getting shocked... - The Planted Tank Forum

 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-04-2004, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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getting shocked...

i recently put together a 2x24" T8 ODNO fixture. I had it set up in the plastic strip that came with my tank, but decided to move it to a larger canopy so that i could add additional light and keep it cool. i built a wooden enclosure similar to several described in various posts and sites all over the internet... the lid is hinged with a 30" piano hinge. after wiring everything up and taping the inside with sheets of mylar (found a good deal at a local hobby store... 4 20x26" sheets for < $1.50), i noticed that if my arm touches the ballast and the hinge at the same time when the power is on, i get a pretty nice little zap. nothing overwhelming... comparable to a shock from a wireless pet fence collar, if anyone has ever experienced that... anyway, i just put the box together last night, and i have not yet grounded the ballast case to anything, and none of my fixtures have any grounding wires included. i have 3 questions...

#1. to ground the unit appropriately, should I attach a wire to the ballast case and then run that to a new extension cord with a 3rd wire running to the ground prong?

#2. should i ground the hinge to the ballast case, or somewhere else?

#3. is this a normal occurence from lack of grounding, or does this mean I have some miswiring or shorts somewhere that need attention, perhaps the mylar... is it conductive?

GCA, if you see this post, I'm using the exact wiring we discussed and you helped illustrate in a previous thread for powering the 24" bulbs with all 4 leads in series. i'm quite sure that the leads themselves are in the correct location... oh, one more thing. one of my sets of endcaps has the pin connections side by side, the other has them one on top of the other...
lfor shorting the poles, should i assume the bottom are the same as the "inside" and the top are the "outside" ? vice versa? i've read previous posts where it's been mentioned that the inside and outside slots are indeed for different purposes and miswiring can at least lead to overheating and bulb malfunction...
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-04-2004, 11:15 PM
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Everything should have a ground wire attached to it. I did the same thing with a 4X36" ODNO (two ballasts) and was getting shocked like a madman. I hooked up a ground wire to both the ballast cases and another to the reflector itself and this solved all the problems. Hope that helps somewhat.

30 Gallon Planted - 2-T8 ODNO, AC300, HP CO2, Fluorite/Gravel
55 Gallon Planted - 4-T8 ODNO, XP3, HP CO2, Fluorite
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 04:45 AM Thread Starter
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thanks a million, vinlo... that's the answer i was hoping for.

going to the hardware store tomorrow for a few finishing touches, so i'll pick up a grounded extension cord and a couple of extra leads for grounding to the hinge (using that as a ground point since i don't have a real "reflector", just mylar sheets taped around the inside and top)

still looking for references to endcaps with top and bottom instead of inside and outside pin connectors, and which is which...

thanks again v.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-06-2004, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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yep, that fixed the shocking issue... thanks vinlo


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