UV keeps tripping GFCI??

zalick

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I would recommend running a second circuit then. Power half of the tank off of one, and half off of the other. One GFCI per circuit and you'll be safe and the tank will have redundant power supplies.

FWIW, I have 2 circuits in my tank room and right now they run different tanks. There's a high likelihood that I will swap over to this exact setup.

I do have a ground probe in each tank. Whether or not the tank crashes, I can't enjoy or maintain it if I am dead. Electricity and saltwater are not a joke. It only takes milliamps to be fatal
Exactly. As my wife reminds me all the time "it's about amps not volts!"

I have two circuits running my system. Apex base on one with a power bar, and the other power bar on the other. If the non Apex base goes down, I'm ok. If the base goes down, I get an email. My tank can survive for hours without running.

I also have a battery pack air stone just in case. This will keep it oxygenated and buy more time.

Heat isn't much of an issue since it decreases slowly and the live stock will be fine for a long time.

I also installed a whole house natural gas backup generator for when the main power goes out, just for the tank! :)
 
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GlassMunky

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Exactly. As my wife reminds me all the time "it's about amps not volts!"

I have two circuits running my system. Apex base on one with a power bar, and the other power bar on the other. If the non Apex base goes down, I'm ok. If the base goes down, I get an email. My tank can survive for hours without running.

I also have a battery pack air stone just in case. This will keep it oxygenated and buy more time.

Heat isn't much of an issue since it decreases slowly and the live stock will be fine for a long time.

I also installed a whole house natural gas backup generator for when the main power goes out, just for the tank! :)
unfortunately at this point theres no way to run another circuit. the tank is in place and running so theres no way to put another outlet behind it.
Live and learn. The next house i buy ill go for 2 or maybe even 3 circuits, as i hope to have a dedicated fish room in the next house. :)

I really appreciate everyones help with this today and explaining things. R2R at its best.
 

Ron Reefman

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What he means is, every outlet on any single circuit breaker that is downstream of the GFCI is protected by the GFCI. So only one GFCI for each circuit breaker in your main circuit breaker box.
 

Grigs

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unfortunately at this point theres no way to run another circuit. the tank is in place and running so theres no way to put another outlet behind it.
Live and learn. The next house i buy ill go for 2 or maybe even 3 circuits, as i hope to have a dedicated fish room in the next house. :)

I really appreciate everyones help with this today and explaining things. R2R at its best.
I understand if you don't think it's worth the hassle, but you could have another circuit run in right beside the tank by dropping it from the attic or coming in from the basement. The only way you'd truly be stuck is if you were renting. Even if you are, there's a good chance the landlord would allow it. I actually ran my second circuit in from a neighboring room that is extremely lightly loaded (the storage area in my basement). It runs my frag tank and the RS250, where the original circuit runs the room lights, the WB230, and my QT's. I felt the need because the APEX was griping about line voltage... Yes, I was drawing enough current to drop line voltage to 111Vac... :eek:

Bringing the circuit in was really simple. You may find it worth exploring!
 
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GlassMunky

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I understand if you don't think it's worth the hassle, but you could have another circuit run in right beside the tank by dropping it from the attic or coming in from the basement. The only way you'd truly be stuck is if you were renting. Even if you are, there's a good chance the landlord would allow it. I actually ran my second circuit in from a neighboring room that is extremely lightly loaded (the storage area in my basement). It runs my frag tank and the RS250, where the original circuit runs the room lights, the WB230, and my QT's. I felt the need because the APEX was griping about line voltage... Yes, I was drawing enough current to drop line voltage to 111Vac... :eek:

Bringing the circuit in was really simple. You may find it worth exploring!
its not the worth the time and money at this point. we already had this one line run, and that cost enough, im not gonna do the same thing a second time lol. ill save that money to use for the next houses down payment lol
 

Grigs

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its not the worth the time and money at this point. we already had this one line run, and that cost enough, im not gonna do the same thing a second time lol. ill save that money to use for the next houses down payment lol
That being said, it MIGHT be super cheap/easy having run a line post construction. Good chance that you could fish a second cable down the same hole if you have a spare breaker. Wiring is cheap!:cool: I understand,if not. It seems that we can dump an endless amount of money down the fish tank hole...
 

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Not all ballasts are designed to work with GFCIs as they have leakage to ground. Perhaps the current is lower than what will trip a GFCI, perhaps not. Most of the time ballasts are not plugged into GFCI circuits so it is not a concern with the design.

