Drainsafe® Definition

Hair Entrapment

One of the five types of Suction Entrapment. When hair strands are drawn through train gratings, hair entanglement may proceed by the knotting or wrapping around elements.


Typically, these incidents involve individuals of younger ages with long, fine hair, who are underwater with their head near a suction outlet (drain). The water flow into the drain sweeps the hair into and around the drain cover. The hair becomes entangled in and around holes and elements on either side of the cover. Entrapment occurs because the turbulence created under the cover/grate causes the tangling of hair and not necessarily because of strong suction forces. Although the suction forces or current initially draw the hair into the drain cover.


The most effective way to prevent hair entanglement is to educate our children to stay away from all suction outlets regardless of cover type or grating configuration. Hair Entanglement is an ever present hazard involving all suction outlets.

The key to suction safety is Layers of Protection. Should one layer fail, there is a additional layer of protection in place to assist in the avoidance of injury and preservation of life.

1. Education - Knowing about this hazard and educating our families is the first step to preventing an incident.

2. Sound Hydraulics - Multiple Suction outlet configurations, if constructed properly is a safety measure in of itself. If incorrectly installed or used with small diameter plumbing, hydraulic issues could create additional hazards for entrapment.

3. Anti-Entrapment Suction Outlet Cover - Use ASME/ANSI A112.19.8b 2008 Certified suction outlet cover on all suction outlets. Their domed shape creates a barrier which precludes body entrapment on the suction outlet.

4. "Plan B" - Should the Anti-Entrapment Suction Outlet Cover fail (Vandalism, Removal, Improper installation) a Plan B should be in place. These are products which activate when a Body Entrapment type situation occurs. These products include Gravity Feed, Vent to Atmosphere, Safety Vacuum Limiting System, or A112.19.17 VGB Compliant Safety Vacuum Release System.


Should an Entrapment Occur: Emergency Suction Entrapment Release Procedure

"Guidelines for Entrapment Hazards" - http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/363.pdf

"Body Entrapment" - http://www.drainsafe.com/bodyentrapment.html

"Retrofit Existing Facilities" - http://www.drainsafe.com/retrofit.html

"CPSC Layers of Protection" - http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5101.pdf

New Water Solutions, Inc., Drainsafe®, drainsafe.com nor I, Ron Schroader recommend the use of one product or device over another. Products must be implemented as per system/job specific application. It is the obligation of the installer to understand the intended use and application prior to installation of any product or device. All products must be installed as per manufacturers instructions and be job site specific to meet the criteria of each individual application.