When renovating always upgrade the drain.
This is the time when many pool owners decide to spruce up an aging pool. Whether you are replacing an old faded liner or resurfacing a gunite pool with pebble, it gives us the perfect opportunity to address the drain cover in the floor of the pool.
To put it very bluntly, this one feature of most pools has been known to kill and there are ways to prevent it. For starters, the drain covers have been redesigned over the past decade or so. The old drain covers were made in a way that, under the right conditions, could allow a swimmer to get sucked against it. Now they are designed with more height from the floor and more holes in them to allow water flow, even if partially blocked.
Consider adding an extra drain.
Another method to prevent entrapment is to install more than one drain in the floor. The idea here is that if one drain became blocked, water could flow in from the other drain. The drains are far enough apart that a swimmer could not get sucked against both of the drains. This is a very common modification in gunite pools and all it requires is cutting of the floor to allow installation of the extra plumbing and drains.
Additionally, some pumps feature a technology that can sense when an entrapment may have occurred and shut themselves off. The terminology is SVRS and stands for “safety vacuum release system”. Many times this vacuum release system is paired with a variable speed motor and will run much more efficiently, saving you money.
With all of these options, there really is no excuse for swimming pool drain entrapment in the year 2016. Even if you are not renovating your pool, there are new drain covers that could be installed over your drains. If your pool was built in the last decade, there’s a good chance you already have them. If not, what are you waiting for?