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DKRST 06-26-2013 10:54 AM

Safety "sticky" regarding electricity and water
 
I am concerned that the recent (otherwise very helpful and informative) "Heat Tape" reference article recently posted never emphasized that all electrical splices/connections should be waterproof and that a GFCI protected electrical outlet should always be used for aquaria-related equipment.

I'd like to suggest a prominent safety sticky regarding use of electrical accessories and aquaria. Specifically something that emphasizes that a GFCI-protected outlet should always be used! I'm willing to work such a reference post up if desired. I know too many aquarists who think a little "tingle" when they reach in the tank is normal and always harmless!

Placing it under the new reference section as well as anywhere else beginners might go to read "how to set up" info would be perfect. If desired, I can work up such a post, but it should be pretty simple to do. Could also include photos of various GFCI protection devices.

dramaqueen 06-26-2013 03:08 PM

Thank you for your concern. We definitely should include an article about safety issues when working with electricity and water.

Byron 06-26-2013 04:10 PM

This is a good suggestion. And we're going to take you up on your offer...can you prepare an article please?

Byron.

DKRST 06-26-2013 06:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 2415946)
This is a good suggestion. And we're going to take you up on your offer...can you prepare an article please?

Byron.

It would be my pleasure. Byron, I'll either PM you when it's done, or I'll dig out your email address from a whle back and send as an attachment unless you have another perference?

dramaqueen 06-26-2013 07:40 PM

Thank you so much for being willing to write one up for us.

Byron 06-26-2013 07:45 PM

Yes indeed.

Either suggestion is fine David, or we may soon have a specific area for submissions to our new Reference Material articles. Depending how long you take...:lol:

DKRST 06-26-2013 08:51 PM

I'm looking forward to writing it up. May take a week or so, maybe a little longer once I start editing for clarity and conciseness :lol:.
Currently giving and grading final exams for the Summer I semester, developing an on-line pathophysiology course for Fall and gearing up to teach another Bio course in July. But it's on my To-Do list!

Wow, I re-read my post above. I hate trying to touch-type on an iPad keyboard, I make lots of typos...

pop 07-14-2013 07:19 AM

Hello DKRST;
I donít understand your concern about the thread using heat tape and electrical dangers. The article seemed safe to me. The ground fault thing I guess is reasonable though I am not sure a gfi plugged into the standard wall outlet provides more safety protection, it only provides protection from the gfi outlet not the current flowing through the rest of the circuit which would be able to shock you. The gfi outlet must also be connected to a gfi circuit breaker in the main box to provide serious protection. You could wear rubber sole shoes and gloves to be just as protected from shock. Remember pure water insulates electricity it the TDS that shocks you!
pop

DKRST 07-14-2013 08:19 AM

Basically, my only concern is that electrical tape is NOT approved or designed for use in wet settings. It is not considered a water-proof material (even though the tape may seem waterproof, it's designed as an insulator, not water-proofing). Also, not everyone tapes as effectively as others. A better connector to use is the shrink-wrap insulators that seal tightly around the wires.

DKRST 07-14-2013 08:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pop (Post 2546106)
Hello DKRST;
The ground fault thing I guess is reasonable though I am not sure a gfi plugged into the standard wall outlet provides more safety protection, it only provides protection from the gfi outlet not the current flowing through the rest of the circuit which would be able to shock you. The gfi outlet must also be connected to a gfi circuit breaker in the main box to provide serious protection. You could wear rubber sole shoes and gloves to be just as protected from shock. Remember pure water insulates electricity it the TDS that shocks you!
pop

A GFCI outlet or an extension cord protected by a GFCI device, properly installed, provides the same circuit protection as a GFCI circuit breaker, according to my electrician friends. The GFCI circuit breakers do protect the entire circuit of outlets coming off that breaker, whereas a GFCI outlet only protects that individual outlet and others "downstream" on that branch of the circuit.

The basic electronics that measure and trip when the amount of electricity return becomes "unbalanced" (a simplified explanation of how GFCI works) are identical in the outlet and circuit breaker.

The BEST protection is to simply unplug everything!!!


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