Using ground probes in aquariums

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

  1. marvelousone

    marvelousone Active Member Louisiana Reef Club

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    I had my hand in the tank today. While my hand was in the water my shoulder hit my light fixture. I got a shock. It is a 8 bulb t5 fixture. Does that mean my light fixture has a short even though all bulbs are working.
     

  2. Brew12

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

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    More than likely it is the other way around. You probably have something faulted in your tank and the light fixture provided a path to ground. I'm assuming you don't have a ground probe.
     
  3. marvelousone

    marvelousone Active Member Louisiana Reef Club

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    No do not. I did not know there a such thing till tonight. I put my hand in the sump and I don't feel anything.
     
  4. Brew12

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

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    Unless you are on a concrete floor odds are you have enough insulation to prevent you from feeling a shock. To be shocked, you need a path for current to flow through you. Wood, tile, shoes, and dry carpet provide insulation that protects you by blocking current flow. The metal housing of your light fixture connects to ground. Current can flow from your tank, through you, through the light fixture, to ground.
    I recommend getting something like this and plugging your aquarium equipment into it one at a time to see what trips it. Keep in mind you may need a ground probe or provide another path to ground for a GFCI to trip.
    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Shock-Bust...-Single-to-Single-Yellow-GFCI-Adapter/1135923
     
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  5. marvelousone

    marvelousone Active Member Louisiana Reef Club

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    I have one of those gfci on my pump that I use for water changes. Thanks Yall are awesome. I will do that.
     
  6. marvelousone

    marvelousone Active Member Louisiana Reef Club

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    not to highjack your thread Brew12 but this is helping me. I tested my tank today. the meter read 87.1. Turning off switches one at a time. One power head when turned off it dropped to 17.4. So bad power head. I tested the rest and it never would drop below 17.4. So do I have still some voltage in the tank. I touched the light with the volt meter and it read 17.1. I order a grounding wire. I guess I need to throw that power head away.
     
  7. marvelousone

    marvelousone Active Member Louisiana Reef Club

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    I put another powerhead and it went up to 18.6
     
  8. Brew12

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

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    That sounds very normal. Looks like you do have 1 bad powerhead. Glad you found this helpful!
     
  9. Cnidoblast

    Cnidoblast Active Member

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    Will plugging the ground probe into a apex controller unused outlet be okay? (I'd hope that ground is always connected regardless if the outlet control relay is on or off!!!!!!!) @Brew12
     
  10. Brew12

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

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    Yup, that is just fine. Until next week when you decide you need to use the switchable outlet for something! :p
     
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