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Thread: Thank god for GFI's

  1. #1
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    Oct 2014
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    Thank god for GFI's

    So about two weeks ago I had one of the LED's over my salt tank go out. Any time it was plugged in, the GFI would trip. I'm not an electrician by any stretch, so while I may take the time in the future to mess around with a voltmeter and see if I can figure out where it's screwed up, I needed a quicker solution.

    I ended up going with a programmable Euphotica 24" light.

    The light arrived the day we were set to leave for vacation. The tank had already had no light on it for about a week, and the corals weren't looking too happy.

    I got home from work, figured I had an hour to quick mount the new light, then we were gone for a week.

    So (and this was where I screwed up) I decided to reuse the existing ceiling mounts I already had in place. The lights came with a hanging kit, and the connectors to the light were unique, so I used the connectors/wires from the new lights, with the old ceiling mounts.

    Install the light, everything looks great. Program the timers etc. on the light, and we're ready for our trip!

    As we're finishing packing up the car about 30 min. later, I decide to give the tank one last look before we leave.

    I walk downstairs, and the light is hanging at a 45 angle, half submerged in the tank.

    (Again, thank god for GFI outlets)

    I made sure the power was OFF, grabbed the light and detached the remaining mount from the ceiling.

    Then I had to make a hard call. What's the best way to clean salt water soaked electronics?

    At the lab where I used to work, we cleaned off all the most sensitive electronics with RODI water.

    So after pulling my light out of a fish tank, there I am doing multiple RODI dips of my $300 light.

    After three rinses, I disassembled the light, and took a relatively low pressure air house and towel and removed all the other water I could find.

    I ended up removing the cooling fan and driver from the submerged side. The fan had too much salt water get into where the bearings are, and the driver/power converter part had started to melt weird goo out of some of the components by the third RODI dip.

    I reassembled the light, and fingers crossed plugged it in with the components that were left.

    Thankfully, the LED panel for programming the light still worked, and the driver that was still in the fixture was the one wired to all the actinic bulbs. Set the light up on some 2x2's and left.

    Came back after our 10 day vacation.

    Light is still working in its limited capacity, the corals were all growing like mad over what they'd been like when I left, and after I told the manufacturer what an idiot I was and what had happened, they said they'd send out the replacement parts free of charge!

    I had offered to pay for them as it was totally my own fault, but they were super awesome about it.

    Anyway, just thought I'd share this story for a few reasons.

    1. Always use a GFI. Some day it might save your entire tank, or your life.
    2. I don't think I'm going to ceiling mount a light ever again.
    3. Having RODI water around is useful for more than just making salt water.

    Maybe someone else can avoid my stupidity by my sharing my story.

  2. Likes Joe, static reef liked this post
  3. #2
    Public Relations Liasion
    static reef's Avatar

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    Nov 2012
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    Wow. You should play the lottery this weekend.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  4. #3
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    Oct 2014
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    Vendor sent out the replacement parts for free, just arrived yesterday afternoon. Fingers crossed, in 30 min. I should have a fully functioning light again!

    edit: light is back to full function!
    Last edited by esmith; 08-20-2017 at 03:41 PM. Reason: light works

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