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Old 10-09-2004, 02:03 AM   #1
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A shocking experience!

Been away from the site and figured I should join back in with this.
I was upstairs when I heard the sound of water spraying. Water? I ran downstairs and found my 35 gallon hexagon tank with water spilling out of it!! On instict, I reached down and tried to unplug the pump. ZAAAP!!! I felt my whole body quiver as I shocked myself. It must of jogged my memory because i remembered something very important, saltwater is a very good conductor . I went into the kitchen and grabbed a towel, and ran back. I was able to use it to turn off my light, which had begun to flicker rather uncomfortably. But when I covered my hand and reached for the switch to all the power my hand touched a cord, and ZAAAP!!! Once again electricity showed its wonders. My dad finally cut of the power to the section, and it was over.
What happened is that this tank has a regugium below. The power was shut of long enough for the refugium to overflow and the top tank to go below the suction level, stopping it. Then, the power turned back on and the pump drained the refugium and poured it into the tank, overflowing and running all over the electrical.
Anyway, I am fine, everthing still works and nothing was killed. I have now put my electrical stuff up higher so water wont touch it. My question is for those who have a setup like this; is there any way to prevent a power outage from "killing" your tank?
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Old 10-09-2004, 02:08 AM   #2
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I am not sure on your question but I am willing to say there is a way to keep it from killing you! Get one of those trippable outlets like you have in the bathroom. They are between $10-15... Def could save your life... If the ground was saturated you could have seriously hurt yourself... even so 110volts isn't a good feeling... funny but not good... trust me I know from experience. That brings me to my next point... just because your son is only 13yrs old doesn't mean he won't attempt his own electrical work...
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Old 10-09-2004, 02:41 AM   #3
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Yes, i did replace it with a trippable thing, but looking for adive on what other people do with setups like this for power outages and preventing the refugium from getting drained.
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Old 10-09-2004, 02:56 AM   #4
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Ya I understood... I know there are certain valves that people use to prevent syphoning (I am not a sump guy though) and there is also a practise of drilling holes in the return so it doesn't drain the tank below that line... obviously someone with a sump is more inclined to answer.
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Old 10-09-2004, 03:16 AM   #5
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Yes, i did replace it with a trippable thing
Good move. That is a GFCI, ground fault circuit interrupter. They are required in rooms with running water and no tank should be without one IMO. How they work:

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...ctric/gfi.html
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Old 10-10-2004, 03:05 AM   #6
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how is your tank set up now?? do u use an external overflow box or have holes drilled? how is the return set up?
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Old 10-10-2004, 03:13 AM   #7
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an external overflow box, and the pump has a one way flow so it wont create a suction if turned off.
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Old 10-10-2004, 08:48 AM   #8
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Also get a grounding probe for your tank. Your LFS should have them, if not check with some of the site sponsers, they should have them as well.
Glad to hear your ok!!!
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Old 10-10-2004, 09:03 AM   #9
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That's a problem with the overflow box. I have heard many times of the OF loosing prime and the sump gets pumped into the tank over flowing it. Some guys I know have a small PH hooked to there OF box and use it to keep the air out of the OF somehow. This is the main reason i like the drilled tank better..... Good luck
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Old 10-11-2004, 04:33 AM   #10
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I would mount the power strip under the tank up and away from the ground. This way of water drips down the cords it can't flow up, it's called a drip loop. Power strips have mounting holes for reasons !
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