Have Your Swimming Pool Wiring Inspected Annually
When maintaining proper swimming pool electrical safety, its important to have it professionally inspected at least once a year. Doing so allows an electrical professional to thoroughly examine the inner workings of your swimming pool. This helps determine if its suitable for use, GFCI protected, compliant to code, and energy efficient. When youre ready to have your swimming pools electrical equipment inspected, contact Roman Electric for our safety and code correction services.
Have a safe summer by practicing swimming pool electrical safety! And contact Roman Electric if you would like to be serviced by Milwaukees leading electrical experts. Give us a call at 414-771-5400 for our outlet, wiring, and safety inspection services.
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What Are The Electrical Requirements For Pool Wiring
Knowing what the electrical requirements for a new swimming pool could be rather confusing. There are so many different types of pools to deal with that you will not be sure whether you can wire yourself. It basically boils down to two types of pools. Anything with a 1.5 hp motor or under including 1 hp will usually be a 120 V system that plugs in.
This would come in your typical metal style above ground pools. Usually around style pools or oval style pools. These type of pools can be simply plugged in to external outside GFCI outlet. A GFCI outlet is a must for your safety.
Anything over 1.5 hp in other words 2 hp and up usually requires a 240 volt connection and will need to be hardwired. This is for your larger inground swimming pools. In most cases you require certified electrician to do these connections for you.
When it comes to small blow up in the box pools they simply plug-in as well. Usually you can run those right off of your outside existing outlet because they do not draw much for power. The 1 to 1.5 hp size swimming pools usually require their own circuit so you may need to get an electrician involved to install an outlet for you.
How Can It Go Wrong
Stray electrical currents occurring in your own or nearby installations are the most common cause of problems.
For example you or the next door neighbour might have a good earth stake but a dodgy neutral. In this scenario the lazy electricity looking for an easy ride back to the grid doesnt use the neutral in the switchboard, it travels down the earth stake and goes looking for a good neutral to be able to get back to the grid.
If your pool is between the dodgy neutral and the good neutral it can look very inviting to a homesick electrical current. If your pool isnt bonded so that the current hits the reinforcing and goes into the bonding earth and back to the switchboard, you could cop it.
While 30mA of current will kill you , it only takes about 5mA to paralyse you. Not a good combination if you are in the water and sink to the bottom. You dont electrocute you drown, and so does anyone else who goes in to pull you out. Its silent too. Its not like the movies with smoke and frizzy hair, electrocution is quick and silent.
Pools and pool fencing are one risk area, poor earthing and bonding generally in the home are also potentially deadly as the tragic injury of a little girl in WA in February of 2018 from a MEN fault demonstrated. Have a switchboard and wiring inspection for peace of mind.
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How Can You Detect The Likely Presence Of Small Ac Leakage Currents In The Water
Among the many tools offered by Fluke for testing ac circuits is the model 360 AC Leakage Clamp Meter. This meter can measure up to 60 amps ac in normal use, but has two special features that make it appropriate for leakage current testing.
How To Test For Electrical Current In Water
So now that we know how stray voltage attacks, how can we test for electrical current in water? For this situation, there is a wide array of voltage testing devices that consumers can purchase.
These are relatively simple to use and are designed to be placed in the water before anyone tries to take a dip. Much like a pool alarm, the device should sound a warning alarm if something is amiss. In this case, stray voltage will set off the alarm.
To better illustrate this, heres an informative video from the TODAY show:
Of course, its also better to be safe rather than sorry. For this reason, it may be smart to consult an expert. Professional electricians and safety experts will always be best suited for the job than the average person. When it comes to potential life and death situations, some expert advice might be just the ticket you need for a safe swim.
Dont take the risk. Instead, find a local professional to test for electrical current in water where youll be swimming. This can be especially useful during the beginning and end of the pool seasons.
How Often Should I Test For Salt
To maintain the right salt level and keep your chlorine at 2 – 4 ppm, you will want to maintain your salt level between 2500 – 4500 ppm. This is the industry average, but always follow the manufacturer’s suggested salt level. Salt test strips can be found online and at your local pool store. Your pool store can also test for salt levels when you take your water sample in. It’s quick and easy for them to do.
