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  1. #1
    liv
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    GFCI outlet or breakers and grounding your tanks

    Hi guys,

    I thought I'd bring this up again as we got a bunch of new members and everyone should be aware of this.

    One thing that should be your #1 priority while setting up your tank is proper safety with hydro. One great way of doing this is with a GFCI devices. GFCI devices can be installed in two ways, at the panel ( protecting everything attached on that breaker ) or via wall outlets ( in which case it will protect itself and you can also attach two more electrical outlets to this one ( sort of piggy back on the gfci ).

    The purpose of a GFCI is to save your life. its a 18$ wall outlet or a ~60-80$ breaker. it acts like this, if it finds enough current on its ground, it trip its circuits which cuts the live wire, this then stops any current from entering your tank and saves your life. its very very quick usually 10 000's of a sec.

    Another thing to think about is how will my GFCI know when to trip. trouble is most of the equipment we purchase today still have only 2 prongs. ( I still don't know why its even legal to sell stuff that has no ground.. ) and even most if not all of the ones that do have a ground wire, its stuck inside, so it will never be used unless it breaks open or water leaches in the proper spot.

    for this reason, I strongly recommend you use a grounding probe and a diode.
    Lots of the older guys here will say, grounding probes are dangerous.. and they can be.. if you do not do them properly. they are worried that hydro could leach back into your tank. This is quickly eliminated with a small diode that can be purchased at radio shack ( now called the source ) or any other electronic component stores. the diode acts as a one way valve so electricity from your tank can get out, but none from your wall outlet can get in.

    for the probe, use pure titanium. I bought some on ebay at about 1.5$ a foot. you really do not need much.. a few feet will do.. enough to get into the water, add a diode and attach that diode to anything thats grounded on your system like powerbars or ballasts etc.

    moving.. so temporarily out of SW :b8:
    planning next tank, possibly 60x30x20 on 2x plasma.
    updated: 2011/05/30

  2. #2
    ijo
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    I've been wanting to setup a GFCI(I even have one of the wall versions donwstairs)... what the heck am I waiting for? lol

    About that diod... do you have a part number or picture of this diy grounding probe?

    IJO

  3. #3
    Senior Member steve w.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IJO View Post
    I've been wanting to setup a GFCI(I even have one of the wall versions donwstairs)... what the heck am I waiting for? lol

    About that diod... do you have a part number or picture of this diy grounding probe?

    IJO
    They are cheap enough to buy.

    Even this one from BA's is only $22.

    Shop around and you'll find them for about $18-20.
    100G Reef
    Purple,Blue,Yellow and Sailfin Tangs.Damsel,Clown and Coral Beauty,Fosters Hawkfish.
    Many mixed corals and clams.
    65G fuge in basement.
    Mag 24 return,RODI,2 Phosban reactors and UV.
    620w in DT.

  4. #4
    Senior Member steve w.'s Avatar
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    100G Reef
    Purple,Blue,Yellow and Sailfin Tangs.Damsel,Clown and Coral Beauty,Fosters Hawkfish.
    Many mixed corals and clams.
    65G fuge in basement.
    Mag 24 return,RODI,2 Phosban reactors and UV.
    620w in DT.

  5. #5
    liv
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    any small diodes will do.. they got kits at radio shack.
    take apart just about any junk electronic and your found to find diodes.
    something like this would be perfect.
    http://www.thesourcecc.com/estore/Pr...roduct=2761101

    moving.. so temporarily out of SW :b8:
    planning next tank, possibly 60x30x20 on 2x plasma.
    updated: 2011/05/30

  6. #6
    Senior Member steve w.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv View Post
    any small diodes will do.. they got kits at radio shack.
    take apart just about any junk electronic and your found to find diodes.
    something like this would be perfect.
    http://www.thesourcecc.com/estore/Pr...roduct=2761101
    Will they stand up to salt over a long period of time?
    100G Reef
    Purple,Blue,Yellow and Sailfin Tangs.Damsel,Clown and Coral Beauty,Fosters Hawkfish.
    Many mixed corals and clams.
    65G fuge in basement.
    Mag 24 return,RODI,2 Phosban reactors and UV.
    620w in DT.

  7. #7
    ijo
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    I don't think we are supposed to put the diodes into the water... their only purpose is to stop stray voltage from entering your tank from an unknown source.(liv?)

    IJO

  8. #8
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    What is the exact specs on the diode we should use? I'm pretty famililiar with using them in car alarms. Obviously these need to be rated for the proper voltage. And no, the diode would definatley not go into the water... You want the titanium tip of the grounding probe in the water, and the diode would be somewhere further back down the line.

    The diode is a one way valve... Absolutely MUST be installed correctly. If installed backwards. You only allow voltage to enter back into your tank, and no voltage can be removed from your tank via the grounding probe.
    If you want to read up on diodes, check out http://www.the12volt.com/diodes/diodes.asp. They're not complicated at all.
    120g AGA~145 lbs Haitian LR~DA Reef Keeper 2 Controller~Dual 14k 250 DE MH's~Dual Overflows~Dual 250w Jager Heaters~Dual 96W Actinics~30g Sump/Refugium~Mag 12 Return~140 lbs Reefgrade Caribsea Aragonite~BubbleKing 180 Skimmer~Phosban Reactor~GEO Kalk Reactor~Powerheads:MP40w/Seio 820/modified Powersweep 270 with Hydor rotating deflector~Digital lighting timer for moon/fuge lighting~7 stage RODI filtration~Quarantine: modified 12.5g Marineland Eclipse

  9. #9
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    a ground fault breaker or outlet will work on any two prong device... a gfi measures if there is a difference between the two wires ...if there is a difference between the the two neautral and live wire the gfi will trip...a ground wire on a three prong outlet ... are for safety in a live wire contacting any metal body or frame going back to earth...

  10. #10
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    Not sure if this will make sense to anyone or not.
    I am setting up a new tank, but before I get into that I decided that I wanted to build a stand. Where my tank will be it doesn't have a GFI, so I decided that I would build everything into the stand. I purchased a GFI outlet at the hardware store and built an outlet right into the inside of the cabinet so I could run all of my cables into the stand from the tank and then just plug it into the GFI (or even into a powerbar connected to the GFI) and then just have one extension cord running from the stand into a standard outlet. I figured that this would give me all of the benefits of a GFI without having to change my wall outlet and have cables running everywhere, or just to have it look cleaner. I hope it works, any thoughts?

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