Swimming Pools - Entrapments Revealed

by Pool Builders on 04-02-2010 in Articles

According to US Consumer Safety Product Council, there are ways to fight swimming pools entrapments risks. But before planning an efficient action, you must be aware of your opponent strengths. We will give you all information to better know entrapments sources and hazards. Once you know everything about entrapments, you can plan your strategy and better protect your children.

Entrapment causes: When it comes to the entrapment hazards, we often hear things about suction force but there is also two other little known causes. The lower water turnover rate, the better is the quality of water. Swimming pools pumps are selected to ensure the pool turnover rate thanks to a good flow rate. An excessive flow rate through the cover can create turbulences near the drain which is a leading cause of entrapment. There is really no back up to avoid that. Just have an appropriate circulation flow rate in your pool to decrease risks. We choose commonly a 6 hours turn over rate. For example, a pool of 30,000 Gallon volume must have a flow rate a little bit higher than 80 gallons per minute. The suction force in the water circulation outlets is the best known responsible of injuries. The strong pressure in the pipe creates a draft and a stream which suck everything against the drain. No matter when the drain sucks water but drain is not designed to remove debris. It will be obstructed, the pressure on the pipe will rise and the suction force will increase. The last cause is mechanical. It occurs when the covers shape is not compliant with design standards or in case of wrong maintenance. An object might get stuck or a body part such as fingers can get caught in the drain. It can happen also when the pump is off.

Entrapment dangers: The body entrapment is due to a powerful suction force of the swimming pool pumps, which can hold bather's body parts against the drain. For example, a kid plays around the pool with open drain and decides to insert a hand or foot into the tube because he likes the sticking effect. It will be trapped by the bigger sucking. Entrapment's consequences range from skin lump to deaths, if the entrapment occurs at the swimming bottom. Kid's body is more fragile than adult one. Body entrapment can conduce to evisceration if the child sits on the drain. The hair entrapment is not really due to a strong force of suction. In fact, it is a combination of two conditions. Because of pool suction, hairs are sucked in the drain. When they get tangled up in the drain cover, you are captive. Of course, females who have long and fine hairs are more inclined to this kind of risks. In worst cases, the swimmer can be dying strangled. This two kinds of hazards quoted are the most notified causes of entrapment according to CPSC but in some case; bathing suit or jewelry such as necklace are also committed in traumas.

Layers of protection: The first layer to avoid entrapment hazards is A112.19.8 ANSI/ASME standard drain covers and suction outlets. If you maintain it properly, it is a guarantee of body entrapment risks decrease. Secondly you must have an appropriate flow rate, which will help you to reduce hair entrapment accident. Even if there is no full backup for this hazard, you should at least use this technical solution. Debris in the pool must be removed by skimmers and gutters or by surface systems, not by the drain alone. Last advice; use an additional system to ensure safety, like Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS) or any device which allows automatic drain disablement in case of obstruction.

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