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Electricity and Your Aquarium

10 years 4 months ago #11143 by dragonkeeper
This sounds very close to what we use. GFCI outlets monitor the ground side of the circuit to make sure that it is not flowing else where.

Keeper

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10 years 4 months ago #10904 by Aussie08
Gday Keeper

i checked out how our power safety devices work in australia and the safety switches that we have in our power boxs are supposed to monitor teh flow of electricity through a circuit and disable it if theres a leak ( www.deir.qld.gov.au/electricalsafety/liv...h/switches/index.htm ) is this the same in the USA or does this provide the same protection (sorry about the repetitive question i just done want to stuff up the electricity by putting it through the same device twice)

Ethan

ps the switch in the main power box has a test button an indicator light, and an on/off switch

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10 years 4 months ago #10901 by dragonkeeper
GFCI outlets will have 2 buttons on them. One to test and one to reset. Anything else is not a GFCI outlet to my knowledge.

Keeper

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10 years 4 months ago #10900 by Aussie08
Gday

Does anyody know whether or not the power outlets used in australia are safe, because all the outlets over here have a third hole so to speak for a ground prong on the plug, is this sufficient

Ethan

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10 years 5 months ago #10134 by dragonkeeper
Any powerstrip that has a GFCI outlet built into it will be labeled as such. Generally they are a little more pricey than the regular outlets.

second. would it be possible to set up a couple wires in the tank to a volt meter and throw the 2 wires in the tank.. if something didnt trip wouldnt the volt meter show some current in the water haha.. I was thinking that could work.. once again someone can claim me wrong though!


You would be better off getting a grounding probe which you can find at some aquarium shops. This will give the electricity a place to go and alert you of the problem

Keeper

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10 years 5 months ago - 10 years 5 months ago #10130 by Snake42490
I have always been worried about stuff like this haha.

how do you know if your power strip has built in gfci.. I know mine have surge protection but also know some come with both. any ideas?

second. would it be possible to set up a couple wires in the tank to a volt meter and throw the 2 wires in the tank.. if something didnt trip wouldnt the volt meter show some current in the water haha.. I was thinking that could work.. once again someone can claim me wrong though!
Last edit: 10 years 5 months ago by .

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10 years 5 months ago #10111 by klassichobbies
Very nice DK! I'm probably going to go triple check everything lol. Thanks for the info, like aways, extremely well written and useful!

Klassic

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Um, a bird?
-Nope
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-OH, I've got alot of those!!!

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www.gcca.net/gccaforum/index.php/topic,341.0.html

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10 years 6 months ago #9645 by forumadmin
Very interesting.

Microsoft has a sample spreadsheet for teachers which is a personal energy meter.

That-- or some other spreadsheet-- might be a good tool to have.

See http://download.microsoft.com/download/4/a/c/4ac6fca3-6ff4-4ff2-9d03-90964d858751/picenergymeter.xls

Rick

Your friendly, neighborhood Forum Admin

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10 years 7 months ago #6393 by dragonkeeper
After reading this tread www.gcca.net/gccaforum/index.php/topic,577.0.html I thought I would post this article that I wrote for Aquatic Terrors.


Electricity and Your Aquarium


We all know that our aquariums require electricity and we also know that water and electricity can be a dangerous even deadly combination. There are ways to safely reduce this risk without costing an arm and a leg.

Let’s go over a few basics about electricity before we begin. We all know that water conducts electricity very well. We also know that glass, wood and plastics don’t conduct power well. Electricity is lazy by nature. It looks for the fastest way to get to ground. This is called the path of least resistance. If your tank is electrified and sufficiently isolated from the ground and you stick your hand in there, you become the new path to ground. Remember volts don’t kill, amps do. 1 amp is way more than enough to kill any man.

Almost everything we use in/on or aquariums require some amount of power. Heaters, filters, pumps, lights, etc. have power needs. Most people just plug these items into the wall or an inexpensive power strip. That can be a problem.

First I will address the wall socket. Standard wall plugs are tied to a 20-amp circuit in the breaker panel. Generally there is 1 20-amp circuit per room. Rooms like kitchens and laundry rooms will need more to run appliances. One of the best ways to protect your aquarium and it inhabitants is to plug each item into a GFCI outlet. GFCI outlets will shut off power when they sense a short/ground in the circuit. Your other option is to go purchase a power strip that has GFCI circuits built into it. They are a little expensive but well worth you and your families’ safety. I know that a buddy from the Greater Chicago Cichlid Association (Chris Karnuth/nuth88) has gone as far as to have an electrician come to his house to up the amperage on his fishroom breakers as well as add GFCI outlets where he could.

I like to mount my power strips high in the tank stand. This keeps them off of the floor and out of any puddle that might form from a leak or splash. This also put a natural “drip loop” on the cord so that any water that gets on it drips on the floor instead of the plug/socket.

Other things I watch out for are corroded plug leads, frayed insulation on the cord, cracked insulation, and insulation pulled away from the plug or appliance itself. All of these things can lead to a power short.

If you follow these simple rules you can sleep better at night knowing that you have done your due diligence to protect you, your family, and most importantly, your fish!


DragonKeeper

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