Hot tub users may suffer serious injuries or death due to electricity entering the water. Various factors may send electric currents into hot tub water. The electricity may then pass to those in the water, putting them at risk for electric shock or electrocution.
The Risk of Hot Tub Electric Shock
Between 2002 and 2018, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports 33 deaths resulting from electrocution in hot tubs, spas, and swimming pools. If hot tub water takes on electric currents, it may act as a conductor. Consequently, the electric current may enter the bodies of people submerged in the hot tub, which may cause shock or electrocution.
Causes of Hot Tub Electric Shocks
Several factors may contribute to the electrification of hot tubs. For example, using filters, power washers, vacuums, and sump pumps without appropriate grounding may also send electric currents into hot tub water. So too may lacking the necessary ground-fault-circuit-interrupters protection for circuits, switches, lighting, fixtures, and outlets. Other common causes of electricity entering hot tubs may include the following:
- Old electrical wiring or wiring in disrepair
- Damaged or defective underwater lighting
- Power cords or extension cords falling or getting pulled into the water
- Electrical appliances, including radios and televisions
The owners or operators of hot tubs may overcome many of these factors by taking a proactive approach that includes ensuring the area does not have any hazards and properly maintaining the hot tub. People injured due to electric shocks or the families of those killed due to hot tub electrocutions may have legal claims against those responsible for the hazard and resulting accidents.
Signs of Hot Tub Electrification
People who enter hot tubs with electrified water may experience signs that point to the potential danger. Those in electrified hot tubs may experience tingling sensations or muscle cramps. They may also lack the ability to move or feel as though something is holding them down.
Effects of Hot Tub Electric Shocks
The effects people may experience due to hot tub electric shocks vary based on factors such as the type of current and the voltage of the current. Those who suffer electric shocks may experience effects such as breathing difficulties, heart rhythm issues or cardiac arrest, seizures, or loss of consciousness. In some cases, electric shocks may cause paralysis. Paralysis resulting from electric shocks may leave people unable to swim, and thus, at risk of drowning.