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#25292 - 05/03/03 10:04 AM aquarium  
Cindy  Offline
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 196
this is a new dentists office with a 50ft long wall of salt water aquariums in front of all the chairs, with 125v and 250v pumps, transformers, etc for about 100amps of "plug in" equipment.... and no electrical installations by us, just supply the outlets.

there are cords hanging over the tanks tied up with tie wraps and screw in hooks, and 250v twist lock outlets just above some tanks below the fish tanks. i cant believe they dont have to have gfci protection, but i dont know how to tell them it is required because its not a bathroom, kitchen, rooftop, or pool/tub. any ideas? 250.114 is the only NEC reference i could find but that doesnt say gfci's are needed. tanks [Linked Image]

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#25293 - 05/04/03 08:23 AM Re: aquarium  
zapped208  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 196
Somewhere in USA
It would probably be a good thing to gfi the tank equipment since it is in a public type area, but I do not see any article off hand that mentions aquariums need gfi protection.

Shoot first, apologize later.....maybe

#25294 - 05/04/03 09:28 AM Re: aquarium  
Electric Eagle  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
Alpharetta, GA
I don't think you would want or need GFCI protection for an aquarium. Do you put ejector pumps on GFCI's? A salt water aquarium must have constant water circulation and controlled temperature. If that GFCI trips, you're going to have a lot of dead expensive fish?

It sounds like your biggest concern is a cord falling in the tank? Just take extra steps to ensure that can't happen.

#25295 - 05/04/03 11:47 AM Re: aquarium  
Cindy  Offline
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 196
just want to be sure we arent liable for missing some code requirement, hopefully they hire someone professional to clean and maintain this 50ft long 8ft high wall of tanks with over 100amps of lights and outlets installed within 2 or 3 inches of the tops of the tanks. since the lights and transformers are all plugins, i dont see how we could be liable

#25296 - 05/04/03 04:35 PM Re: aquarium  
nesparky  Offline
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 642
A lot of AHJ's have told me that the NEC stopps at the outlet. If the EC did not install the tanks or the tank equipment, it's not the EC's responsibility.
While we can advise, we cannot control some one else's actions.
Personally I would have recommended GFI breakers for the set up you described in writing. If the owner said "ok" then installed them, if the owner said no then file the answer and keep that with the job records.
The NEC does not say any thing about this or any other planned decoration installed after our work is done.


#25297 - 05/04/03 07:11 PM Re: aquarium  
Steve Miller  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 325
Loudoun Cty, VA
I tend to agree with EE. It's not required, so no GFCI. Kind of like a sump pump in a basement. There's not much worse than finding out about a major problem ... be it dead fish or flooded basement ... on Monday morning after a 3 day weekend.

#25298 - 05/05/03 12:43 PM Re: aquarium  
Electric Eagle  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
Alpharetta, GA
I will slightly revise my answer. As long as you're only putting the lighting on a GFCI, then I think it's OK, just not the pump or cooler.

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