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 07-20-2004, 01:24 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 272
Send a message via AIM to luntiz
How to test for stray voltage?

So today I placed my hand into the tank to clip some seaweed for my tang and I got a slight shock to my finger. I have carpet and was told that sometimes carpet can create that shock but I'm not too sure. Well anyways, whats the easiest, safest, and quickest way to test for stray voltage? No wonder my tang sometimes acts skittish...
__________________

__________________
The Tank

50 Gallon Acrylic Tank (36x15x20)
85lbs Fiji Live Rock
Barebottom
(4) Maxi-Jet 900 (230gph) *Awaiting 2 MJ1200s*

Lighting

(1) 250W 10,000K Aqualine Aquamedic HQI Hanging Pendant
(5) LED Moonlights

Live Stock

(2) Pink Skunk Clownfishes
Goldstripped Maroon Clownfish
Yellow Eye Kole Tang
Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish
luntiz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2004, 01:45 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Lakeland, FL
Posts: 265
luntiz,

I went to my LFS and they let me borrow their voltage meter. It was easy - one probe went in the tank water and the other in the electrical outlet. If the needle moves on the meter then you have stray voltage. You should check and see if you LFS has a meter you can borrow.

HTH!
__________________

__________________
~Kristen~

In its great blue whales, hunted even to
between houses, an entire people was
dreaming of a less silent light.
BlueDolphin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2004, 01:51 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toano, Virginia!
Posts: 716
Thats a tough one. If you just got a quick zap like when you touch the light switch after crossing the carpet, thats just static electricity and there isnt much you can do about that. Even if you ground every metal piece of equipment and put a ground rod into the tank, its still going to be at a different potential than your body after walking across the carpet. That wont hurt your fish though, either. The water or something on the tank might be at a different potential than your body standing next to the tank, but the fish in the tank will be at the same potential as the tank itself, so they are safe.
Now, if your heater or some other piece of equipment that is in physical and electrical contact with the water is cracked and allowing water to penetrate its seal, then you could have a more serious potential between you and the tank. I would also tend to think that if something were leaking or allowing water inside it that it would quit working, unless only one conductor were in contact with the water. If the hot or neutral conductor in say, your heater, were in contact with the water then youd deffinitely feel it should you touch the water; the fish might still be fine because they are at the same potential as the conductor that is in the water. If the potential between the water and the conductor were different, youd blow a breaker or a fuse or something.
Measuring a stray voltage could be impossible without some expensive equipment like an ESD tester or static meter. You could check with a standard VOM to see if there is much difference in potential, or read the resistance between the tank water, components and an earth ground. If you stick the leads of a VOM in the water and one lead to a good ground and you read a high voltage then you seriously have a problem. Then you need to check the wiring for your heater or anything else electric that comes in contact with the water.
__________________
I almost dated a psychic.....


She left me before we met.
youronlysin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2004, 02:05 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toano, Virginia!
Posts: 716
A stray voltage from what? Instead of checking for a voltage between the water in the tank and an earth ground, Id be more concerned with checking for 120VAC at the plug where each component is plugged in. In the least check all of the wires and make sure the heater isnt cracked or have moisture inside it.
You might very well read 40 or 50 or 60 volts AC if you measure between the water and an earth ground but that shouldnt be any cause for alarm. If you measured an extreme voltage then Id merely check wiring for damage. Thats it. The only way your fish are going to know any different is if you complete the circuit for current flow from their tank to ground with a wire. i.e. like your VOM leads
__________________
I almost dated a psychic.....


She left me before we met.
youronlysin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2004, 02:19 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 272
Send a message via AIM to luntiz
Ease up on the electrician talk. I have two power strips, 6 outlets each that are connected to 2 wall sockets. I have 12 outlets and about 8 of them are used. 1: Heater, 2: 2 PowerFilters, 3: 3 Powerheads, 1: PC Lighting, and 1: Moonlights. So are you suggesting that I test the 2 wall sockets or the 12 outlets from the powerstrip?

