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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Swimming Pool Robotic Cleaner Safety.

Robotic Cleaner Safety



     No doubt about it, robotic swimming pool cleaners are easy to use, do a great job of cleaning a dirty pool and are economical.  They save money in electrical costs, chemicals and conserve water; not to mention save us all time before jumping in the water.  But with any piece of equipment used around water we must follow safety precautions.  I highly recommend reading (yes, follow the directions) the owner’s manual to fully understand what is necessary for a safe swim.

1.) Leave the pool cleaner power supply in the cleaner caddy and a minimum of 5' from pool edge. It is highly recommended to use a caddy so that the cleaner power supply is in a stable area and to deter from pulling on the electrical cords. This can also help with preventing the power supply from being “accidently” kicked into the pool.

2.) Do not bury the cord, this way it cannot be hit by a shovel or machine doing yard work. Also the insulation is not meant to be underground. All underground connections should be in conduit but this would not allow for inspection for worn areas which is mandatory.


3.) Most cleaners use a grounded plug and should be plugged into a grounded GFCI receptacle.  There is a unit on the market (Zodiac S3) however that uses double insulation and therefore the 3 wire ground plug is not used on this unit. This unit avoids people trying to use a grounded plug in an ungrounded outlet. All metal parts are also double insulated from the electrical components.


4.) The homeowner, facility or unauthorized repair center should never try to repair a power supply or cord (either floating cord or power cord) and should never open the power supply. When sending a unit away for repair be sure to include the power supply.


5.) Do not use the unit with worn cables or damaged cables. These should be inspected before each use. Never remove or pull the unit by the cord, always use the handle on top of the unit.


6.) Never use an extension cord. Plug the power supply directly into the GFCI outlet at least 10' from pool.  The cleaner power supply should always be 5’ from the pool water edge.


7.) Many units have an automatic shut off in case of over -heating. Therefore; do not use the unit in water over 95 degrees.


8.) Do not have anyone or anything in the pool when the unit is being used as they could become entrapped. 

The safety issues that I see repeatedly have to do with electrical shock of ungrounded units and entrapment by the cord of a body, limb or the moving parts could entrap hair easily. The hair entrapment is a serious issue although I could not find anything to substantiate any cases so far – and I hope we don’t see any.  After working closely with the Pool & Spa Safety Act 2007 it just makes sense. 
http://www.tomkileylaw.com/blog/the-most-common-swimming-pool-injuries/
http://www.chaikinandsherman.com/swimming-pool-liability.html