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Old 11-15-2011, 02:51 PM   #41
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If you do not already have one, get a grounding probe for your tank. It will save your livestock in case of an electrical charge. Just my 2 cents....
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:22 PM   #42
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Sorry to disagree mstrblstr33 but after 30 years in the business I would not recommend it. It can in many ways make it even worse and it is against the electrical code. If you do that, you are not taking the problem away you are just masking it and may be making it worse.
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Old 11-15-2011, 06:02 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by rdnelson99
Sorry to disagree mstrblstr33 but after 30 years in the business I would not recommend it. It can in many ways make it even worse and it is against the electrical code. If you do that, you are not taking the problem away you are just masking it and may be making it worse.
I did not mean to imply that he do nothing and just get the probe, I meant get the probe to help prevent further issues. I have several friends who include those in this business 20+ years as well, and they all recommend the probe, so I guess its a matter of opinion.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:27 PM   #44
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Best thing you can do is to get a GFCI receptacle. Ground probe may help in some cases but most likely it will make it worse by completing the path to ground, that means electrocuting your tank. GFCI only is my recommendation.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:56 PM   #45
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Grounding probes are worthless without a GFCI... I've even seen people say they make things worse without a GFCI. I would, at minimum, have everything plugged in to a GFCI though. I actually have GFCI breakers for all the plugs in my basement. It was cheaper than going through and putting $15 plugs in, and cheaper than getting the adapters to plug in. Just sucks that there are 4 tanks on one circuit, and one on the other. If one of the 4 tanks trips it, they're all off until I realize it.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:58 PM   #46
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I got knocked on my butt when I touched a cord with a damp hand it didn't trip the GFCI but it made me hurt for a few days. Amazing how it make make the muscles that tense. I had the GFCI put in to prevent that but it didn't that day,
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:49 AM   #47
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Best thing you can do is to get a GFCI receptacle. Ground probe may help in some cases but most likely it will make it worse by completing the path to ground, that means electrocuting your tank. GFCI only is my recommendation.

+10000000 We just had a huge discussion on another forum about this exact issue. If you like, I can go back and find an article that explains it in great detail but, what kdpuffer says is exactly right. Electricity will only hurt you or the fish if it flows through you. If you put a ground probe on the tank, you are giving it a means to flow. If the source is on one end of the tank and the probe is at the other the electricity will flow through the tank (and the fish) to the probe. This will kill the fish. A GFI on the other hand will disconnect all power if there is any stray voltage. Thereby protecting you and the fish.

In addition, if you install a grounding probe, you are may be setting up current flow even if all of your equipment is top notch shape. Why??? Because you have two ground sources in you home. One is the grounding system that is part of the electrical system and the other is the ground probe. With two different ground sources they will have a difference of potential and will try to equalize. To equalize, a charge will have to flow from one to the other. So by trying to prevent current flow through your tank you are actually causing it to flow.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:55 AM   #48
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I got knocked on my butt when I touched a cord with a damp hand it didn't trip the GFCI but it made me hurt for a few days. Amazing how it make make the muscles that tense. I had the GFCI put in to prevent that but it didn't that day,
Then you have a bad GFI. If it was a cheap one bought from a home improvement store it could be bad. A GFI works on the principle of comparing the current flow between the hot wire, the neutral and the ground. They are designed to open the circuit when it sees more than a 5 milliamp (very minute) current flow on the ground.

Just to reitterate, I have more than 30 years in the electrical industry, I am a licensed contractor (means I need to get continuing education every year to maintain my license) and I have taught college level courses. If you trust my advice, please remove the ground probe if you have one and make sure you have a good GFI outlet or breaker installed. No one wants to kill there fish but more importantly it is not worth you life over a $25.00 GFI receptacle.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:39 PM   #49
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I know this is a old thread but I read that a grounding probe is good with a gfi outlet since if current in tank it will travel to gfi since probe plugged directly into gfi outlet and trip it. Not having enough time to electrocute fish.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:10 PM   #50
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The problem with having a grounding probe is that it gives the electricity a path to ground which is bad, this will electrocute the tank and occupants. Just having a GFCI receptacle is much safer for your tank as it will still trip when there is a failure of electrical equipment but will not provide a path to ground. GFCI work off of measuring the current traveling though each wire and comparing them, this is done by the monitoring the magnetic field in the wires and if one wire has a stronger field than the other it will trip and disconnect power. If a ground probe was installed it would still trip but here is why it's a problem. If you have a pump/powerhead or heater that fails and it's in your tank on the opposite end as your ground probe there is a possibility that when it fails the current will travel across your tank to the ground probe thus electrocuting your tank, yes your GFCI will still trip but it does take a fraction of a second and that can be all it takes to kill everything. In the same situation but without the probe your GFCI will still trip in the same amount of time but it will limit the current flow to between conductors on the device that fails. With heaters and motors they have high resistance to the flow of electricity, heaters because of high resistance wire being used and motors due to the length of the wire (wire has resistance all on its own) in the motor windings. Electricity always takes the path of lease resistance which will be the ground probe if there is one. Hope this has been helpful, I am an electrician also and will be more than happy to answer further questions.
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