Thermal Reckoning, a Fire in the making...

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143MPCo

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Does a GFCI outlet protect against these types of disasters?
If you look at it from the point of view that it's the only reason you installed the GFCI, you have reduced the likelihood of a flare up, but GFCIs are notorious for tripping easily (as designed) and some hobbyist choose not to incorporate them based on past experiences with the outlet turning off their entire system. I'm all for safety so better that, than risk a fire that threatens the lives of my family.
 

donnievaz

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If you look at it from the point of view that it's the only reason you installed the GFCI, you have reduced the likelihood of a flare up, but GFCIs are notorious for tripping easily (as designed) and some hobbyist choose not to incorporate them based on past experiences with the outlet turning off their entire system. I'm all for safety so better that, than risk a fire that threatens the lives of my family.
Good point, thanks. I'm sure there's some sort of system available that can alert you in case of a power outage. That may be worth looking into.
 

Beej1254

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Wait? I have a closet that I can easily put equipment in but my power cords aren't long enough?? So what do you do??
 

hybridazn

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Great write up! I think ppl underestimate the importance of a drip loop and to constantly looking for leaks and unusual amounts of salt creep buildup
 

hybridazn

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Wait? I have a closet that I can easily put equipment in but my power cords aren't long enough?? So what do you do??
Extension cords
 
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Wait? I have a closet that I can easily put equipment in but my power cords aren't long enough?? So what do you do??
You might already know about these but if not google "weatherproof gaskets for outdoor electrical connections" should help with extending short power cords.
 

Beej1254

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I thought you weren't supposed to use extension cords and power strips together??
 
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I thought you weren't supposed to use extension cords and power strips together??
UL does not permit more than 3 plug-in outlets on an extension cord unless the cord set is a minimum of #12 AWG (wire size) and type SJ or better cord (SJOOW).
 

120reefkeeper

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Very nice write up! Thanks for posting!
 

ngvu1

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I have a shelf next to the tank for all the electronic plugs. Normally I am Ok. However, we live in an earthquake zone and with a rimless, it is scary as heck as I have no idea how the water moves or when it will moves when one hits :)

The Last One hit over a year ago, My Old Tank Had Europe Embrace And No water damage Was Done except my Sps colony moved down to the bottom of the tank. My buddy told me he got a few gallons of sw to his floor. ....... I can pray harder I guess ;-)
 
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I have a shelf next to the tank for all the electronic plugs. Normally I am Ok. However, we live in an earthquake zone and with a rimless, it is scary as heck as I have no idea how the water moves or when it will moves when one hits :)

The Last One hit over a year ago, My Old Tank Had Europe Embrace And No water damage Was Done except my Sps colony moved down to the bottom of the tank. My buddy told me he got a few gallons of sw to his floor. ....... I can pray harder I guess ;-)
Time to relocate.:rolleyes:
 

FiremanRick

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Funny you write this, I finished my electrical cabinet just the other day. I made an outlet gang box, that I wired replacement power cords to regular house outlets. I mounted them all neatly in an electrical box and mounted it in an area of the sump that doesn't get any salt creep. Then plugged them into my RKL that's mounted in the cabinet. As you can probly tell by my name, fires aren't something I'm all that excited about in my own house.

image.jpeg


image.jpeg
 
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Funny you write this, I finished my electrical cabinet just the other day. I made an outlet gang box, that I wired replacement power cords to regular house outlets. I mounted them all neatly in an electrical box and mounted it in an area of the sump that doesn't get any salt creep. Then plugged them into my RKL that's mounted in the cabinet. As you can probly tell by my name, fires aren't something I'm all that excited about in my own house.

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Beautifully executed, organized and neat, looks like you had a well laid out plan.
 

FiremanRick

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Might as well take your time and do things right. I learned early on that trying to find the quick and easy way doesn't get you far in this hobby. I think the information shared in your original post should almost be turned into pamphlets and passed out to people looking to get into this hobby. Had I known that salt was going to end up coating everything around the sump and the associated fire hazard I would have built this two years ago. It took hours to clean all this equipment before I re-mounted it.
 

maroun.c

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Excellent write up thank you.
My electrical is in tank cabinet next to the tank so basically the safest possible considering my setup. Yet my cabling in the basement is a mess (although quality plugs and circuit breakers and GFCI used) so safe but messy. Been delaying a tidy up till I had the below couple weeks back. I still don't get why the plug ignited (can take 16 amps and only loaded with 3 ) no water drip no saltcreep no nothing. Circuit breakers tripped but the fire had started and not sure how it went off. Went down to basement after I smelled burning rubber to find this:

IMAG0002.jpg
 
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Excellent write up thank you.
My electrical is in tank cabinet next to the tank so basically the safest possible considering my setup. Yet my cabling in the basement is a mess (although quality plugs and circuit breakers and GFCI used) so safe but messy. Been delaying a tidy up till I had the below couple weeks back. I still don't get why the plug ignited (can take 16 amps and only loaded with 3 ) no water drip no saltcreep no nothing. Circuit breakers tripped but the fire had started and not sure how it went off. Went down to basement after I smelled burning rubber to find this:

IMAG0002.jpg
Thanks!

Good thing you were home to catch that, could have been very bad. I'm no professions electrician but, it could have been one of three conditions; short circuits, limited short circuit, overloaded circuits, but my money's on "short circuit", a dead short occurs when a live wire comes in contact with a common or ground wire and the circuit is subsequently energized. In properly fused/breaker circuits this will cause the fuse/breaker to blow/cut-off and the circuit to de-energize. This type of situation does not create sufficient heat to ignite combustibles. However, it is possible that the circuit is not fused/breaker properly. If this occurs, the current can continue to pass through the wires causing them to significantly overheat. This type of situation can ignite surrounding combustibles causing a fire, again, I'm no professions electrician so that's just a guess.
 

maroun.c

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Thanks.
Your guess does make a lot of sense but I opened up the plug and inspected it and the wires were in place with no loose hair copper lines out which could have shorted.
One guess that was given was humidity condensating inside the plug and causing the short and it evaporating with he heat released by the short/fire... All speculation in the end and now I'm making sure to maintain humidity lower and all cabling will be tidied up. Will also install smoke detectors as self releasing fire extinguishers will kill the whole system instantly.
 

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