As of now I unplugged the heater, one of the filters, one of the powerheads and have turned off my PC lighting. At times I still feel a slight shock in the water. I'm not sure what it is, I have carpet but most of it is covered by a thick plastic floor thingy...w/ a bunch of pointy ends to "plug" into the carpet.
__________________
The Tank

50 Gallon Acrylic Tank (36x15x20)
85lbs Fiji Live Rock
Barebottom
(4) Maxi-Jet 900 (230gph) *Awaiting 2 MJ1200s*

Lighting

(1) 250W 10,000K Aqualine Aquamedic HQI Hanging Pendant
(5) LED Moonlights

Live Stock

(2) Pink Skunk Clownfishes
Goldstripped Maroon Clownfish
Yellow Eye Kole Tang
Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish
luntiz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2004, 02:26 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 272
Send a message via AIM to luntiz
There is a slight cut on one of my powerhead powercords. I don't see any wires or anything but there is a cut.
__________________
The Tank

50 Gallon Acrylic Tank (36x15x20)
85lbs Fiji Live Rock
Barebottom
(4) Maxi-Jet 900 (230gph) *Awaiting 2 MJ1200s*

Lighting

(1) 250W 10,000K Aqualine Aquamedic HQI Hanging Pendant
(5) LED Moonlights

Live Stock

(2) Pink Skunk Clownfishes
Goldstripped Maroon Clownfish
Yellow Eye Kole Tang
Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish
luntiz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2004, 02:35 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toano, Virginia!
Posts: 716
I'll assume that your power strips have circuit breakers in them. If there is a dangerous situation present, the circuit breakers would open. If that isnt happening, I dont think there is anything to worry about. Without going into any of the technical aspects of electricity, there really isnt any way to explain how this isnt a problem for your fish.

If you want to be positive that your tank is protected, then you should replace the two outlets in the wall with GFCI outlets and make sure they have a good ground connection. (The GFCI outlets will need a proper ground in order to work properly).
If you have a newer house with up to date electrical wiring, then you more than likely have properly grounded outlets.
__________________
I almost dated a psychic.....


She left me before we met.
youronlysin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2004, 02:36 AM   #8
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toano, Virginia!
Posts: 716
Remove the powerhead with the cut cord and see if you still feel the shock when you touch the water.
__________________
youronlysin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2004, 02:40 AM   #9
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 272
Send a message via AIM to luntiz
http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProdu...2EerStrips%2F# I have a belkin, similar to that above, but probably an order model. Got them from HomeDepot for like 7 bucks each. Maybe I should invest in something better.
__________________
The Tank

50 Gallon Acrylic Tank (36x15x20)
85lbs Fiji Live Rock
Barebottom
(4) Maxi-Jet 900 (230gph) *Awaiting 2 MJ1200s*

Lighting

(1) 250W 10,000K Aqualine Aquamedic HQI Hanging Pendant
(5) LED Moonlights

Live Stock

(2) Pink Skunk Clownfishes
Goldstripped Maroon Clownfish
Yellow Eye Kole Tang
Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish
luntiz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2004, 02:42 AM   #10
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 272
Send a message via AIM to luntiz
http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProdu...rGradeGFCI%2F# Is this something I should invest in?
__________________

__________________
The Tank

50 Gallon Acrylic Tank (36x15x20)
85lbs Fiji Live Rock
Barebottom
(4) Maxi-Jet 900 (230gph) *Awaiting 2 MJ1200s*

Lighting

(1) 250W 10,000K Aqualine Aquamedic HQI Hanging Pendant
(5) LED Moonlights

Live Stock

(2) Pink Skunk Clownfishes
Goldstripped Maroon Clownfish
Yellow Eye Kole Tang
Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish
luntiz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
test

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
Stray current found in return pump (About 1V AC) Scoot Saltwater Reef Aquaria 13 10-15-2006 05:04 PM
Water Voltage richiestang_78 Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 4 05-12-2006 06:02 PM
Voltage Fireworks Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 3 04-30-2005 09:40 PM
Stray Voltage: Fact, or Myth? You Decide Salttanker Saltwater Reef Aquaria 10 05-28-2004 07:25 PM
Stray Voltage Bang Guy Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 2 09-17-2002 11:09 AM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:58 AM.


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