it seeks to complete a circuit. Water is a poor conduit for electricity, but a wet human body offers a far more efficient path. The best way to avoid electrical injuries is to understand the potential of electricity and water to create a dangerous path for the current and provide a safer circuit that manages that flow, directing it away from people and pets. An electrical flow that routes through the human body can be painful, cause a loss of consciousness, or even stop the heart of the victim.

Sources of Electrical Hazards Around Swimming Pools

Your first step to preventing swimming pool electric shock injuries is identifying possible sources of electrical current around your pool. While every pool is unique, there are a few common electricity sources to keep an eye on.

  • Lights, Pumps, and Heaters – These frequent pool amenities are so commonplace that they’re easy to overlook. While designed to be safe for use as intended, malfunction, improper installation, and damage can let them mix electricity and water.
  • Accessories and Other Equipment – Electrical add-ons and accessories, like slides, sprayers, and poolside sound systems are popular, but if not properly installed and maintained, they can create a risk.
  • Extension Cords – Extension cords can be one of the most dangerous electrical hazards in your entire house, around the pool or in the home. Easily overloaded and lacking many of the safety features built into modern electrical appliances, they can represent a fire risk or shock hazard wherever and whenever they’re found.
  • Lightning – With unbridled power and unpredictable paths to the ground, lightning is incredibly dangerous to those in and around water. There is no controlling the weather. All you can do is respect it.

 Tips to Minimize the Shock Risks Around Your Pool

Backyard swimming pool with a white umbrella showing a storm coming in the background

With so many shock hazards, keeping electricity and water apart can seem daunting. There are steps you can take to limit the risk to your loved ones.

  • Don’t Use The Pool When You Can Hear Thunder – You can see lightning on a clear night for up to 100 miles from the sight of the ground strike, but the sound of thunder only travels around 25 miles. If you can hear thunder, you’re within range of a potential lightning strike from the outskirts of a storm. Be aware of the weather anytime you use the swimming pool, and never risk staying in the water as an electrical storm rolls in.
  • Only Allow Pool Certified Electrical Accessories in the Pool Area – Make sure all pool technology, appliances, or personal accessories that enter the pool area are designed to be used in or around the water. This includes Waterslides, inflatables, and speaker systems, but it also means phone chargers, auxiliary lights, and more. Extension cords should never be within the swimming pool area.
  • Investigate and Repair Any Malfunctioning Electrical Equipment – A light that doesn’t work or seems to flicker on and off could just need a new bulb, or it could be an indicator of a short circuit leaking dangerous electricity into the water of your swimming pool. If any of your electric pool equipment is not functioning correctly, it needs to be replaced or inspected and repaired by an electrician experienced in pool equipment.
  • Make Sure All Conductive Accessories and Fixtures are Grounded and Bonded – Grounding and bonding operate on the principle of providing a straighter, faster path for the electricity to flow through that directs it to a safer location. Grounding protects electronic circuits by running a short into the ground at a safer location, completing the circuit or interrupting it with a breaker or fuse system. Bonding uses wires attached to conductive fixtures, like pool ladders or furniture, to capture and redirect any currents.
  • Keep Your Pool Area Protected – Your removable mesh pool fence can be an important part of protecting your pool area. With a perimeter that deters climbing and a self-closing and latching gate, your pool fence helps you keep control of what enters the area immediately around your pool. Kids can find it hard to understand the dangers of mixing water and electricity, and even adults can become complacent, thinking swimming pool electric shock won’t happen to them. By controlling access to your swimming pool, you can limit the electrical risks to your loved ones.
Blue mesh pool cover installed on a rectangular swimming pool with a slide

Creating A Safer Swimming Pool

Your independent All-Safe Pool installer is your local source for the top swimming pool safety equipment on the market. They’ll schedule a visit, take measurements, and prepare a customized quote that lays out your pool protection options.

  • Removable Mesh Pool Fence – This flexible, modern pool fencing system gives you a secure perimeter to help prevent unsupervised pool access while giving your the freedom to take down your fence temporarily to entertain larger groups of guests. 
  • Swimming Pool Safety Covers – RIp-resistant material anchored around the edge of the pool prevents water entry and holds potential drowning victims up and out of the water.
  • Swimming Pool Safety Nets – Safety nets use strong knotted twine anchored to the pool deck to provide protection similar to that offered by safety covers but with the flexibility to work over and around pool fixtures.

There’s no cost or obligation to get started. When you schedule your free quote, you’re taking the first step toward a safer swimming pool for your loved ones. Get the peace of mind that comes with a safer swimming pool with professionally installed safety barriers from your All-Safe Pool pro today.

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