How To Test Pool Water For Electricity? [Updated Guide] 2023

It’s hard to know if there is electricity in the water, and it’s even harder to know what to do. According to the CPSC, an average of ten people die yearly from accidental electrocution in swimming pools, and many more are injured. It can be hard to know if there is electricity in the pool water, which can be a deadly danger. This guide will help you know how to test pool water for electricity.

You can be one of the lucky ones who survive this deadly danger by using the Shock Alert device. A shock alert device can be used as an extra precaution. If you plan to build a swimming pool, read the full article to make your pool safe to swim. This article explains how to conduct these safety tests to detect the presence of electricity.

3 Major Causes of Electricity in Pool Water

Electrocution in a swimming pool is not very common, but it can happen sometimes. It could be for a variety of reasons. But it is crucial to know the causes and take precautions. Let’s discuss why it happens.

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I. Poor Lighting in the Swimming Pool

Pool lighting is a common cause of pool electrocution. Electrocution can occur if pool lights are not properly grounded or bonded. Electricity can be sent directly into the pool, shocking those swimming in it.

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II. Improperly Installed Wiring

Major Causes of Electricity in Pool Water

A faulty electrical installation is another cause of pool electrocution. Note that improperly installed wiring can result in stray electrical currents or voltage connected to the pool’s various components.

III. Electronics Floating in Water

Dropping digital appliances in pools can cause electrocution and shock to everyone in the pool. To avoid such accidents, do not take these appliances near the pool.

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3 Methods To Check Electricity in pool

There are three methods for testing the electricity in a swimming pool.

1st Method: Using Shock Alert to check electricity in pool

A “shock alert” is a device that can notify you if electricity is present in your pool. Before entering the pool, use it to test the water for electricity. If a shock alert device detects electricity, it will beep and flash. If you use one and it does this, you should avoid the pool.

Step#1. Preparation:

Make sure the Shock Alert is working properly before starting. Check the batteries and overall functionality of the device. Ensure the device is dry and securely positioned near the pool’s edge.

Step#2. Power Off:

Turn off all electrical pool equipment, including pumps, heaters, and lights. As a result, electrical currents are minimized during the inspection, which is crucial for safety.

Step#3. Submersion:

Lower the Shock Alert gently into the water. Submerge it completely without forcing it. For accurate detection, allow the device to float freely.

Step#4. Observation:

Keep an eye on the Shock Alert’s indicators. Look for any alerts or changes in readings if it has lights or a display. Upon detecting electrical currents, some models may emit sounds or visual signals.

Step#5. Interpretation:

Observe the signals or readings carefully. You should keep everyone away from the pool and refrain from using any electrical devices if the Shock Alert indicates the presence of electricity.

It shows one of two indications:

  • Green flashing indicates that no voltage has been detected and that the pool is safe to use.
  • Flashing red is a danger sign indicating that electricity has been detected and the pool should not be used.

2nd Method: Check with Multimeter

Check the pool’s voltage (after turning the power off to the house, if necessary). You can test the electricity in your pool with a multimeter. If you are struggling to find the best Multimeter then this guide is for you.

Step#1. Setting Up the Multimeter

Select the AC voltage measurement setting on the multimeter. Set the range higher than the expected voltage in the pool water. When testing for low-voltage stray currents, set the multimeter to a lower range, typically 200 millivolts.

Step#2. Testing Procedure

Once the multimeter is set up, gently insert the probe tips into the water while keeping a safe distance from any metal surfaces. Submerge the probes in the pool, but don’t let them touch the walls or floor. Observe the voltage reading displayed on the multimeter after it has stabilized.

Step#3. Interpreting Results

Any voltage reading from the multimeter indicates the presence of stray electricity, which would pose a safety risk. The presence of significant voltage indicates a potential problem with the pool’s electrical system or nearby equipment. It is best to seek professional assistance in such cases to determine the cause of the problem and resolve it before using the pool. If the voltage reading of the pool water is less than 30 mV/cm, your pool is safe. But if it exceeds 70 mV/cm, the water is unsafe to swim in.

3rd Method: Check pool electricity with a Non-Contact Voltage Tester

Step#1. Choosing the Right Non-Contact Voltage Tester

Choose a non-contact voltage tester designed specifically for outdoor use and rated for water resistance when inspecting pool water. To detect dangerous electrical currents commonly found in pool environments, make sure it has the correct voltage range.

Step#2. Preparing for the Test

Turn off all pool equipment, including pumps and lights, at the circuit breaker before testing. For accurate readings, make sure the non-contact voltage tester’s batteries are fully charged. While using the tester, make sure your hands are dry and that you are standing on a dry surface.

Step#3. Conducting the Test Safely

Using a non-contact voltage tester, hold it close to the water’s surface without touching it. Move the tester slowly along the edge of the pool and near any electrical components, such as lights, pumps, and outlets. Keep an eye out for any alarms or flashing lights on the tester that indicate there is an electrical current.

Step#4. Interpreting the Results

You should not enter the pool if the non-contact voltage tester indicates there is electricity present. Contact a qualified electrician immediately to investigate and resolve the problem. Until the electrical hazard is identified and fixed, do not use the pool.

How To Prevent Electrocution In Swimming Pools?

One can prevent Electrocution in swimming pools by using the following techniques;

Safety Measures


How To Prevent Electrocution In Swimming Pools

Bonding conductors are used to keep things in equilibrium and prevent the voltage level from overshooting a safe level. It is a technique for creating a ‘conductive link’ between electronic and metallic parts to improve pool safety. In the event of a problem, the low – resistance of the bonding can trip the circuit breaker. In addition to the main bond, there is usually supplementary bonding.


How To Prevent Electrocution In Swimming Pools

Earthing creates a grounded protective conductor that allows any fault current to flow safely to a ground connection. If this supplied path is used, the device will shut down automatically.

Wrapping Up!

I discussed the causes of electricity in pool water and how to prevent it in this article. To avoid electrocution, if you plan to build a pool, carefully follow all of the recommendations, especially when it comes to bonding and earthing. Ensure your pool lights and other power connections are properly installed and maintained to avoid electrocution.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I test Electricity in my swimming pool?

There are three ways to use electricity in your swimming pool: Using a multimeter, a shock alert device, or a non-contact voltage tester. All these methods are safe t use. The shock alert device indicates the presence of electricity in the pool by beeping and blinking its flashing red light. A multimeter is a digital device that will warn you about the electricity presence in your pool and measure it. At the same time, voltage testers allow you to check the electric current by touching the wires and devices in your pool.

What is bonding?

Connecting the bonding circuit between specific parts can reduce the voltage level. There are two most common types of bonding; Main bonding and supplementary bonding. Both help reduces the risk of electric shock in pool water and makes it safe.

What is earthing?

Earthing is important to keep the pool safe. It is done to prevent electric shock as it provides a path for a fault current to flow to the earth. Earthing also warns the protective conductor to turn off the electricity in the damaged part.

Can electrocution in the pool be deadly?

Yes, electric shock in the pool can kill a person depending n the path of the current. It also depends on the amount of current passing in the pool.

What is the reason for electrocution in the pool?

Many reasons cause electric shock in the pool. The faulty installation can cause trapping in wires, and electric shock happens. Falling of plugged devices can also cause an electric shock to the people swimming in the water.