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  1. #1
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    Possible disaster

    I just got 300lbs of new liverock in my tank the night before last. Last night I was fiddling with my filter system and when I plugged it in I heard a loud pop. Then there was an odd noise which I realized about a minute later was one of my new 500w titanium heaters shooting sparks into the water. I unplugged it and got it out of there right away. The heater and filter aren't in the same plug or even on the same circuit and the incident could have been a coincident I guess but it happened exactly the same time I plugged in the filter.

    When I unplugged the heater I (stupidly) had my hand in the tank not 30 seconds later getting it out of there and felt no shock.

    Upon examining the heater I noticed that the rubber cap was off the end of the titanium tube and a bare wire was very much exposed, burned and frayed.

    Question - did I electrocute my new live rock?
    Susan

  2. #2
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Susan,

    Firstly, glad you're ok.

    Next, are you not using GFCI receptacles there? If so, why did it not trip and shut the circuit? If not, I highly suggest you install GFCI's for this reason.

    If you only had the heater shooting sparks for a minute, you're tank should be ok. If read of other people having worse, and the livestock turning out ok.

    As for the heater. Do you think it was a mfr defect, or did it break when you were placing the rock originally? Maybe you didn't notice in the wee hours of the night you had broken the heater?
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member aragorn69's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I think you did, but I also think it'll recover. At most I would think the rock is now in a uncured state. But i'm still new to this, I'm sure somebody will correct me.
    Adam

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    Yeah, I was thinking after it happened that it was pretty stupid of me to plunge my hand into the water after seeing sparks. I did unplug it but it was immediately afterwards that I reached in and grabbed the heater. I'm hoping that because I didn't feel any current in the water the liverock critters should be ok?

    It is a GFCI receptacle. Not only that but it's a separate shielded wire circuit. That's why I'm thinking it could be a coincidence that it happened the same time I plugged in the filter.

    The heater was definitely a manufacturers defect. The other titanium heater was in the same plug as the filter and it seems to be fine. It appears that the wire wasn't inside the plastic coating. I guess it could have burst out when it blew though. Very strange. You'd think the thing would have it's own fuse that would go before something like this would happen.

    The rock was purchased uncured but it's very fresh. No nasty smell.
    Susan

  5. #5
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    Susan WOW .. glad your still standing to write this post. I don't think you will have had any effect on your rock. Electricity always takes the shortest route to ground and that would not be for it to go through all your rock. It is the same for birds on hydro wires... as long as they are not touching ground or another wire they are very safe. I am very surprised that your fuse did not pop even if it's not a GFI
    Rob

  6. #6
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    Here's a few pics of the heater:







    All the work I do on this tank must be done from a step ladder. I think I'm going to go out this afternoon and buy one of the ones with the rubber steps.
    Susan

  7. #7
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    Susan .. put big RUBBER feet on your ladder like an electricians step ladder would use or buy an electricians step ladder. they isolate you from ground and make things a lot saver. It may save your life some day !!!!
    Rob

  8. #8
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    SALTY'S right. your rock is just fine. people have had current in there tanks with fish and not known it till they stick there hands in there. That heater is a mess!!!! I've heard not the best of things about WON titanium heaters. If you can find a wood step ladder or as Rob suggested rubber boots for your ladder. glad your okay!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    Rubber feet - great idea! I'll definitely get one with those or buy some separate ones that I can use.

    Yeah, I saw a couple worms alive this morning. And I'm pretty sure I caught a glimpse of that pistol shrimp scurrying when I was doing the aquascaping earlier.

    I have more of an appreciation for just how big the tank is now that I'm done playing with the rocks. The highest peak is over my head when I stand next to the tank. The pieces are just huge so it was easy to pile it up but still leave lots of open spaces for water flow.

    I'm taking the whole weekend to do nothing but play with my tanks. Life doesn't get any better than this
    Susan

  10. #10
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    I agree with Rob & John about the current not affecting the rock. The current would rather travel through you and see you jiggle than play with some boring rock!!
    People have stray current in their tanks all the time and don't notice it till they stick their hands in.

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