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Aquarium Grounding (1 Viewer)

Tangs

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Hey. I guess it was in the late 90s as a wild guess I decided to ground my aquarium. I just got a wire into the 125 and brought it down to the basement where I wrapped it around copper plumbing. Question is.... If I have a modern plug socket can I just attach the wire to the center plate screw. The screw that holds the exterior cover on the plug outlet. Will that give me a ground rather than tempting fate every time I put my hand in the water. Ya
 
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Tangs

Tangs

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Ok I found titanium grounding PROBE on Amazon.com. I can get what we call GFI from home Depot in town. I already got lots in my house. Thanks.
 

Reefahholic

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What does the grounding probe do that the GFCI won’t do. The GFCI should cut power right.

I ran across a thread like this a while back. I can’t remember why it was better or good to have the grounding probe.
 

chrisfoos

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What does the grounding probe do that the GFCI won’t do. The GFCI should cut power right.

I ran across a thread like this a while back. I can’t remember why it was better or good to have the grounding probe.
GFCI trips when the current on the two wires does not match. If you take a bucket of salt water and shove a smashed heater in it that is only two wire, or where the ground is not exposed, the GFCI will not trip and the current running through the salt water will create some nasty things like bleach. The ground probe gives the electricity of a broken heater/pump/what have you a different path so that the GFCI can detect it and trip.

When using GFCI remember that something in your tank will eventually break and the GFCI will trip turning off everything on it. I like to split things like heaters between two GFCI so that if one trips there is still enough stuff running to keep the tank alive. I also have alarms and notifications set up for when that happens.
 

steveb

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GFCI trips when the current on the two wires does not match. If you take a bucket of salt water and shove a smashed heater in it that is only two wire, or where the ground is not exposed, the GFCI will not trip and the current running through the salt water will create some nasty things like bleach. The ground probe gives the electricity of a broken heater/pump/what have you a different path so that the GFCI can detect it and trip.

When using GFCI remember that something in your tank will eventually break and the GFCI will trip turning off everything on it. I like to split things like heaters between two GFCI so that if one trips there is still enough stuff running to keep the tank alive. I also have alarms and notifications set up for when that happens.

Chris I agree ..and that is exactly what happened to me. heater ruptured. When I was wearing rubber soled shoes I didn't notice it (think bird on a high voltage wire). When I went out there barefoot and happened to stick my hand in the tank - whamo - I became the earth ground path. When that happened it did trip the GFCI but still a very unpleasant experience (had a grounding probe been in the water tied to the GFCI it would have tripped before I became the ground path).

@Tangs Had there been no GFCI then the likely outcome would have been a much worse situation. You CANNOT rely on an earth ground to save you. It is not designed for that.
 

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I had 3 that were a little used. But they aren’t fs since I threw them away.
 
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Tangs

Tangs

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I have 4 outlets behind my 125. I got 3 of then installed in 07.. I can get that down to 3 being used because I am using an exterior extension cord. Makes it easier to plug and unplug some things...Plan is to get one titanium grounding probe. 3 gfi's. Onward and forward.
 

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i have a gfi in the kitchen that will trip every now and then on my little qt tank. is it a warning sign my brand new heater is going out then?
 
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Tangs

Tangs

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I have had a few heaters crack in the tank over the years. Around 2002 ish my water had an electrical charge in it for a few days. No livestock died but was a nasty shock for sure. I think it was from lighting.
 

chrisfoos

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i have a gfi in the kitchen that will trip every now and then on my little qt tank. is it a warning sign my brand new heater is going out then?
Maybe, maybe not. They are a safety device and designed to trip before you get electrocuted if you are where the stray current is going. Doesn't take much to kill a person so they can be rather sensitive. They are also designed to get more sensitive over time instead of less so they should never allow enough through to kill you.

I did have one that kept randomly tripping like once a month at 2 am.... eventually found a heater with a tiny bit if rust inside it. Stopped tripping after I removed that heater.
 

Reefahholic

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Maybe, maybe not. They are a safety device and designed to trip before you get electrocuted if you are where the stray current is going. Doesn't take much to kill a person so they can be rather sensitive. They are also designed to get more sensitive over time instead of less so they should never allow enough through to kill you.

I did have one that kept randomly tripping like once a month at 2 am.... eventually found a heater with a tiny bit if rust inside it. Stopped tripping after I removed that heater.
I also heard they trip if you have too much plugged into that outlet.
 

RickD

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Chris I agree ..and that is exactly what happened to me. heater ruptured. When I was wearing rubber soled shoes I didn't notice it (think bird on a high voltage wire). When I went out there barefoot and happened to stick my hand in the tank - whamo - I became the earth ground path. When that happened it did trip the GFCI but still a very unpleasant experience (had a grounding probe been in the water tied to the GFCI it would have tripped before I became the ground path).

@Tangs Had there been no GFCI then the likely outcome would have been a much worse situation. You CANNOT rely on an earth ground to save you. It is not designed for that.
Same thing happened to me a week ago. I typically have towels on the ground to catch any spills, but this time I did not. I was shortest path to ground. My GFCI never tripped, but I got a nice jolt. I checked the stray current with my multimeter and pulled a plug one at a time - it was my heater. I've since put a grounding probe and portable GFCI. Also there is induced voltage from your wavemakers and pumps. I was measuring around 24V, which is different from stray current. With the grounding probe I'm measuring Zero.
 

chrisfoos

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Same thing happened to me a week ago. I typically have towels on the ground to catch any spills, but this time I did not. I was shortest path to ground. My GFCI never tripped, but I got a nice jolt. I checked the stray current with my multimeter and pulled a plug one at a time - it was my heater. I've since put a grounding probe and portable GFCI. Also there is induced voltage from your wavemakers and pumps. I was measuring around 24V, which is different from stray current. With the grounding probe I'm measuring Zero.
It is important to know that they do not prevent you from being zapped, they cut off the zap before it is bad enough to kill you. It is also important to know that the test button is on them for a reason, they can get stuck and not trip. You are supposed to test monthly but I have never met a person that does that... I did like to test them as a kid, but I don't think "Oh neat! Buttons! click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click" counts as testing.

There is also the chance you were not grounded well enough for enough current to flow through you to trip a GFCI, but a grounding probe near the heaters would have.
 
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Tangs

Tangs

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Just placed my order for a Rio titanium ground probe on amazon.com. we have Amazon.ca but lot more pricier..even with exchange and shipping.
 

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