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SAFETY FIRST - PLEASE READ!

PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:54 pm
by VeipaCray
DO NOT plug any aquarium equipment into a regular household outlet.

Equipment such as heaters, filters, lighting (etc) should ALWAYS be plugged into a GFCI protected outlet.

What is GFCI? GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter.

The purpose of a GFCI device is to detect leakage of electrical current to prevent electrical shock.
Electrical shock from a regular household outlet can be fatal. A GFCI device may save your life.

GFCI devices come in three forms. All three are available at your local hardware store.

1. An outlet with built in GFCI.

gfci_outlet.jpg
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Notice the test and reset buttons on the outlet. Non-GFCI outlets are missing the buttons. A standard outlet can usually be replaced with a GFCI outlet. This can be a DIY project if you are comfortable changing out electrical outlets or a quick job for an electrician. These outlets are not very expensive and can save your life. $12-$20 US dollars for one of these outlets.


2. A circuit breaker with built in GFCI.

gfci_circuit_breaker.png
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This is the most expensive of the three options, but the GFCI circuit breaker will protect all outlets that are in a serial chain coming off this breaker. This device replaces a standard circuit breaker in an electrical panel and should only be installed by a qualified electrician. $30-$45 US dollars for one of these breakers + plus the cost of your electrician's services.

3. A plug in GFCI Adapter

gfci adapter.jpg
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These adapters plug into a standard outlet and offer GFCI protection. They are available as single outlets, multiple outlets, or sometimes integrated into a power strip. They ALWAYS include a ground prong. Never use a ground prong bypass adapter with one of these devices. GFCI adapters are a very simple DIY install as they just plug into a regular outlet. Prices range in US dollars from $10 for a single outlet to $50+ dollars for contractor grade outdoor GFCI power strips.

Please consider one of these three options if you are not currently using a GFCI protected outlet. Consult a local qualified electrician if you need assistance. Every area has different electrical code standards. A local qualified electrician will be able to assist you.

Re: SAFETY FIRST - PLEASE READ!

PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:07 pm
by xfallwithmexo
uh oh looks like im in bad shape then

Re: SAFETY FIRST - PLEASE READ!

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:26 am
by VeipaCray
Sounds like you need to make a $10 trip to the hardware store :D

Re: SAFETY FIRST - PLEASE READ!

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:43 pm
by Karawr
I use a power bar... does that work?

Re: SAFETY FIRST - PLEASE READ!

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:52 pm
by VeipaCray
Is it a GFCI power bar? If it's not then no. Most power strips are NOT GFCI power strips. Go get a $10 GFCI adapter and plug your power strip into that. Changing the outlet would be better yet.

Re: SAFETY FIRST - PLEASE READ!

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:49 pm
by xfallwithmexo
ha, then a 32540593454 dollar bill to the ER when i electrocute myself, if i manage to get out alive

Re: SAFETY FIRST - PLEASE READ!

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:05 pm
by steve
The outlet I have my equipment in is usually a GFCI, however when I moved I wasn't able to get the outlet replaced. I would get that adaptor posted, but according to amazon reviews, that particular one trips when it loses power. That's not ideal for an aquarium because you have to reset it. There's a lack of reviews for the other adaptors, so I'll probably replace the outlet.

Re: SAFETY FIRST - PLEASE READ!

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:59 am
by VeipaCray
Replacing the outlet is always better (more safe) than an adapter. That being said, you can still get a decent adapter from your local hardware store or electrical supply house.

I wasn't promoting any specific brands in the original post. I just picked the best looking pictures off google for point of illustration.

Xfallwithmexo - the adapter just plugs in. If you would rather change your outlet and don't know how...PLEASE seek out the help of a locally licensed electrician. I promise you the electrician is less than the cost of your ER bill.

Re: SAFETY FIRST - PLEASE READ!

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:38 pm
by steve
I worded part of my reply poorly. I meant to say that if an adaptor will be used, try to find one that will auto-reset after power loss.

Re: SAFETY FIRST - PLEASE READ!

PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:18 pm
by theartbook35
I just use a power strip which is plugged into a regular outlet. Been doing that for years.

It can't hurt to have it, but, I'm not wasting my money. A few dollars is one thing, but, once we hit the 10, 20, dollar range, that's when I get iffy.

Re: SAFETY FIRST - PLEASE READ!

PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:46 pm
by steve
A surge protector doesn't do the same thing, though it's better than nothing.

Re: SAFETY FIRST - PLEASE READ!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:34 pm
by VeipaCray
theartbook35 wrote:I just use a power strip which is plugged into a regular outlet. Been doing that for years.

It can't hurt to have it, but, I'm not wasting my money. A few dollars is one thing, but, once we hit the 10, 20, dollar range, that's when I get iffy.


It' definitely not a "waste of money". $10 is NOTHING to prevent a trip to the hospital or even a fatality. You cannot build a house in most places of this world without GFI circuitry protecting bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoor outlets. There's a reason.... particles in water will conduct electricity. If there's water, there's a risk. That same risk applies to any aquarium. Actually with pumps and heaters having cords IN the water, the risk is much much greater.

This $10 isn't for your turtle's safety. It's for YOUR safety.

Re: SAFETY FIRST - PLEASE READ!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:32 pm
by ChangTang
if I were to get the GFCI adapter, can I put a power strip on it?

Re: SAFETY FIRST - PLEASE READ!

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:57 am
by VeipaCray
I wouldn't put a power strip on a GFCI adapter.

I would either:
A> put a power strip on a GFCI outlet
B> Get a power strip with a built in GFCI adapter

Re: SAFETY FIRST - PLEASE READ!

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:11 pm
by J0NATHAN85
I found several options for GFCI adapters, including one that split to 3 outlets, at Home Depot. Just be sure to purchase one that serves as the GFCI device, and not simply a device that splits power.