Table of Contents
- 1 Thousands at Risk of Swimming Pool Motor Electrocution
- 1.1 Recalled Pool Motors
- 1.2 Motors Recalled from Retailers and Wholesalers
- 1.3 Do Not Use Recalled Pool Pump Motors
- 1.4 Understanding How A Faulty Pool Pump Can Electrocute Swimmers
- 1.5 Is There Electricity in Your Pool?
- 1.6 Electric Shock Drowning Safety Plans
- 1.7 Important Electric Shock Drowning Safety Tips
- 1.8 Was Your Loved One a Victim of Pool Shock? Contact Us Today
Thousands at Risk of Swimming Pool Motor Electrocution
Swimming pool users are at risk of electrocution from swimming pool motors sold between September 2010 and October 2016. The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall of an estimated 16,000 motors over risks that they could shock pool users.
Recalled Pool Motors
The pump control covers on variable speed pool motors manufactured by Nidec Motor Corporation may not be grounded correctly creating a heightened risk of electrocution.
Recalled Pool Motors:
- Emerson pool motors
- EcoTech EZ pool motors
Model Numbers –
Motors Recalled from Retailers and Wholesalers
Consumers may have purchased their motor at one of the following retailers or wholesalers:
- Leslie’s Pool Supplies
- Pool Corp. (wholesale supply)
- United Aqua Group
- Pool Builders Supply
- Pool & Electrical Products
Do Not Use Recalled Pool Pump Motors
According to the manufacturer, any consumer who has an EcoTech EZ or Emerson variable speed pool motor with the listed model numbers must stop using the motor immediately. You can tell if your motor is involved in the recall by locating the plate with the model number on the side of the pool pump. The recalled motors also have a programmable user interface on top. Users should contact Nidec Motor Corp to schedule a pump repair to have the external ground wire installed.
Understanding How A Faulty Pool Pump Can Electrocute Swimmers
Without a ground, these pool pumps pose a serious risk for electrical shock. Many pool owners have an “it will never happen to me” attitude because they have their pools serviced and maintained every year at the start of the summer. But when a device is defective, or a wire frayed or warn, anyone who comes in contact with the water can be electrocuted.
The same is true for lighting, filters, vacuums, and other devices that may be used near a pool such as a radio. If the electrical current is able to leak into the water, everyone nearby is at risk.
Is There Electricity in Your Pool?
Because electricity in water is invisible, without testing the water for electrical current, you would have no way of knowing before you or your family members jump or fall in. Victims of pool electrocution may suffer paralysis that prevents them from being able to tread water or swim to safety.
Pools can become electrified by faulty pool pumps and lighting that is improperly grounded or has defective wiring or wiring that becomes faulty with age or damage. Unfortunately, there are no sure-fire warning signs that a swimmer is being electrocuted. Most victims simply get quiet and slip under the water and often their deaths may be classified as a drowning instead of an electrical shock drowning.
The electrical current in the water can overwhelm the electrical impulses that make the muscles move. Depending on how strong the current is, the victim may experience a tingling sensation, feel themselves weakening and may not be able to yell, wave for help, or signal an emergency. A gut-wrenching video of three children being shocked in a pool in 2014 shows how quickly and quietly swimmers can succumb to electrical current in the water.
Electric Shock Drowning Safety Plans
Anyone who swims in fresh water, be it a swimming pool or a lake, there is a risk of electric shock drowning. Basically, anywhere that electricity and water can mix can be a source, including boats and docks, pool pumps, filters, vacuums, and lighting. Electric shock drownings can occur at water parks, public swimming pools, backyard pools, hot tubs and spas, and even small and large lakes.
You can do important things to help ensure you do not contribute to the problem of electrical shock drowning. Ensure your electrical devices and wiring is installed and maintained by an electrician who is certified to American Boat and Yacht Council standards. A 17-year old lifeguard died of electric shock drowning when a corroded wire prevented the circuit breaker of the pool pump motor to trip when the motor malfunctioned. Her family has filed a lawsuit alleging a local electric motor repair company and contractor were negligent. Later, the company admitted it did not have a work permit for repairs it had made at the pool.
Always check for electrical current before jumping a pool, and before swimming on a lake within 100 yards of a dock and install protections such as:
- GFCI – ground fault circuit interrupter installed on outlets to shut off water if a current difference is detected
- Equipment Leakage Circuit Interrupter – cuts electricity immediately if it is leaking from a boat
Tools that you can use to check for electrical current in water include dock warning systems like Dock Lifeguard, a tool the detects electricity in the water and on the dock, or Shock Alert, a tool that detects electrical current in pools, spas, hot tubs, docks and marina, fountains, and water features. Both tools emit an audible alarm and flash red lights if electricity is detected. These are only two of the products available to help you and your family stay safe in the water.
Important Electric Shock Drowning Safety Tips
Because water shows no signs of electrical currents, you need to be prepared for electric shock drownings if you swim or play in any body of water that is near electricity, including overhead power lines.
If you have entered the water with an electrical current, your body may tingle. You may not be able to move as the current disrupts the electrical signals your brain sends to your muscles. You may feel as if something is holding you or keeping you in place. You may not be able to yell for help, wave your arms, or keep yourself above the water. If possible, move away from the source of electricity, such as a dock or boat, and get out of the water without touching metal, such as a metal ladder.
Swimmers who are being shocked may look panicked but may remain motionless or passive in the water as they may suffer paralysis from the electrical current. You may notice that other swimmers are heading away from the victim and acting odd or unsettled. Do not enter the water to help, instead, call 911, throw them a life preserver, or use a fiberglass Shepherd’s hook to pull them face up from the water. If the swimmer can not hold the hook, use the hook to encircle their body and pull them to safety.
If the victim is not breathing and is unresponsive, place them flat on their back on a firm surface and begin CPR by performing 30 chest compressions followed by two ventilations, repeat these steps until the person starts breathing, or EMS personnel take over, or an AED is ready to use.
Was Your Loved One a Victim of Pool Shock? Contact Us Today
If anyone you know has been shocked by a defective pool pump motor, we want to hear from you. We are investigating claims across the country and want to hear from anyone who was shocked by a recalled EcoTech EZ or Emerson pool pump motor. Contact us today to learn more about the recalled pump and whether you are eligible to seek compensation.
If your loved one suffered serious injury or death due to electrical shock in water due to an electrical leak, contact us today. Pool and boat owners, marina and terminal owner/operators, electrical contractors, and service and maintenance companies may be held liable for injuries sustained due to negligence, including for negligent electrical code violations. Product makers like Nidec and any maker of products that are used on or near water have a high duty to ensure their products are safe for use as directed. If they fail that duty, they may be held liable for injuries suffered due to that product.
Victims and the families of those who die from electric shock and electric shock drownings due to the negligence of someone else may be entitled to seek justice for the injuries they’ve sustained and the losses they have incurred because of those injuries.
For decades we have fought for the rights of those harmed due to the negligence of others, and we stand ready to fight for you now. Contact us today to learn more about the recalled pump motors, dangerous electrical leaks, and your rights, including your right to seek justice and redress for your injuries and losses.