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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering after installing a new Hydor-Koralia in my tank? How many people get electrocuted each year from sticking electric devices in a tank of water and then sticking their hands in, frequently?

Up until I got this aquarium, I would have never stuck my hands into water with an electric device running in it...that's just dumb!

I guess I should start unplugging everything before I stick my hands in. That just seem like a total pita (just not as much as a good 110 volt jolt). If I die, will my fish die with me? I have three devices in my tank plugged into 110vac. Maybe I should put all these on a power strip and throw the switch ...that can't be too much trouble. But the power strip would still need to be plugged into a GFCI, :confused::tape2:

Is everyone plugging their devices into GFCI outlets? How much do you trust them? Do you feel confident enough to "enter" the tank while devices are drawing current? Would they work? Do you still kill the power first?

Maybe I should either install some of these or write a new will? Maybe I should do this tomorrow...:rolleyes:
 

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i live in a 60+ year old apartment, naturally it doesn't have GFCI outlets, so i plug all my equipment into surge protected power outlet bars. as for the "sticking my hands in", interestingly enough, my koralia's are NOT plugged into the surge bars, just into the standard outlets. and i stick my hand in all the time without worry.

i think it comes down to using safe equipment. if you notice any fraying with the electric cords, don't even hesitate and chuck the thing out. i wouldn't chance taping it up with electric tape and continue using. that's a little too much risk, even for me.
 

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My dad has installed GFI outlets in all the outlets I plug my tanks into. Today is actually the first time I see the reason to use them.

Today:
My mom started screaming about my 55gal tank flooding. The tank is located in out basement, which is a licensed daycare. We had 2 new kids, it was their 2nd day. One a 20 month old had pulled up one of the 4 clamps on my rena xp3 filter, the ones that seal the top and bottom of the canister together. So water was gushing out the sides of the canister. When I got down there the water level had dropped about 2 inches in the tank. Luckly the filter sits in a 10gal bin, but this was overflowing. My power strip sits right on the edge of the bucket so it was half in, half out of the water. I'm not really sure when the GFI tripped, but the tank lights where still on when I ran behind it. I stupidly pulled out the filter cord and disconnected the hoses from the canister. Then did the more stupid thing of grabbing the cord that goes to the power strip and lifting it up so the power strip dangled in the air (out of the water) ;). Then telling my mom to unplug the wall socket. In the end the GFI had tripped, I'm guessing as soon as water got into the power strip. If it hadn't I probably would of given myself a nasty zap.

The GFI also tripped a month earlier, for what I though was no reason. I just came down one morning and the tank had no power:confused:. Reset it and everything worked fine. Then 3 days later my heater went crazy and sent my tank up to 89* before I noticed it. I'm not certain, but I think the two were related. Since both devices have functioned for years without any problems.

I would definitely suggest them. They don't cost too much if you buy them and install them yourself.
 

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GFCIs are there to protect you. Always unplug any electrical device before you mess with anything it touches. Water is a good bet for shocks, and they ain't fun. Current codes make it mandatory to have GFCI in Kitchens, Bathrooms and outdoor circuits. GFCI breakers are expensive but using GFCI outlets on a circuit, the right way, protects the circuit and they are very reasonable.

It can be aggravating dealing with a tripped circuit but that is preferable to having someone get hurt because of your neglegence.

Heaters can be made "safer" for the inhabitants by using two heaters, one set a bit lower than the other. Using submersibles is better than the hang ons, which are less expensive but can be difficult. If you just check your stick on thermometer and feel with your hand once a day, while feeding, it will be readily apparent something is wrong that needs to be fixed. Having the extra heater should prevent the temp from dropping too much and it also is a bit of insurance to have the backup. Remember that when something bad happens, it will happen at the worst possible time in the worst possible way.
 

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i live in a 60+ year old apartment, naturally it doesn't have GFCI outlets, so i plug all my equipment into surge protected power outlet bars.
From what I've read, a surge protector does not cut off the power fast enough. It does not replace GFCI.

To benefit from GFCI, devices need to have a 3-prong plug. But most of them have only two prongs.
 

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I have a "plug-in" GFCI protector that goes into the outlet and a surge protector with a built-in timer that goes into this. It constantly trips, so I removed it. That said, I always make sure that my equipment is safe and secured away from curious little hands and I've never had a problem, nor heard of anyone following safe practices around here have a problem. I have however, been shocked a couple of times by faulty equipment and it hurts a lot, so I do suggest using a GFCI outlet. (The plug-in ones cannot control enough power)
 

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From what I've read, a surge protector does not cut off the power fast enough. It does not replace GFCI.

To benefit from GFCI, devices need to have a 3-prong plug. But most of them have only two prongs.
Are you sure about that? Most hairdryers and stuff don't have 3 prongs, but if you drop them in the water a GFCI outlet will still trip.
 

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Are you sure about that? Most hairdryers and stuff don't have 3 prongs, but if you drop them in the water a GFCI outlet will still trip.
Correct. GFCI's trip when the +/- relationship wanders outside the 5 millivolts range. No ground is needed for this to happen. GFCI's protect both grounded and non grounded appliances alike (despite what the little stickers on the box say). But don't trust me- trust any master electrician worth his or her salt.

Compared to a breaker in the panel (or a fuse protected surge protector) it takes a heck of a lot more than millivolts to trip it. We're talking full on amps here. That's why breakers are rated at 15 amp, 20 amp, etc. GFCI's , OTOH, offer a lot more protection than a breaker because the voltages and time required to trip a breaker can be lethal compared to the near instant trip of 5 millivolts on a GFCI.

Oh yeah, I use GFCI on my fish tank stuff WITHOUT QUESTION!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
well... the easiest thing to do first before changing the outlet over is to flip the breaker. then there's nothing to worry about.
I can't do that because I'd turn off the washer and dryer, the frig and the freezer, the hot water heater, the range, and all the lights.:D
 

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I've never used GFCI outlets, and haven't really thought about it much until I came upon this thread. Maybe it isn't such a bad idea. The problem is, my 75 gallon tank sits right in front of my outlet. I'm not about to move the tank to put in a new outlet. Do the portable ones really work? There as one comment earlier about them not working well with lots of power draw. I'm running T5 lighting and an Iwaki pump that draws a lot. Will the portable ones work for me?

I understand you can install a GFCI wall outlet and it will control the whole circuit. Can someone explain where I would install this, if I cannot get to the circuit behind my aquarium? Would I install it in a outlet on the line closer to the breaker box or farther from the breaker box? I am assuming I would install it closest to the breaker box and then anything down the line would be protected as well...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
You could have a GFCI breaker installed in the breaker panel, which would protect the entire circuit. I don't know about installing a GFCI outlet between the aquarium outlet and the breaker box somewhere. I don't think that would work. I believe that if you have a GFCI outlet that trips, all the outlets from that point to the end (last outlet on circuit) will be dead. I have not tested outlets back toward the breaker box.

Don't take my word on any of this. I'm not an electrician and although I've never been wrong in the past, it could happen.

Isn't the back of your tank cabinet open so you can run hose, tubes, etc? I did not have to move mine.
 
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