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Just_Tim
10-16-2014, 12:20 PM
Just like the title says. I found stray voltage around 40V coming from a return pump in my qt. Can they be repaired or is it trash?

Coral Xpressions
10-16-2014, 12:30 PM
Just get a grounding rod

Just_Tim
10-16-2014, 12:30 PM
Oh Levi.....

Redneck_Reefer
10-16-2014, 01:08 PM
what is the best way to test for stray voltage in your tank? I am guessing sticking your tongue in the water wont work. :drool5:

Just_Tim
10-16-2014, 01:12 PM
This voltage was physically noticeable. Courtney stuck one hand in and grounded her other hand and boom.

Just_Tim
10-16-2014, 01:13 PM
But a multimeter is pretty handy too.

Levi
10-16-2014, 01:15 PM
This voltage was physically noticeable. Courtney stuck one hand in and grounded her other hand and boom.

HAHAHA I tried to get my wife to do it when I knew I had stray voltage and she refused.... you have found yourself a good woman there Tim!

Murfman
10-16-2014, 06:51 PM
all a grounding probe does is mask the symptoms. You would be better off replacing it.

stacy_vennes
10-16-2014, 06:59 PM
Replace it. after I got shocked by my submersible pump; on my left hand, my pinky and ring finger was curled up and I had an irregular heartbeat for about 2 weeks. :( I would never have a pump like that again lol but that's just me.

scrumpto
10-17-2014, 06:42 PM
Had this happen to me a few months back.

Testing:

Quick Test:
Put any finger with a cut on it into your tank and you'll know immediately if you have stray voltage. You'll think it's a salt sting and you'll be wrong. Amazing how quick that works!

Better/Smarter Test:
Take a multi-meter and and place the red end in the tank and the black in the ground hole of a three pronged socket and you'll get a reading of how many volts are flowing through your system. Then start unplugging pumps until you find the culprit.

When I had the problem pump I measured about 50 volts which is way too high. I just check and I have about 1.2 volts. I use GFI on some of my equipment but had the breaker reset while out of town one time and lost most everything so I don't trust them.

As for grounding probes, here's what my research turned up when I had the problem.

A grounding probe not only masks the problem but can cause harm to the tank inhabitants. The reason is that without a source to ground the electricity isn't actually flowing through the system, it sitting there looking for a ground. When you stick your hand in the tank you then provide a conduit for the electricity and now it flows through the tank and through you. A grounding probe does the same thing except the electricity now flows through your tank inhabitants. Or that's the theory anyway.

As for your pump, throw it out as it could kill you and that's not worth the risk.

Coral Xpressions
10-17-2014, 07:10 PM
so what you guys are saying is that a GROUNDING ROD doesn't "ground" the electricity out of the tank. True it doesn't change the fact that something is releasing current into the tank, but does a ground rod not pull the current out and ground it to the house (i have my grounding rods plugged into an outlet). Yes replacing the pump is ultimately the best option, but a $15 fix over a $$$ pump is an easy quick solution to keep from killing yourself and livestock. Im no electrician so someone feel free to school me. But my backyard education clearly tells me that with no ground and you putting your hand in the water and getting a nice little zap, its because you became the link between the sitting current and "the ground" thus the current travels out of the tank, thru you to the ground. does a grounding rod not pull the current out? If it didn't then wouldn't you still get shocked by putting you hand in the water? and if your not getting zapped then neither are your tank inhabitants? again, just my public school education talking. Could be wrong (but rarely am lol)

NightStar
10-17-2014, 07:21 PM
What he's saying is a grounding rod does actually ground your tank, making it more dangerous for the inhabitants then without a rod. Same theory as why birds don't get shocked when they sit on electrical wires (wires are insulated, I know, it's a simple explanation). Without the grounding rod the tank isn't grounded, no path for the electricity, so the inhabitants of the tank can't get shocked. With the rod there's now a path for the electricity, giving the chance the inhabitants can be caught in its path and be electrocuted. I've read the same thing about grounding rods and it's why I don't personally use them.

+1 just replace the pump.

