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Sizzling heater, melted plastic

This is a discussion on Sizzling heater, melted plastic within the Freshwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by SinCrisis Mine are all on a power strip except for my lights. Does that do the same thing? I also have ...

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Sizzling heater, melted plastic
Old 12-16-2010, 12:38 AM   #11
Originally Posted by SinCrisis View Post
Mine are all on a power strip except for my lights. Does that do the same thing? I also have all my cables set up in a drip loop.
No a power strip is just a powerstrip unless it specifically states it has a GFI. You should know if it does or not pretty clearly. A GFCI enabled powerstrip runs around $40 from what I have seen. There is also the option of the plug-in GFCI, which is basically just a socket to plug into a existing socket. These are much cheaper.Normal Power strips usually have one on/off button. If it has additional "test"/ "reset" buttons then it is defiantly a GFCI, if it doesn't then it is not. Drip loops help stop water running down the cord into a powerstrip on the floor, they have no effect on shorts. Also GFI and GFCI are like the same thing, GFCI is more commonly used these days. I have GFCI outlets and plug normal power strips into those and run them to the tanks. I've never bothered with drip loops or anything like that.

GFCI outlets normally look similar to this one. 2 buttons in the middle "test" and "reset". ALWAYS ALWAYS run your lights through a GFCI if you use one. Lights being off are the first thing you will notice if it trips. As I said a GFCI should be cutting power to the entire tank, its kinda pointless if it doesn't. This means heat, light, filter, ect.... There are 2 reasons for this, if it trips due to equipment shorting out you will notice the lights being off. If some major disaster happens like the tank is leaking/gushing water everywhere don't you dare approach it if the lights are still on. If your tanks are like mine all the electrical stuff is underneath them. Those powerstrips are a lot more watertight then they look. I've had major floods/indoor fountains from canister filters I've seen power strips float before. The most important thing to me is if the tank lights are still on, cuz if they are it hasn't tripped yet. I don't care if I have to throw water on the power strip I won't touch anything till I'm sure the tank is dead.
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:02 AM   #12
Well i guess its time to make a trip to home depot...
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:51 AM   #13
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Definitely time to do that. It is a small investment, depending on the circuit you can buy a 15 or 20 amp. GFI outlet for under 12bucks. This type goes directly into the existing outlet box. (The one in your wall) It is not a difficult job but should be done by someone who has some expertise . You can also go the GFI protected power strip route which is fine just more money. Or you can even protect all the outlets on the circuit with a GFI breaker (which would go in your panel) This should probably be done by someone with electrical experience. Breaker is about 35 dollars. Those are about all you choices. Just make sure you protect yourself. Good luck!!
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Old 12-16-2010, 09:19 AM   #14
well seeing as how i have 0 electrical experience... this could be a problem...

is this how its done?

Installing a GFCI Outlet Tutorial

seems simple.. maybe i need to wear rubber gloves?
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Old 12-16-2010, 09:57 AM   #15
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Thanks everyone. I bought my tank used (it came with the filter and heater) so I didn't have instructions for any of the equiptment. Now I'm feeling really really lucky that nothing worse happened.
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:36 AM   #16
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The tutorial looks good!! If you are going to attempt this project make sure the power is off at the panel!!!!!! Depending on the age of the house you could find a lot of surprises in the box. If there is only one wire with a black a white and a bare copper wire it is a peace of cake, just hook it up to were it says line. If there is two pairs of wire you have to no which is your line (power) and which is the load. Hook them up to were it says line and load on the outlet. I think if I were you with no real electrical experience I would invest in the GFI protected strip.
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:29 AM   #17
like these:

Tower Manufacturing Corporation 8-Outlet Dual Circuit Breaker Power Center - C668508001-13 at The Home Depot

Wiremold Plugmold 40 In. 6 Outlet Strip with Circuit Breaker - PM36C at The Home Depot


but this is so much cheaper...
Leviton 15 amp White Tamper-Resistant GFCI Outlet with Wall Plate - R67-T7599-0PW at The Home Depot
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:48 AM   #18
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Those seem to be power strips with breakers built in, The are not Ground Fault Protected!!
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:50 AM   #19
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The outlet is a Ground Fault!!! 15 amp !! If that is what you are going to use make sure the circuit you are installing it into is also 15 amp!!
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:51 AM   #20
I do not see any other powerstrip thats designed to protect against water...
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