Everyone knows swimming pools can be a great source entertainment, fun and enjoyment. It can also be very dangerous. People know about the potential dangers of drowning in a pool but there is another possible danger most are not aware of. This is one pool owners and swimmers see and never give it a second thought but certainly need to know about it.
I’m talking about the many swimming pool lights that are installed in a majority of pools that can result in, God forbid, a tragedy. To be more specific, lights that are powered by 120 volts of electricity. It doesn’t matter, old or new, if your pool has a light and it’s wired for 120 volts, it has the potential for an electrical shock. Sometimes you can feel a tingle but it has the possibility to be much worse.
Water and electricity does not mix but when the light is installed properly, it is safe. If you feel any sort of tingle or shock, you should exit the pool, turn off all breakers and immediately call a licensed electrician to diagnose the problem. All 120 volt pool lights should be installed on a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) breaker and the light properly grounded.
Any reputable pool builder will have this service performed by a qualified electrician. In most cities and towns there will be an inspection done at a certain phase of the construction.
There are thousands of pool lights wired for 120 volts. They are constructed with either stainless steel, another type of metal or plastic. Over time the light components and fixture can corrode and create a potential problem. It is recommended to have a qualified electrician or pool service tech to inspect your pool light to see if there are any possible dangers you are not aware of.
As a pool owner, What can you can do to prevent corrosion?
Here comes a swimming pool tip. The single most important thing you can do…
Make sure your pool water chemistry stays balanced all year long. It’s easy if you live in the warmer climates and you pool is open all year. For pools needing to be shut down and winterized, you should have the water tested a week or two in advance of closing to make sure it’s properly balanced. When the pool water pH is lower than 7.2, it becomes very corrosive or acidic. When this happens, the acidic water starts to corrode any metal that’s exposed to the pools water. This includes but not limited to ladders, pool cleaners, pump seals, filter springs and heaters.
The time it takes acidic water to damage metal parts can be as little as a few months. Some equipment repairs or replacement parts can range from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars. The copper heat exchangers used in heaters alone can cost over $1000. The corrosion can all be kept to a minimum with properly balanced water.
Properly balanced water can prevent this from happening but having balanced water is for the health and safety of the swimmers. It also allows the chemicals to be the most effective, saving you money in the long run.
If you own a pool with this type of light and you are not comfortable with it, have your local qualified pool tech or electrician disconnect the light. You can leave the light in or have it removed but be aware the light niche will be exposed. Not really a problem just a little unsightly. The light niche is the housing that holds the light in place and allows water around the cone. This keeps the light cool to prevent the bulb from getting too hot and burning out.
Swimming pools can be a whole lotta fun. Here at DiscountPoolSuppliesNow we want to keep it that way by keeping all of our customers well informed. We believe a knowledgeable customer is a happy customer!