Using ground probes in aquariums

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Brew12

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Can a ground probe be plugged into a power strip? Or should they be only plugged directly into an outlet?
They can. I prefer to plug them directly into an outlet but it should be fine plugged into a power strip.
 

GotZoom05

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I have always used one. Unfortunately it slipped out of the tank while cleaning one time and I got zapped pretty good. Took me a little to figure out what caused it and ended up being a faulty powerhead. Not sure if the grounding plug would have prevented the jolt but dang it scared the crap out of me.
 

goggs29

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Been in your shoes, had a pump leaking voltage and Yahoo that woke me up
 

SmedenS

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@Brew12 and all - thanks for a very informative and possibly life saving thread.

I live in an older house with 3x32A and 5x16A main breakers. (220V @50Hz), but no ground wiring!
I am (trying) to set up a 90 gal DT with a 40 gal sump and after reading this thread I realize I need 1 or 2 x GFCI breakers + a good ground connection.

Any suggestions on how to create a new ground wire/connection direct to soil or concrete?

Thanks in advance
 

RobW

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Threads like this is why I don't go on ground probe or GFCI threads any more. Have fun :D
(Master Electrician 40 years. Retired, Thank God)

Oh I have to do this at work to mess with my guys! lol
 

RobW

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@Brew12 and all - thanks for a very informative and possibly life saving thread.

I live in an older house with 3x32A and 5x16A main breakers. (220V @50Hz), but no ground wiring!
I am (trying) to set up a 90 gal DT with a 40 gal sump and after reading this thread I realize I need 1 or 2 x GFCI breakers + a good ground connection.

Any suggestions on how to create a new ground wire/connection direct to soil or concrete?

Thanks in advance
No ground wiring? How old is the house? Must be similar to the old knob and tube on old homes in the states?
 

SmedenS

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@RobW, I think the house is 30 years old, but wiring has been upgraded, though not with ground connections.

I live in Thailand and would like to understand what is needed before asking the local electrician and he puts a non-insulated cable 2" in the ground and call it a day.
 
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@Brew12 and all - thanks for a very informative and possibly life saving thread.

I live in an older house with 3x32A and 5x16A main breakers. (220V @50Hz), but no ground wiring!
I am (trying) to set up a 90 gal DT with a 40 gal sump and after reading this thread I realize I need 1 or 2 x GFCI breakers + a good ground connection.

Any suggestions on how to create a new ground wire/connection direct to soil or concrete?

Thanks in advance
Glad you found it useful!

I'm not familiar with electrical codes in Thailand so all I can do is say how we do it in the US.

In older homes with metal pipes the ground connection is normally made directly to the piping. In newer homes, or homes with plastic piping a copper rod is driven into the ground near the service entrance. These rods are normally 6 feet long but can be longer and in some soil conditions more than one may be used.
It's possible that you already have this done in your house and that the neutral and grounds are tied together. If this is the case, all that should be needed is to run a copper wire from the ground point in the panel to your outlets.

And, the GFCI breakers will work without the ground, so I wouldn't let lack of a ground keep you from installing them.
 

RobW

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Where I am in Florida the rods are at least 8 ft. Long and you must drive 2 of them 6ft. apart. Your bond must be continuous from your footer steel thru your 2 electrodes, cold water clamp and then on to your first means of disconnect.
Glad you found it useful!

I'm not familiar with electrical codes in Thailand so all I can do is say how we do it in the US.

In older homes with metal pipes the ground connection is normally made directly to the piping. In newer homes, or homes with plastic piping a copper rod is driven into the ground near the service entrance. These rods are normally 6 feet long but can be longer and in some soil conditions more than one may be used.
It's possible that you already have this done in your house and that the neutral and grounds are tied together. If this is the case, all that should be needed is to run a copper wire from the ground point in the panel to your outlets.

And, the GFCI breakers will work without the ground, so I wouldn't let lack of a ground keep you from installing them.
 

RobW

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@RobW, I think the house is 30 years old, but wiring has been upgraded, though not with ground connections.

I live in Thailand and would like to understand what is needed before asking the local electrician and he puts a non-insulated cable 2" in the ground and call it a day.
Yeah, I have no idea what the governing codes would be in Thailand. You said you electrical service is on 30 amps? That's not a whole lot of power. My house is 400 Amp.
 

SmedenS

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@Brew12 and @RobW Thanks a lot. It gives me a chance to set some expectations before I call the local electrician.
I have checked all outlets in the house and the Kitchen in the basement holds 3 outlets, which looks to be grounded. Any problems if the grounding cable has to be 10-15m long?
I am trying to locate my mutimeter to check if the sockets are grounded or not.

The standard for Thai electricity installations is not worth to talk about. I just googled "electrocution Thailand" and that is not a good way to start a nice Sunday...

