Thanks to the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals for this very important information.
An exposed drain in your pool or spa presents a serious danger to children and adults. All drains must be protected by an approved cover. If any outlet cover is broken, loose, or missing, the pool should be closed immediately, and you should contact a pro to repair or replace it.
What is Suction Entrapment?
Suction entrapment occurs when something or someone becomes stuck to a drain or suction fitting in a pool or spa. It is a serious potential hazard, particularly for children, who are too small to break away. Hair, limbs and other body parts are especially at risk of entrapment.
How can I prevent it?
- If your pool or spa has a missing, broken, or just old drain cover, have it replaced with one that is up-to-date and compliant with the new ANSI/ASME test standard.
- Never let anyone swim alone, especially a child. A responsible adult should always be either right with the child, or actively watching.
- Never run your pump at higher speeds than the recommended maximum. High-water velocity can contribute to suction entrapment.
- Make sure your pool or spa is protected with locked doors and/or gates to keep out small children and animals when you’re not there.
- Mark your emergency shut-off switch with a permanent sign, easily visible in the pool or spa area, so that anyone can find and use it within seconds.
- Don’t let anyone swim or play near drains and suction fittings. It’s fun to feel the suction at a main drain—but it’s also potentially fatal.
- Have your pool or spa inspected by a licensed industry professional. He can tell you if there’s anything else you need to do.
There are five types of entrapment. Be aware of all five and learn how to protect yourself and family from danger:
- Hair entrapment
Hair can become entangled in an improperly covered drain.
- Limb entrapment
Arms or legs can get lodged and may not be able to be pulled free from an improperly covered drain, even if the pumps are turned off.
- Body entrapment
Any part of the body that covers a drain can be held down by the suction.
Sitting on a drain with suction or a broken or missing cover can cause injuries or disembowelment.
- Mechanical entrapment
Fingers, toes, and items such as jewelry or a bathing suit can become entangled
No single means of protection is effective against entrapment
You will need to decide what works best for your new or existing pool or spa — whether it’s multiple drains, a single “unlockable” main drain, a safety vacuum release system, an equalizer line, or any of several solutions.
Questions about the safety of your pool? As always, please give us a call and we’ll make sure your family is safe when swimming.
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