Broken Neutral Conductor Leads to Lifeguard's Shock Drowning

Broken Neutral Conductor Leads to Lifeguard's Shock Drowning

Rachel Rosoff, 17, was found in a pool in a Raleigh, N.C., neighborhood on Sept. 3 and pulled from the water.

The failure of a pool pump motor and a broken neutral conductor resulted in the shock and subsequent death of a teen Raleigh lifeguard. Rachel Rosoff, 17, was found in a pool in a Raleigh, N.C., neighborhood on Sept. 3 and pulled from the water.

A relative told WRAL News that Rosoff was alone at the pool at the time of her death. They believe she was holding a metal bar for support when she reached into the water to check the chemicals.

According to an inspection report issued by Wake County Planning, Development and Inspections on Monday, the motor on the pool pump failed and Phase A faulted to ground. But since the neutral conductor was "open (broken/could not conduct electricity)" it was unable to provide an effective ground-fault current path. “The current then followed the only path available to it, the pool water, creating a voltage gradient across the pool and pool equipment,” the report said.

For more details and photos of the electrical equipment from the investigation, see the original inspection report.

This is an update of a story EC&M posted on Sept. 9, 2016.

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