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Thread: Can I swim while the filter pump is running?

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    Can I swim while the filter pump is running?

    Can I swim while the filter pump is running? It is probably too dangerous because of the electricity right? thanks.
    Intex Ultra Frame Metal ABG Pool 16' round x 48"
    4000gph intex filter pump hooked up to 1500gph filter pump to solar bear 4'x20" solar panel to
    intex swg to pool
    deluxe intex maintenance kit, clearview vacuum head, tf100 test kit

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Can I swim while the filter pump is running?

    that depends...what kind of pool equipment do you have?...a properly installed/bonded pump is safe to use while swimming...it's actually recommended. On the other hand if you have a storable pool and the pump that came with it, which most folks just plug into a non GFCI protected outlet...then I would not run it while swimming...please post your pool and equipment details in your signature
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    geoshecks's Avatar
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    Re: Can I swim while the filter pump is running?

    I believe most (probably all) electrical codes in the U.S. dictate that any outdoor outlet would have to be on a GFI circuit. The outlet itself may be GFI or downstream from a GFI outlet or breaker. Never ever plug into a non GFI for wet locations (or potentially wet) or defeat the grounding pin on a plug.

    If you have GFI, you can swim safely. As a matter of fact, I read that the inventor of the GFI demonstrated his invention at the World's fair by throwing an appliance into a pool which in which his children were swimming (much to the horror and astonishment of the crowd).

    I'm not an electrician so, someone correct me if I'm wrong.
    Geoshecks
    Perry Hall, Maryland
    27' round above ground, 17100 gal, vinyl, Hayward1.5hp, 200lb.sand, EX baqua-goo user.

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    Re: Can I swim while the filter pump is running?

    Our instructions say NOT to swim while the filter pump is running. We have the Intex metal-frame pool with the pump plugged into a GFCI outlet.

    Karen
    Cheap metal frame Intex above ground pool until I get brave enough for the real thing.
    3,681 gallons, 15'x42" round.
    Filter pump

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    Re: Can I swim while the filter pump is running?

    Many of the INTEX pump/filters are NOT UL rated and you should not swim with them plugged in. They do have one or two that are UL rated and can be left on while swimming. Just about all other pool equipment brands can be used while you are in the pool when properly installed.

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    geoshecks's Avatar
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    Re: Can I swim while the filter pump is running?

    WOW! Hard to believe that a company would distribute such an item. I'd look into upgrading the pump to a brand that will provide peace of mind. I would not use a pump from a company that does not have confidence in the safety of their product.

    Is their some other reason other than safety that causes them to make such a recommendation?
    Geoshecks
    Perry Hall, Maryland
    27' round above ground, 17100 gal, vinyl, Hayward1.5hp, 200lb.sand, EX baqua-goo user.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Can I swim while the filter pump is running?

    It's all about safety.

    But it isn't just that the Intex pumps are not UL listed, but also that people who purchase inexpensive Intex pools tend to not have a GFI outlet in the right place and will often run an extension cord from a non-GFI outlet. It is simpler and more likely to be listened to, to tell them to not run the pump while in the pool, than to try and explain the whole GFI outlet thing, which they are apt to simply ignore if there isn't a GFI outlet in the right place.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Can I swim while the filter pump is running?

    Quote Originally Posted by geoshecks
    WOW! Hard to believe that a company would distribute such an item.
    INTEX products are from China and "inexpensive" (read cheap)
    If they were to include UL listed pumps their price points would rise and they would lose much of their market.

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    geoshecks's Avatar
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    Re: Can I swim while the filter pump is running?

    Gotcha!
    Geoshecks
    Perry Hall, Maryland
    27' round above ground, 17100 gal, vinyl, Hayward1.5hp, 200lb.sand, EX baqua-goo user.

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    Re: Can I swim while the filter pump is running?

    Sorry for posting to this year old thread. While the Manual for these pools does state that "Do not operate this product when the pool is occupied", it also states in the same bulleted list "Do not use an (ALCI) in place of a GFCI since the ALCI will not protect people." I don't think people would need the protection of either unless they were in the pool. My only point is to agree with Moderator that these safety rules are designed to keep people from adding themselves to the list of Darwin Award winners.

    From Intex's own website FAQ:
    --------------
    http://www.intexcorp.com/faqs/faq-pumps.html#3
    3.) Can we use the pool while the filter pump is operating? Is it safe?

    Yes, if the pump is operated according to the manual, and with proper GFCI installation. The Model M1 is the exception to this rule and should not be operated while using the pool.
    -------------
    http://www.intexcorp.com/faqs/faq-pumps.html#13
    13.) Is the pump UL approved?

    Yes, both UL (United States and Puerto Rico) and CSA (Canada) approved, with the exception of the Model M1 Filter Pump which is currently pending.

    --------------

    And finally, also from a different (newer?) part of the intex site:

    -------------
    http://faq.intexstore.com/faqsup/pub/Fa ... rmcontact=
    Question
    Can we use the pool while the filter pump is operating? Is it safe?