 
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GlassMunky

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So an interesting turn of events:
I just got a callback from Pentair, and they explained that thisis a somewhat new issue over the past year or so, and most of the effected unitsseem to have all gone to BRS.
He said that the original ballast, and therefore the ones they were sending out to customers as replacements before they figured out the issue, was sending extra EMF that makes the newer style GFCI trip.

He said that since this has happened they have come out with a newer style ballast that doesn't have the same EMF interference and therefor will not trip the gfci.

He asked for a pic of installation and the proof of purchase and then will send me a new style ballast for free.

Hopefully this fixes the issue, and might be worth checking back in with pentair if you had the same issue before like say @AZMSGT did
 

LC8Sumi

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What he means is, every outlet on any single circuit breaker that is downstream of the GFCI is protected by the GFCI. So only one GFCI for each circuit breaker in your main circuit breaker box.
Also chances are that if a downstream gfci trips, the upstream will trip also. So the whole tank will lose power eitherway.

+I’ve heard that there are solid state relays on the apex (ones that don’t click). Those let some current through on the live wire even in the off state, so that’s something to keep in mind.
 

Brian_68

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So an interesting turn of events:
I just got a callback from Pentair, and they explained that thisis a somewhat new issue over the past year or so, and most of the effected unitsseem to have all gone to BRS.
He said that the original ballast, and therefore the ones they were sending out to customers as replacements before they figured out the issue, was sending extra EMF that makes the newer style GFCI trip.

He said that since this has happened they have come out with a newer style ballast that doesn't have the same EMF interference and therefor will not trip the gfci.

He asked for a pic of installation and the proof of purchase and then will send me a new style ballast for free.

Hopefully this fixes the issue, and might be worth checking back in with pentair if you had the same issue before like say @AZMSGT did
Something to watch if you do have noise on the incoming power say from a refrig compressor turning on or similar this could cause that noise current to be shorted to ground thru the ballast EMF filters and cause the GFI to trip. So in essence it may run fine for a while until a burst of noise comes in externally on the line from some other piece of equipment or even outside the house and run to ground thru the ballast. Current running to ground from line is a no no for a GFI thru these EMF filters as it looks like a problem just like a lose wire.
 
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GlassMunky

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So figured id update this since im STILL having issues with the UV and the people at Pentair dont seem to have any clue as to why its not working.
They have sent me 2 additional ballasts and a brand new bulb and ALL of them have the same issue where it trips the GFCI after about 3 hours.
None of the other GFCI have ever tripped from anything being plugged in, so im left thinking that its just a defect in the Pentair units.
Not something that I expect, and totally unacceptable from a $400 piece of equipment that literally has electricity and water mixed.

At this point i feel like im going to be left with a defective unit that neither BRS or Pentair wants to deal with when at this point id almost rather just return the unit and go with one from someone else like AQUAUV or something.

Super frustrated.
@Bulk Reef Supply maybe you guys can try and help further since pentair hasnt been able to figure it out.
 

AZMSGT

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I didn’t read your entire thread but I had the same problem. My Pentair 40 would pop the new GFCI I had installed. I tried plugging in my Pentair into a different GFCI outlet in my home and it wouldn’t pop the older GFCI in my home (10 years old). Yes, Pentair also sent me a different ballast as well. My conclusion is that newer GFCI outlets (leviton brand) are a different design than older ones.
Initially I would run the UV light from a standard outlet. What I ended up doing is swap the old GFCI outlet for the new one. So now the UV is on it’s own with the old GFCI outlet running fine.

FWIW, BRS told me they had seen this problem with the UVs and MH lighting. Their conclusion was to run these particular ballasts on a standard outlet not a GFCI.

There is more on my build thread and some place on here I had created a seperate thread to try to figure it out.
 
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GlassMunky

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I didn’t read your entire thread but I had the same problem. My Pentair 40 would pop the new GFCI I had installed. I tried plugging in my Pentair into a different GFCI outlet in my home and it wouldn’t pop the older GFCI in my home (10 years old). Yes, Pentair also sent me a different ballast as well. My conclusion is that newer GFCI outlets are a different design than older ones.
Initially I would run the UV light from a standard outlet. What I ended up doing is swap the old GFCI outlet for the new one. So now the UV is on it’s own with the old GFCI outlet running fine.
While i get what you're saying that isn't a solution for me, as i can't just go out and find a 10 year old GFCI to install.
They shouldn't be selling items that don't work properly and then tell you its against their warranty and dangerous to run the way that it then HAS to because of their manufacturing defect
 
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GlassMunky

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I didn’t read your entire thread but I had the same problem. My Pentair 40 would pop the new GFCI I had installed. I tried plugging in my Pentair into a different GFCI outlet in my home and it wouldn’t pop the older GFCI in my home (10 years old). Yes, Pentair also sent me a different ballast as well. My conclusion is that newer GFCI outlets are a different design than older ones.
Initially I would run the UV light from a standard outlet. What I ended up doing is swap the old GFCI outlet for the new one. So now the UV is on it’s own with the old GFCI outlet running fine.

