Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater Reef Aquaria
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 08-25-2003, 07:07 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Vancouver Canada
Posts: 117
Another electrical question

Is it necessary to have "surge protected" power bars or can just a overload protected power bar be used? I can't see any equipment being affected with any potential electrical surges but I may be way off here. It just saves me from buying something else...
__________________

__________________
Ryan
c-bass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2003, 07:15 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cyrpess California
Posts: 51
yes a surge throw the system can damege the filter, heater, light...
__________________

__________________
TechBoy
Techboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2003, 07:37 PM   #3
AA Team Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,256
Send a message via ICQ to fishfreek Send a message via AIM to fishfreek Send a message via MSN to fishfreek Send a message via Yahoo to fishfreek
The item that is most 'recommended' is a GFI outlet. The GFI (Ground Fault Interrupt) outlet is what is required in bathrooms. It will disconnect or interrupt the power if it detects and electrical short.
__________________
Remember dont tap the glass, your fish will think you're an idiot -Anonymous mother

Check out our articles area. 30+ Aquatic articles for your enjoyment
Are you in or around the Shenandoah Valley area? If so click here to join our regional forum.
fishfreek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2003, 07:45 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,227
Re: Another electrical question

Quote:
Originally Posted by c-bass
Is it necessary to have "surge protected" power bars or can just a overload protected power bar be used? I can't see any equipment being affected with any potential electrical surges but I may be way off here. It just saves me from buying something else...
Yea, most everything for aquaria is pretty tolerant of electrical surges, at least the kind a surge protector can help with.

almost all lights are powered by some form of industrial ballast, which is designed to take poor power in stride. Magnetic induction pumps, powerheads and filters all rely on a fulcuating magnetic field to spin the impeller, so a little surge won't do anything there.

heaters, well, it's just a long wire that gets hot wound around a ceramic core. I guess a big surge might cause it to burn out, but i doubt it.

Only thing I'm concerned about and have protected is the computer that regulates my CO2 system. anything computerized should deff. have surge protection!

Instead of buying expensive power bars (multi strips) with surge protection built in, you can buy a single surge protector adapter that goes between your first multi-strip and the wall outlet. It will protect everything plugged into it, including chained strips.

hmm - home depot won't let me link to it, but they have a 6 outlet surge thingy for $7, then you plug as many cheapo multi-strips into it as you need (up to 1200 watts total)
__________________
justDIY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2003, 11:00 AM   #5
Sam
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: West Caldwell, New Jersey
Posts: 347
Send a message via Yahoo to Sam
IMHO what you should consider is definitely have a GFI outlet installed to replace the standard receptacle. This is a good idea and now required in all new construction where there is a risk of electrical shock (bathrooms and kitchens). I would definitely also use a surge protector and not just a power strip. Here are some reasons why. GFI: obviously with the danger of water and electricity, this is a good idea to prevent accidental electrocution (especially with saltwater). It basically trips the circuit before it can return to ground, stopping a short circuit (buy a good one - it is worth the insurance). Also a good idea, is to create a drip loop for all of electrical cords if the outlet is below the tank. A power strip is basically just a bunch of outlets with a fuse protection. However, this will not protect against spikes and dips in the electrical power. If for some reason, one of your electrical devices fail and the circuit starts to draw more current that the strip (usually rated for 15-20 A), this will cause the fuse to burn out and shut the power down. Note that the GFI protects for accidental electrocution and is not a circuit protection device. A "good" surge protector will have a capacitor and the circuitry to "clamp" and spikes and make up the dips in normal electrical fluctuations. This in addition to being fused. Thus it smoothes the power out for your devices. Now do you really need it? It is recommended. Anything that uses an electrical coil for power generation (even magnetic induction motors and the like) is susceptible to damage from spikes. While they may be tolerant to minor fluctuations, they are not protected from a spike. A spike will cause the coil to overheat and over time, will cause premature failure of the motor. Or if large enough, will burn out the coil immediately. So the question in my mind is that here you have spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars in setting up your pride and joy, now would you skimp on buying a $30 (typical price for a good one) surge protector to protect your investment? Think of it as insurance. You may never have a serious spike, buy are you willing to bet your system on it? Hope this lengthy note helps 8)
__________________
Happiness is defined by the joy we bring to the lives of others, for without that, we ourselves cannot be.

Me
Sam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2003, 03:36 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Vancouver Canada
Posts: 117
Thanks for the responses. I was planning on a GFCI, it will be installed today. I just bought a nice heavy duty power bar yesterday and realized that it wan't surge protected. I will take it back... I spent just as much on it as I would have on a surge protector so I will just exchange it for one. I use surge protectors on my computers but didn't think it would matter on a tank....but your rationale makes sense, Sam. BTW, all power bars say "DON'T USE FOR AQUARIUMS," but I don't imagine there are any made specifically for aquariums. Do I just ignore this and relax cuz my GFCI has got me covered. I imagine it's just one of those mandatory statements to remove manufacturers liability in case of accident.... Right?
__________________
Ryan
c-bass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2003, 03:48 PM   #7
Sam
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: West Caldwell, New Jersey
Posts: 347
Send a message via Yahoo to Sam
You got it. They are looking for the liabillity protection in case you accidentally got electrocuted while using the product. The GFI will protect you from that. It's funny I was in the HD the other day and I aked about a GFI extension, they had one, for about $40.00. After picking my jaw up off of the floor, I told the guy that I think I will make my own. He then started about being UL listed, blah, blah, blah. Anyway getting back to you, yes with what you have you should be set. Remember the drip loop, if your outlet is below the tank. 8)
__________________
Happiness is defined by the joy we bring to the lives of others, for without that, we ourselves cannot be.

Me
Sam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2003, 05:10 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Vancouver Canada
Posts: 117
I was thinking that I would make a drip loop AND use some clear plastic and duct tape the plastic to the top and sides of the wall around the outlet for added protection. The outlet is directly behind and below the tank.
__________________
Ryan
c-bass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2003, 05:15 PM   #9
Sam
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: West Caldwell, New Jersey
Posts: 347
Send a message via Yahoo to Sam
Keep in mind that you might mess up your wall. Also remember if the GFI trips, you need to push the reset button, so be sure you have access to it. Other than that, anything you do that will help keep water away from the outlet is a good thing.
__________________
Happiness is defined by the joy we bring to the lives of others, for without that, we ourselves cannot be.

Me
Sam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2003, 05:20 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Vancouver Canada
Posts: 117
It's a rental.... not worried about the wall really.... what a nice tenant I am hey? Ya, I am going to keep the bottom open for access to the outlet. Thanks for the help sam.
__________________

__________________
Ryan
c-bass is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
need help with electrical stuff! fishmonkey DIY Projects 9 08-09-2009 10:49 PM
Electrical current fishman Saltwater Reef Aquaria 3 11-29-2006 10:38 PM
Electrical Expense. sdellin Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 6 12-20-2005 01:33 PM
Question about electrical plugs. William Aquaria Off-Topic 9 08-16-2004 01:52 PM
An Electrical Question Gauge Saltwater Reef Aquaria 21 01-28-2004 12:54 AM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:37 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.