February 2022

10 Florida Pool Prosm • February 2022 THE SCOOP ON SERVICE But I passed my inspection. County Health Inspectors do not normally comment on electrical issues because it is not a part of their scope of work. Their focus is on the overall condition of the pool/spa, water chemistry, checking daily logs and verifying safety equipment is in place. However, they can ask the building department to inspect the pool or spa and even go as far as asking the fire department to look at the equipment if they feel the hazard is severe. Consider legal matters. The liability for electrical dangers is unlimited. Even if you did a minor repair on equipment that is near a panel with a missing cover and exposed wiring, you have some liability if anyone were to get hurt or killed because it was a known hazard. If you can see something dangerous, it is your responsibility to notify your customer and strongly recommend that the pool/spa is closed immediately. Even if you didn’t complete any repairs, you can still be sued just for showing up and not informing the customer of the electrical hazards. This is because, as a licensed contractor, you are the pool expert and you had information of the hazardous situation. If a death or injury were to occur, a trial lawyer would likely ask you, “When you saw this dangerous hazard, why didn’t you tell your customer?” Having situations like this documented in writing on a signed work order can provide legal protection but it should be followed up with an email to the customer as well, so you have it in writing and a copy of the sent email and signed work order kept in your records. Training your staff on to how to look for and fully understand the potential risk with unsafe electrical equipment is critical to their safety in the field. Depending on the level of experience your tech has, informing the customer of an unsafe situation may be better handled by a supervisor or manager. Electrical dangers like this may make your customer unhappy when all you wanted to do was just repair the pool. They may even tell you to get lost and you might lose business. However, do you really want a customer with equipment like this and one who does not care about electrical safety? Electrical issues can tell you a lot about a client, like whether you really want their business. Choosing to be safe with electrical hazards can prevent pool/spa injuries and even death. It will also let you sleep easier at night knowing you did the right thing and let your customer know about these dangers.