GFCI Outlet poll

Where are you on Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets for your power supply?


  • Total voters
    295
OP
MarcF

MarcF

Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 12, 2020
Messages
59
Reaction score
86
Location
Albuquerque, NM
I got the titanium probe.
GFCI plug in outlet comes tomorrow.
May plug that into my main power surge protector and have GFCI protection on certain outlets only - heater and power head but not return pump. I’ll figure something. And I’ll look into a backup power source as well, but I’m not doing a generator and batteries only last so long.
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

MnFish1

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 28, 2016
Messages
8,848
Reaction score
9,762
There's a reason why the National Electric Code requires GFCIs to be located near sinks and wherever else water maybe present. As far as I know there isn't anything enforceable in regards to aquariums. Regardless, I use this GFCI which has an alarm that will let me know if the outlet has tripped. Even though my Apex will alert me this is a nice backup option.
Didnt know the existed - thanks
 
OP
MarcF

MarcF

Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 12, 2020
Messages
59
Reaction score
86
Location
Albuquerque, NM
I did a test with the ground probe I just bought. The tank is only set up 1 day so far. I've been hearing and reading it's a good idea. After I finished the set up, I went over to the LFS and picked up the ground probe. I saw a test on YouTube and I decided to conduct my own similar test, with a Volt Ohm meter, which I have.
I tested the ambient voltage in the water by plugging the black probe of the VOM into the 3rd prong of an outlet, and dropped the red probe in the sump water. 18vac. It fluctuated around there, but 18 volts! Then I plugged in the ground probe it instantly dropped to 0.00.
I mean, duhhh, so it worked, as it should, as it must, but it worked! At least I proved that the ground I thought I had, I really do have. I'm tempted to screw in the ground lug into the cover plate screw anyway, just for belt and suspenders. I repeated the test 3-4 times with always the same result. Say what you will, but seeing a mysterious piece of equipment like this work - well, it's almost black magic. But boy was I happy to see that zero reading. I almost didn't bother with the test at all, but my curiosity got the better of me.
 
Last edited:

vetteguy53081

Well known Member and monster tank lover
View Badges
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Messages
25,812
Reaction score
54,619
Location
Sheboygan, WI
Hello,

I have sadly seen what happens to people when they are electrocuted and what it’s does to the body and heart. My tank has a ground probe and, gfci on at all times. From others and I’ll probably switch I will leave a return pump ( I have 2), on a normal plug in. The problem I’m going to run into, is that one wired into the gfci. Getting shocked by any of these is very serious and with the salt being a factor, it’s time for the er. I can’t force others to do it, but seeing what happens to them because they didn’t may convince you to.
Same here and we’re talking nerve and tissue damage plus more. The human body is not meant to be a ground source for water and electricity as it will mimic an AED unit ....LOL
For the low cost of both components, this shouldn’t even be a debate although it seems rather than being proactive, many become reactive after theyve been jolted
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

Sarah24!

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 6, 2017
Messages
3,070
Reaction score
10,702
Location
Idaho
Same here and we’re talking nerve and tissue damage plus more. The human body is not meant to be a ground source for water and electricity as it will mimic an AED unit ....LOL
For the low cost of both components, this shouldn’t even be a debate although it seems rather than being proactive, many become reactive after theyve been jolted
Lol your missing on other item, and that is a hospital bill over 250,000 dollars. For 50.00 I’m gonna go with the gfci and ground probe. Not to mention, this will hurt in so many ways, one would wish injury from a garbage truck instead.
 

