New Low-Voltage Pool Lighting Systems Win Initial Approval by Miami-Dade Commissioners By Tod Aronovitz | 07/22/14 | 0 Comment

Prompted by the death of a 7 year-old boy electrocuted while swimming in his North Miami home in April, Miami-Dade Commissioners moved forward on implementing new electrical rules for pools.

According to a story in the Miami Herald on July 1, the updated regulations would call for the use of low-voltage lighting systems under water for new private pools. The low-voltage systems, which are now the industry standard, are already a requirement at commercial pools. The proposed change would apply only to newly-built private pools not existing private pools.

The lower-voltage systems would be required, however, if the owner of a private pool wanted to replace an existing high-volt light system. Currently, high-wattage pool lighting systems typically handle 120-volt connections, rather than the 15-volt connections common at public pools, explained Michael Goolsby, director of the county’s code division.

Commissioner Audrey Edmonson sponsored the rule change after a series of non-fatal incidents where people were shocked in local pools, and following the death of Calder Sloan, which was caused by a pool light overheating, causing the wiring to fail and sending an electrical current through the water that was strong enough to kill.

According to Goolsby, people would be able to survive any malfunction of the lower-voltage lights. “The electrical shock you would get would not be fatal,’’ he said. “It might hurt, but you would not get paralyzed.”

Before the new regulation can become final, the proposal must go before the panel for a second vote.

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