May is “Water Safety Month” and we like to think of it as Pool water safety month. Here are some helpful safety tips on a pool drain and suction port covers.
Pool Main Drain Covers:
- The drain cover must be securely screwed in place.
- It should not be broken or be missing any pieces.
- The cover should be under 7 years old. Sunlight degrades plastic over time and those parts last about 7 years in normal UV conditions.
- If you have an old style flat drain cover; you must replace it immediately.
- The term VGB signifies a drain cover that passes anti-entrapment, anti-entanglement, and anti-suction safety testing.
- Virginia Graeme Baker (VGB), the granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker III, died of suction entrapment on a public spa drain; the Federal Act that governs pool drains is named after her.
Side Suction ports:
- Years ago to make life easier on pool owners, builders installed side suction ports to plug automatic pool cleaners without having to utilize the skimmer.
- This new way of vacuuming pools is created to improve hydraulics; however, the negatives far out weight the positives to hydraulics.
- The problem comes when the APC (Automatic Pool Cleaner) is pulled out of the wall and the side port left open. It creates a bare whole sucking water and anything else into it.
- Numerous people, children, and adults have seriously injured and killed by these open side ports.
- At a minimum, they must have a suction safety automatic vac lock on them; however, these devices need frequent maintenance. Those locks are spring activated underwater and without maintenance, they will fail.
- It is better to utilize a pool professional to re-plumb your system and eliminate the side suction port entirely or convert it to a pressure port.
Water and Swim Safety is everyone’s job.
- Make sure you have at least three layers of protection around your pool.
- Make sure your drain and side suction covers are up to date.
- Always vigilantly watch children and swimmers when they are in or around the pool.