@RobW I said the house is 30 years old and has 3x32A + 5x16A = 176A total, which is more than sufficient for us and including 7 A/Cs.
220V x 176A = total 38.720W. 110Vx400A = 40.000W, so I guess it is kind of same power availability you and I have? (just yours is much more safe!)

In regards of GFCI breakers, the ones I can find has 10A/13A/16A, which one should I chose?
Example 16A unit: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/GFCI-Leakage-Protection-Safety-RCD-Socket-Adaptor-Home-Circuit-Breaker-Cutout-Power-Trip-Switch-16A-220V/32948297505.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.6d3655a18eccIY&algo_pvid=e05bfce2-26e1-4f89-a661-1f33f5c87366&algo_expid=e05bfce2-26e1-4f89-a661-1f33f5c87366-11&btsid=48fa391e-bff5-46a8-813b-644ea8cca349&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_4,searchweb201603_52

P.S. Double thank you! I fixed a small issue with getting drizzle zapped when connecting my laptop barefoot on floor tiles. After reading this good thread I thought "why am I getting zapped when the 1to3 extension outlet is turned off?" = because it is a cheapo extension and one side is active while off and if that side is + then I am creating the grounding via the frame of my laptop. By turning the male plug 180 degree on the wall the zapping is completely gone :)
 

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@Brew12 and @RobW Thanks a lot. It gives me a chance to set some expectations before I call the local electrician.
I have checked all outlets in the house and the Kitchen in the basement holds 3 outlets, which looks to be grounded. Any problems if the grounding cable has to be 10-15m long?
I am trying to locate my mutimeter to check if the sockets are grounded or not.

The standard for Thai electricity installations is not worth to talk about. I just googled "electrocution Thailand" and that is not a good way to start a nice Sunday...

@RobW I said the house is 30 years old and has 3x32A + 5x16A = 176A total, which is more than sufficient for us and including 7 A/Cs.
220V x 176A = total 38.720W. 110Vx400A = 40.000W, so I guess it is kind of same power availability you and I have? (just yours is much more safe!)

In regards of GFCI breakers, the ones I can find has 10A/13A/16A, which one should I chose?
Example 16A unit: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/GFCI-Leakage-Protection-Safety-RCD-Socket-Adaptor-Home-Circuit-Breaker-Cutout-Power-Trip-Switch-16A-220V/32948297505.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.6d3655a18eccIY&algo_pvid=e05bfce2-26e1-4f89-a661-1f33f5c87366&algo_expid=e05bfce2-26e1-4f89-a661-1f33f5c87366-11&btsid=48fa391e-bff5-46a8-813b-644ea8cca349&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_4,searchweb201603_52

P.S. Double thank you! I fixed a small issue with getting drizzle zapped when connecting my laptop barefoot on floor tiles. After reading this good thread I thought "why am I getting zapped when the 1to3 extension outlet is turned off?" = because it is a cheapo extension and one side is active while off and if that side is + then I am creating the grounding via the frame of my laptop. By turning the male plug 180 degree on the wall the zapping is completely gone :)
If you're just adding up the breaker sizes and getting the total amps of your service that way, that is not how load calculations are figured. Loads calcs are done much differently. If I added up the total amperage rating of all my breakers I would need a 1000 amp service. Load calcs are figured by the demand of the equipments in the building. For instance when figuring out the calcs on a house. There is a formula for it. First 10,000 watts @100%. Air conditioners at 100% but can be calculated @65%. Then the remainder of the rest of the wattage are figured @40%. Residential general receptacles and lighting circuits are figure at 3 watts per square foot of dwelling space. So after all the wattage are added up for washers, dryers, ranges, ovens, a/c's, pool equipment, etc. Then you would for instance say your house is 5,000 square feet. You would have 15,000 watts. Well at 40% you be at 6000 watts. A little demonstration calculation...


Say you figured out all your wattages on a given breaker panel and it came out to 72,000 watts. You have 2 5 ton ac systems with a 10,000 watt heat strip in each.

First 10,000 @100% = 10,000w
Ac 20,000 watts @65% = 13,000w
Remainder 42,000 @40% = 16,800w

Total demand = 39,800 watts ÷ 240 volts = 165.83 amps. That would require a 200 amp main breaker/disconnect. With would equate to using 2/0 copper conductors for your service entrance conductors and 2/0 copper feeders with a #6 ground wire feeding your branch circuit panel. You would need to 5/8"x8ft. Long ground rods 6ft apart at your service with at the very least a #4 bond wire coming from the lower outermost piece of foundation steel with a clamp rated for direct burial or being encased in concrete. From there you would attach to each ground rod with that bond wire then run continuously to a nearby copper water pipe (usually the water main or hose bib located near the electrical service) and from there into the first means of disconnect. Which would be your exterior main panel. If there is no copper water line close to the service you can run a #6 ground to the water line that feeds your water heater and use an approved water pipe clamp and attach it to the cold water line there.
 

