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Topic Title: earthing a fish tank
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Created On: 01 May 2013 10:47 AM
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 01 May 2013 10:47 AM
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inamess

Posts: 63
Joined: 19 August 2009

a friend has just phoned saying he gets a small shock when putting his hand in the water of his rather large fish tank,lotts of filters circ pumps and heaters .
must be a small earth leakage somewhere how would you earth the tank?
cheers
 01 May 2013 10:57 AM
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bartonp

Posts: 58
Joined: 28 September 2009

First check he doesn't have electric eels etc....
 01 May 2013 11:05 AM
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AJJewsbury

Posts: 11769
Joined: 13 August 2003

I'm not sure that earthing the tank would help - hands in water would still be in the path of the current through the water. Current flowing through the water probably isn't any good for the fish either.

Given the relatively poor conductivity of water, I'd suspect that one or more of the pieces of equipment is faulty (water ingress?)
Probably better to locate the faulty equipment and replace/fix that.

- Andy.
 01 May 2013 11:57 AM
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mkmike

Posts: 31
Joined: 15 April 2011

I suspect that your friend has a tropical marine tank, by the decription of the circ pumps.

Marine saltwater is about 1.024 to 1.026SG and is nice and conductive.

I own,well I am sadly in the process of getting rid of an 800 litre tropical marine tank. There is a lot of debate on earthing marine aquariums (with titanium earth rods, not copper as that is lethal to invertebrate lifeforms in the tank in even minute quantities).

Most of the pumps, heaters etc. are double insulated so it will be worth checking that one of them isn't starting to fail. Small currents in the water can lead to HLLE (Head and Lateral Line Erosion) in marine fish so it needs to be sorted.
 01 May 2013 06:37 PM
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DOUGIE1000

Posts: 4187
Joined: 13 August 2005

Most of the appliances from my fist tank days were nearly always double insulated.

-------------------------
Dougie
Power Plus Electrical.co.uk

My mission is to live as long as possible......so far so good!
 01 May 2013 08:16 PM
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OldSparky

Posts: 592
Joined: 28 June 2011

tell him dont put his hand in
 01 May 2013 08:49 PM
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Zs

Posts: 3042
Joined: 20 July 2006

Inamess, Can you get some more information for us? I am very interested to know what the outcome of this is so please don't forget to tell us.

When he gets the shock, what is his other hand or arm in contact with, such as the lid of the tank etc.?

Does it happen every time?

And curiously, not relating to the fish tank particularly, but to him; at the moment is he getting a zap anywhere else? When he gets out of the car for example? I ask that because no question, at the moment I am charged and zapping everything I touch including a running tap at the office today. I have no doubt at all that they are correctly installed there. Does anyone know the current or voltage emitted from a static shock?

Then, I'd like to know if he uses an extension cable for the tank, or if there is a socket he uses very close by (my cable used to be shoved down the back behind the decorative picture...not good). The reason I ask about that is that absolutely every appliance you buy for a tank instructs you to form a 'drip loop' so that any water you spill whilst filling or dipping your hand in flows down the cable away from the tank and then drips off the loop before it can get into a connection. All really sensible stuff but did I do it? Well, only when I was doing something major and then the next time I took the lid off I disturbed the loops and it stayed like that for ages.

So I am wondering if this could be something very basic such as water ingress into the extension cable?

There are web sites to be had about fish tank electrics too. I've been looking at them recently to check my own advice for a client with a big tank full of Ciclid fish. The cupboard underneath that one is full of ordinary plastic sockets and feels very steamy.

Yes, I did, for years, but not now. The last were glorious goldfish called One and Two....So that if One died I still had Two left and if Two died I still had One left.

Please let us know the outcome of this, we get loads of unresolved issues on here.

Zs

oooh, spell check has arived on the forum.

Edit, BOD, I just opened the post. Thank you, you are very sweet.
 01 May 2013 09:04 PM
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M.Joshi

Posts: 212
Joined: 10 January 2003

Might be worth carrying out a PAT on all the pumps, heaters, light unit and other electrical equipment connected to the tank.

-------------------------
M.I.E.T - Forfeited this due to The I.E.T's ridiculous membership rules!
 01 May 2013 09:06 PM
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dbullard

Posts: 1166
Joined: 02 March 2006

Originally posted by: Zs

Inamess, Can you get some more information for us? I am very interested to know what the outcome of this is so please don't forget to tell us.



When he gets the shock, what is his other hand or arm in contact with, such as the lid of the tank etc.?



Does it happen every time?



And curiously, not relating to the fish tank particularly, but to him; at the moment is he getting a zap anywhere else? When he gets out of the car for example? I ask that because no question, at the moment I am charged and zapping everything I touch including a running tap at the office today. I have no doubt at all that they are correctly installed there. Does anyone know the current or voltage emitted from a static shock?



Then, I'd like to know if he uses an extension cable for the tank, or if there is a socket he uses very close by (my cable used to be shoved down the back behind the decorative picture...not good). The reason I ask about that is that absolutely every appliance you buy for a tank instructs you to form a 'drip loop' so that any water you spill whilst filling or dipping your hand in flows down the cable away from the tank and then drips off the loop before it can get into a connection. All really sensible stuff but did I do it? Well, only when I was doing something major and then the next time I took the lid off I disturbed the loops and it stayed like that for ages.



So I am wondering if this could be something very basic such as water ingress into the extension cable?



There are web sites to be had about fish tank electrics too. I've been looking at them recently to check my own advice for a client with a big tank full of Ciclid fish. The cupboard underneath that one is full of ordinary plastic sockets and feels very steamy.



Yes, I did, for years, but not now. The last were glorious goldfish called One and Two....So that if One died I still had Two left and if Two died I still had One left.



Please let us know the outcome of this, we get loads of unresolved issues on here.



Zs



oooh, spell check has arived on the forum.



Edit, BOD, I just opened the post. Thank you, you are very sweet.




Zs

Sorry i am in a funny mood, just had a cracking bike ride did 11miles in 47mins ..................... time to change the "Nylon underwear"

Regards


Daren

-------------------------
..... Dont pee in my pocket and tell me its raining ......


www.quest-electrical-sw.co.uk
 01 May 2013 10:42 PM
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Zs

Posts: 3042
Joined: 20 July 2006

I'm letting you off for that in public pal, so that this thread doesn't grind to a halt without the answer to the OP

Zs
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