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How To Test For Stray Voltage In Pool

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How To Prevent Electric Shock Drowning

Rossen Reports: How To Spot Stray Voltage In Pools, Lakes | TODAY
DO NOT SWIM IN MARINAS

A boat with faulty wiring could enter the water near a marina at any time. Heed warning signs in these areas and do not swim.

HAVE POOLS INSPECTED

Pools and docks with electricity nearby should be inspected twice a year.

LEAVE ELECTRICAL WORK TO THE PROFESSIONALS

Always use a Certified Electrician for inspections and electrical work near water.

USE SHOCK ALERT TO TEST WATER FOR VOLTAGE

Shock Alert will notify you of electricity present in water. If it beeps and flashes red, DO NOT SWIM. If it flashes green, no voltage is detected.

Due to the tragic nature of these injuries and deaths, Shock Alert was created to detect the presence of electrical voltage in water.

How Can I Protect Pool Areas From Stray Voltage

There are several ways that your pool deck can proof against stray voltage. One of the best ways to get peace of mind is with equipotential bonding. This is essentially a copper wire grid that gets installed in the concrete deck and will attract any contact voltage, keeping the wet ground safe from the risk of shock. Read more about the Electric Power Research Institute’s testing report on equipotential bonding configurations for in-ground swimming pools.

Why Havent I Heard About Stray Voltage Before?

In years past, metal rebar was installed in all concrete flooring as standard practice . As a result, electricity would choose to flow through metal rather than concrete, and stray voltage wasnt really a concern in those days.

When the industry started mixing concrete with other materials and rebar was no longer needed, stray current entered the picture. Subsequently, there have been far too many cases of injuries and even deaths from contact voltage.

Protect your clients by using equipotential bonding grids and mitigate the risk of stray voltage. Consolidated Manufacturing International can help.

Why Is It So Difficult To Bond The Pool Deck

Simply put, dirt and soil are not bondable because they are not solid materials. Further concrete and pavers are not bondable in the way metal conductive parts are. In fact, about the best we can practically achieve is a connection that is between 1/100th and 1/1000th as good as the bonding we get between metal parts. This is why the rods and grids we use for earthing the power system are called grounding rods and grounding mats as opposed to being called bonding rods or bonding mats. Typical rod and grid resistances between the metal and the earth range from an average value of about 100 ohms to a best case for a really well grounded substation copper grid at about five ohms. To be clear, our electrical systems and get good static charge dissipation, but we cant effectively bond the system to the earth and eliminate voltage gradients.

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Children Rescued From Pool With Electrified Water

This video depicts the frightening occurrence when electric voltage is introduced into water. If you prefer not to watch, here is the timeline of the video:

0:06 Child 1 is electrocuted0:13 The fathers heroic response rescues his daughter 0:15 Another child is still in the pool0:27 Another man heroically rescues his granddaughter

How To Earth Existing Pools

Pool Water Voltage Check Jul 20, 1 15 29 PM

If it is found that your existing pool isnt earthed correctly, it can become a costly venture to correct. It involves stripping the concrete of the pool back to expose the metal reinforcements in a section before correctly earthing the steel, and then repairing the concrete.

If you cant afford to rip up your pool and start again, the best way to help keep those who swim in your pool safer is to have regular electricity safety checks performed on your property, and safety switches installed on every circuit.

It would also pay to have a friendly chat with your nearest neighbours and encourage them to have a safety inspection on their switchboard.

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Swimming Pool Stray And Contact Voltage Research Outcomes

Electric Power Research Institute June 2019

DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITIES

THIS DOCUMENT WAS PREPARED BY THE ORGANIZATION NAMED BELOW AS AN ACCOUNT OF WORK SPONSORED OR COSPONSORED BY THE ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INC. . NEITHER EPRI, ANY MEMBER OF EPRI, ANY COSPONSOR, THE ORGANIZATION BELOW, NOR ANY PERSON ACTING ON BEHALF OF ANY OF THEM: MAKES ANY WARRANTY OR REPRESENTATION WHATSOEVER, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, WITH RESPECT TO THE USE OF ANY INFORMATION, APPARATUS, METHOD, PROCESS, OR SIMILAR ITEM DISCLOSED IN THIS DOCUMENT, INCLUDING MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR THAT SUCH USE DOES NOT INFRINGE ON OR INTERFERE WITH PRIVATELY OWNED RIGHTS, INCLUDING ANY PARTY’S INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, OR THAT THIS DOCUMENT IS SUITABLE TO ANY PARTICULAR USER’S CIRCUMSTANCE OR ASSUMES RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM YOUR SELECTION OR USE OF THIS DOCUMENT OR ANY INFORMATION, APPARATUS, METHOD, PROCESS, OR SIMILAR ITEM DISCLOSED IN THIS DOCUMENT. REFERENCE HEREIN TO ANY SPECIFIC COMMERCIAL PRODUCT, PROCESS, OR SERVICE BY ITS TRADE NAME, TRADEMARK, MANUFACTURER, OR OTHERWISE, DOES NOT NECESSARILY CONSTITUTE OR IMPLY ITS ENDORSEMENT, RECOMMENDATION, OR FAVORING BY EPRI.

