Using ground probes in aquariums

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by Brew12, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. Cresta

    Cresta Member

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    Brew12,

    Early on, you said a grounding probe wouldn't be much use to freshwater tanks, as freshwater act very differently than saltwater. What would you suggest to use in grounding stray voltage in freshwater tanks?

    I think it was mentioned that voltage goes "around the fish" in saltwater and "through the fish" in freshwater. So would it be correct to assume, if there's a gadget leaking voltage in freshwater, first sign will be that all fish in the tank will be dead?

    Second question.... I know you said you prefer to have grounding probe plug directly to a wall outlet, but via a power strip will be also be okay. This is to avoid plugging into a non-grounded power strip, giving a false sense of protection. Will using a receptacle tester (https://www.homedepot.com/p/Power-Gear-3-Wire-Receptacle-Tester-50542/206212329), help verify that the power strip in question is working/grounded correctly?

    Thanks!
     

  2. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Sorry! I had replied to this and just noticed it never posted. That is not a good way to install the ground probe. Since you have a type without a plug there are 2 proper ways to connect it. The preferred way is to connect it to the ground wire where it connects to the receptacle (behind the cover). You can also connect it to a screw from a metal housing as long as that housing is grounded. For example, a grounded light fixture frame screw.
     
  3. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    You should never be able to develop a stray voltage in fresh water so there is no need to ground. With a strong enough source and ground path it would be just like electrofishing.
    I can only assume it would work. I'm not familiar with how these devices actually work.
     
  4. MrineLfRlz

    MrineLfRlz Member

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    great thread!
    I myself wont run any system with out a ground probe!
     
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  5. MrOutCastX

    MrOutCastX New Member

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    Is just one probe good enough for both the display and sump? Or would it be smart to put one in each?
     
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  6. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    One in the sump is just fine. The only time it won't also cover the DT is when the return pump is off.
     
  7. BigJohnny

    BigJohnny Valuable Member

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    I saw a YouTube video a while back where a guy tested ground probes on an empty tank and they were only removing like 30% of the voltage from the tank. There was still 40+ volts in the tank from a simulated heater failure. Thoughts?
     
  8. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    My thought is that he was either being purposefully deceptive or he had no idea what he was doing and didn't simulate it correctly.

    If you are referring to the one with the guy doing the testing in a bucket in his garage, he was using tap water, not salt water. Had he used salt water the breaker would have tripped immediately even without the ground probe since the exposed neutral wire is also tied to ground. The fact he didn't seem to understand this simple fact tells me he doesn't understand electricity very well. It upsets me that so many people see that particular video and think ground probes don't work or are dangerous.
     
  9. BigJohnny

    BigJohnny Valuable Member

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    Ah ok, it was a long time ago so I'm not sure but sounds like the guy. Maybe you should make a YouTube video demonstrating that they work and then post it and link here, once it gets more views yours will pop up first.

    Recommendation on a ground probe?

    Also, is there any situation where it's actually more dangerous?

    Thanks
     
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  10. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I'm not much of a social media guy. That might be about the only topic that would get me to make and post a video. I'll give it some thought.

    Ground probes are so simple I'm not sure you can go wrong as long as you get it from a reputable source. Just make sure it has a plug on the end unless you are comfortable wiring in the ring lug style. Some have both the plug and the ring lug which is fine since you can use one or the other.

    There is one situation where it is more dangerous, but only marginally so. If you had a ground probe, no GFCI, an electrical fault that involved the hot wire but not the neutral, and the fault had enough resistance to cause less than 20 amps to flow, the ground probe could make things worse. How likely is that? Not very. But, it is possible.
     
  11. Rolrod39

    Rolrod39 Member

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    Ground probes are a must. If your in the saltwater hobby you have 10 to 15 bucks to buy a ground probes. Just do it.
     
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  12. BigJohnny

    BigJohnny Valuable Member

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    Does the ground probe itself need to be plugged into a gfci? All my equipment is either gfci or gfci/arc protected.
     
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  13. BigJohnny

    BigJohnny Valuable Member

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    I think the reason more people don't have them is lack of information or misinformation. I thought they didn't do anything based on some stuff I read/videos.
     
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  14. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Nope. As long as it is plugged into any outlet it will work. The grounds in your house are all tied together in your electrical panel where it is also connected to the neutral wiring. This is either connected to a metal pipe or a copper rod driven into the ground by your house.

    I'm glad you are using GFCI!
     
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  15. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I do agree. That was why I put together this post in the first place.
     
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  16. BigJohnny

    BigJohnny Valuable Member

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    This should be a sticky. Could save people's lives right? I've seen less important things as stickies lol. Ask a staff member. I bet over 75% don't use ground probes.
     
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  17. BigJohnny

    BigJohnny Valuable Member

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    Is this a reputable brand?

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    This is a sticky! ;) It's in the reef aquarium discussions section.

    Yup, I would be comfortable using that one.
     
  19. BigJohnny

    BigJohnny Valuable Member

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    I digress.........

    Great, thanks.
     
  20. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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