Safety "sticky" regarding electricity and water - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 Old 06-26-2013, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
DKRST's Avatar
 
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.

18 species/varieties of fish, 15 species/varieties of plants - The fish are finally ahead of the plants!
*560 gallons (2120 liters) in 5 tanks -> you do the math.

Last edited by DKRST; 06-26-2013 at 11:07 AM.
DKRST is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 Old 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.
dramaqueen is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 06-26-2013, 04:10 PM
Member
 
Byron's Avatar
 
This is a good suggestion. And we're going to take you up on your offer...can you prepare an article please?

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
Byron is offline  
post #4 of 11 Old 06-26-2013, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
DKRST's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
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?

18 species/varieties of fish, 15 species/varieties of plants - The fish are finally ahead of the plants!
*560 gallons (2120 liters) in 5 tanks -> you do the math.
DKRST is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to DKRST For This Useful Post:
ao (07-04-2013), Byron (06-26-2013), dramaqueen (06-26-2013)
post #5 of 11 Old 06-26-2013, 07:40 PM
Thank you so much for being willing to write one up for us.
dramaqueen is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 06-26-2013, 07:45 PM
Member
 
Byron's Avatar
 
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...

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
Byron is offline  
post #7 of 11 Old 06-26-2013, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
DKRST's Avatar
 
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 .
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...

18 species/varieties of fish, 15 species/varieties of plants - The fish are finally ahead of the plants!
*560 gallons (2120 liters) in 5 tanks -> you do the math.
DKRST is offline  
post #8 of 11 Old 07-14-2013, 07:19 AM
pop
Member
 
Hello DKRST;
I don’t 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
pop is offline  
post #9 of 11 Old 07-14-2013, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
DKRST's Avatar
 
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.

18 species/varieties of fish, 15 species/varieties of plants - The fish are finally ahead of the plants!
*560 gallons (2120 liters) in 5 tanks -> you do the math.
DKRST is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 07-14-2013, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
DKRST's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pop View Post
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!!!

18 species/varieties of fish, 15 species/varieties of plants - The fish are finally ahead of the plants!
*560 gallons (2120 liters) in 5 tanks -> you do the math.
DKRST is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"Ideal Water Dragon Diet" or "Anyone know of a good reptile forum?" redchigh Vivariums and Reptiles 1 12-10-2011 11:16 AM
Aquarium safety sticky? DKRST Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 1 03-03-2011 03:39 PM

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 On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome