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electric shock

Discussion in 'General Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by jcrackz69, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. jcrackz69

    jcrackz69 New Member

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    electric shock
    how come i get shocked when i put my hand in the aquarium. Equipment is good and the shock is getting more intense.
     
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  2. elmafioso52988

    elmafioso52988 New Member

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    Check you heater it might be shatered. If it's shocking you it's also shocking the inhabitant. I would sudgest getting a ground prob if you can't figure out what is causing the shock. The probe will ground your equpment causing the shock to stop. You have stray voltage coming from some were. Good luck
     
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  3. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Administrator
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    You've gotta get this resolved today. VERY dangerous.

    I have done it like this (do NOT do this yourself get an electrician to help with the proper tools).

    I Unplugged each item ONE at a time until I determined which item was at fault. REPLACE that item today!
     
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  4. Wakeskater02

    Wakeskater02 New Member

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    +1 AL. :help1: :help1: :help1:

    This can be VERY DANGEROUS! Think about it like this... It only takes 1/2 volt to shut your heart off!

    Saftey first! Good luck.
     
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  5. MrPex

    MrPex New Member

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    Hey Wake-

    It's amps (current), not volts, that kill you. We regularly walk around with thousands of volts in us - every time you shock yourself after walking around on the carpet, for instance, you could be discharging 10,000 volts from your feet through your heart to your finger for that little spark- but you carry so few amps (milliamps in my static example) that you don't really get hurt.

    But you DO need high voltage to push the amps (current) through. This is why you can touch a car battery on both poles with each dry hand and it won't kill you- it has more than enough amps (current), but it's only 12 volts, so the voltage is not high enough to force it through your body from hand to hand because of the resistance of your body. But volts alone don't kill.

    (Disclaimer to anyone reading this - DON'T go and try to hang a wire onto each pole of a car battery and touch them to your tongue or to any points close to each other on your body- there may be so little resistance between the two points that you choose that 12 volts IS enough to push the current across that particular path and you MAY end up in the hospital with a VERY serious injury! My example above is for only touching one dry hand on each pole of the battery- 12 volts is not enough to push the current all the way through your whole body, but it SURE is enough to go across your wet tongue!!! )

    But your point is well made :thumbup: - electricity can be VERY dangerous and lethal.
     
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  6. Wakeskater02

    Wakeskater02 New Member

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    I know first hand. My dad works for Verizon and climbs the High Tension poles! His friend got killed by 10,000 volts wire.
     
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  7. theskunk

    theskunk New Member

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    amps volts it dosnt really matter its all dangerous and is hurting your livestock and could potentially kill you so find whats causing it and get rid of it!!!! water electricity bad
     
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  8. MrPex

    MrPex New Member

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    But it wasn't the voltage that killed him. Yes, transmission lines and distribution lines are rated by Kv, but it's the voltage that allows the current (amps) to travel through your body to do the killing.

    Again, you can touch something well in excess of 10,000 volts and live. Every time you shock yourself with static, you're letting thousands, or even tens of thousands, of volts travel across your body. The voltage is nearly harmless, and static doesn't kill you because the current (again, current = amps) is next to zero. So the 10,000 volts doesn't harm you. You put some measurable current with that voltage and the voltage will allow the current to travel across your body, and the current is what would probably stop your heart, if it doesn't blow you up or vaporize you first.

    This is the exact premise that allows stun guns to work. The high voltage hurts like a son-of-a-gun and can stun you, but generally it is harmless because the stun gun delivers so little current when it fires and because what little current there is doesn't cross the heart because of the close placement of the probes. (Yes, few people have died from stun guns, but they have almost always been found to have had other mitigating health issues.)

    I don't mean to get into a war over this, (really - :angel2:) but if you're talking to someone about electricity, you NEED to have your facts straight. I used to work for a power company and I am an electrical engineer major, and what we're talking about is one of the basic things that gets beaten into your head in that field.

    No hard feelings- :clink:
     
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  9. lcstorc

    lcstorc New Member

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    I'm with the skunk on this one.
    Electricity + saltwater = really really bad.
     
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  10. jcrackz69

    jcrackz69 New Member

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    I have researched the probe and all forums I have come across states they are bad. They don't fix the problem but hide it. I just replaced my heater now I will do the lighting
     
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  11. BobBursek

    BobBursek New Member

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    Grounding probes are not suppose to fix the problem, they are there to protect when there is a problem until you can resolve it.
     
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  12. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Administrator
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    Correct. They provide an easier path for stray voltage to travel instead of into your body.

    They do "Mask" a problem but could save you a shock if you KNOW you have a problem.

    Regardless for your safety and the health of your tank it's gotta get resolved. This is theorized to be a potential cause in one leading fish diseases.
     
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  13. BobBursek

    BobBursek New Member

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    Did not know that BA, which disease?
     
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  14. alton

    alton New Member

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    Current in the tank is deadly please call an electrician immediately. The following is a study I did back in 2006. (Sorry it is fairly long)
    DO NOT TRY WHAT I DID FOR THE STUDY.

    Stray Voltage
    Before I get started “I DO NOT RECOMMEND” to anyone to do the things I have done for my test!
    With that I am covering Stray Voltage in and around your aquarium. This does not cover stray current in your tank! If you are getting a tingle when you touch your water, find out what is causing it and remove it, do not go out a buy a grounding probe thinking this will fix the problem. I recommend only using power heads and other equipment that is grounded (Has three prongs). I have never had problems with stray voltage or so I thought till last week when I checked all three of my aquariums. The reason I say that is because I am barefooted on a tile floor with my hands and arms submerged all the time with no tingle, so how could I have voltage? I have checked in the past with a meter with no voltage showing. Just recently I had made changes to my 200 gallon aquarium, but I figured no tingle no voltage right? The following is what I came up with all electrical equipment and lighting for the following tanks:

    Tank #1 - 200 gallon, wet dry filter system, Mag. pump for the skimmer, Pan World 100PXX for the return. On lighting, 2 – 250 watt MH, 4 – 54w T5HO, 1 – 160 watt VHO.
    Stray voltage – 14.5 volts and yes no tingle, even when I was barefooted and wet floor. Turn off the metal halides and it drops to 8.5 volts, turn off the rest of the lighting and it drops below 2 volts. For a clarification my hood is brand new, with no salt crepe or moisture and the lamps are a minimum of 8” above the water.

