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siskiou

GFCI Problem!!!

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Help!

 

This morning the gfci has klicked off three times within 10 minutes.

Fortunately I'm not working today, but any other day, things would have been off for 8 hrs. by the time I get home.

 

The only new thing is that I have so far only used 4 out of eight bulbs on the Tek fixture. Yesterday I added 4 more bulbs and had that new set turn on first this morning.

It had been on for a couple of hours before the GFCI went off the first time.

I've now unplugged that set of bulbs and turned on the other one, to see if that was the culprit.

There are no problems elsewhere, as far as I can tell. No water leaking anywhere, getting on a plug.

 

Now I'm afraid to leave the house, since this has never happened before.

My whole tank is on one dedicated 20Amp outlet, so if that one turns off, everything on the tank does.

 

Any advice would be welcome!

I can't afford a battery back-up at the moment, but it's sure starting to sound like a good thing!

Are there any controllers with battery back-up out there?

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I find it hard to believe that tank is drawing 20 amps. possibly a faulty ballast or GFCI? I run my whole tank off a 20 amp GFCI with other appliances and no issues. Something smells fishy....

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No tripping since I took the "new" set of bulbs off.

 

I also remembered that just when it happened, I had started to refill the ATO reservoir next to the tank.

Though I wouldn't think that a drop of water in that area could hit any plugs.

 

I'm going to wait a half hour and then plug the suspicious set of bulbs back in and see what happens.

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My Tek light has tripped my GFI on a couple of occasions. I diagnosed it by turning off one pair of bulbs and then the other to see which was tripping it (sounds like the approach you are taking).

 

On both occasions I had to clean salt creep from the end of one of the flouorescent tubes.

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I find it hard to believe that tank is drawing 20 amps. possibly a faulty ballast or GFCI? I run my whole tank off a 20 amp GFCI with other appliances and no issues. Something smells fishy....

 

I agree. That tank doesn't get close to 20amps.

I hope it's not the Tek light ballast. I'd be a pain to have to send it in, but it is at least still under warranty.

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On both occasions I had to clean salt creep from the end of one of the flouorescent tubes.

 

Thanks!

The bulbs I got are used, so maybe I need to check the ends!

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I plugged the other set of light in about 15min. ago, and so far no problem.

 

Maybe a stray drop of water did land somewhere and triggered the GFCI?

Or may be the lights need to be on a bit longer?

 

I guess the true test will be leaving the house and see what awaits when I get back home tomorrow...

 

Edited to add:

 

It just went out again, so it does seem to be related to the lights.

 

I'll take the bulbs out and see if anything looks off on the ends.

Or maybe I'll switch the middle bulbs that are working for sure to the outsides and see if it's the bulbs or the ballast.

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So, it seems to be the ballast.

 

I finally had time to switch the set of bulbs that runs without problems in the middle, to the outside slots.

About 45min. later, the GFCI tripped.

If reset, it keeps happening at shorter and shorter intervals.

 

This sucks! The fixture is new and under warranty.

Now I have to find out whom to contact to get things rolling.

Fortunately I kept my 4 bulb fixture as backup, so I'm not totally without lights.

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I called SLS and spoke to Scott.

He is going to send out a paid return label and says the return time is usually 48-72hrs.

I'm sure glad I didn't sell the 4 lamp fixture.

With my luck with lights, I knew it wouldn't be long before I needed it! ;)

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This reminds me of Xmas time every year around our place when I put out those 22,000 lights! Something is always being triggered somewhere. Mainly pulling too much power from what GF wants to handle and often from too many extension cords split off or short in a splitter (water drips often). I did something stupid and got about 5000 more lights at 90% at Target last year after Xmas and I didn't get around to installing the 2 new 20 amp circuits yet.

Right now I run 4 circuits (5 during xmas party for photo lighting) and your posting is making me think to double check that my new reef tank is not running on any of those since lights go up in 7 days...yikes!

Here's a partial picture from last year, doesn't show many of the lights from the field next door that we encroach upon.

house.jpg

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I would split your circuit at the tank...

I split the circuit into 2 gfci circuits... one for the lights, one for the pumps.

I have had trouble with a gfci tripping when the saltcreep on the sump light built up...

I also use a titanium grounding probe connected to the grounds at the gfci

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This reminds me of Xmas time every year around our place when I put out those 22,000 lights! Something is always being triggered somewhere. Mainly pulling too much power from what GF wants to handle and often from too many extension cords split off or short in a splitter (water drips often). I did something stupid and got about 5000 more lights at 90% at Target last year after Xmas and I didn't get around to installing the 2 new 20 amp circuits yet.

Right now I run 4 circuits (5 during xmas party for photo lighting) and your posting is making me think to double check that my new reef tank is not running on any of those since lights go up in 7 days...yikes!

Here's a partial picture from last year, doesn't show many of the lights from the field next door that we encroach upon.

house.jpg

...kinda reminds me of the movie "Christmas Vacation" with Chevy Chase.(laugh) I'm sure your house is visible from space.

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...kinda reminds me of the movie "Christmas Vacation" with Chevy Chase.(laugh) I'm sure your house is visible from space.

That's probably true, if not, at least from the west hills of Portland. I can see the KGON towers from here at night, so with a good set of binoculars, you may see us from there at least :).

It's a good thing my wife doesn't listen to me all the time. She plugged in the vacuum in our living room where it always resets my entertainment PC for some reason with the surge. Well, this time it knocked out the entire livingroom circuit, went to the garage and no lights to see my way around! Good thing I found out now, I plug in about 7000 lights through the garage circuit any day now; guess I better get my aquariums on a different circuit during the xmas light season. Duct tape the extension cord up the stairs and into maybe the bedroom? No, we have xmas lights there too :) The xmas lights alway tend to trip while I'm away from home...it could have been bad for the reef. When I have the time and help, I'm putting in a dedicated circuit for the tank and nothing else.

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