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Avoid Hazards Around Water

  • Keep outlets near hot tubs, spas, and pools covered and dry between uses. New outlet covers are available that offer weather protection while a plug is inserted into the outlet. 
  • Keep cords and plugs away from hot tubs, spas, pools, and puddles from wet bathers. Never handle electrical items, plugs, or outlets when wet. If an electrical product falls into water, do not reach into the water for it. Make sure you are dry and not in contact with water or metal surfaces, and unplug it immediately or shut off the circuit powering the item.
  • Outlets on or near hot tubs, spas, and pools should be protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). Many older swimming pools that pre-date the introduction of GFCIs in the 1970s should be upgraded to add GFCI protection for branch circuits supplying power to underwater pool lights operating above 15 volts, and outlets within 20 feet of the pool.

Note, however, that when a person gets immersed in an isolated body of water, like a hot tub, the water could become electrified without involving a ground fault as the electric current passes through water (and perhaps a person) from one electrical pole to the opposite pole. In this case, the GFCI may not provide shock or electrocution protection.

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