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Old 12-08-2008, 05:09 PM   #11
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current is measured in Amperes
Voltage is the pressure at which the electricity moves
Current would be the amount of volume that is moving...


AC 500 setting is to measure the voltage at a limit of 500 volts AC
1 Amp is enough to kill you so if you are seeing a reading at the 200 A reading and the AC setting above 1 then unplug everything. And check to make sure you didnt make little salty snacks of all your fish...


If you have a "leak" yes you would feel it. AC is alternating current. So depending on what you are testing to find the leak you may not use the AC setting instead you may use the DC setting.

Can you type on here the brand name and model # of your multimeter. Also can you tell me what type and brand and model # of your lights? Most pumps use a sealed system so no way that could cause a voltage leak. And if a heater goes and leaks your breaker will go off. Same thing with and submersible pumps they would also trip the breaker.


If your lamps are running DC at the bulb poles then you need to use the DC setting if they are AC.

Please explain what you are testing when you get a reading on your light. the exact setting of your multimeter and exactly where you have placed your probes. This is all very key to understanding what and why you are getting a reading.

The info i gave two posts ago was assuming you were testing for DC voltage. if you have your multimeter set on AC 200 I am hoping that is for the Voltage test of AC with a limit of 200 Volts AC. Not a Amperes setting.

Are you touching your light with your bare skin when you are testing for the AC 500? Because that means you are grounding the circuit through you.
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:57 PM   #12
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:14 AM   #13
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Just a different perspective: My heater broke in my FW tank a while back, and I could feel a tingle when touching the light (light is grounded). <I measured 110 V between the tank water & the canopy/ground!> Since mine is FW, it is more of an insulator so less current will flow through me, so I just felt a tingle. In a SW setup I would expect a h*** of a shock!

If you are measuring a voltage differential between the light canopy & ground, I would surmise that the canopy itself is not grounded. Perhaps there is some salt on one of the endcaps that is completing a circuit to the canopy when it touches some salt water at the tank rim? At 20V AC, you might not feel much if it is low current.

My suggestion is that instead of measuring current leaks as a safety check, just assume that there will be high risk of shorts when mixing electricity & SW & act accordingly. Replace the recepticle with a GFI unit. It will cut out the electricity if there is any current (a fraction of a milliamp) between the hot/neutral & ground, protecting you & your fishies. <For the GFI to be most effective, all your electricals should be grounded, some also ground the tank itself.> Ever since my heater incident, all my tanks are plugged into GFI units.
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:56 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by jsoong View Post
My suggestion is that instead of measuring current leaks as a safety check, just assume that there will be high risk of shorts when mixing electricity & SW & act accordingly. Replace the recepticle with a GFI unit.


(That'd be a big "two thumbs up")

And if you're worried about minor "stray" voltage, then use a grounding rod in your tank.
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:57 AM   #15
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GFI outlet should give you more peace of mind knowing that it will trip like jsoong said with just a fraction of a milliamp change. my final suggestion would be to (depending on your climate) put your heater on a separate GFI circuit that way if the rest goes out while your at work you still can keep the heat on.
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