Mark Gray

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 13, 2015
Messages
2,488
Reaction score
2,346
Location
Athens GA
I won't risk GFCI's on my tanks I have put them in before. My problem with them is they trip almost every time I get lighting strikes around my gome. I travel for work and can't risk it. I have tried different types and at least for me it's a big no
 

afuel

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
121
Reaction score
174
I have my tanks on 2 separate GFO’ sand one failed within a year. So I’m thinking of getting rid of them and just using a grounding probe. But the idea that you are not a good conductor is false. I did stick my arm up to my elbow in my tank back in the early 90’s and got lit up. That resulted in my first grounding probe purchase. I e been shocked many times in my life but I hate using up all my luck
 

Brian_68

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
343
Reaction score
346
Anyone actually find an article or case where someone actually got electrocuted and died with their aquarium? Googling it comes up nothing. Now lying in a bathtub and dropping a hairdryer in the tub at the same time, that is a different story when you are fully emersed, not just an arm in the aquarium.
 

afuel

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
121
Reaction score
174
Obviously I wasn’t electrocuted I’m still posting but getting shocked is a different story
 

Terry Mattson

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 16, 2019
Messages
521
Reaction score
334
Location
Emory Texas
Did a little research. Before gfi were installed as a requirement in wet areas USA 800 people were electrocuted per year and apriximately 4000 were injured. After gfi the number has dropped to about 200 per year. Ground probe is awesome and needed but it takes 15 or 20 amps to trip the breaker. Way to late. Most are killed by heart stopping and in rare instances brain related issues. The gfi will trigger within 5 MA.
 

reefcleaners

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 15, 2008
Messages
359
Reaction score
300
I don't have my tank yet - it's to be delivered this week.
The power outlet I'm planning to use, is in the living room, and it's a regular duplex wall outlet, supplying regular 120v power. I'll use a regular power strip / surge protector and plug into that.
Does everyone automatically use a GFCI outlet? It makes sense since we're fooling around with power and water. At the same time, if that GFCI should trip and you aren't aware of it, you're without power. I'm wondering if I need to install it before I start running the system. I'm also wondering about a battery backup system - if you want to comment about that, please don't hesitate.

Where are you on GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets. Mandatory, optional, or even ill-advised??
I have been shocked a few times. It hasn’t grown on me. Never with a GFCI so I use them.
 
OP
MarcF

MarcF

Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 12, 2020
Messages
59
Reaction score
86
Location
Albuquerque, NM
It's clear that some people prefer one risk, while other's prefer a different risk. There's no such thing as risk free. Some would prefer a catastrophic but extremely unlikely risk - that of electrocution or injury from shock. Others would prefer a lesser, but much more common risk - that of the GFCI tripping and killing or injuring the tank.
I changed my vote from Not Sure to Optional. I have a ground probe in the sump only, at the moment. Probably install another in the tank just for redundancy, but I'll keep GFCI out of the system.
I have a master kill switch, very conveniently located, and I don't need to get into the cabinet to switch off the power strip.
In fact, that might be the best safety feature of all - a master kill switch, conveniently (but not too conveniently) located.

I have a piece of red tape covering it, so it can't be easily switched off by accident, but it's easy if you mean to. When I'm going to put my arm in the tank, take water out, or put it in, if there's ever an emergency - there's the master switch on the wall away from the tank itself. It's just a switched outlet, into which I've plugged my power strip / surge protector, and also my ground probe (which doesn't care if the switch is on or off; it's permanently grounded.
So, a master kill switch - yes there's a choice of risks. But I'm thinking that I'm avoiding the pitfalls of the GFCI by simply cutting the power when I'm messing in the tank. One day I could get struck by lightning or hit by a meteorite.
 
Last edited:

Ytang

Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
16
Reaction score
15
I had a gfci in my office room where my tank is and didn’t even know it. My house is 20 years old and wired so that if any outlet is on the same circuit as another outlet with GFCI then it will also have GFCI, even with a normal outlet cover. My office circuit was on the same circuit as my front porch, which had a GFCI cover. None of the outlet covers in my office had a special outlet covers so I initially assumed it was a regular circuit. When I installed an gfci outlet cover in the office, it started flipping the breaker with just a few hundred watts. I eventually figured it out and remover the extra GFCI cover. So if you have any GFCI already in your house, you might already be good to go.
Otherwise the only time Ive overloaded the circuit and flipped it was using a vacuum. If you have an APEX it will cut your worries of an unknown power failure to essentially none.
 

zalick

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 29, 2014
Messages
323
Reaction score
288
Location
Portland
Some would prefer a catastrophic but extremely unlikely risk - that of electrocution or injury from shock. Others would prefer a lesser, but much more common risk - that of the GFCI tripping and killing or injuring the tank
Opponents of GFCI use say "show me someone whose been killed by an aquarium". Quite a few people gave examples of being electrocuted. We will never know how close they came to being killed or seriously injured. Its a very fine line between the two.

