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Thread: 11-year-old North Carolina girl electrocuted while swimming

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    11-year-old North Carolina girl electrocuted while swimming

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/07/17...mming-in-pool/

    Interesting how the girls in the water were fine until they tried to get out. It sure seems like the ladder should be at the same potential as the water - it's IN it.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: 11-year-old North Carolina girl electrocuted while swimm

    Sounds like the deck and ladder weren't properly bonded. Very sad story.
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    Re: 11-year-old North Carolina girl electrocuted while swimm

    And this is why the NEC requires bonding. Somebody didn't do their job.
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    Re: 11-year-old North Carolina girl electrocuted while swimm

    If that were a high voltage line that fell in the parking lot I am not sure proper bonding would be enough to save her. The voltage potential from one side of the pool to the other could have been substantial, and there is only so much bonding can do.

    Ike

    p.s. a common lethal voltage shock from a fallen high voltage line is stray voltage in the ground shocking a nearby person due to different voltage potential between where each of their feet are placed, so remember if your ever in that kind of situation and MUST move small steps are better than large steps or hop from one foot to the next if you can.
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    Re: 11-year-old North Carolina girl electrocuted while swimm

    JohnT, (or other electrical guys/gals)

    If they had stayed in the water until someone cut the power, would they have been OK?
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    Re: 11-year-old North Carolina girl electrocuted while swimm

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    JohnT, (or other electrical guys/gals)

    If they had stayed in the water until someone cut the power, would they have been OK?
    IMO, more than likely.
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    Re: 11-year-old North Carolina girl electrocuted while swimm

    I agree. If they were ok before getting out (and the other two were ok) then by staying in the middle of the pool would have been fine. Kind of like, if your car has a power line fall on it, stay in the car and you'll be fine.
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    Re: 11-year-old North Carolina girl electrocuted while swimm

    I'm no expert, but isn't it possible the bonding made the situation MORE lethal, i.e. by making the ladder a better ground? If the ladder had been an isolated piece of metal, perhaps nothing would have happened.

    I'm not against bonding, but it just isn't meant to deal with this situation.
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    Re: 11-year-old North Carolina girl electrocuted while swimm

    Quote Originally Posted by Durk
    I'm no expert, but isn't it possible the bonding made the situation MORE lethal, i.e. by making the ladder a better ground? If the ladder had been an isolated piece of metal, perhaps nothing would have happened.

    I'm not against bonding, but it just isn't meant to deal with this situation.
    Bonding is designed for this exact situation. It was inspired by a situation where a lifegaurd was electrocuted when an excavator touched a power line near a pool.

    Bonding does not ground the parts of the pool. Bonding connects things together electrically so that they can't have a voltage difference between them. If the water the deck and the ladder are at the same voltage, you could put the end of a live power line in the pool and not shock the swimmers. You have to touch two points that are at different voltages to be shocked, which is what happened when she touched the ladder while in the water. That's why the bonding requirement extends 5' beyond the pool, so people can't reach out and touch unbonded metals.
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    Re: 11-year-old North Carolina girl electrocuted while swimm

    My guess is that the bonding was done incorrectly, such that things were worse than they would have been if the pool hadn't been bonded at all.
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    Re: 11-year-old North Carolina girl electrocuted while swimm

    John, in the excavator example, do you know if the overhead line was low or high voltage?
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    Re: 11-year-old North Carolina girl electrocuted while swimm

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1
    John, in the excavator example, do you know if the overhead line was low or high voltage?
    I believe it was a primary line, but I'm not certain. I can't find the source right now. Too many hits from this story.
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    Re: 11-year-old North Carolina girl electrocuted while swimm

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    My guess is that the bonding was done incorrectly, such that things were worse than they would have been if the pool hadn't been bonded at all.
    Can you explain how improper bonding could have actually made it worse? Layman's terms if possible.
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    Re: 11-year-old North Carolina girl electrocuted while swimm

    I'm afraid this is mildly technical, but I have tried to tone it down. If the ladder was grounded, instead of bonded, the difference in ground potential between the pool location (and thus the bonding) and the utility ground some distance away would have been large. The downed power line would created a voltage that declined with distance from the wire. Meanwhile if the ladder was neither bonded or grounded it would have tended to be at the same potential as the water, since it was in electrical contact with the water. It is difference in potential that kills you, things at the same potential as you are fine.
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    Re: 11-year-old North Carolina girl electrocuted while swimm

    Hmmmm, makes the whole bonding thing even more confusing to think that attempting it and not getting it right can actually make matters worse. Having a heater, my water is apparently bonded (I know my heater, pump, and concrete decking are bonded). My pool itself is thus far not bonded and even when I attach it (which I can't do this year until I extend the wire because the position of the pool changed from last year) it is only on one leg of an Ultra-Frame Intex and I don't know if anyone knows if that will be sufficient. I also use the Intex stock ladder, which has metal and we have made no attempt to bond that, but I think we were told that should be okay. Thoughts?
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    Re: 11-year-old North Carolina girl electrocuted while swimm

    This is only code for seasonal pools in a few locations, but nominally you should have a bonding wire connected to the frame of the pool in four different locations spread out around the pool. The ladder should also be connected. Most places seasonal pools are exempt.

    How important that is depends on how you feel about a one in fifty million chance of a member of your family dying (with nothing happening at all the other 49,999,999 times).
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    Re: 11-year-old North Carolina girl electrocuted while swimm

    Does having the water bonded but not the pool and ladder make it worse than no bonding at all?
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    Re: 11-year-old North Carolina girl electrocuted while swimm

    No, that is better than no bonding at all.
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    Re: 11-year-old North Carolina girl electrocuted while swimm

    Thanks.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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