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#70223 - 10/02/06 02:47 PM Saltwater fish tank, help with current leak
Trick440 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/15/05
Posts: 248
Loc: Waterford, MI, USA
Ok So the light fixture on my Saltwater fishtank is leaking current.

When I touch the fixture I can feel it and I can really feel it with 1 hand in the water.

Any ideas on how to fix this problem?

They sell these ground probes which I am going to get but thats taking the current from the tank.... http://www.marinedepot.com/aquarium_miscellaneous_titanium_grounding_probe.asp?CartId=

maybe I should bond the fixture? I'm sure that was done at the factory but I dont know why im getting shocked.


[This message has been edited by Trick440 (edited 10-02-2006).]
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#70224 - 10/02/06 05:00 PM Re: Saltwater fish tank, help with current leak
RODALCO Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 863
Loc: Titirangi, Akld, New Zealand
Do an insulation test on it which will give you the condition of the insulation of the wiring and the fixture.
Possible a poor termination or loose strands may touch the outer exposed metal.
Bear in mind that you have a dangerous situation at the moment and do not touch it with your hand whatsoever.
Chance of electrocution is possible.
Take it out and test it or get a new one, at the moment it is dangerous !!
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#70225 - 10/02/06 05:20 PM Re: Saltwater fish tank, help with current leak
Trick440 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/15/05
Posts: 248
Loc: Waterford, MI, USA
Its very common to feel some shocks in saltwater. Its 'Salt' water, very conductive. So I'm not worried about the shocks to much. I just want to find a cure the common problem.

But I would do an insulation test if I knew what that was. I'm hoping to cure this with an easy bond... or is that to simple.
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#70226 - 10/02/06 05:37 PM Re: Saltwater fish tank, help with current leak
Tesla Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/04
Posts: 1280
Loc: Sacramento, CA
Play the odds...

The odds are that you are dealing with capacitive coupling to the salt water.

Your ONLY solution is to drain this EMF potential to ground.

The exact same effect can be had in hot tubs with ungrounded ( pre 1962 ) wiring. Any hot tub will build up quite a potential....

But the amps should be low....

Bleed them off through a sweet ground.

The zap will be gone.
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#70227 - 10/02/06 06:06 PM Re: Saltwater fish tank, help with current leak
mhulbert Offline
Member

Registered: 10/19/04
Posts: 133
Loc: Anaheim, CA USA
I've worked on a few saltwater aquariums and have not been shocked. I have done work for a "fish tank cleaning guy" that probably works on 30-50 different salt aquariums a week, and I know none of them shock him.

I don't think it's safe to say that it's common to recieve a shock in saltwater. You have a problem with your equipment, find the problem and get rid of it or the equipment. Also, you should put all your saltwater equipment on GFI's. I have found faulty pumps tend to trip them out, especially the cheap pumps from overseas. Check heaters as well.

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#70228 - 10/02/06 06:16 PM Re: Saltwater fish tank, help with current leak
JoeTestingEngr Offline
Member

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 786
Loc: Chicago, Il.
You might consider getting rid of the Electric Eels too.
Joe

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#70229 - 10/02/06 07:44 PM Re: Saltwater fish tank, help with current leak
BigB Offline
Member

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 727
Loc: Tucson, AZ USA
Har Har that was a good one Joe.

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#70230 - 10/02/06 09:09 PM Re: Saltwater fish tank, help with current leak
Rewired Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/06
Posts: 567
Loc: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Perhaps completely isolate it with an isolation transformer????
A.D

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#70231 - 10/03/06 12:06 AM Re: Saltwater fish tank, help with current leak
Alan Belson Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 1801
Loc: Mayenne N. France
JoeTE: LOL:
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#70232 - 10/03/06 01:10 PM Re: Saltwater fish tank, help with current leak
Trick440 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/15/05
Posts: 248
Loc: Waterford, MI, USA
capacitive coupling ... I like that.

I'm gonna try the ground probe I posted and then I'm going to bond the fiture to a definate ground.

And Mhulbert... you might wanna ask your fish guy, cause theres current in saltwater fish tanks all the time. With saltwater, it damn near travels through the air.... especially when you have so many watts being pulled by these fixtures.

My setup is not very large and its 2 x 250w MH at 480v (it think it was 480) after the transformer, and then 2 more transformers powering 4- 80w t5 light.. with fans, moonlights, etc, and thats just 1 fixture.

And you also don't GFCI your pumps. A tripped GFCI could easily mean a $2500 loss in corals and fish.. and thats just a moderate setups loss.. a large setup the loss would be even greater.
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