THE ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE PREPARED THIS REPORT

Can You Be Electrocuted In A Swimming Pool

You can get electrocuted in a swimming pool. There are three common reasons that caused pool electrocution which include faulty electrical wiring, no GFCI protection for the outlets and circuits, and electrical cords and appliances getting in contact with the water. We have also shared this article that discusses if a pool light can electrocute you. You can check out the article for an in-depth discussion about the topic.

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How Can I Tell If My Pool Is Earthed Correctly

Most electricians will tell you that the earthing and bonding process in pools is almost never 100% foolproof. There will always be slight variances in electrical conductivity due to the time the wiring is exposed to the elements before pouring.

However, many pools have not been grounded at all, or have been grounded incorrectly, and this can be lethal as in the case of a Victorian Police Officer who was electrocuted in a Gold Coast pool in 2003.

Testing the bonding of existing pools and spas can be a challenge if there isnt an exposed earthing bar already in place. Without an earthing bar, the process requires the concrete covering the metal reinforcing to be chipped back until it, and the pools reinforcing, is exposed and then a test lead run back to the earth stake to ensure the earthing resistance is under 1 Ohm. This process is tricky to complete and is very costly.

In new pools, the testing of your bonding must be carried out before the pool is poured. To ensure that the connections remain as consistent as possible, it is advisable that the pool is poured as soon as possible after the bonding/earthing testing is completed to limit problems from exposure to the elements.

How Do I Know If My Pool Is Electrified

Stray Voltage Episode 6 Field Testing

Among the signs of an electrified pool includes the inability to move, muscle cramps, a tingling sensation feeling, or feeling like something is holding you in place while swimming. Knowing the signs of an electrified pool could be a life or death situation. Make sure that you check if your underwater lights are properly working and that there is no exposed wiring, cords, or equipment near or in the pool that can cause electrocution. We have also written this article titled, can you see electricity in water? Check out the article for an in-depth discussion about the topic.

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Demonstrating Kirchoff’s Current Law In Action

I’ve made an accessory to allow convenient measurements in the three test positions shown in the diagram above. I bought a short extension cord with a triple outlet and modified it as shown here to make the three conductors individually accessible.

When I plugged the cord into an outlet with nothing connected to the receptacle end, I measured the current around the single black conductor and registered 1.480 mA. That’s because the three-receptacle head on my cord has a neon pilot light in it telling me that the cord is live. Measurements in the #2 and #3 positions read from 0.000 to 0.002 mA, confirming that all of the current powering the light was flowing in only the line and neutral – just as it should be.

Using my test adapter, a circuit wiring tester such as the Fluke T+PRO, and the Fluke model 360, you can quickly troubleshoot wiring problems involving leakage currents, and test GFCI devices for proper operation.

It’s a small price to pay to keep docks, marinas, swimming pools, and our own backyards safe while using electrical devices, don’t you think?

How To Earth New Pools

At Tradesmen on Time, we have a strict process we follow when it comes to ensuring that new pools are earthed correctly.

We start off by using a grinder to remove rust from a number of spots on your reinforcing in your pool shell. The pool builders should have used galvanised wire to tie the steel reinforcing of your pool together.

We then attach it to a 6mm earthing cable with brass line clamps, and spray cold galvanising paint on the connection before wrapping the bond with tape.

This earth tail is then run to a point near the pool equipment GPOs where a 6mm earth cable has been run from the switchboard to ensure that the earthing continuity is low enough back to the switchboard and the trusty earth stake to ensure that any pesky stray electricity can flow freely into the earth stake and not through you.

Upon completion, we test the earth continuity back to the switchboard to ensure everything is correctly grounded. By law, to be classed as grounded the wires need to have less than 1 Ohm of resistance when connected.

During some pool builds, the construction team might try to avoid getting an electrician out before pouring the pool, instead choosing to wrap some earth cable around a section of the shells reinforcing and leave a tail hanging out so it can be bonded to the earthing later.

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Can Electricity In Water Kill You

Electricity in water can kill you depending on the specific path that the current takes through as well as the individual characteristic of the body of the person. For instance, a relatively small current could flow into one hand, directly through the heart, and out the foot to instantly kill a person. However, an enormous current from a lightning bolt might hit a person but find the easiest path to travel through the skin and result only in burns. Bear in mind that a large amount of electric current can kill a person by burning the insides. Moreover, a small amount of electric current can kill a person if it flows directly through the heart.

How To Test For Stray Voltage In Pool

Port Charlotte

When testing for stray voltage in your pool, you need to check all wiring that runs from the pool pump ground to lighting fixtures, drains, slides, railing, and any other part of the pool. The first thing that you need to do is to visually check the wiring near or in the pool equipment room to make sure that there are no violations of the current electrical code. Next, you need to check the electrical continuity and integrity of the bonding and grounding system of the pool. You can hire the services of a professional to make a thorough inspection and analysis.

