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 01-21-2012, 02:11 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Smithcinema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 187
Gfci outlet tripped

Voided a major catastrophic event woke up and my tank was off gfci tripped why I don't know maybe a surge ?? Anyway off to depot for regular outlet if I was away this weekend all would be dead tank is at 75 degrees hope all is all right

__________________
Smithcinema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2012, 03:28 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
PrettyFishies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 1,689
Start checking components one by one. It happened to me and I realized it was the heater that cracked and broke. But I had to go power strip by power strip to isolate it. Something's adding electricity to the system.
__________________
125 gal mixed REEF
PrettyFishies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2012, 07:22 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Smithcinema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 187
Checked everything is fine no issues removed gfci added regular outlet cant worry about something tripping
__________________
Smithcinema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2012, 07:24 PM   #4
Aquarium Free - 2+ Years
 
mfdrookie516's Avatar



POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Orange Beach, Alabama
Posts: 19,407
I'd rather risk something tripping than to risk electrocution. If it tripped, there's a reason.
__________________
-Jonathan

"What, exactly, is the internet? Basically it is a global network exchanging digitized data in such a way that any computer, anywhere, that is equipped with a device called a 'modem', can make a noise like a duck choking on a kazoo." - Dave Barry
mfdrookie516 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2012, 08:56 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
PrettyFishies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 1,689
The whole point of GFCI is to protect your tank from electrocution.... It's your tank, but a bad idea. Something tripped it unless it's faulty. In which case you should replace with another GFCI
__________________
125 gal mixed REEF
PrettyFishies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2012, 10:20 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Alberta canada
Posts: 2,360
Send a message via Skype™ to kdpuffer
I would keep the gfci on and go through plugging everything one at a time. While doing this you need to verify all the units are running before moving on, for example verify the heater is heating. Something is not working right in order to trip the gfci and I suspect it's something intermittent like a heater.
__________________
kdpuffer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2012, 10:33 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Smithcinema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 187
Everything is fine now electrician said gfi trip when some thing is plugged in or in plugged it think it was my tank lights turning off last night
__________________
Smithcinema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2012, 11:10 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Magma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Calgary, Canada
Posts: 339
Lighting turning on and off can cause a GFCI to trip due to the ballasts back feeding into the plug, pretty common issue. I keep my lights on a different circuit all together.
__________________
125Gal-Mixed Reef
35gal Reef, 20gal Sump--2 years, 3 months--Shut Down
If you can't fix it with a hammer, you have an electrical problem!
Magma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2012, 02:34 AM   #9
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
KAhner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 339
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithcinema
Everything is fine now electrician said gfi trip when some thing is plugged in or in plugged it think it was my tank lights turning off last night
Bad electrician. Gfci= ground fault current interrupter. They trip when there is voltage to the ground, or when one of your electrical devices are leaking voltage and able to shock you and/or your fish. Please reconnect the gfci and figure out what the problem is.
__________________
KAhner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2012, 02:52 AM   #10
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Magma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Calgary, Canada
Posts: 339
I disagree with that KAhner not a bad electrician, he just didn't explain it to Smithcinema fully.

When you turn your light on, a current surge flows through your light circuit including your ballast transformer. Since the transformer is an inductive device, there is a slight lag between voltage and current when you switch the light on.

A GFCI outlet works by detecting any current flow imbalance between the hot and the neutral lines while checking for any ground current flow. If it detects either of these, it will trip.

What is probably happening is that the turn-on surge from the light spikes the ground line because of the voltage-current delay, causing the GFCI outlet to trip.

If its not your light doing it then you can check devices pretty easy.
To check, use an ohmeter to look for continuity between the ground prong and each of the other two prongs on the plug. There should be NO continuity between the ground prong and either of the other two. There should, of course, be continuity between the ground prong and any exposed metal parts or screws on the chassis of the appliance.
__________________
125Gal-Mixed Reef
35gal Reef, 20gal Sump--2 years, 3 months--Shut Down
If you can't fix it with a hammer, you have an electrical problem!
Magma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2012, 03:14 AM   #11
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
KAhner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 339
Ok yea your right. I misworded the mechanics of a gfci. Your correct. It does chech for a balance of current on the hot and nuetral conductors. But im not buying the voltage amp lag deal. That current is going somewhere where is shouldnt. Either to the ground or to the floor.
__________________
KAhner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2012, 03:17 AM   #12
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Magma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Calgary, Canada
Posts: 339
When a voltage passes through a transformer it has lag, not much but it does. You can take the light and check the continuity with an ohmmeter like I mentioned then plug it into a GFCI and just turn it on and off and I bet it will trip at least once from that.

This is speaking from experience that I have had on the job (as an electrician) and personal experience with my own tank setups.
__________________
125Gal-Mixed Reef
35gal Reef, 20gal Sump--2 years, 3 months--Shut Down
If you can't fix it with a hammer, you have an electrical problem!
Magma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2012, 04:27 AM   #13
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Smudgy35's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Hampshire UK
Posts: 50
Magma is dead right I'm also an electrician and agree, I wouldn't rule out the heater tripping it either though
__________________
Smudgy35 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2012, 12:55 PM   #14
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Alberta canada
Posts: 2,360
Send a message via Skype™ to kdpuffer
I'm also an electrician and I agree, even a pump/motor could potentially cause the same issue. I would still double check all your devices just to be sure.
__________________
kdpuffer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2012, 02:39 PM   #15
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
KAhner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 339
Ok you guys have sold me. I didnt think about capacitance. But I would do what magma said and run the lights off a different outlet. Even that sux though caus light can often be the source of leaking voltage. Do they make gfcis that dont work in the millisecond range that might be more appropriate for that sort of application?
__________________
KAhner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2012, 03:45 PM   #16
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Alberta canada
Posts: 2,360
Send a message via Skype™ to kdpuffer
To my knowledge they only make the standard gfci, I have never seen one that delays as this would defeat the purpose of having one. What you could do is to leave your regular receptacle on and make short extension cord with a 4" square box on the end with two gfci receptacles, one for your lights and one for everything else, just make sure you have the wires spliced and pigtailed so you have two wires coming out, one to each gfci. This way if the lights trip the rest of your equipment will continue to run, and if they keep tripping it you can plug the lights into the remaining outlet in the wall to bypass the gfci.
__________________
kdpuffer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2012, 03:58 PM   #17
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
KAhner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 339
Yea it would defeat the purpose of not getting shocked. Lol. But it could alert you of a potential problem. Hmmm. They should make a grounding probe with a voltmeter and alarm.
__________________
KAhner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2012, 03:59 PM   #18
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Magma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Calgary, Canada
Posts: 339
something kind of like this is what hes trying to say

DIY Power bar

http://www.audiotweaks.com/diy/ac_outletc/page01.htm
__________________
125Gal-Mixed Reef
35gal Reef, 20gal Sump--2 years, 3 months--Shut Down
If you can't fix it with a hammer, you have an electrical problem!
Magma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2012, 04:45 PM   #19
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
KAhner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 339
I could only load the first couple pages from my phone. It looked like a outlet box made from hospital recepticals? The only thing i know about those is if its got a green triangle its supposed to be an isolated ground, but obviously you couldnt do that plugging it into the wall. Not sure what that would do anways. Isolated grounds r for super sensitive equipment like ekg machines and other hospital equipment.
__________________
KAhner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2012, 04:48 PM   #20
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
KAhner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 339
Oic. You were replying to puffer. My bad.
__________________
KAhner is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ripped

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
GFCI rav General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 2 01-09-2012 05:50 PM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:39 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.