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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I put my hand in my sump for either maintenance or whatever the reason, I can feel a small amount of electrical current in my hand and fingers, and like an idiot, I only feel it when I'm barefoot on the concrete. Yeah, very stupid I know, but it's a very minimal amount. All my equipment is in the garage, so any modifications I need to make will be simple, I hope. How can I remove the electricity from the water? Can I get a grounding probe of some sort to stick in the sump to disapate it? I know a couple of you out there are electricians, so any help or advice would be great. Both of my pumps are external, 3 prong, etc..... My house was built in 1961 and I don't really know why it does this. All the outlets in the house are 3 prong, but again, not an electrician. Thanks TRT.
 

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First, I'd find out what is causing the voltage. Get a volt meter and measure the voltage from the water to a good ground. Shut off one device at a time until you track down the culprit. THEN I would have the outlets , that you use for tank power, upgraded to GFCI outlets so that you don't fry yourself some day. Those ground probes are designed to remove any STATIC voltages that may be built up from pump impellers, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I knew you would be out there Butch, I'm a step ahead of you, maybe. I just used my OHM meter, when I touch positive probe to water and hold ground, I'm getting .27 volts reading. Maybe I'm doing it incorrectly. I'll go back out and unplug each item and see what happens and report back. Then I'm going to buy a couple GFCI outlets, better safe than sorry. The only things that I have plugged in is a RIO 1700 for my skimmer, an ampmaster reeflo pump and a small quiet one pump, and all the water passes through a 1/3 hp chiller. Kooky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey Butch, I just unplugged each item and the charge was still there, seems to be originating from the drain to the sump, it feels strongest there. I cut the electrical for the whole system and switched off the circuit breaker to make sure, can still feel electrical charge. Could this just be static electricity? My wife is freakin out because she can feel it as well, but she said it hurts. I think she is just a wimpy girl though. Hahaha Maybe the probe will cure the problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh, and zero charge in the main tank, nothing, nada, nix.
 

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No this is not static. That is energy charged in your body or some other method that gets up to 2000 volts just to feel. It is stored energy discharged in the form of a spark.

If you got this I would start with a new surge supressor strip and then measure with a voltmeter from your ground to a pipe outside (you can hook on a long wire to the black lead). Set your ohmmeter on ohms for the ground to the pipe outside. Be careful though and do not plug it into the line or neutral sockets for this one or you will need a new fuse for your meter.

Have any nerdy friends?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hahaha, I have a couple of nerdy friends!!! Why? Want phone numbers? I'll check the voltage like you said and see what I get. It's not disturbing anything in the main tank, so not too worried, have lived with this problem for 3 years. Just don't know if there will be long term effects from it. I was told that the only creature that it would disturb would be a shark, and he went bye bye a couple of weeks ago back to the LFS after he attacked one of my Diamond Watchman Gobies. Maybe the voltage drove him insane quicker!!!
 

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when you killed power to everything, did you just turn stuff off, or did you completely unplug everything?

Have you verified that you do indeed have everything plugged into a well grounded outlet?

Are you using an autoranging meter to test it? .27V doesn't seem like much of anything to cause a problem. What kind of meter are you using? Is it a Wal-Mart special? If so, what are you setting it at? Checking for AC or DC? What did you use as your ground for testing? If you used the outlet, again, are you sure it's well grounded?

I wonder if by virtue of a diode with only one end dipped in the water, if you could determine the direction of the flow of electricity. We commonly assume the tank is hot and the garage floor is ground. Don't know why it wouldn't be that way here really, but maybe a fun experiment to try.
 

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BTW...if it were only fractional voltage, I doubt if you'd feel it. You said that you get it because of the garage floor as ground. Just for chuckles, see if you have a voltage form the ground prong of the outlet to the garage floor or other solid ground. It's possible that you could have a bad/loose panel ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I flipped the breaker with no power on tht side of the house and I still felt it. Yes, I was using a Snap-On ohm meter for that reading, .27 being the highest reading as it was fluctuating up and down. I took a piece of stainless wire, put it in the sump and grounded to faucet and it went away. I think it's just static charge from the pipes, ?????? The outlet is also grounded, I traced the ground wire to the faucet as well. I'm no electrician, everything else, yes, but hate electricity. How shoul I set the meter? The charge is alot stronger where the water returns to the sump and it's alot weaker into the return pump side.
 

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If you shut off all power to the tank and associated devices, and still felt it, then it can't be static since nothing is running. I think I know what it could be, but I truely believe that you should call an electrician at this point. PM Sent..
 
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