A couple of years ago, a little girl got caught in the drain at a large swimming pool here in the Valley of the Sun. The suction pinned her down and killed her. That tragedy sparked a lot of change in the industry. The best thing to come out of it is the new anti-vortex main drain cover. Just as an aside, the main drain is a misnomer … it doesn’t actually drain the pool, but hooks up to the pump and filter that circulates water through your pool.
The anti-vortex main drain cover has a special solid cover that only allows water to be pulled in from the sides. If pressure is applied to one side or something gets caught on one side, the drain automatically switches to pulling off the other side. That way, if a child’s hair gets caught, it is automatically released rather than pulled in. Some versions of the anti-vortex main drain cover even switch drain functions to the skimmer when pressure is applies, thereby removing any possible suction until the obstruction or weight is removed.
Pool People recommends that anyone with small children immediately change out their older models for the new anti-vortex drain covers to prevent future accidents.