Design Engineering Expert Witness Advises on Pool Filter Explosion

Michael Morgenstern

Written by
— Updated on September 29, 2017

Design Engineering Expert Witness Advises on Pool Filter ExplosionA design engineering expert witness advises on a case involving a pool filter explosion that caused severe brain injury to the plaintiff in Missouri. The plaintiff was tasked with replacing the pool filter. The filter is made up of two central pieces and wrapped with a metal band to keep it stable as it is normally pressurized. The plaintiff flipped the switch to depressurize the system, undid the band and put a new filter in. The plaintiff tightened the band back up and energized the filter system. The canister started to leak so the plaintiff went to tighten the band and, in the process, the top of the filter system blew up and struck the plaintiff’s head. The plaintiff now suffers from traumatic brain injury and has no recollection of the event. The homeowner and the servicing agent disposed of the offending product before the unit could be inspected. The plaintiff seeks an expert in pool filter systems to conduct an analysis of the documentation the plaintiff currently has alleging defective design of the filter and that there are safer alternatives.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please discuss your background in design engineering pool filter systems.
  • 2. What could have led to the explosion of the two-part pool filter?
  • 3. Are there safer alternatives to the Pentair filter system as described in the case summary?

Expert Witness Response

I have extensive experience in designing/engineering/testing pool filters. As director of engineering for a major swimming pool manufacturer, I engineered and pressure tested more than 300,000 filters over 10 years. I have seen the accident described in this case hundreds of times (pneumatic separation). I am familiar with all the causes and preventative measures that could be taken. Normally, filters like this would offer warning on the package or the filter itself against tightening while the filter is on. Review the paperwork or another filter will confirm this.

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