There’s nothing like taking a refreshing dip in your pool on a sweltering day or melting the day’s stress away in the hot tub underneath a moonlit sky. Yet each year, adults and children alike are suffer shock-related injuries in and around pools and hot tubs. The most common culprits are faulty or damaged wiring, faulty underwater lighting, and faulty or nonexistent GFCIs – all of which can be prevented with the right precautions and routine maintenance.
Keep your family safe this spring and summer with these important tips from Excel Electrical Technologies.
Inspect Underwater Lighting
Underwater lighting not only illuminates your pool or spa for safety, it also provides ambience to your backyard retreat. Make sure it’s operating safely by inspecting it with you eyes, nose, and ears. Look for any dull, flickering, or non-functioning lights. Listen for buzzing sounds. And smell for a burnt ozone smell. Check power supplies for signs of damage and if you notice any of these red flags, do not use your pool or hot tub and call a licensed electrician right away.
Inspect Outdoor Lighting
We all know that water and electricity do not mix, so it’s also wise to inspect the entire perimeter around your pool or hot tub. Check for damage to string lights, path lighting, spot lighting and any other outdoor lighting or electrical devices in close proximity. Some things to take note of are dull or flickering lights, corroding or rusty wires or power cords, buzzing noises, mold, or any clear signs that your electronics need attention.
Use GFCI Outlets Only
A Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlet is a special electrical outlet designed for being near water. It has a “test” and “reset” button between the two plug receptacles and includes a sensor that constantly monitors the amount of current flowing between the hot and neutral connections. If an imbalance is sensed, the outlet will trip the circuit, saving you from electrocution. All of the power going to your pool or spa, as well as any other electrical equipment or lights nearby, should be plugged into GFCIs. Exterior outlets should also have hinged doors over the faceplate to protect them from moisture and the elements. If you notice they are hot to the touch, feel loose, or appear damaged in any way, do not use them and call a licensed electrician immediately.
Keep All Electronics at a Safe Distance
It’s tempting to take electronics poolside, but it’s important to keep them at a safe distance. When using electronics around your pool or hot tub, make sure the device you’re using is waterproof. Anything that’s not should be kept at least 20 feet away from the water’s edge to avoid electrocution and damage to your devices.
Know Your Circuits
In the event of an electrical issue or come time to replace a recessed light’s bulb, it’s important to know which breaker controls the outlets that your pool or spa’s electrical components are plugged into. Make sure all breakers are labeled properly and visually inspect the breaker box for signs of rust, water intrusion, or pest infestation.
Schedule Your Pool and Hot Tub Inspection
Pool and hot tub electrical safety begins with professional installation and continues with following all safety guidelines and having an annual safety inspection performed by a licensed electrician. Contact the professionals at Excel Electrical Technologies to schedule your outdoor electrical safety inspection of your pool, hot tub, or any other wired amenity.