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Electrical Safety Tips for the Pool, Spa & Hot Tub

Updated: Jul 18, 2022

It’s the Summertime. And, a summer day spent poolside, at the spa or an evening enjoying a backyard hot tub is a great way to relax. Yet, each year, both adults and children are injured and killed by swimming pool, spa and hot tub dangers. Drowning is usually the first danger that comes to mind. However, there is another danger that is shockingly just as dangerous – electrical hazards and electrocution.

I’m Chris Parks with North Star Services, LLC and I’m going to share some important tips to help prevent potentially electrical situations when around swimming pools, spas and hot tubs. Enjoy the summer and be safe!

It's Electric

Installing a new pool, hot tub, or spa is a rewarding gift to you, your family, and friends, however, be sure the wiring is performed by a licensed electrician experienced in the special safety requirements for these types of installations.

All pools and spas should be built and installed in compliance with the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code which requires compliance with the National Electrical Code (NEC). The Pool and Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) encourages inspection, detection, and correction of electrical hazards in and around swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas. This is especially the case for pools and hot tubs that have been around for a while.

Hot Tips

Following is a list of important electrical safety tips to remember when installing or using a pool, spa or hot tub:

  • Outdoor receptacles must have covers to keep dry even when appliances are plugged in

  • Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) must be installed to protect against electrocution

  • ALL electrical equipment used for swimming pools, must be grounded

  • Keep electrical cords and devices at least 10 feet away from water sources

  • Power lines should not be hanging over a swimming pool, spa or hot tub

  • Use battery-operated appliances instead of cord-connected appliances

  • Don’t go in the water before, during or immediately after a thunderstorm

  • An electrician should inspect & upgrade your pool, spa or hot tub in accordance with code

Cases of Swimming Pool Electrocution

There have been numerous instances of people around the country who were injured or killed due to aberrant electrical current in a swimming pool. For instance, three children were injured when they grabbed the metal railing of a pool ladder in an apartment complex pool in Miami. In this case, faulty wiring was found to be the reason the children were shocked. While the current paralyzed them, adults pulled them to safety. Another child in the same city did not escape death when he was electrocuted in his backyard swimming pool. In this case, the ground cable was not connected.

Last year, a California father saw that his daughter was in difficulty in the family’s backyard pool. The father dived into the pool to help his child and was electrocuted. His daughter survived but was taken to the hospital in critical condition. According to police, faulty wiring was involved.

What Usually Goes Wrong

In most cases, the grounding, wiring, or bonding causes the problem. Sometimes, wiring is old or wasn’t done without a licensed electrician and is not up to code. Check to make sure lights are not going on and off or no longer work. In other cases, equipment is not properly grounded. A conducting wire should be run into the ground. If that is not done, someone in the pool can become the ground.

Remember, anything that holds water and is near or uses electric current shares the same problems.

Identifying Electric Shock

In the event of electric shock, swimmers may feel a tingling sensation or not be able to move. Muscle cramps are another early sign of electric shock. You may observe swimmers moving frantically away from an area or lying motionless in the pool. If you notice this behavior, immediately turn off the power to the pool.

If Electrical Issues Cause A Fire

If electrical issues cause a fire on your property, it’s important that you call the fire department right away to extinguish the blaze and prevent it from spreading. Once you’ve been cleared to re-enter your home, call a certified restoration company so they can make the damaged parts of your property look brand new.

Request A Free Inspection Today

When fire, flood or storm damage occurs to your residential or commercial property, contact North Star Services, LLC — a certified IICRC restoration and remediation company with over 20 years’ experience in Nashville, Berry Hill & Middle Tennessee. We provide free mold, crawl space and restoration inspections, and are available 24/7, 365 days a year for emergencies such as water damage, fire damage, flood and storm damage and more. Contact us at 629-221-0638 or request a free estimate now.

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