Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS) Could Save Someone’s Life
Recent news stories about Usher’s child nearly drowning in the pool after being caught on a pool pump underwater has brought increased awareness to the very real problem of underwater suction in swimming pools.
If you’ve never heard of an SVRS, you need to understand what it is and how it could save the life of you, your child or anyone who is a guest swimming in your pool.
The Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS) is a device or system that will disable your pool pump’s ability to create suction. This makes it possible for objects or bodies trapped against the pump suction outlet to be freed. It accomplishes this by powering down the motor to the pump and/or by inducting air into the pump when a sudden vacuum increase is sensed.
The SVRS Is Easily Installed
This safety system can be installed easily into spas, pools or water features. It is built into the motor of the pump, mounted on the suction pipe, installed as a type of controller or by replacing the drain plug of the pump pot. An SVRS needs to be installed along with a VGB drain cover that is approved for pool use. Pool Spa News states that most available SVRSs are designed for use on pumps with a horsepower between 0.5 and 10.
SVRSs may contain nine various parts. These include:
• Two screws
• Base O-ring
• Cap O-ring
• Piston O-ring
• Lube (if it is needed)
These parts work with one another to efficiently and quickly avoid the entrapment of objects and people in your pool.
How Does an SVRS Work?
There are two primary methods used by SVRSs to impede the suction of the pump. They include mechanical and electrical methods. SVRSs of the electric type are usually shut-off systems for pumps, where the pump motor will be turned briefly off, until the entrapment has been resolved. The pumps restart manually or automatically, depending on the requirements of the system. Mechanical SVRSs use a mechanical valve of a piston type.
The SVRS has an anti-entrapment functionality that works by letting air quickly fill the pump’s suction side during a period of high vacuum. Upon the start of an entrapment, the pump vacuum level becomes elevated, which creates a differential pressure all across the piston.
Atmospheric air will then push the piston, which compresses a spring, until the SVRS O-ring crosses the passage that has allowed atmospheric air to fill the pump pot. This causes the pump to lose prime and frees the entrapment cause from the drain. The action occurs very quickly – it only takes milliseconds.
Mechanical SVRSs also reset to normal pumping mode either manually or automatically after the pump resolves the entrapment. It is highly recommended that you have SVRSs calibrated on-site before you have them installed in your pool or spa.
Some of the mechanical types of SVRSs are made with compensation zones, where the piston positions itself in accommodating for your pool and its equipment variations. These variations include pipe diameter and length, reducers and elbows under concrete, motor speed and horsepower and check valves. If you purchase an SVRS that has a compensation zone, it requires little or no pool site calibration.
Exact methods of installation vary from one SVRS to another. To ensure consistently accurate responses from each unit, and to minimize the vacuum that is generated, some SVRS manufacturers recommend installing the unit on the line for the main drain only. Do not allow it to pick up vacuum from the skimmer.
The proximity to pump fittings is not normally a crucial factor, but many manufacturers recommend that the unit be installed between five feet and 18 inches away from the pump, to allow the unit to work most efficiently. Other units are designed to be attached directly onto your pump.
However, with something this important don’t take chances by making it a DIY project if you’re not sure how to install or, or even what piece of equipment you need.
Contact Pleasure Aquatech Pools today and one of our pool technicians will review your current pool equipment and recommend a solution that will put your mind at ease by addressing these important safety concerns in your pool.