An exposed suction outlet (drain) presents a serious danger to children and adults. All drains must be protected by an approved cover. If any outlet cover is broken, loose, or missing, the pool should be closed immediately, and an PHTA professional should be contacted to make the necessary repairs and to make sure the pool is compliant with the ANSI/APSP-7 2006 Standard for Suction Entrapment Avoidance in Swimming Pools, Wading Pools, Spas, Hot Tubs, and Catch Basins.
What is Suction Entrapment?
Suction entrapment occurs when something or someone becomes stuck to a drain or suction fitting in a pool or spa. It is a serious potential hazard, particularly for children, who are too small to break away.
How can I prevent it?
- If your pool or spa has a missing, broken, or just old drain cover, have it replaced with one that is up-to-date and compliant with the new ANSI/ASME test standard.
- Never let anyone swim alone, especially a child. A responsible adult should always be either right with the child, or actively watching.
- Never run your pump at higher speeds than the recommended maximum. High water velocity can contribute to suction entrapment.
- Make sure your pool or spa is protected with locked doors and/or gates to keep out small children and animals when you’re not there.
- Make sure the emergency shut-off switch is clearly marked by a permanent sign, easily visible in the pool or spa area, so that anyone can find and use it within seconds.
- Don’t let anyone swim or play near drains and suction fittings. It’s fun to feel the suction at a main drain—but it’s also potentially fatal.
- Have your pool or spa inspected by a licensed industry professional. He can tell you if there’s anything else you need to do.