Craigar
10-17-2014, 07:23 PM
The problem is so you let your pumps leak voltage into the tank and it gets worse and worse and something happens and
A
the grounding plug gets unplugged
B
Probe gets nocked out of the sump
C
something happens to the outlet

Then you stick your hand in the water and now your pump has ton more voltage leaking and now your going to get knocked on your @$$

Just_Tim
10-17-2014, 07:25 PM
I agree. Without ground electricity has no power. Just like a light switch doesn't work until you complete the circuit=ground.

Coral Xpressions
10-17-2014, 07:30 PM
Again I agree with replacing the faulty equipment. My grounding rod screws into the outlet and is run behind the tanks so knocking out is drastically reduced.

Just a solution in lieu of a costlier pump to it can be afforded. Was merely staying they don't mask anything but remove the current

Coral Xpressions
10-17-2014, 07:35 PM
What he's saying is a grounding rod does actually ground your tank, making it more dangerous for the inhabitants then without a rod. Same theory as why birds don't get shocked when they sit on electrical wires (wires are insulated, I know, it's a simple explanation). Without the grounding rod the tank isn't grounded, no path for the electricity, so the inhabitants of the tank can't get shocked. With the rod there's now a path for the electricity, giving the chance the inhabitants can be caught in its path and be electrocuted. I've read the same thing about grounding rods and it's why I don't personally use them.

+1 just replace the pump.
Um the fish get shocked when there's no grounding rod as the current suits in the tank sorely cooking them. Hence why they die if too much being leaked. The rod removes it

Silly rabbit.

But I'll plus one your plus one

hooked
10-17-2014, 07:35 PM
I test my equipment for current leaks weekly using a volt meter. I personally saw a guy get killed by a 5volt transformer. I was working at Digital Equipment back in '89. Had to do with a cut on his hand also.

Just_Tim
10-17-2014, 08:22 PM
^^For real. Watts and volts don't matter. It's the amp that kills. I happen to enjoy the casual 120v zap. I just won't go near the line that carries 1 amp.

Levi
10-17-2014, 08:28 PM
Had this happen to me a few months back.

Testing:

Quick Test:
Put any finger with a cut on it into your tank and you'll know immediately if you have stray voltage. You'll think it's a salt sting and you'll be wrong. Amazing how quick that works!

Better/Smarter Test:
Take a multi-meter and and place the red end in the tank and the black in the ground hole of a three pronged socket and you'll get a reading of how many volts are flowing through your system. Then start unplugging pumps until you find the culprit.

When I had the problem pump I measured about 50 volts which is way too high. I just check and I have about 1.2 volts. I use GFI on some of my equipment but had the breaker reset while out of town one time and lost most everything so I don't trust them.

As for grounding probes, here's what my research turned up when I had the problem.

A grounding probe not only masks the problem but can cause harm to the tank inhabitants. The reason is that without a source to ground the electricity isn't actually flowing through the system, it sitting there looking for a ground. When you stick your hand in the tank you then provide a conduit for the electricity and now it flows through the tank and through you. A grounding probe does the same thing except the electricity now flows through your tank inhabitants. Or that's the theory anyway.

As for your pump, throw it out as it could kill you and that's not worth the risk.
So I have stray voltage in my tank and need to check with a volt meter, also have a grounding probe and none of my corals or fish look stressed. My zoas are actually growing like crazy.

TheMadReefer
10-17-2014, 08:28 PM
Another good reason to go low-volt.

scrumpto
10-18-2014, 09:38 PM
I do not begin to understand electricity -- I only know that I've suffered some extreme shocks that should have killed me (standing in 1" water while turning a key to a Jacuzzi jet switch in an apartment complex and getting thrown 8 ft away!). I've also received more than a few shocks from my tanks -- mostly from some used pumps I bought from people in this club. (never again).

All my reading has produced enough confusion that I now have a simple approach -- no more used, questionable or broken pumps. When in doubt, throw it out. You could spend $20 to save a $100 pump only to lose your life. Just not worth it in my opinion.

For the discussion on grounding probes, my research found that people with more knowledge than myself recommended against using them. I almost tried to patent the idea of a stray voltage alarm for aquariums but it appears others have done this. If I could find an actual working model I'd buy one if the price was reasonable. I'm sure they've made them for other industries -- just need to find one for our application.
Maybe like this? http://www.farmshow.com/a_article.php?aid=3668

For me, when in doubt, throw it out.