Is Your Pool’s Electrical Wiring Safe?

May 6, 2014 by Valerie Griffiths

One of the very first things you learn about electricity is that it doesn’t mix with water. So how about your pool’s electrical wiring—is it safe, and up to code? Does it present any risk to your family and guests, or are you ready for fun in the sun?

Your pool requires electrical connection for pumps, filters, lighting, heat and other features. And those connections must follow local and National Electric Codes; they protect anyone in or around the pool area.

There are many rules and specifications surrounding swimming pools, for good reason – pools are recreational, but also present significant safety risk if they’re not properly installed or maintained. Without regular inspection, there’s a real danger of shock and electrocution.

It sounds scary, but don’t let it overwhelm you! Your licensed electrician is trained and well practiced in the electrical wiring of swimming pools. You’ll want to schedule a routine appointment at the start of each season to ensure electrical safety. They know what to look out for, and how to keep your pool – and family – safe.

Here are some things your electrician will consider in the pool area:

  1. Are the junction boxes and wiring for underwater lights up to code?
  2. Does adequate lighting exist in and around the pool area, and is it properly installed?
  3. Are ground-fault circuit interrupter (GCFI) outlets in use in the pool area? This prevents the risk of shock by tripping the circuit if there’s danger with the current flow.
  4. Are there electrical cords in the vicinity of the pool? What condition are they in? All electrical cords should be at least 5 feet from the water, and should not be frayed or taped.
  5. Are power lines within 25 feet of the water? If not, this presents significant risk.

It’s your electrician’s job to understand state and national codes, and bring you up to compliance. Once you’ve had everything inspected, it’s your job to sit back, relax, and enjoy your pool all summer long!

Update: This horrible accident happened at a swimming pool in Florida just a short while after we published this article. Luckily no one was killed: http://www.local10.com/news/surveillance-video-released-shows-children-get-shocked-in-hialeah-pool/26102938