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Old 12-07-2008, 07:14 PM   #1
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voltage leak

If i were to test for a voltage leak how would i do that i know i have to use a multi meter. However here is my question if i put the red tip into the water and the black end into the ground hole on my recepticle in that ground hole do you want to touch the side of the hole or go straight in because if i go strait in with the black probe i dont get anything but as soon as i touch a side with the probe i get a reading. Is it possible that i am shorting out the reading due to touching the sides of the hole.
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:49 PM   #2
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The grounding pin on your plug generally makes contact with the side of the hole, and not the bottom.

You are doing the right thing by touching the side, probably just missing the contact in the outlet when you poke straight down the middle.
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:42 PM   #3
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On my voltage meter I get a reading from my light fixture. Is that normal i get a reading of 2.5. On my multimeter it is a digital one i have two settings one for 500 and 200 if i set it to 200 i get a reading of 2.5. When i had a FW tank i also got a reading from my light fixture is this normal for light fixture's to do.

PS if i lift my light fixture up i dont get a reading.
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:19 AM   #4
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Moved thread to General Hardware and Equipment discussion.

I'm curious. Why are you checking for leaking voltage? Have you been shocked when you put your hand in the tank?
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:19 PM   #5
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I check on a regular basis. Why is it that i have a reading on my multi meter i dont think there should be anything going through my water except H2O hahaha. What ya think? If i pick my light bar of the aquarium my meter reads 0 but when it touches it reads 2.5
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:44 PM   #6
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Do you remember in grade school when you made a potatoe light a little light? Salt water is an elctrolyte. Any contact with copper will cause a small voltage reading. Try taking your probe and putting it into a salt mix before. you put it in the tank... Now take any flourecent or high ouput light and place it near your water. The EME generated by your light causes the electons in the water to vibrate in a certain frequency thats what your multimeter is picking up. ANother test you can do is take a NO flourecent bulb and put it near your fixture while its on. it will be hard to see but the bulb will floresse (spelling?) even though it isnt connected to a voltage source.
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:13 PM   #7
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So is this harmless to the fish?


And why is it that when i lift the light off the aquarium just a little bit it drops the voltage to 0. When i say lift it off the tank im talking about lifting it so it barely does not touch the tank. It is still close to the water just not touching the tank.
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:44 PM   #8
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Harmless unless the fish are grounded to the voltage source(dont put you light in the water LOL) Although glass and plastic are insulators the surface (especialy in a salty tank because of the salt creep) can conduct the electrons to the water. Voltage alone will not harm the fish... current is the killer... at any given time your fish can be subject to up to 20+ volts in ambient voltage due to the salty conditions... I wouldnt be worried. If you want to test something that will give you a better way of telling if something is shorting to your tank or if a fire hazard exists. Test the current over a load. take a small resistor solder a lead of flexible wire to it. strip about 2 inches of insulator off the end of the wire. heres a pic itll better explain what i am saying...


You are testing for mA you should see close to 0. put your multimeter on its second most sensitive setting.

PS the squigly line that everything is connected to is the resistor
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:52 PM   #9
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If you get a reading above say 0.01mA that would indicate a short to your water... Be very carefull I take no responsibility if you hurt your self or any of your belongings!!! LOL.
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:31 PM   #10
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So if i set my Multimeter to AC 200 what does that mean. Or should i set it to AC 500. AC current is measure in voltage correct? how do i measure current in my water using a multimeter?

If i have a leak into the water would i definitly feel the current when i stick my hand into the water or not?
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