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Kids always have that fear of getting too close to the pool drain—being afraid that they'll be sucked right down to where the alligators live. The truth is, however, that the suction on the drain is minimal (about as dangerous as the suction in a bathtub).
A pool drain is just another piece of pool equipment that keeps the water flowing. It is there so debris can constantly be filtered out (that's why the pool floor is built on an angle).
*To make sure there's no outside chance of people getting feet stuck you should cover the drain hole on the outside of the pool. Use a cover with tiny holes (similar to showerheads).
Suction from the drains (which are an intake for the pump-- part of the filtration system) can be deadly. It's called suction entrapment. Most building departments now require two drains, so that if one is blocked, the other will keep drawing, lessening the chance of entrapment. Some building departments also require "safety" or "anti-vortex" drain covers, or even that the velocity of water entering the drain be 6 feet per second or less. Make no mistake, suction entrapment can and does kill.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|