Can a Pool Light Electrocute You?

Are you wondering if a pool light can electrocute you? News about accidental pool electrocution might have made you concerned about how safe your pool is, especially if you have installed underwater lighting. The good thing is that electrocutions can be prevented with the right tools and maintenance. But can pool light be a cause of electrocution? We will find out the answer below.

Can a pool light electrocute you? Pool lights are a source of electricity that can get you electrocuted while swimming in the pool. On the other hand, it is not usually the pool light that is the problem, but the electricity that flows through to the other equipment. Most of the time, the cause of many pool electrocution is faulty bonding or grounding.

What happens if water gets into a pool light? Are pool lights safe? How can you get electrocuted in a swimming pool? Is a loose pool light dangerous? These are some of the questions that we will answer in this article. Swimming is a fun activity but it also comes with risks which include electrocution. In this article, we will talk about the dangers that come from having pool lights installed in your pool and tips on how to prevent electrocution.

Can a pool light electrocute you
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Are Pool Lights Safe?

Generally, pool lights are safe to use. On the other hand, you need to make sure that proper installation and regular maintenance are done so that you can guarantee that there are no damages to the lights which can otherwise lead to electrocution. Bear in mind that pool lights or any electric devices that you install in your pool should be grounded and bonded. You need to take the necessary precautions and follow proper guidelines when installing pool lights.

What Happens if Water Gets into the Pool Light?

Water in the pool light does not necessarily mean that the light has a leakage. However, this can mean that the lamp gasket is damaged. When water gets into the light, it can be dangerous and should be repaired immediately. Take note that electricity in underwater lights can cause electrocution. Faulty wirings can cause volts of electricity in pool water which can paralyze or kill in an instant. You can also check out this article that we have shared titled, can I put an LED bulb in my pool lights? We have shared helpful tips and information about LED pool light installation that you can refer to.

How Do I Know if My Pool Light is Leaking?

One method to find out if your pool light is leaking is closing the skimmers and continuing to operate the pool and allowing the water level to drop. If the water level remains at the level of the light, this can mean that you have a conduit leak. Another method that you can do is to shut off the pump, plug the skimmers and any other pool plumbing lines with expansion plugs and add a few inches of water. If the pool continues to leak even with all the lines tightly plugged and the pump shut off, it means that there is a leak in the pool shell or the pool light.

villa swimming pool
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How Can You Get Electrocuted in a Swimming Pool?

You can get electrocuted in a swimming pool because of different factors which include faulty electrical wiring of pool equipment, no proper GFCI or Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupters protections for the circuits and outlets, and electrical extension cords and appliances entering the water.

How to Test Pool Water for Electricity

There are many devices that you can use to test pool water for electricity which includes the Shock Alert. This device operates on three AA batteries and is placed into the pool. When the device flashes green, it means that there is no electricity and it is safe to enter the pool. On the other hand, if the device flashes red, there is the presence of electricity in the water. We have also written this article titled, can you see electricity in water? Check out the article for an in-depth discussion about the topic.

✅ Video – Rossen Reports: How To Spot Stray Voltage In Pools, Lakes | TODAY

TODAY shared the video below on YouTube. It discusses how to spot stray voltage in pools and lakes. TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen shows how to make sure your pool is safe from electrical dangers. Check out the video below for more information.

What are the Common Causes of Electrical Dangers for Pools?

Pool lights, electrical equipment, extension cords, and lighting are the common causes of electrical dangers for pools. Electrical dangers in and around the pool are dangerous and can result in electric shock or death. Make sure that you follow electrical guidelines when installing lights or other electrical devices into the pool to avoid electrocution. Let us find out more about the common causes of electrical dangers and how to avoid them below.

Pool Lights

One of the common causes of electrical dangers is pool lights. While underwater lights are aesthetically pleasing and functional, they are in danger of cracking. Aside from that, there is also the risk of having a pool light that is defectively sealed. As the result, the voltage that comes from the light can get in direct contact with the water and can electrocute swimmers. Furthermore, it can also be possible that pool light wiring can wear and pose a threat as well. Bear in mind that if the pool light is damaged or has faulty wiring, it can cause electricity to flow from it.

Pool lights that are not properly installed or functioning should be removed from the pool. This is because these lights are no longer safe to use. Make sure that you regularly check the lights and their wirings especially if the wiring is up to code. By doing this, you can lessen the risk of damage to the wiring and pool lights.

Can a pool light electrocute you
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Electrical Equipment

Another cause of electrocution in water is electrical equipment. Water and electricity are dangerous when mixed, so make sure that you take caution when setting up electrical equipment in your pool. Do not use equipment that is not designed to operate in water like radios in the pool or anywhere near the pool. If that equipment accidentally falls into the water, it can create a current of electricity.