Test strips are the go-to for most pool owners, and salt water test strips are just like regular test strips. Get a sample of pool water, dip the salt test strip into the water, remove it, then wait for about 15 – 20 seconds for the results to show.
How To Test Your Pool Water For Iron
The same kinds of test strips that test for copper will also test for iron. The main difference between testing for copper compared to iron is you’ll fill the tube with a sample of your pool water and add a solution so you can test for iron. It’s a fairly simple and straight forward test. Follow the directions on the package. Iron should be no higher than 0.1.
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What Is Electric Shock Drowning
Electric Shock Drowning occurs when AC voltage present in water passes through your body. Even a low-level of voltage can cause skeletal muscular paralysis, rendering the victim helpless and eventually resulting in drowning.
Electricity may be introduced to water in a variety of ways, including improperly wired pumps, boats, or lighting, improperly grounded wires, or stray current in the ground. This presence of electrical voltage in water is invisible, so it is crucial that water always be checked for voltage prior to swimming.
How To Prevent Pool Electrocution
If youve been paying attention to news stories surrounding accidental pool electrocution instances and drownings, you may be rightly concerned about the safety of your community pool or perhaps the one in your own backyard. Human error is nearly always the culprit in pool electrocutions, but with the right maintenance and tools, these deadly situations can be prevented. In addition to the following tips, its crucial that your pool is installed and regularly inspected by a certified technician.
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Testing For Salt In Your Pool Water
More people than ever are going to salt water pool systems. They’re easy, convenient, and makes the water feel better compared to a regular chlorine pool. But owning a salt pool means testing the salt on a regular basis to make sure it’s in the proper range set forth by the manufacturer. Too high or too low salt levels will cause issues with your chlorine generator and not give your pool the sanitizing it needs to kill the organic matter.
Safeguard Your Pool Against Electrocution
- Bonding and grounding are the best defenses you have against pool electrocution. Grounding involves electrically attaching powered equipment to the ground. If theres a short in the system, the circuit breaker trips to shut off power almost instantly, effectively rendering the equipment harmless.
Bonding involves electrically connecting all parts of the pool, such as the pump, heater and ladder, to build a grid. Without bonding, if one piece of equipment gets energized from afault in the system, the electrical current will immediately aim for a less energized component, which includes people.
- A ground-fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, can be a literal life-saver in preventing electrocution as soon as it begins. GFCIs monitor the level of electrical current flowing and will instantly shut off power if an imbalance is detected. These simple tools could have prevented many past electrocutions covered in the media if they had been installed. Portable GFCIs can usually be purchased for less than $30 and require no special tools to install.
- Keep the pool deck clear of electronics and power cords , to prevent an electronic device from falling or being pulled into the water. Choose battery-powered devices to have around the pool if possible.
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How Much Leakage Current Is Ok
Ideally, there should be no stray current flowing from the circuit, but leakage capacitances and some noise filter devices can cause small amounts of current to flow even in a properly operating system.
A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter device, either as a breaker, a receptacle, or an in-line device can ensure that no lethal current will flow to ground from a protected load. GFCI devices use Kirchoff’s principle to sense the current in the line and neutral conductors and open the circuit if the net current exceeds 6 mA.
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
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How To Take A Pool Water Sample
The video above goes into detail about how to use a vial, or bottle, to collect your pool water sample, but if you missed it, let’s read on. You will want to take your pool water sample away from the skimmer or returns. Make sure the container is clean. Any residue can skew your chemical readings.
- Hold the vial or container upside down.
- Insert the container into the water and go about elbow deep.
- Flip the container upright and bring it straight up out of the water.
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 .
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Test Pool Water For Electricity At The Right Time
sure that you also check the EC of the pool water early in the morning before any swimmers get into the water to ensure that it is still within its normal range. If youre finding that theres little or no chlorine left even if you just put some in, then the water may have been standing for too many hours and this allows bacteria to form which can irritate your swimmers eyes. On another note, do not test the pools EC immediately after shocking it with chlorine because this will distort your results.
