Electric Shock Drowning: How your Pool Could be Life Threatening


According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there have been 21 reported deaths involving electrocution and water since 2002 in the United States. If you happen to have a pool in your backyard, you might not realize your family could be susceptible to Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon. electric shock drowning if you’re not careful. Electricity can be found all around your pool; in underwater lights, electrical pool equipment (such as pumps, filters, or vacuums,) extension cords, outlets, and overhead pool lights. The first step to keeping your family safe is to understand what electric shock drowning entails.


What is Electric Shock Drowning?

Electric Shock Drowning, or ESD, occurs when there are electrical currents running through a body of water. The currents then run through the body, causing paralysis which can then lead to drowning. Someone experiencing ESD may feel tingling sensations throughout the body, muscle cramps, paralyzation and pressure pushing down onto their body. They can also appear to be experiencing unsettling panic in the water, or on the contrary motionlessness swimming.


Tips to Prevent ESD:

Below are some tips on how to prevent ESD from happening. These tips range anywhere from awareness to safety precautions:

  • Do not swim in thunderstorms

  • Look for any underwater lights that may not be functioning correctly, or flickering before getting into the pool.

  • Keep all outdoor receptacles of power covered and dry as much as possible.

  • Install a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI), which is designed to shut down automatically in the event of a ground fault, for outdoor electronics.

  • Make sure all electrical pool equipment is grounded and kept at least 10 feet away from water sources.

  • Wherever possible, opt for battery-powered outdoor equipment.

  • Never handle any outdoor pool equipment when exiting the pool or even perspiring.

  • Have an electrician inspect and upgrade pool and equipment to meet local code standards.

If you are unsure about the safety of your pool, have a licensed electrician, like one of us here at Electrical Plus, come inspect, replace, or upgrade all electrical devices and equipment found surrounding your pool. We can ensure that everything is up to code and that your family and loved ones are safe from any electrical faults. Give us a call at (484) 459-4940 to have one of our licensed electricians inspect your pool today!

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