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Quigley

Electric shock.

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That all sounds reasonable, Thanks, I do have a ground probe and I use GFCI's. Im sure common sense plays a big part, maybe there are some tips out there others can share to help stay safe.

I have a Aqua Controller and it only take a few seconds to turn off the heaters, chiller, powerheads, etc if you are going to be working in the tank for awhile. I was just doing some minor cleaning in the fuge once, brushing the Ph-ORP probes and I took the temp probe out to brush the algae off, just a few seconds, and just as I was putting it back in I heard the control box Click the heaters on (temp dropped).

 

Thanks Guys

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Look guy this is not rocket science. a ground probe and your body both have one thing in common. they conduct electricity to ground. How good of a ground depends on many factors. How wet your floor is can be the difference between a tingle and being dead. Voltage does not harm you. AMPERAGE will kill you. If all things are working great and we have world peace you can keep sticking your arm in the water and you will keep getting that tingle feeling. Good luck. Myself I am an unlimited maritime Chief Engineer for 25 years and I tell you it is not worth the risk. I do not stick my arm in the water after the first tingle. That is Russian roulette. Any one who tells you different is a fool. DO NOT make this more complicated than it is. Electricity can kill you. 110 volts is as dangerous as 100000 volts. Get a probe. Keep your hands out of the water until you know what is going on. Do not use your life as a guinea pig. And that is all I have to say on that subject. Be wise.

PS-I live in Medford if I can help let me know I do not want to see you get hurt. Gman

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No one is suggesting that anyone keep sticking their arm in the water after the first tingle. We have just been discussing how to make it as safe as possible in the event a short occurs to try to prevent even getting the first tingle.

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I am afraid I must disagree with you Rick. Maybe it is the second glass of wine. This is a subject where there is not much room for discussion. Electricity is physics and it will kill you. If all is perfect and your GFI is wired correctly and your home circuit is wired correctly then you may not be killed. My family depends on me. I know others count on their loved ones to come home. In good faith I cannot set by and watch people make comments and give advice that I know is dangerous and irresponsible. I have seen someone killed by making a mistake with electricity. Not "tingled". Killed. Now this subject can be talked about and and bounced back and forth from this thread and another. Again Rick this is a subject where the answer was found long ago. to discuss it further just complicates and muddy s the subject and puts peoples lives at risk.

No offense but if one is truly concerned ....call a licensed electrician. This hobby is bad enough with out getting physically hurt. Lord Knows what a A--Kicking our bank account takes. Gotta smile--And another glass chardonnay Gman

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No grounding probe for me. I don't want my tank to be grounded when the most electrically dangerous part (imo, the lighting) delivers more than enough zap to kill me dead. All it'd take is one misplaced elbow to break a bulb while aquascaping/cleaning glass/etc. and things could get very bad very fast.

 

Both Rick and Dave make great points. Like most things, it's a risk analysis... decide on the impact and likelihood, then plan accordingly. Besides, in the end the odds are orders of magnitude greater than you'll be killed in a car accident on the way home from work than by anything related to your tank (grounding probe or not) -- all this is just helping us maintain the illusion of control (devil)

 

That being said, anyone who runs a tank without a GFCI is a chump.

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Thanks for all the good feed back every one. Turns out in fact that it was the heater. it died the next day. Fortunately it died in the off position so it didn't cook my tank. I am a bug fan if the GFCI outlets. Mine tripped while my hand was stuck in the tank and I was being shocked. The shock stopped instantly. Thanks GFCI.

It looks like the main point brought up so far is that you don't want to be the object that grounds the charge. After reading this thread I for one am going to be wearing rubber shoes when doing my tank maintenance from now on just in case.

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Thanks for all the good feed back every one. Turns out in fact that it was the heater. it died the next day. Fortunately it died in the off position so it didn't cook my tank. I am a bug fan if the GFCI outlets. Mine tripped while my hand was stuck in the tank and I was being shocked. The shock stopped instantly. Thanks GFCI.

It looks like the main point brought up so far is that you don't want to be the object that grounds the charge. After reading this thread I for one am going to be wearing rubber shoes when doing my tank maintenance from now on just in case.

 

Just so everyone doesn't get confused and think they are safe just having rubber soles keep in mind that if either there is a short on the negative side or there is a ground probe in the tank then you will also be connected to ground when you put your hand in the tank.

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Thanks everyone for the clarification on this, I have been shocked by tanks many times. I will be buying the 30 buck tester, seems like the best place to start with this.

 

I've been shocked many many times by many tanks in stores, doing maintenance and by my own gear. Been lucky enough to only suffer medical repercussions once so I was lucky.

 

I could use a licensed fish oriented electrician to install a safer outlet in back of my reef in SE Portland OR, if you are such a person and interested in a pretty small job let me know. Probably should put a couple better outlets in for the freshwater tanks too.