When it comes to the continuity test, it should be done on the equipment ground and not on the grounding electrode system. Moreover, underwater pool lights, non-electric, and metallic bonding points on the entire feature of the pool should also need to undergo continuity and insulation testing.

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Device Will Tell You If Theres Dangerous Stray Voltage In Your Pool

Two young people were killed last weekend by electric shocks in water.

Everyone knows that water and electricity dont mix. But what people sometimes forget is that swimming pools are often surrounded by lots of outlets and other power sources.

In the wake of two tragic fatalities, experts are doing their best to help prevent electric shock around pools and other bodies of water.

On Saturday, 11-year-old Kayla Matos was swimming in a lagoon in Toms River, New Jersey, when she touched an electrified boat lift. She was electrocuted and died later that evening, NBC News reported. Just one day earlier, 19-year-old Evan Currie met the same fate in Lake Erie, Ohio, while trying to save his father and family dog at a marina.

For families who spend a lot of time near pools or lakes, theres a new new device called the Shock Alert that alerts you to stray voltage in the water before you take a swim. In the following video, TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen demonstrated how you can use this device to test your pool to make sure its safe for swimming . He also discussed how to remove stray voltage in the event that the pool isnt safe.

Theres all sorts of power around the pool, Frank Vlasaty, who created Shock Alert, told TODAY. Because of this, electric shock drowning is sometimes called the silent killer.

How Does Bonding Work

Bonding and earthing are two separate processes that work together to keep electricity out of your water.

Bonding is a process that links together all the physical metallic items in or around your pool, such as the metal supports of the pool frame, the ladder, pool fence etc.

Bonding these items together creates an equal voltage potential , or low-resistive network path across all conductive parts of the pool. In the event of a stray current travelling through the ground it will go to the earth stake on your house and not through you or through the pool water that you or your family are in.

Without bonding, there is a risk that stray currents will remain in the one conductive elements making it live with electricity. Alternatively, the current will be conducted by the water in your pool, which electrifies your whole pool and by default you!

In a nutshell, we bond non-electrical conductive things that have the potential to become live and come in contact with people.

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Symptoms Of Stray Voltage

The key word is mysterious. Many farmers think they must be bad farmers or bad managers, or that they must have poor-quality livestock, not realizing there is a hidden cause. Electricity is essentially invisible, and we are usually focused on visible issues. Every single farm, ranch barn, garage or home can have stray voltage problems we have seen it with dairy, beef, swine, sheep, goats, poultry or horses, but most often electrical problems are most clear in a dairy. In general, dairy animals drink more , and they are quite often indoors and being handled, in a place where we can watch them.

Animals that are plagued with stray voltage will most frequently manifest specific problems such as mastitis, or high somatic cell count , or they are jumpy when they come in to be milked. In many cases they just will not let down their milk flow. Watch your animals when they drink they will tell you. Frequently they will only drink just enough to satisfy their thirst but not enough to maintain adequate production, which soon falls off even worse. Instead of taking a steady intake of water, they merely lap at the water, bobbing their heads.

Humans are more likely to feel the voltage themselves when walking barefoot on wet concrete, even more so when touching plumbing or metal when they are somewhat grounded by being wet. People have even been known to keep a dry rag around so that they can shut off their shower faucet without getting a mild shock.

Rossen Reports: How To Spot Stray Voltage In Pools Lakes

Detecting Electricity in Water

Rossen’s report comes in the wake of the death of Kayla Matos, 11, who was swimming in a lagoon in Toms River, New Jersey, on Saturday when she touched a boat lift that was electrified, officials said. She was electrocuted and died later that evening.

One day earlier in Ohio, Evan Currie, 19, was electrocuted and died while trying to save his father and family dog at a marina. The family’s powerboat was plugged in for shore power when Currie jumped in the water to help his father and the dog, but he ultimately did not make it back to shore after the power was unplugged, officials said.

The Electric Shock Drowning Association, an organization dedicated to raising awareness and educating people on the risks of electric shock drowning, recorded 84 cases since 1986. The parents of 15-year-old cheerleader Carmen Johnson, who drowned while swimming near her family’s dock in a lake last year, are also working to raise awareness.

The organization recommends using ground fault protection devices on the power sources that switch the power off if theres a problem with the electrical flow.

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How Can I Get Rid Of It

One of the reasons the stray voltage problem wasnt particularly known about until recent decades is that in earlier construction methods, rebar was laid down in concrete to help hold it together. Metal is more conductive than concrete, so the electricity would tend to flow through that instead. When concrete was mixed with fiberglass and formulas advanced that no longer required rebar, stray voltage became more and more common.

What we have done is create equipotential bonding grids that get installed below the pool and deck to be that outlet for any loose electricity. Stray voltage should prefer metal over most other materials. By implementing one of our systems, you can help mitigate a stray voltage problem in the pools you build.

You can view our catalog to see all of our grounding and bonding solutions, or learn more about equipotential bonding here.

Grounding products

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