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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
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There's been talk about the next code edition requiring AFCI protection everywhere in homes. In a way, I'm surprised that there was not an earlier move to make established GFCI technology apply throughout the house.

We never know just what a receptacle will power. I suggest that a GFCI might be a good thing for this aquarium:


[Linked Image]

So here's the question: IF you were on a service call to a house, and saw an aquarium ... would you recommend a GFCI?

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 840
C
Member
No.



Peter
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 821
S
Member
Yes.

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 119
C
Member
Poor Kitty and fish (Hope neither were harmed in that incident) I have cats and fish myself (Just a small 10 Gallon tank) and the top did fall in once(Just cleaned the tank an hour before did not notice the top was on incorrectly so I open to feed them and the whole thing falls in) but I use an inline GFCI Since I live in an apartment and cannot change the wiring. It did trip when my hood fell in the water. So I would recommend any fish owner to have GFCI Protection for at least the light and ever else can fall in the water the easiest and probably the heater also since I have that GFCI Protected also.


Theres always enough room in the junction box.You just need a bigger hammer
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
I
Moderator
So we have a no, a yes, and an 'I seen it work' smile

I have to ask this, assuming the cord to the lamps are two wire how would a GFCI help?


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 51
B
Member
I have been told that the GFCI is activated from a drop of 5 mili amps in the return current in other words part of the current is going to a ground fault not necessarily to the grounding.
Also Iv'e heard talk of all residences requiring AFCI protection being pushed by NFPA

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
I
Moderator
Originally Posted by BElder
I have been told that the GFCI is activated from a drop of 5 mili amps in the return current in other words part of the current is going to a ground fault not necessarily to the grounding.


That is 100% correct.

However what other path for current is available here?

Water in a glass tank sitting on a stand that may or not be conductive sitting on a floor that is likely to be non-conductive.

Without an EGC or other fault path the only path for current is line to line....GFCIs ignore line to line current.


Quote
Also Iv'e heard talk of all residences requiring AFCI protection being pushed by NFPA


It's more than talk, the 2008 NEC will require AFCI protection for most dwelling unit circuits,


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 65
B
Member
Originally Posted by iwire

However what other path for current is available here?

Water in a glass tank sitting on a stand that may or not be conductive sitting on a floor that is likely to be non-conductive.


In the example above, where the light fell in while a person was trying to open the top, consider the likely reaction of a person in that situation. It is likely that he would grab for the light to remove it quickly. Now, a person is in contact with the metal hood of the light and/or the water of the tank. Depending on what else that person is in contact with, you now have a fault path.

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 65
B
Member
Perhaps new UL standards for aquarium lights would be a better solution. Require that the lights are suitably sealed so that they can withstand immersion in water.

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 984
G
Member
How about a new NFPA 70E requirement for PPE for all pets?


Ghost307
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