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Anti Entrapment Pool Drain Covers & Pool Safety

By February 15, 2021February 19th, 2021Safety
Pool Safety: Anti-Entrapment Pool Drains - Child leaning over pool

Did you know, of injury-related deaths, drowning is the second leading cause of death from ages 1-14 in the United States?

We have written articles on pool safety before, like how your pool system should be properly grounded and bonded. But, we are going to focus on specifically, pool drains. And even more specifically, the anti-entrapment, anti-vortex drains.

For a quick catch-up to what we are talking about, check out this video. (This video is heartbreaking…)

If you watched the video above, you can clearly see how important this topic is. If not, I’ll outline it below.

Flat Pool Drain (unsafe)
Flat Pool Drain (unsafe). A pool drain that does not comply with the Virginia Grame Baker Pool & Spa Act.

The Problem

Some pool drains are easily fully covered by human contact. Additionally, the pool drains can create a vortex-like pull that easily catches human hair. Then, just like someone could cup their hand over the end of a vacuum, the suction from the pool drain to the pump makes it difficult for anyone to pull themselves off the drain.

Of course, this creates a deadly situation as someone can be trapped underwater.

The VIRGINIA GRAEME BAKER POOL AND SPA SAFETY ACT is an attempt to solve this problem.

Virginia Grame Baker Pool & Spa Act (2007)

The Virginia Game Baker Pool & Spa Act helps alleviate this issue in public pools and spas ONLY. The act requires public pools and spas to have anti-entrapment and anti-vortex drains. However, this does not require residential pools to have these same drains.

The act also speaks about education programs, grants, and for states to consider adopting requirements of other pool safety features. In addition, the Act requires public facilities to adopt one or more of the following (this is in addition to the anti-entrapment drains):

  • Pool Fences
  • Covers
  • Alarms
  • Safety Vacuum Release Systems
  • Suction Limiting Vent System
  • Automatic Pump Shutoff System
  • Drain Disablement

Other Solutions

Other pool safety solutions include have two main pool drains. This makes it virtually impossible for one child to cover both drains.

Your Action Steps

If you own a residential pool, it’s important to have a licensed professional inspect your pool for these safety measures. If your pool is newer than 2007, most likely, your home will already have anti-entrapment pool drains and other safety barriers. However, to be on the safe side, you should have a qualified professional take a look.

If you know for sure you do not have an anti-entrapment pool drain, you can purchase one from Amazon, like this 8-inch one below. Just be sure you purchase one that is the right size for your drain.

Go To Amazon

Moreover, it’s so important when in public spaces that you are watching your children and even looking for these pool safety features. This is including at your neighborhood’s clubhouse pool!

Please take the time to share this message with others. More awareness of the cause will help save lives. In all, complete these steps:

  • Have a qualified person inspect your own pool.
  • Teach others about the act.
  • Teach your children to stay away from pool drains.
  • Inquire with your local public pool and spas about these safety features.

For more information, check out poolsafety.gov. You may also visit the Zac Foundation.

If you have additional questions, comment below!

Waypoint Property Inspection completes home inspections in Tampa Bay, Florida and inspects for these features.

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