FWIW, BRS told me they had seen this problem with the UVs and MH lighting. The conclusion was to run these particular ballasts on a standard outlet not a GFCI.
also that seems like an issue for their engineering dept to fix, not something i should be having to deal with on a brand new unit.
Hence why i kind of want to return the item and go with a different brand
 
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GlassMunky

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3 Ballasts, 2 bulbs and almost 3 months later i'm still dealing with the same issue.... does not exactly give a feeling of confidence in the company
 
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Badilac

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3 Ballasts, 2 bulbs and almost 3 months later i'm still dealing with the same issue.... does not exactly give a feeling of confidence in the company
If you switch go with a Lifegard ProMax unit and you will end up with a better unit and you wont trip GFCI's. Everyone keeps buying Pentair and AquaUV because that is what BRS pushes (FYI I love BRS also), but there are other better options. I have posted more than a few times in the past few weeks on UV's and why my choice is Lifegard ProMax. If you read through this 2 page thread you will see some of my reasons.

 
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GlassMunky

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If you switch go with a Lifegard ProMax unit and you will end up with a better unit and you wont trip GFCI's. Everyone keeps buying Pentair and AquaUV because that is what BRS pushes (FYI I love BRS also), but there are other better options. I have posted more than a few times in the past few weeks on UV's and why my choice is Lifegard ProMax. If you read through this 2 page thread you will see some of my reasons.

yea at this point im def looking into switching, just gotta find out if im even able to return this unit or not though first. Guess I'll try giving BRS a call in a little bit
 

Badilac

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yea at this point im def looking into switching, just gotta find out if im even able to return this unit or not though first. Guess I'll try giving BRS a call in a little bit
Good luck. I read this whole thread and I understand your fustration, nothing like trying to do it "by the book" and stuff not working right.
 
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GlassMunky

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so i figured id update this thread just because....
I called and spoke with @Bulk Reef Supply and was told that since its over a month past the purchase any issues had to be dealt with the manufacturer. so i call Pentair and they tell me that they wont replace or refund the unit since i didn't initially purchase it from them. So now im basically stuck with both companies pointing their finger at each other with me still having a $400 unit that doesn't function properly and is a fire hazard to my home.
These phone calls were last week, where i asked the team at BRS to try and help me come to a solution of a properly functioning unit or a refund. i havnt heard a word from either them or Pentair since the phone calls, and today ANOTHER of the exact same ballast they keep sending me (this is now the 4th ballast they have sent me hoping it somehow fixes the issue), shows up unannounced. So now i have it plugged into the GFCI to see if it lasts anymore than 3 hours like all the other ballasts they have sent me.
Its pretty clear to me at this point, after Pentair has sent me the same ballast 3 times and a new bulb another time thinking it would solve the issues, that they actually have no idea whats causing the issue, nor how to fix it. Hence why ive asked for a refund, yet neither party seems willing to do so.

Im seriously disappointed with this, and even though they have been polite on the phone when i called, im rather frustrated at both BRS and Pentair this customer service experience is leaving alot to be desired and putting a bad taste in my mouth about both companies, which is sad, because i used to really like BRS, but i cant help feel like ive been shafted.
Its now over 3 months of me dealing with back and forth phone calls and emails with both parties and i haven't gotten any closer to a solution.

I'm going to see how this ballast works, and if it goes the same way as the last 3 i will try contacting pentair and BRS one more time to ask for a refund before i have to resort to my last means of action which would be calling my CC company and seeing if theres any recourse on their end for consumer protection. i would hate to do a CC charge back on a company but i dont really see any other options at this point with neither willing to do anything.
 

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I do, but literally the whole point of gfci is to protect things that can start fires like when electricity and water mix.
I specifically made gfci for anything in my tank that would be wet for safety reasons.
Also in the UV manual it specifically says to NEVER run it NOT on a gfci
GFCI is not to prevent fires, it is to prevent the loss of life.

If your UV is tripping the GFCI then you have leakage to earth.
 
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