Swim Spa Suction Cover Replacement Program; Hair Entrapment, Drowning Risk Cited

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Originally issued May 26, 1993
Revised August 11, 2011
Release #93-073
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Note: The firm telephone number has been changed.

Swim Spa Suction Cover Replacement Program; Hair Entrapment, Drowning Risk Cited

PRODUCT: Suction covers on five models of "Aqua Swim 'N' Spa." Swim spas sold nationally between 1986 and 1990. Affected models are ASNS-16, ASNS-18, ASNS-19, ASJ-SP-14, and ASJ-SS-14.

PROBLEM: Swimmer's hair may become entangled in the suction covers while the swim jets are on. This presents a drowning hazard.

WHAT TO DO: Consumers who own one of these swim spas should immediately contact Rio Plastics at (956) 831-2715 to arrange to receive two new suction covers free. The replacement covers are designed to prevent hair entrapment. Until the replacement covers are installed, swim spa users should keep hair away from the suction covers.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Rio Plastics, Inc. of Brownsville, TX (formerly known as Pool Technology Ltd.) in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is voluntarily replacing certain suction covers on five models of its "Aqua Swim 'N' Spa" swim spas sold between 1986 and 1990. Rio Plastics is taking this action to prevent the risk of hair entrapment and drowning.

To date, Rio Plastics is aware of two accidents in which young female swimmers' hair became entangled in one of the suction covers while the swim jets were on. One child drowned. The other child struggled free and sustained injury to her scalp.

Five models of the swim spa were sold nationally between 1986 and 1990: ASNS-16, ASNS-18, ASNS-19, ASJ-SP-14, and ASJ-SS-14. These swim spas are recreational products made of thermoplastic/fiberglass, between 14- and 19-feet long depending on the model, that combine an exercise pool with a spa. (A small number of products were sold as 14-foot exercise pools only and did not have a separate spa.) The exercise pool and spa are separated by a wall that houses the control panel, two swim jets, and two suction openings. Each suction opening is protected by a cover designed to prevent hair entrapment. Of the thousands of swim spas sold, about 1300 were equipped with two 10-inch round, white plastic suction covers that need to be replaced. The suction cover was designed and manufactured by another, unrelated company and purchased by Rio Plastics for use in the swim spas.

The swim jets located in the separation wall allow the user to swim in place in the exercise pool. Suction is created as water is drawn through the two suction covers, which are designed to be located at the bottom of the separation wall. Hair can become entangled in one or both of the suction covers when the swim jets are on.

Consumers who own one of these swim spas should immediately contact Rio Plastics to arrange to receive two new suction covers free, designed to prevent hair entrapment. Consumers may write the company at P.O. Box 3709, Brownsville, TX 78523. Until the replacement covers are installed, swim spa users should keep hair away from the suction covers.

CPSC is issuing this press release as part of its mission to protect the public from unreasonable risks of injury and death associated with consumer products. The Commission's objective is to reduce the estimated 28.6 million injuries and 21,700 deaths associated each year with the 15,000 different types of consumer products under CPSC's jurisdiction.