    Tank #2 – 155 gallon, wet dry filter system, Mag. pump for the skimmer, Pan World 50PXX for the return. On lighting, 2 – 250 watt MH mounted in a 5’ Orbit light
    Stray voltage – less than .5 volts with everything running. Clarification light is metal and grounded and the tank has glass tops.

    Tank #3 – 29 gallon with an eclipse three filter system. The lighting consists of a 96 watt Quad PC with a 2 ½” fan from Radio Shack for cooling.
    Stray voltage – 9 volts and once again no tingle. I grounded the reflector and the voltage only dropped a volt. Turn off light and voltage is below .5 volts. For clarification once again no moisture everything is dry, lamps is mounted only 3” above the water.

    Solution: Installed a grounding probe into sump of tank #1 and one into the tank of #3 and voltage dropped below one volt in each.

    GROUNDING PROBE – Good or Bad?
    Let’s cover the bad things first:
    If your service ground is bad outside it will use your tank as a ground and you will get more than a tingle. Example I got a call from a friend and he told me he was getting shocked when he put his hand in his tank. So I took a voltage reading and only 5 volts to the meter but to the hand it wasn’t very pleasing. Took out the grounding probe and voltage and shock was gone. I went to the service and added another ground rod and it took care of the problem. He left the probe out of his tank.
    If you have a lightning strike near your home you have a chance of the voltage finding your way into your tank.
    If you are going to install a grounding probe lets cover the basic setup for a safe operation:
    Check your service for a ground rod some homes in SA do not have one. Go to where your meter is and look below your service panel or disconnect for#6 or larger wire leading into the ground. The ground rod should be buried below. If you cannot find one call an electrician to install one. If you are in soil keep the area moist especially now in dry times, this the main reason we lose our grounding. If you are in rock same thing make sure and keep the soil wet because you have less soil and solid rock does not make a good grounding substance. If you are building a new home add an additional grounding source to your ground rod by attaching a grounding conductor of #4 copper wire to a minimum of 20’ of rebar in your slab and attach it in two places and then attach it to your service panel grounding bar. To check and make sure you do not any voltage on your grounding conductors take your meter and place the probes across the grounding (green) and grounded (White) slots of several receptacles through out your house, the voltage should be 0. And then attach the probes across the ungrounded (black or red) slot and the grounding slot, and then the ungrounded slot and grounded slot. Determining which slot is which is easy. Looking at the receptacle the “U” shaped one is the grounding. The largest of the straight slots is normally the grounded with the smaller of the two being the hot or ungrounded. If you have voltage from the grounded and grounding slots (1 to 50 volts) you have poor grounding, call an electrician. If you have 120 volts then your grounded and ungrounded conductors could be reversed. (Call an electrician) Remember black or red goes on gold and white goes on silver, and of course the green or bare wire goes on the green terminal.
    If everything is perfect than install your grounding probe, but don’t forget about it every once in a while you will need to check for voltage. It’s just like checking your GFCI receptacles to make sure they are working properly. Just because you have one doesn’t mean you’re safe. That is why there is a test button.

    Some issues with Stray voltage and fish:
    The reason why I started this article was my Chevron Tang started getting HLLE and I couldn’t figure out why?

    (From Richard at CB pets)
    We know from experience that certain fish may do poorly in tanks which have stray voltage. One example is an imperator angel we had in qt that was doing really well. Moved him out for sale and all he did was hide in the corner and would not eat. Moved him back to qt and he acted fine. Moved him back out and he quit eating. Hmmmm...so I checked for stray voltage on the tank and it was 16 volts. Added a grounding probe and he immediately started swimming around normally and ate when I fed him. So I took out the grounding probe and he immediately swam to the same corner and would not move. Put it back in and he was back to acting normal.
    I guess some fish are more sensitive to it than others but since they sense electrical voltage it is probably a stressor to some degree for all fish.
    Some say that stray voltage could be the cause (or one of them) for HLLE.
    This isn't proven but but makes some sense to me.
     
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  15. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Administrator
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    Off the top of my head I can't remember but I think it water latereal line and hole in head (those aren't the correct names). I don't know that there is any hard and fast PROOF of this but it's theorized as such.

    :)
     
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  16. BobBursek

    BobBursek New Member

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    Alton,
    the reason you had no "tingle" ceramic tile is an insulator, like glass.
     
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  17. alton

    alton New Member

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    What about the grout, with my size 13 foot I doubt my feet only came in contact with tile and not the grout. LOL
     
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  18. BobBursek

    BobBursek New Member

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    Alton,
    I doubt it, grout is a cement product, plus that tile was laid over a cement base, or cement board, on top of a wood sub floor, on wood joist, all very non conductive materials. If you have a basement the joist are resting on cement block or poured concrete walls.
     
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  19. Reef Ghost

    Reef Ghost New Member

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    I had this problem once in my grow out tank, not one but BOTH stealth heaters were leaking elec. I will never buy another of those. While putting frags in the tank I felt the elec and was not happy at all!
     
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  20. jeeve

    jeeve New Member

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    Just out a curiosity... Wouldn't a GFI protect you? It should trip if current is leaking into the tank right?
     
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