There is nothing better to cool down the Texas heat than a jump into a family swimming pool. The refreshing water, the sound of your children playing and splashing away enjoying themselves without any fear or care in the world.  That is exactly what a Calder and Caleb Sloan through when they we're enjoying their family swimming pool. Then this happened -

"A 7-year-old boy from the Miami area died after being electrocuted in the family swimming pool, and authorities suspect the pool light is to blame. 

According to local sources, Calder Sloan and his brother, Caleb, were at home with their nanny of four years and her 22-year-old son, Gary. Calder and Gary jumped in the pool, and Gary felt a shock, prompting him to leap out of the pool and call for Calder to do the same. But Calder was underwater, swimming toward the pool light. The boy was knocked unconscious while in the water. After he was pulled out, the nanny called 911.  According to WPLG, a neighbor, Fabian Pesantes, tied to resuscitate the boy with CPR.

“As I was touching the water, to wipe off my mouth, I was getting zapped,” Pesantes told WPLG. “As I was performing CPR on the boy I was getting zapped.”

During the investigation, the Sloan family explained they recently had work done on their pool light. According to an electrician who inspected the pool equipment, a ground wire wasn’t attached to the transformer — meaning 120 volts of electricity were sent to the pool light. 

The current corroded the light’s steel casing, and soon, water seeped in, creating an electrically-charged body of water. There's no word on whether the professional hired to work on the pool light was an experienced pool professional. " ARTICLE

The fact is this is gettin to be very common. The founder of "Master The NEC", the parent company of "TEI" serves on the National Electrical Code NFPA70 (NEC) technical code panel # 17 and is very aware of this happening in many locations around our great country. To that effort "TEI" is offering specific evaluations for swimming pool bonding . In order to reduce the potential for electricution or subsequent drowning all swimming pools are required by the National Electrical Code to have what is called an Equipotential Bonding Grid (EBG) around the swimming pool area, all metal parts within 5' of the pool bonded to that grid and finally to ensure that the water itself is bonded to the EBG. We offer these testing services to the texas residents to ensure that proper pool bonding has taken place. These are NOT Home Inspections, they are electrical bonding prinicipals and detailed evaluations done by industry experts and people who actually serve on the very techincal panel that aid in authoring the rules found in Article 680 of the National Electrical Code.

Here are some more sad stories. If you own a swimming pool you should have the electrical components inspected on an annual bases by qualified experts like "TEI".

1) Silicon Valley Exec. Dies trying to rescue daughter - Click Here

2) The Truth About Pool Electrocutions - Click Here

3) Electricians Charged in Texas - Click Here

4) Two Critically Wounded in Pool -Click Here

5) Shock in pool kills man, injures 5- Click Here

We could go on and on about the injuries and deaths associated with swimming pools and faulty electrical installations. You assume everything is fine but with the chemicals involved, the rapid breakdown of electrical connections and the lack of required bonding around the pools that permit stray voltage and subsequent current into the swimming pool is always present. You need to have your pools examined and determine if the pool is bonded properly.

FACT - You will NEVER be able to remove potential voltage from the earth. When you place a swimming pool with a conductive shell into the earth you provide a potential path for voltage to travel back to the source. That voltage will induce different voltage gradient potential along it's path through the earth. If you become associated with that path (in the pool, stepping out of the pool, etc) then you will feel this and it could be deadly to you. Most deaths are not from electrocution, they are from drowning due to disorientation from the condition of voltage (and subsuquent currents as well) imposed onto you.

The proper bonding around pools is to reduce the voltage gradients in and around the pool area, thus reducing dangerous voltage gradients that result in current flow. Again you will NEVER remove the stray voltage on the earth due to current utility practices so why create a unsafe condition in your pool as a result of their common practice. The principal of creating a successful "EBG" is not to eliminate these voltage gradients, but to mask them in a sense and create equal potential at all possible human contact points in the pool layout in order to not feel these differences in voltage potentials.

© 2023 by ECA, Inc.- Abernathy Electrical Services is a subsidiary of Electrical Code Academy, Inc.

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