    Answer
    No, due to various local, state, national and international standards, the filter pump is not to be operating if pool is in use and/or occupied, although it is safe and has complied with UL, CSA, ETL, and EN safety standards.
    -------------

    So my read is that it's safe, but no one is willing to take the chance in writing. I tell my kids to unplug it when they are using it and I clean it from inside (in order to stir up any sediment) with the pump running without the slightest fear because it's plugged into a GFCI. Since I spent an hour digging this up, I thought I'd share the links.
    2,270 gallon 12'x39" Intex metal frame above ground. 530-gallon filter pump plugged into a heavy duty extension cord and plugged into a GFCI outlet. Using Clorox original (or knockoffs), AquaChek test strips and the Black Magic Jet Vacuum (garden hose powered) to keep it clean.

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    Re: Can I swim while the filter pump is running?

    The GFI is a fabulous invention. On more than one occasion I have had an extension cord (using electric powered yard tools), where two cords are joined by plug (hint - tie them together to keep from coming apart), scoot or drop into the pool ........ instant GFI off. Love it.

    We have one in each bathroom. They can sometimes be troublesome when plugging in certain power bricks that hit the test button, and all lights in windowless bathroom suddenly go off but that is an issue that we don't really complain about as it shows that the GFI is doing is "on guard". I'm sure I'm not the only person who fails to regularly test the GFIs in the house. I do it regularly outside but forget to do it in the house.

    Our house did not have GFIs when we moved in. So we had an electrician add them, in proper place on circuits, all over the house. I think the outside plugs had them though.

    BTW.... I've never had to replace one in the house but outside I usually replace them every 8-10 years. Very inexpensive safety precaution.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Can I swim while the filter pump is running?

    Just got a AGP, joined here to learn how to look after it and came across this while looking around. I bought an Intex and the one thing I would be careful of would be a child with long hair swimming near the pump intake. Probably not that dodgy when using the skimmer but without it attached I'd have thought hair could easily get sucked in and caught in there.
    32'x16' rectangular Intex AGP, std Intex pump/cartridge filter.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Can I swim while the filter pump is running?

    This is just a side note, but it is possible to buy extension cords and outdoor extension cord adapters with GFCI breakers built in. The electrical code for constructions sites changed to require all GFCI breakers a couple of years ago, so many new professional grade extension cords now have resetable GFCI breakers built into the heads so they can be used with older onsite generators that did not come supplied with GFCI, etc..
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Can I swim while the filter pump is running?

    I wonder whether Intex pumps have unusually high flow rates compared to pool size, versus your typical full-size pool and pump. I don't know which pump usually goes with which pool but for the smallest ones it looks like you'd have one turnover in just a couple of hours, and intuitively that would be kind of a lot of suction to be swimming with.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: Can I swim while the filter pump is running?

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1
    This is just a side note, but it is possible to buy extension cords and outdoor extension cord adapters with GFCI breakers built in. The electrical code for constructions sites changed to require all GFCI breakers a couple of years ago, so many new professional grade extension cords now have resetable GFCI breakers built into the heads so they can be used with older onsite generators that did not come supplied with GFCI, etc..
    That's great info. I have a couple of 3' extension cords, with a multi plug-in on the end, with GFI on them, and several little GFI bricks that plug directly in and then a regular extension cord can be plugged in. Both kinds very inexpensive and come in handy when there is any question about GFI being on circuit. When I loan out any "tool" (pump, robot cleaner, or anything that can come into any contact with any moisture) one or more of those go out with the loan. They always go with any loaned "tool" that will be used around or in the pool. I, also, use them around here, if I'm not plugging directly into an outside outlet that is a direct GFI outlet. I never assume that any socket is GFI protected or if it is that the GFI is working properly. (Except for my one utility outlet near the pumping station and pool. I replaced the GFI in it a few months ago. It had seen better days and would not even click to on. Pool light goes through that so no pool light in addition to no power at the outlet. BTW.... that's the first thing I suspect when a pool light won't come on.)

    BTW... I had one electric guy, years ago, tell me that the pool utility outlet (120v) came off the same breaker as the main power to the pumping station (220v). He was so wrong!!!!!! I got a nice big tingle when I went to do some work on that outlet box, combined with pool light switch. Before I replaced the main power panel a few years ago, the two power panels were original; one from the house build in 74 and the second from when the pool was built in 81. Not everything was labeled properly, or at all, so I usually exercised extreme caution. One example of the mess was that one side of my garage was on the same circuit as one side of the master bedroom that is all the way across the other side of house and upstairs. When something with heavy draw was used in one or the other place, vacuum cleaner upstairs or in wall AC in garage, for example, the breaker would trip if one was not turned off in advance.

    With electricity it is impossible to be too careful.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    dyiguy's Avatar
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    Re: Can I swim while the filter pump is running?

    Personally, I would not trust any pool pump, that's not
    supposed to run while anyone is in the pool, I didn't even
    know they made them like that, our Hayward pump runs
    16 hrs a day on a timer I tried 8 hrs a day for a couple of
    weeks one time, and wound up having to shock the pool.
    maybe that's just my situation not sure. If so, I'd like to
    hear about pools that stay maintained with just running
    the pump 8 hrs daily, Id like to know how.
    5 yrs old, !8 Round 8200 gallons
    30 oz Vinyl Liner, Hayward 1 1/2 DE
    All Original works fine, so far.

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