Opponents of GFCI use also cite GFCI failure causing catastrophic tank failure. And you yourself cite this as "more common". Yet nobody has given an example in this thread of that happening.

Anecdotally, based off this thread, being electrocuted is far more likely than a GFCI failing. I have no idea of the true odds for either.

That aside, I'd like to hear from someone or pointed to a thread, that details tank failure due to GFCI failure (or true fault tripping) that caused a tank crash. I'd be curious what protections they used to notify them of the GFCI fault.
 
Last edited:

Brian_68

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
343
Reaction score
346
Did a little research. Before gfi were installed as a requirement in wet areas USA 800 people were electrocuted per year and apriximately 4000 were injured. After gfi the number has dropped to about 200 per year. Ground probe is awesome and needed but it takes 15 or 20 amps to trip the breaker. Way to late. Most are killed by heart stopping and in rare instances brain related issues. The gfi will trigger within 5 MA.
For me I am not debating the safety, sure it is the safest with both. GFCIs are critical in the bathroom where your whole body is submerged. When we can't find even a single case of that being a person and their aqaurium with tens of millions of fish keepers worldwide tells me the likelihood of someone dying is almost non-existent if you use current statistics. Sure some here including myself have got shocked many times as it takes an extremely low current to feel it in saltwater, but the inability to find someone that got killed tells you something. Adding both a GFCI and ground probe will sure lower that likelihood even more and they do have their downsides, but so would avoiding airplanes, your drive to work or getting hit by lightning as these seem to have much higher odds..... One can weigh the risks and downsides and decide for themselves but saying there is a high risk of dying specifically with aquariums seems to be pretty inaccurate. GFCIs in the bathroom and kitchen, no doubt they should be used for me, too many appliances that were not meant to be submerged nearby. Aquariums when you could have thousands invested for a GFCI to eventually trip / fail because they eventually do, no thanks. Now if we want to talk family safety the biggest offender is smoke and CO detectors as many do not replace batteries, or units when they expire. Looking at those stats on an annual basis that is a big killer no doubt yet people still neglect the obvious.
 
Last edited:

zalick

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 29, 2014
Messages
323
Reaction score
288
Location
Portland
For me I am not debating the safety, sure it is the safest with both. GFCIs are critical in the bathroom where your whole body is submerged. When we can't find even a single case of that being a person and their aqaurium with tens of millions of fish keepers worldwide tells me the likelihood of someone dying is almost non-existent if you use current statistics. Sure some here including myself have got shocked many times as it takes an extremely low current to feel it in saltwater, but the inability to find someone that got killed tells you something. Adding both a GFCI and ground probe will sure lower that likelihood even more and they do have their downsides, but so would avoiding airplanes, your drive to work or getting hit by lightning as these seem to have much higher odds..... One can weigh the risks and downsides and decide for themselves.
I'm still looking for a case where the GFCI tripping caused an unavoidable tank crash. By unavoidable, I mean no battery powered airstones, no Apex warnings etc.

I'd be interested if there were any GFCI related tank crash, despite all the backup precautions.
 

How confident are you that your skimmer is the right skimmer for your tank?

  • Very Confident

    Votes: 183 40.1%
  • Somewhat Confident

    Votes: 159 34.9%
  • Not Too Confident

    Votes: 50 11.0%
  • Not Confident At All

    Votes: 21 4.6%
  • I Don't Use A Skimmer

    Votes: 36 7.9%
  • Other (please explain in the thread)

    Votes: 7 1.5%

Online statistics

Members online
964
Guests online
2,624
Total visitors
3,588
Top