Ever had random GFCI outlet trips?

What's best for a power outlet?

  • Standard Outlet

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  • GFCI

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  • Standard Outlet + GFCI Breaker

    Votes: 2 28.6%

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    7

Phyber

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I have my reef in my living room, and when we built the house I had a GFCI outlet placed on the wall near the tank. The rest of the outlets in the room are standard outlets.

Last night apparently the GFCI outlet tripped and my tank was down for ~8 hours. A simple reset button push had me back in business. No water had splashed anywhere. There was no power outage, although I did hear my room fan "cut out" for a second like it lost power but nothing else in the house did.

I have a Generac 22KW whole home generator and my tank still goes down due to a stupid outlet. ;Rage

Is it even advisable anymore to keep a GFCI outlet? I get they're safe, but what if this had happened on vacation? Or in a cold winter? Should I rewire it to be a standard outlet? What about a rewire and a GFCI breaker?
 

sixline

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It may be a heater issue. Does your heater go on only occasionally?

Anyways, there are experts here that will be able to help better than I can.
 

Albertan22

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I’ve kept aquariums for almost 20 years, reef tanks for 12. I have had my GFCI pop maybe 3 times in that time period. Twice it because of failed electrical equipment. Once it probably saved my house from burning down as my power bar clearly had something happen to it and was visibly burnt. Bear in mind that electrical code in most places requires gfci use within a certain distance of water. Taking it out may very well void your home insurance in some cases.
 

Brew12

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I would never run my system on a single GFCI. I have my loads split between two GFCI outlets. Basically, one for the stuff in my sump, one for the powerheads in the display. That way a single trip won't cause me to lose all flow and risk oxygen depletion. My next tank will have 2 return pumps, 2 heaters, and the power heads split between 2 GFCI's so that a single trip won't have much impact at all. A tank set up like that could last days without a problem.
 
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Phyber

Phyber

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It may be a heater issue. Does your heater go on only occasionally?

Anyways, there are experts here that will be able to help better than I can.

Yes, I keep the AC going cooler in my home so I certainly use my heaters, but they consist of 1 200w and 1 150w heaters. At 11p my tank has been dark for 2 hours.
 
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Phyber

Phyber

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I’ve kept aquariums for almost 20 years, reef tanks for 12. I have had my GFCI pop maybe 3 times in that time period. Twice it because of failed electrical equipment. Once it probably saved my house from burning down as my power bar clearly had something happen to it and was visibly burnt. Bear in mind that electrical code in most places requires gfci use within a certain distance of water. Taking it out may very well void your home insurance in some cases.

I had to request this GFCI as it's in the middle of the living room wall.

I've had it pop once when I had a worrisome snail who liked to hang out on my return nozzle. Once he got in a certain spot he'd ricochet water all over the wall and I had it pop then. Quiet otherwise.

I keep a lower tech tank and at the time my Apex says it went offline maybe the heaters, mp40, return and skimmer pumps would be on.
 
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Phyber

Phyber

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I had that once and found out my heater was shorted turned on the outlet again and then stuck my hand in stupid mistake got a nice shock!
Be careful

Wouldn't that mean that every time the shorted heater kicked on, the GFCI would pop? Since this AM the tank has been good and heaters running no issues.
 

Albertan22

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If you are really worried about it you could look at getting a battery backup for the MP40. Then you know that you've at least got some oxygenation for a couple days if the GFCI trips unnoticed again. It sounds like you have an APEX, do you have the heartbeat function turned on? If so, you will get an alarm when power to the APEX is interrupted. That doesn't necessarily help if you're sleeping and don't notice of course, but we can only do so much.
 

AZMSGT

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There are devices that can cause GFCI to trip more often than others. UV sterilizer ballasts and Metal Halide ballasts are know to trip GFCI. It’s been discussed here often and even BRS says to use a standard outlet on these devices.

But like Brew, I run 2 separate circuits with all the pumps divided so if one goes down the other is still going strong. Also I have battery back ups on my pumps.
 

Dr. Dendrostein

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I have my reef in my living room, and when we built the house I had a GFCI outlet placed on the wall near the tank. The rest of the outlets in the room are standard outlets.

Last night apparently the GFCI outlet tripped and my tank was down for ~8 hours. A simple reset button push had me back in business. No water had splashed anywhere. There was no power outage, although I did hear my room fan "cut out" for a second like it lost power but nothing else in the house did.

I have a Generac 22KW whole home generator and my tank still goes down due to a stupid outlet. ;Rage

Is it even advisable anymore to keep a GFCI outlet? I get they're safe, but what if this had happened on vacation? Or in a cold winter? Should I rewire it to be a standard outlet? What about a rewire and a GFCI breaker?

You mentioned when home built....
You may have AFCI which is very sensitive to any issues. Or old GFCI...
 
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Phyber

Phyber

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If you are really worried about it you could look at getting a battery backup for the MP40. Then you know that you've at least got some oxygenation for a couple days if the GFCI trips unnoticed again. It sounds like you have an APEX, do you have the heartbeat function turned on? If so, you will get an alarm when power to the APEX is interrupted. That doesn't necessarily help if you're sleeping and don't notice of course, but we can only do so much.

The heartbeat could have helped me, but I turned that off...I'm on a wISP in a rural area that is subject to frequent, brief, outages. It got to a point for a while my heartbeat alerts were haywire and you can't turn it off midoutage.

I did water tests and my all only went down .04 kh over that time, and temp 4*F, so it wasn't a killer this time to correct. Just kinda ticked me off
 

R.Weller

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We had a similar experience & eventually traced the issue back to a crack in the rubber casing on the power cord near the pump on the protein skimmer. It was submerged & was not visible. We replaced the pump, which had a wonder impact on the quality of the skim, & resolved the electrical fault.

Thankfully, we have always used a grounding probe so the water is always safe to touch.

 

GlassMunky

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I have my Apex connected to the wall with a standard outlet, but then off of the Apex I have in-line GFCI outlets that anything wet gets plugged into. Then with monitoring the power of the outlets I can tell if any one gfci has tripped and by having them separated it’s impossible to have the whole tank shut down. I also have a grounding probe in the tank as well.
 

Spieg

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I don't trust the GFCI wall outlets at all. I switched all breakers to GFCI in the last 2 homes I've lived in and never had one fail.

Also worth mentioning that GFCI wall outlets can trip because of a problem anywhere on that circuit, not just what is plugged into that specific outlet.
 

Paul B

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I live in a new house and unfortunately the people who write electrical codes spent their life in a classroom looking out the window at the birds and are not electricians so they don't know any better.

I had GFIs all over my house. I threw out most of them and just left them in the kitchen and bathrooms. There is no reason to have GFIs in living rooms or anyplace else except for some things on your tank. I use them for my pumps and heaters because they are submerged. I don't have them on my lights as my lights can't fall in the water because I mounted them from the ceiling and have been a master Electrician for 50 years so if they fall down, I will turn in my electricians card.

My pumps and heaters are on 3 or 4 different GFIs so I never have a problem. :cool:
 

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