How To Fix A Phosphate Problem In Your Pool Water
By adding a phosphate remover, we’re not really getting rid of phosphates, in the strictest definition of the word. We’re simply lessening the effects of phosphates in your water. A phosphate remover binds with the phosphates in your water so they can easily get filtered and backwashed out. But more phosphates will always show up.
Your greatest success will come in the form of having your pool chemicals balanced and your filter clean. Remember, it’s about addressing your pool water chemistry and killing organics in the pool, not the phosphates.
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Do I Need To Test For Phosphates
Honestly, I’ve cleared up over 700 green and nasty pools, most times in under 5 days, and I’ve never tested for phosphates. In fact, I’ve never used a phosphate remover on any of my customer’s pools and they always come out perfectly balanced and crystal clear.
Phosphates are a food source for algae, but they’re not the only food source. Phosphates in your pool, unless they’re at extremely high levels, should pose no issues.
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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Easy Pool Water Testing With Just A Few Steps
You’re pool is now open. Everything seems in order, right? Looking forward to relaxing by your pool and those wonderful weekends? But is something missing? Maybe? Testing your pool water chemistry should be number one on your “Honey-Do” list. Testing your pool on a regular basis can ensure you’ll have crystal clear and perfectly balanced water through the swimming season.
You probably know about chlorine and pH. But what if you have a salt pool? Or have well water with metals such as copper and iron? Or maybe phosphates?
Let’s take an in-depth look at your pool water testing.
Common Causes For Electrocution In Pools
Although its not a common, everyday occurrence, it is possible to be electrocuted while swimming in a pool. Here are some ways that electric shock can occur in pools, to illustrate why prevention is so important:
- Pool Lighting If you have pool lights that havent been grounded or bonded by a professional, electricity can be sent directly into the pool and shock the swimmers. The lights dont even have to be turned on to send electrical currents through the water. This is true of any electrical feature that is placed beneath the surface of the water.
- Faulty Electrical Installation Incorrectly installed wiring can cause stray electrical currents or stray voltage that are interconnected in all the various components of the pool. If nothing is done to rectify the problem, the current can enter the water and shock swimmers.
- Electronics Falling into the Water Just like you shouldnt drop a plugged-in appliance into a bathtub when someone is in there, you should also be cautious of dropping electronics into your pool.
The National Electric Code states that all metal parts of a pool within a five-foot radius need to be bonded to one another and grounded so stray voltage doesnt enter the water. This includes components like diving boards, slides, ladders and fences.
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Pool Wiring What Need To Know From An Electrician
Ok so you purchased a new pool and now what? We can tell you all about pool wiring and everything you need to know to wire it safely.
As a general rule, all permanent structure above ground or in ground swimming pools should be wired or consulted with by a certified electrician. This includes metal wall frame and concrete style pools or anything that is required to be hardwired and does not plug in. GFCI protection is a must for any style pool.
Unfortunately the code rules around swimming pools are not cut and dry so read on to get the details.
Test Pool Water Accurately
There are basically three ways to test your pool water and they are:
- Use a good test kit like the Taylor K-2006 or TF-100.
- Test strips.
- Digital pool testing.
- Take a sample of water to your local pool store.
Strips are easy and give a fairly good range, but are not as accurate as the K-2006 or TF-100.
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Wiring For Pool Lights
Underwater lights in the pool are aesthetically and functionally pleasing. However, should they crack or are defectively sealed, the voltage from the light bulb comes into direct contact with the water, putting electrical energy throughout the body of the water. There is also the possibility that the wiring for the pool lights can wear and pose a danger as well.
Damaged pool lights or faulty wiring are hazardous electrical accidents waiting to happen. When not properly installed or ill-functioning, it is no longer safe for use around the water and poses the threat of energising the water, effectively making the body of water a pool of electric currents.
To minimise the danger of the wiring and damage to the bulbs of the pool lights, its best to conduct regular checks for defects and to familiarise oneself with the wiring system in terms of how long since installation and if the wiring is up to code. If there was to be an issue with the lights or the wiring, then regular checks would catch the danger before it became fatal.