Recent incidents of electrocution and electric shock in swimming pools here in South Florida have sparked the media into focusing on measures that would prevent those horrific accidents from recurring.

The Associated Swimming Pool Industries of Florida believes that making the installation of only low-volt pool lights and transformers mandatory would greatly reduce those dangers. Connections of the low-volt pool lights and all other pool component connections should be made only to ground fault interrupter (GFI) circuits in the electrical panel.

The negative feedback to this idea has included comments such as: “We already have too much legislation” and “If the connections are made in accordance with the National Electrical Code, then there should be no reason to install only low-volt lights in pools.”

NEC allows the installation of 110-volt lights in pools, but GFI circuit breakers can fail.

A potentially serious problem can exist in older homes with older pools if electrical repairs were made in the home — or where someone had replaced the pool light or pool pump or heat pump, or had installed a ladder — but had failed to check and confirm proper bonding at the time those repairs were made.

In the opinion of ASPI, only low-volt lights with transformers having a GFI panel connection should be allowed in swimming pools. Changes to the NEC and in all other states’ building codes are needed.

Our industry needs to take this first important step to rid itself of the stigma that our products harm people. There is no prudent reason for us to wait any longer before we take action that could prevent another person from getting electrocuted in a pool.

View the CBS video interview that was made after the 7-year-old boy was electrocuted in his family pool here.

Pool & Spa News would appreciate your feedback.

Irv Chazen is the Builder’s Committee chairman and government liaison for the Associated Swimming Pool Industries of Florida.