Safety of SWG

Rangeball

Well-known member
May 25, 2007
785
My dad is wanting to go the SWG route, but his wife is leary, since there is electricity flowing through the water. Of course on the surface everyone knows electricity and water don't mix, but I'm sure her concerns in this application are unwarranted, right?

Has anyone seen anything out there that addresses this concern that might make her more comfortable with the SWG approach?
 

Buggsw

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 22, 2007
925
Arizona
The pump and lights are already electric, so why would she be concerned about the SWG? They of course are built to be around pools just like the pumps and lights, with proper installation, there should be no worry.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,878
Pleasanton, CA
Also, an SWG is only 24 volts which is not nearly as hazardous as 115v or even 230v that some pumps use. Not that this really matters since everything is grounded. Electricity takes the path of least resistance to ground. So if anything shorts or gets an open, electricity has a path through ground.

Also, since the cell plates are very close to one another, the electricity will only travel to the opposite plate. I believe there is also a grounding plate in the cell in case anything gets disconnected.
 

anotherpyr

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2007
78
Columbia, MD
mas985 said:
Also, an SWG is only 24 volts which is not nearly as hazardous as 115v or even 230v that some pumps use. Not that this really matters since everything is grounded. Electricity takes the path of least resistance to ground. So if anything shorts or gets an open, electricity has a path through ground.
Being grounded is the important thing. Grounding the shell of the pool light provides the shortest path to ground should something go awry. Same is true for your pump, it's shell should be grounded so you don't get shocked.

It isn't voltage that kills, it is current. Voltage plays in this because of Ohm's Law which states that voltage is equal to current times resistance. V=IR. The problem with humans is that R is not constant. Moisture lowers your resistivity. Salt lowers the resistivity of water. And if you remember your science you can make a battery out of salt water and 2 electrodes. The original 220V was based on experiments with pigs and was thought to be a safe voltage. Contact with 220V should knock you away from it. Some thought that 110V would be better, but it has the annoying ability to make you hold on to it if you touch it. And 24V is supposedly the lowest voltage that will cause you to feel a mild shock on dry skin. Get wet or sweat and all of these voltages can become much more dangerous.

So now you should be able to answer those Trivia Challenge questions. ;-)
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
If everything is properly installed it will be very safe. There should be thick wires connecting the SWG, pump, heater, and the bonding grid inside/under the deck. These wires keep everything that touches the water at the same potential, preventing shocks. Technically this "bonding" system isn't the same thing as grounding, but it does the same job keeping you safe.
 

MikeInTN

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 27, 2007
1,335
Middle Tennessee
mas985 said:
Also, an SWG is only 24 volts which is not nearly as hazardous as 115v or even 230v that some pumps use. Not that this really matters since everything is grounded. Electricity takes the path of least resistance to ground. So if anything shorts or gets an open, electricity has a path through ground.

Also, since the cell plates are very close to one another, the electricity will only travel to the opposite plate. I believe there is also a grounding plate in the cell in case anything gets disconnected.
24V DC, correct? If so, it's a much different animal than 110/220 VAC that feeds a pump. You're still correct in your statement though, it's much less hazardous than 110/220 VAC.