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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

So I've been reading a lot about electrocution prevention, GFCI's and ground probes.....scary stuff.

I feel as if I'm going to go out and get one no matter what the results of this post but I've heard a lot of people say they won't use them as it's almost guaranteed to trip often. I don't want to endanger my investment in my 55 planted fresh or my 36 gal reef but I especially don't want to endanger myself.

Also, can someone describe to me how this is all set up?

My understanding/plan is to hang my powerstrips on the wall, created drip loops on all cords and then plug my powerstrip into a GFCI that is integrated into an extension cord or is mounted on wall socket. Then the ground probe runs from the tank onto something on the wall socket also? Also presumably with a drip loop as I'm connecting something metal from my tank directly into a wall socket?

I'm terrified I'm going to get this wrong. For now I'm just going to unplug powerstrip when putting hands in tank.

Thanks:confused:
 

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Just some guy, you know?
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I've run GFI's, but not ground probes on all my tanks for years, and I've never had them trip when they weren't supposed to. I did once have one trip, and that was because water ended up coming out of my tank and into a powersrip (If memory serves). In this case the GFI tripping probably prevented a fire because when I tried to use that power strip in an un-protedted outlet it made allot of smoke.

Basically I just bought a GFI recpetical and replaced my wall outlet with it,.. just like what you have in your bathroom.

I also did the drip loop thing on everything to prevent a re-cap of what happened to cause the GFI to trip.

I think there a good safty measure,
Whiskey
 

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I would highly recommend one...if done right it should only trip if there is a fault...I've had a few trips (blew the top off the skimmer, silly things like that) that probably didn't save my life, but I was glad to have it shut everything down while it was all dripping wet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Whiskey: Why no ground probe?

I've heard you can buy extension cords with integrated GFCI.....is that true and how common are they?

Thanks!
 

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Just some guy, you know?
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Whiskey: Why no ground probe?

I've heard you can buy extension cords with integrated GFCI.....is that true and how common are they?

Thanks!
I think you can, but if I recal there pretty pricey,.. plus I like the conveniance of just having the thing in my wall,.. that way everything I plug in is protected.

Anyway,.. after a while wall outlets simply wear out, and I'm pulling allot of juce so I sleep better knowing I have a new one - for ~$10 I get a nice new one, with a GFCI.

I don't have a ground probe,.. because,.. I don't - No real thought to it,.. just I've never felt the pressing need.

Whiskey
 

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I can't see why a GFCI would trip when it's not supposed to, unless it's a Chinese knockoff POS. If your home only uses a 2 wire system then it is retarded not to use a GFCI, infact your house is below code in most places if you don't have a GFCI on every 2 wire receptacle string.

Running GFCI's is always a good idea, but you don't need one at every plug, just the feeder receptacle if it's on a string. I'd recommend spending the $15-25 on a new high quality unit, from a reputable (US) manufacturer.
 

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Might want to verify your ground in your receptacle box is actually grounded to. Today's home builders are a bit sketchy to say the least. Once that is checked I'd put in a GFCI.
 

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Good points...older houses may not have used 2 wire + ground...so you're not protected with a GFCI unless there is a ground wire running back to the box and a good ground running from the box to "earth" or a copper pipe.
 

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I do HVAC/electrical work and I would say go with the GFCI. Code calls for one whenever you have water within 6ft of the outlet, and if you ever happened to have a fire or any kind of damage and your insurance company found out you didn't have a GFCI good luck convincing them to cover the damage. ANyway, it's always a safe bet, they're only like $13.
 

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Good points...older houses may not have used 2 wire + ground...so you're not protected with a GFCI unless there is a ground wire running back to the box and a good ground running from the box to "earth" or a copper pipe.
Not true...the GFCI will seek it's own ground and can be used in this application as long as it's not feeding through to another outlet
 

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But since we're on the subject.... it's a MUCH better idea to use an AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) Breaker. This will protect against any short circuits in our devices and also has GFCI built right into it. If you are adding any outlets in your home (living or sleeping areas) The new law REQUIRES the you have the circuit fed with and AFCI.
 

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I use both over 20 yrs and It has tripped once when a canister filter leaked on an outlet.I rather have it and sleep well at night knowing it works and if I put my hands in tank I'll still be here to help others.
 

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if you ever happened to have a fire or any kind of damage and your insurance company found out you didn't have a GFCI good luck convincing them to cover the damage. .
This might be a good time to explain that a GFCI WILL NOT prevent a fire. GFCI's only trip from Hot to ground, or neutral to ground, they WILL NOT trip on a short circuit. GFCI's are designed for personal protection, while AFCI's prevent fires.
 

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Have the prices on AFCI's come down yet. I avoid residential wiring like the plague but I know code was requiring them in all bedrooms now. Weren't they like $50 each?
 

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Not true...the GFCI will seek it's own ground and can be used in this application as long as it's not feeding through to another outlet
Well, I just went and read up on GFCI...and I stand corrected, LOL! Guess that stands to reason as the GFCI breaks the circuit at the "plug" not at the "box".
 

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I am probably the only one on this site that won't allow a GFI near their tank. I can deal with a little tingle of electricity if a pump starts leaking stray juice. I can't deal with coming home to a tank full of dead critters because a GFI tripped.
 
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