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Old 04-30-2006, 10:24 PM   #1
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Update: Sump Pics

Well, I finally got my sump up and running today. Things are pretty tight in the cabinet below the tank (as you can see). The only piece of hardware I plan on adding in the short term is an auto topoff system which will be plumbed to my RO/DI system in the next room.

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Old 05-01-2006, 09:52 AM   #2
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Tight fit but it looks good, you may even be able to squeeze an auto-top-off above the sump or fuge
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Old 05-01-2006, 12:01 PM   #3
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Thanks. To save space, I think I am going to plumb the autotopoff directly to the RO/DI unit in the next room. If I am correct, I should only have to make room then for the solenoid and float switches. Due to the inherent risks associated, I am wiring the system into a GFI. I will also incorporate double solenoids as well as a backup shutoff switch to prevent overflow.

How does that sound?
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Old 05-01-2006, 12:17 PM   #4
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Sounds good but does your ro/di need to run constantly to make water or will the solenoid only turn it on/off as needed?

GFCI is always a good idea and only takes about 15 minutes to swap out the electrical outlet. I used a 20 amp Cooper GFCI Outlet which I liked because it has a light that tells you if you wired it correctly. (which I didn’t the first time ) That outlet has the hot/neutral on top and if you have a load going to other circuits it goes on the bottom.


I got mine from Lowes.
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Old 05-01-2006, 12:34 PM   #5
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Is there an Amperage per piece of equipment..? I know a heater draws more, so is there a minimum or maximum? For all my lights, heaters, PHs and filter? Or would a 20Amp work just fine?


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Old 05-01-2006, 01:02 PM   #6
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The default amp rating for most home outlets is 15 amp I think. The highest CFCI I found was 20 and its working fine. I have 2 ph, 2 heaters, lights, & sump pump hooked up to two powerstrips both plugged into the GFCI. Each equipment piece should have both the watts and amp load needed but your average aquarium shouldn’t exceed the limit of the basic outlet.

The formula for calculating amps is to divide the wattage by the current load of the circuit 115.

For example a 175W MH light draws about 1.5 amps per light. A 300W heater draws about 2.6 amps.

If you had a 55 gal tank with 500W of light, 600W of heaters (two) and 60W total from the pumps your looking at a total of 1160W and about 10 amps of draw.

If you are exceeding the amp rating of the circuit then you should blow a breaker before it’s an issue and if so then plug into more then one circuit.

See Power Budgeting for Aquarium Systems for more info.

P.S. Keep in mind that often the circuit you plug your aquarium into is also shared with other circuits and or lighting.
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Old 05-01-2006, 01:20 PM   #7
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Cool, thanks! I'll hook two up this weekend!
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Old 05-01-2006, 01:58 PM   #8
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So far (fingers crossed) I have not exceeded the AMP limit on the circuit which is shared by other outlets. However, I am considering running a dedicated line/breaker (in addition to the GFCI) to the tank.

Quote:
Sounds good but does your ro/di need to run constantly to make water or will the solenoid only turn it on/off as needed?
If I am correct, the solenoid will turn off the supply as needed. I intend to place a T-Connection in line with a separate valve so I can make large batches for water changes as needed.
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Old 05-01-2006, 04:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serpentman
If I am correct, the solenoid will turn off the supply as needed. I intend to place a T-Connection in line with a separate valve so I can make large batches for water changes as needed.
That's just what I've done. The system I have from autotopoff works great so far.

Only had it hooked up three days, but so far, so good.
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:32 PM   #10
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Did you use 1 or 2 solenoids?
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:46 PM   #11
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I use one. I emailed them a few questions and described my setup and they recommended the double switch - sump mount along with the one solenoid.

I almost bought the double solenoid, but I have the switch on a timer that only allows it to come on for an hour a day anyway.
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:55 PM   #12
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that syphon from the from or to the fuge worries me.. what happens if you lose power? I see a flood........ Nice use of space... there is never enough room under the tank.
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Old 05-01-2006, 10:16 PM   #13
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The tube that is in there is temporary as I am waiting for a "U-Tube" to come in. Even with the current setup, there is no loss of siphon when the power is off. In fact, I filled everything and shut the power about 10 times to see how everything reacted, so far all the siphons fired right up.

quote]I almost bought the double solenoid, but I have the switch on a timer that only allows it to come on for an hour a day anyway.[/quote]

I like that idea. I might incorporate that as well.
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Old 05-02-2006, 03:49 PM   #14
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Hey, a bit of a warning... if you put a 20 amp GFCI you better make sure your circuit breaker is a 20 amp as well. If not, you risk causing an electrical fire because your GFCI outlet will take more juice than your circuit box is wired for. Also, the guage of wire for a 20 amp is heavier than for your standard 15 amp house circuits. When ever you're changing outlets, you need to consult local codes, check your breaker box, and make sure that the house wiring is the proper guage for your application. I personally know of a pet store that burned to the ground from switching 15 amp outlets to 20 amp GFCI's without taking the proper precautions, so it's not just urban legend.
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Old 05-02-2006, 04:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuzecawi
Hey, a bit of a warning... if you put a 20 amp GFCI you better make sure your circuit breaker is a 20 amp as well. If not, you risk causing an electrical fire because your GFCI outlet will take more juice than your circuit box is wired for.
You have that backwards. The breaker is what protects you from overloads. The GFCI doesn’t have anything to do with what the load can take. However if your breaker is 20 amp and your wall plug is 15 amps then you can run into trouble due to the wall plug overheating from running too much current through it.

True 20 amp plugs usually look like this with one plug turned permanently sideways or have the option for regular plugs:


But they do sell 20 amp plugs that look like normal plugs.

The reason I went with the 20 amp is because my breaker to that plug isn’t rated and it probably is 15 amp but the extra 5 amp in the wall circuit doesn’t mean that the circuit breaker will act any differently if the load is exceeded and I feel safer buying a 20 amp incase the breaker is 20 amp.
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Old 05-02-2006, 07:13 PM   #16
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I stand corrected. Thanks for the clarification on that. The subject came up in my house because I was told not to put the 20 amp gfci's on the 15 amp house circuit breaker. The reason was explained that I would be running too much on the 20 amp GFCI for our house's wiring, but now that you explain it like that, I wonder if the guy was just trying to push a sale on the new circuit breaker box he showed me afterwards. I do know that the old LFS in my home town burned to the ground though, after wiring in a bunch of 20 amps on their existing wiring. They didn't get anything from the insurance company either, because the work was done without a permit or a contractor. So either way, I wouldn't feel comfortable adding any electrical additions/changes without some professional guidance.
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Old 05-02-2006, 08:10 PM   #17
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My dad is a master electrician which is where I learned most of my knowledge. That’s why I bought the Cooper brand because of the light that tells you if its wired incorrectly since it’s been a couple of years since I’ve wired anything. Most of the time it’s pretty easy to figure out but the last couple who had my house had it spray painted and the wires got painted as well so I couldn’t easily identify hot/neutral wires.

A lot of the time an improperly wired or ungrounded outlet will still work but overtime can overheat and burn the place down. It’s not rocket science but if you don’t feel comfortable in dealing with it then it’s worth having an electrician install it for $40+.
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