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The reason the calculations are done in this manner is because there is no way that you will be running every single item in your home all at once. That would be ludicrous.
 

Sarah24!

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Hello,

I will admit I’m gonna sound dumb, really dumb, but I don’t even know where to get ground probes and or gfci outlets, not alone wire them in. Do I have to hire an electrician to come install these?.
 

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Hello,

I will admit I’m gonna sound dumb, really dumb, but I don’t even know where to get ground probes and or gfci outlets, not alone wire them in. Do I have to hire an electrician to come install these?.
The ground probes? No. Gfci receptacles or breakers. You might want to if you dont have any electrical experience or are unsure.
 

SmedenS

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If you're just adding up the breaker sizes and getting the total amps of your service that way, that is not how load calculations are figured. Loads calcs are done much differently. If I added up the total amperage rating of all my breakers I would need a 1000 amp service. Load calcs are figured by the demand of the equipments in the building. For instance when figuring out the calcs on a house. There is a formula for it. First 10,000 watts @100%. Air conditioners at 100% but can be calculated @65%. Then the remainder of the rest of the wattage are figured @40%. Residential general receptacles and lighting circuits are figure at 3 watts per square foot of dwelling space. So after all the wattage are added up for washers, dryers, ranges, ovens, a/c's, pool equipment, etc. Then you would for instance say your house is 5,000 square feet. You would have 15,000 watts. Well at 40% you be at 6000 watts. A little demonstration calculation...


Say you figured out all your wattages on a given breaker panel and it came out to 72,000 watts. You have 2 5 ton ac systems with a 10,000 watt heat strip in each.

First 10,000 @100% = 10,000w
Ac 20,000 watts @65% = 13,000w
Remainder 42,000 @40% = 16,800w

Total demand = 39,800 watts ÷ 240 volts = 165.83 amps. That would require a 200 amp main breaker/disconnect. With would equate to using 2/0 copper conductors for your service entrance conductors and 2/0 copper feeders with a #6 ground wire feeding your branch circuit panel. You would need to 5/8"x8ft. Long ground rods 6ft apart at your service with at the very least a #4 bond wire coming from the lower outermost piece of foundation steel with a clamp rated for direct burial or being encased in concrete. From there you would attach to each ground rod with that bond wire then run continuously to a nearby copper water pipe (usually the water main or hose bib located near the electrical service) and from there into the first means of disconnect. Which would be your exterior main panel. If there is no copper water line close to the service you can run a #6 ground to the water line that feeds your water heater and use an approved water pipe clamp and attach it to the cold water line there.
Thanks again, interesting explanation.
On top of the 3x32A + 5x16A curcuits I have a main breaker with "100" molded into the plastic, so I guess absolute max draw for the house is 220Vx100A = 22.000W? I am not so much concerned about our total electricity consumption or max availability. The house is 30m from the beach and we get a cold breeze from the sea 95% of the days and usually only run 2 ACs at night.

All water pipes here seems to be PVC, no copper or iron pipes! I am putting my faith on having ground in one of the sockets in the basement. And make a single grounding cable to the sump. 10m length should be sufficient, but will I have to upgrade the awg size or can I make an extension with same awg as a normal good quality titanium ground probe?
 

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Thanks again, interesting explanation.
On top of the 3x32A + 5x16A curcuits I have a main breaker with "100" molded into the plastic, so I guess absolute max draw for the house is 220Vx100A = 22.000W? I am not so much concerned about our total electricity consumption or max availability. The house is 30m from the beach and we get a cold breeze from the sea 95% of the days and usually only run 2 ACs at night.

All water pipes here seems to be PVC, no copper or iron pipes! I am putting my faith on having ground in one of the sockets in the basement. And make a single grounding cable to the sump. 10m length should be sufficient, but will I have to upgrade the awg size or can I make an extension with same awg as a normal good quality titanium ground probe?
12 awg should be a sufficient.
 

RobW

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Thanks again, interesting explanation.
On top of the 3x32A + 5x16A curcuits I have a main breaker with "100" molded into the plastic, so I guess absolute max draw for the house is 220Vx100A = 22.000W? I am not so much concerned about our total electricity consumption or max availability. The house is 30m from the beach and we get a cold breeze from the sea 95% of the days and usually only run 2 ACs at night.

All water pipes here seems to be PVC, no copper or iron pipes! I am putting my faith on having ground in one of the sockets in the basement. And make a single grounding cable to the sump. 10m length should be sufficient, but will I have to upgrade the awg size or can I make an extension with same awg as a normal good quality titanium ground probe?
12 awg should be a sufficient.
 
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