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GFCI - Outlet of Choice


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Hey everyone,

Recently, I have been using a GFCI adapter for my aquarium, but sometimes I notice that the it trips. Not all the time, but sometimes. I think it is just a random trip of them plug, which is bound to happen every once and a while.

I think running a GFCI is a good idea, but how my plugs system works, it will either shut off my power-heads or my return pump. I wouldn't dare to keep them on the same plug because if the GFCI trips, they will both go out. This way, I can limit the reduction in flow when one of them trips. 

Here is my general plug system:

1. Lights, powerheads, heaters and doser

2. Return pump, sump light and skimmer

What do you all do?

How do you cover your power strips from a random drop of water or creep of salt?


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Always a good idea to split it up. 

The way I did mine was to just imagine if one goes out, what is left on. In the short term you need water movement and heat (depending on time of year this becomes less important). You don't need lights/doser etc.

So the only issue I see is maybe with the heaters. If you could put one heater on each that would be ideal, but as we get into the summer months this probably wont even be an issue. 

One thing to also keep in mind - when the return pump goes off and you backflow to the sump, make sure the power heads are A) low enough to still work in the water level, B) not SO low that you're not getting any surface breaking. You need the ripples to supply oxygen to the tank. So just turn your return pump off and see what happens.

As for the power strips - can you put them somewhere that's at least more covered? And make sure you're looping all of your plugs. I have a big problem with my wall outlet being under the tank, but I've never been able to figure out a real solution. I tried buying one of those outdoor plastic lid things, but it doesn't fit my plug set up. So I just kind of laid it on top of the plugs. Not great, but jeeze..knock on wood!

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Hi @milesmiles902

Below is my old post on apex and gfcis.  The trip risk is quite real.  However, now that apex includes the heartbeat feature you will know if apex loses power within 15 minutes, pretty nice.  You can also tell if an eb8 lost power and apex will send a text as well.  

I did one gfci per outlet based on some of your concerns

If you are getting any salty condensation on outlets or power strips, please do your best to get them out of the wet location with 3 prong extension cords.  Salt causes corrosion, which causes resistance, which causes heat and fire.

Smart to be getting after this, good luck!





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This is how I have mine. Inside the plastic file/magazine box, I have a surge protector with everything plugged in. It's tucked up inside the box, rather than down on the floor, so if water comes dripping down a cord, it won't follow an upward path into the surge protector. If my GFCI trips, everything goes out, but to separate things would require running cords along an entire wall in a visible area, so I just risk it. I think the only time it has ever tripped, I was standing right there and plugging something new in. I just reset and moved on.

On my QT systems, I have things set up similarly, but that one trips about once a month. Since I rarely have much in the tanks (one is for fish, one for corals/inverts), they can withstand power loss for several hours, if it comes to that. I check on things daily, more often if I'm QT'ing fish, so I always notice when the GFCI has tripped and reset it. Must be something wrong with that outlet, but I don't stress it.

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Nice setup @Flashy Fins

Allot of good ideas there and a nice writeup.

Hey just a note on that particular GFCI... I had one issue with an older one.  After it loses power, it will not start on it's own.  Since we lose power occasionally that was a deal breaker for me.  To test it, just unplug and plug it back in.  If it stays off until you hit the reset, then you have one that does not auto reset.  Since yours never trips, not a big deal but sharing just in case it is useful info.


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