Thanks,

Kate

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Just so everyone doesn't get confused and think they are safe just having rubber soles keep in mind that if either there is a short on the negative side or there is a ground probe in the tank then you will also be connected to ground when you put your hand in the tank.

 

Forgive my ignorance, but if there was a grounding probe in the tank, then YOU are not part of the path of least resistance. There is no real reason for the electricity to go through you. ??? Where is my error?

 

dsoz

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Forgive my ignorance, but if there was a grounding probe in the tank, then YOU are not part of the path of least resistance. There is no real reason for the electricity to go through you. ??? Where is my error?

 

dsoz

 

Current doesn't follow the path of least resistance. Instead it follows all paths of resistance relative to their amount of conductance. It is this ability that allows a single electrical supply to operate many components with varying amounts of resistance simultaneously. (If it just followed the path of least resistance then it would be limited to one component)

 

Therefore, If there is a ground on the tank then you become part of the circuit when you put your hand in the water. If there is no ground (either through a short or from an added ground probe) and you yourself are ungrounded then current will not be able to flow (The resistance approaches 100%).

 

It may be this misconception that has people believing a ground probe will protect their fish from a short when the opposite is true. A grounding probe guarantees that in the event of a short on the positive side everything touching the water that conducts electricity will have current flowing through it.

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I hate to disagree Dennis. It is more likely they would kill you than save your life. They will dissapate stray static electricity but for a direct short they create a direct path to ground. A GFI on the other hand can save your life if installed properly.

 

Whats a GFI? (scratch)

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Whats a GFI? (scratch)

 

ground fault interrupter or also called gfci - ground fault current interrupter

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"Current doesn't follow the path of least resistance. Instead it follows all paths of resistance relative to their amount of conductance. It is this ability that allows a single electrical supply to operate many components with varying amounts of resistance simultaneously. (If it just followed the path of least resistance then it would be limited to one component)"

 

Rick,

 

I agree with you to a point. Electricity DOES follow the path of least resistance. Your point about following multiple paths applies to items connected in parallel. While the numbers are all over the spectrum in regards to the resistance of the human body (some people say as low as 10 ohm and others say as high as 10k ohms.) If a ground probe is installed in a tank the resistance of that probe could be as low as 0.3 ohm or slightly higher but definately lower than that of the human body. (I measured the resistance of my probe and it was 0.4 ohms). I am not saying that the person would not feel a tingle but that depends on the resistance of the person being shocked.

 

The real question comes down to whether the person is using a GFCI to protect their tank. IF they are (and they should be) then they SHOULD use ground probe because in the event of an electrical failure in the tank the voltage would be returned to the gfci and it would trip. Without the use of a ground probe on a gfci protected tank does not protect the equipment or person. Most tank equipment is connected with a 2 prong outlet and is not grounded making the ground probe that much more important for the return path in the event of a failure. Pretty much simple as that.

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Did anyone say anything about stray voltage just from the pumps in general? I had a open cut on one hand and would get a shock when i stuck that hand in, but not the other hand. It felt like alot of electricity until i tried the other hand and i felt nothing. any thoughts on this? I put a grounding probe in and now i have never felt that shock again. I have heard grounding probes will help in reducing the chance for fish to get lateral line disease as well.

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Did anyone say anything about stray voltage just from the pumps in general? I had a open cut on one hand and would get a shock when i stuck that hand in' date=' but not the other hand. It felt like alot of electricity until i tried the other hand and i felt nothing. any thoughts on this? I put a grounding probe in and now i have never felt that shock again. I have heard grounding probes will help in reducing the chance for fish to get lateral line disease as well.[/quote']

 

I was just going to say something like this, except i don't think its electricity in the tank. I'll stick my hand with a cut on it into my tank and feel that same shock. After feeling this over the years i wondered if i had some stray voltage or something. So i went to my SW mixing tub, removed the pump and heater, then stuck my same hand into the water. Same shock feeling. I think its the saltwater stinging the wound.

 

Of course you added a grounding probe and never felt it again so seems a little different from your experience.

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I was just going to say something like this, except i don't think its electricity in the tank. I'll stick my hand with a cut on it into my tank and feel that same shock. After feeling this over the years i wondered if i had some stray voltage or something. So i went to my SW mixing tub, removed the pump and heater, then stuck my same hand into the water. Same shock feeling. I think its the saltwater stinging the wound.

 

Of course you added a grounding probe and never felt it again so seems a little different from your experience.

 

I know what your talking about. This was evident, saltwater numbs the wound after a few minutes. When you work on them for hours its obvious what is a sting and what is a shock that you can replicate multiple times. I've been shocked over the years several times working in the construction trade, i can tell what a shock feels like vs. a stinging sensation. But I too did at first think i was getting a shock for a second when i had an open wound on a bucket of saltwater thinking what the heck!?

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