If the water becomes energized, touching the metal structures of the pool like the ladder or net handle can cause a person to be electrocuted. Moreover, most electrical pool equipment can also cause electrocution. If the wires of the equipment are damaged, they could put an electric current through the water which can put the lives of those who are swimming in the pool at risk.

Extension Cords

Keep extension cords away from the pool. These cords can be easily exposed to water and can cause electrocution. A splash of water from inside the pool into the cord can lead to electrical danger. Take note that if water gets in contact with the extension cord, it can render it faulty and it will only take a little damage to cause an electric current.

swimming pool with man swimming
Image by moerschy from Pixabay

It is recommended that you use battery-operated appliances and equipment around the pool area rather than using equipment that needs to be plugged into a cord. Avoiding the use of cords around the pool area will reduce the risk of electrocution accidents. We have also written this article that discusses how to light your pool without electricity. We have shared tips for non-electric lighting options that you can do for your pool.


Another cause of pool electrocution is lighting. Do not use the pool during a storm. The chances of lighting hitting the water in the pool might be slim, but it can happen. When lightning hits the water, it produces an electric current that is as dangerous as when the wiring was faulty or an electric cord had been dropped into the water. Furthermore, the equipment near the pool that is wired and running, the risk of electrocution is the same.

How to Make Sure that Your Pool is Safe from Electrocution?

To make sure that your pool is safe from electrocution, it needs to meet all the state guidelines. You should also bond and ground your pool. Do not use electronics while swimming in the pool and keep all devices near water. Let us learn more below on how to make sure that your pool is safe from electrocution.

swimming pool with water fountain
Image by Carl from Pixabay

Bonding and Grounding Your Pool

One of the best ways to keep your pool safe from electrocution is o bond and ground it. Grounding includes electrically attaching all of the powered equipment to the ground. By doing this, you can make sure that the circuit breaker trips will immediately shut off the power in case of wire trips off.

On the other hand, bonding requires electrically connecting all parts of the pool and creating a grid. This is important because without this if one of the pool equipment such as pool lights gets energized from a faulty system, the electrical current will not aim for a less energized component.

Installing GFCI

It is also recommended that you install GFCI into your pool.  Otherwise known as the ground-fault circuit interrupter, it is effective in preventing electrocution. The reason for this is that GFCIs monitor the level of electrical current and will immediately shut off the power if it detects any issue. It is affordable and easy to install.

indoor swimming pool with lights
Image by Hebi B. from Pixabay

Keep Electronics Away from the Pool

Make sure to keep all electronics and power cords away from the pool. Do not swim while holding your phone or any other electrical device. Moreover, power cords should be at least ten feet away from the water.

Is a Loose Pool Light Dangerous?

Loose pool lights are dangerous. Pool lights that are not properly installed in the pool can send electricity directly through the water. When this happens, it can shock those who are swimming in the pool. Bear in mind that even when the lights are turned off, faulty pool lights can still send electrical currents through the water. You can also read this article that discusses if pool lights are submerged. We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.

Can a 12V Pool Light Electrocute You?

The power that comes from a 12V light is low, but it can still electrocute you and cause injuries. On the other hand, 120V of light can cause serious damage and can even kill a person. No matter what voltage of light you have installed in your pool, you still need to take the necessary precautions when installing and maintaining them.

How Do I Know if My Pool is Electrified?

Some of the signs that your pool is electrified include feeling a tingling sensation, the inability to move, cramping muscles, or feeling like something is holding you in place while you are swimming. It is important to determine the warning signs of an electrified pool because it can mean a life-or-death situation. Furthermore, make sure to keep an eye out for any pool lights that do not properly function. If you noticed any flickering lights or those with cracked bulbs, make sure to have them fixed as soon as possible.

Should You Hire Professionals to Repair Your Pool Lights?

You should hire the services of a professional to repair your pool lights especially if you have no prior experience doing it. While there are DIY videos that you can follow, it is best to let professionals do the job. By doing this, you can make sure that all wirings are properly repaired and efficiently function.


You have reached the end of this article discussing whether a pool light can electrocute you. We have found out that damaged bulbs or frayed wirings on the lights can cause electrocution. We have also shared the common reasons for pool electrocution that you need to watch out for. We hope that this article has helped you become more vigilant when it comes to the warning signs of pool electrocution. See to it that your pool lights are properly installed and regularly maintained to avoid any danger of electrocution. Thank you for reading!

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