Pool Experts Urge Shock-Proofing NJ Swimming Pools for a Safe Summer
July 7th, 2014 | By: Mitchell Knapp | Industry News
Underwater lights are a great addition to NJ swimming pools. However, one loose rubber seal could spell disaster.
In Florida alone, shock pools—swimming pools with electric currents—have already claimed several victims. An ABC News report cites an improperly grounded pool pump as the cause of swimmers in a Hialeah, FL pool getting one volt too much. This is one of the main reasons pool designers like Tranquility Pools, Inc. make it a point to prioritize safety.
To understand how dangerous a shock pool can be, a simple science lesson may be in order. Human skin, under dry conditions, has an electrical resistance of up to 100,000 ohms. It’s designed to protect internal systems with a resistance of up to 1,000 ohms. Though it is by no means the most electrically resistant material on the planet, human skin manages to do a good job of protecting the body from high voltages up to a certain extent.
However, wet human skin has a much lower electrical resistance that’s at par with that of the internal system. This is because water, a good conductor, provides electrical currents an avenue to travel deep into the body. A 120-volt current, which is nothing more than a slight sting under dry conditions, can become a full-blown shock to the heart.
Proper NJ swimming pool design and maintenance protect users from electric shock. To start with, be sure that the necessary electrical equipment, such as transformers, are in place. These electrical components should be placed at a safe distance from the pool to avoid direct contact with water, typically behind some bushes or tall plants.
According to ABC News, a transformer can downgrade the standard 120 volts surging through electrical equipment to just 12 volts. This is a bit stronger than a 9-volt battery but hardly life-threatening.
The ground-fault circuit-interrupter (GFCI) is another useful component. The GFCI detects the slightest fluctuation in any electrical fixture within the pool and immediately cuts it off when the voltage exceeds normal levels. Swimmers may feel some shock but not to the point of lethality. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends GFCIs for pools that are more than 30 years old.
Finally, pool owners need to watch out for signs that the rubber seal or glass pane protecting the underwater lights are broken. Such problems exposes the wiring to the water, which can prove dangerous to any swimmer. As a precaution, pool owners would be wise to enlist professional maintenance services from a trusted firm like Tranquility Pools, Inc. that minimize the risk of electrocution and keep pools looking beautiful for many years.
(Source: “Don’t get burned by your summer enjoyment,” HTR News, June 17, 2014)