When the summer days get hotter and hotter, your backyard swimming pool looks especially enticing after you get home from a tough day at work. This pleasurable experience is something that Australians take for granted, yet they should always make sure that the water is safe to enter before jumping in. It may look perfectly okay and very enticing, but when was the last time that you checked the security of your electrical supply and network at home? Could this be a disaster waiting to happen?
Electricity can be a silent killer. If a home system is not adequately grounded or the pool properly bonded, then a fault can divert electricity to the pool. Not only will this charge the water, but anyone else who is unfortunate to be there at the time will be seriously hurt. Usually, it will cause paralysis and drowning, without any warning.
The Importance of Bonding
Do you know if your pool is bonded correctly? Most people are aware that an electrical supply needs to be grounded if it is to be safe and efficient. Yet they may not be aware of bonding, which is a process that connects all the metallic components in and around the pool together. This may include the fence, the ladder to access the pool and its underlying frame. Once these are interconnected, then any stray current will be dispersed across all these items together in a low-resistive network. It will force the current to the earth stake, rather than being distributed through the pool itself and to any people within.
Remember, this process will only work correctly if your property is grounded efficiently, which once again reduces the risk of shock and the transmission of electrical currents.
Evidence to Look For
Do you know if there is an earthing bar near to the pool? It should be readily apparent, but if you cannot see it, then you may need to uncover the concrete surround down to the metal reinforcement so that the efficiency can be checked using resistance meters. Usually this test is applied before any concrete is poured on new construction.
Obviously, it can be expensive to rip up the concrete around your pool, and if you can't afford to do this and start from scratch, then you should have an electrician perform some safety checks. Make sure you do this at the beginning of the season at least and fit safety switches on every circuit that leads to the exterior of your property.