Eliminated Electrical Cord Rats Nest - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 03:21 AM Thread Starter
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Eliminated Electrical Cord Rats Nest

I had two powerstrips under my tank and it wasn't enough to handle all of my power cords because the timers and transformers would hog three sockets. It's also a pain to disconnect anything because the cords inevitablly get knotted.

Here's my electrical hardware list: Note that only the filter and diffuser have a normal two prong, polarized plug:

Light one
Light two
Moon light
UV
Heater
CO2 controller
Controller relay
filter
diffuser

My solution was to make the right side of my stand an electical panel, adding 10 outlets, where nine were wired independently with a single pole switch on the hot wire. Power is fed to the panel via a cord with two male plugs: one end goes to the panel and the other to the lone power strip outside the tank. I had to add a floor plug that has a ground fault breaker in the main house panel to power that strip. The ballasts to my lights are behind the panel as well. To control the lights, I've got the top outlet wired to feed power to the ballasts through the timer. The output from the ballast goes to the bottom outlet,which is where the light plugs in. I've used this sort of arrangment for years with no trouble.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 04:58 AM
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That is a really neat way to handle the electric mess. All I did was hang up three short wire extension cords on a board, and mounted a couple of timers on the outlet box, with an extension cord going to each of them and one to the remaining power outlet on the box. It isn't as big a mess as before, but nothing like as nice as yours. There should be a market for a big electric setup with a couple of timers, multiple outlets, etc. all with a single power cord going to the wall outlet. In other words, a setup like yours.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 08:39 AM
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I am building a new stand. I am installing new electical sockets inside it. There will one plug going to house wall. I have installed two ground fault sockets and 3 regular.

It will not look as nice as yours but it will not be a rat nest either haha

Rick
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 09:04 AM
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 03:57 AM Thread Starter
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The first time is had to buy a power strip, surge protector thingy was just after I got my first computer. I've always been in wonder why some company - just one - wouldn't make something that's designed to all you to plug in all of the transformers for the printer, speakers, scanner, etc, and still have enough open sockets to plug in the monitor, CPU or a table lamp. Big box hardware and multimedia stores don't have any. I just got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore.

Ground fault breakers. Check the wiring in you panel to make sure the circuit you are on has an independent ground that connected to the grounded bus in the panel. You will probably have a lot of white and bare copper wires attached there. Here's a good link that tells you why you should have an independent ground.

Breakers and Ground Wires

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This message is always under construction: 75-gallon tank; 2, Eheim 2026 filters - one twice broken; Tek Light with 4, 54W T5s (6000K) ; Sand on top of 4:1 sand:clay mixture; Milwaukee CO2 controller; PlantGuild vortex CO2 reactor; pH = 6.6, kH=70mg/l, GH=120mg/l; EI; Flourish excel on 50% weekly water change: AGA Member.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 04:21 AM
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That looks sharp, nice job bud.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 11:39 AM
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Very nice. This is one of those projects I have always wanted to do but can't seem to git 'er dun. Good job. It looks very nice.

Regards,
Sam
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 01:55 PM
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Cool. I'm about to get tired of the powerstrips under my tank. I've got it neatly done, but "neat" is relative . I might need to put something like that together.

Sláinte!
Cindy



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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 03:23 PM
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nice set up!

FUNction over form

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 07:45 PM
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Nice setup - the switches - are they just to have control right there at the source?

Also - If you don't want to get this drastic...

Y-splitter Liberator Power Ext., 9920-530, Ziotek at Cyberguys.com

And for the power strip with better spacing made by APC.

I actually run my filters and air pumps (overnight only) on a BackUPS unit. Horrible power sometimes and it doesn't take a large one, unless you need the heater on it.


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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 04:50 AM Thread Starter
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The switches are close to the plug to make ID easier. It allows me to turn off any combination I desire. Single pole switches are inexpensive too. The run about 50-cents each. The recepticals cost a little more. Fortunately, I had some 14 gage multistrand wire that had black, white and blue insulation. The project just takes time and some thought about how to wire in parallel.

Cool splitter and powerstrip.

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This message is always under construction: 75-gallon tank; 2, Eheim 2026 filters - one twice broken; Tek Light with 4, 54W T5s (6000K) ; Sand on top of 4:1 sand:clay mixture; Milwaukee CO2 controller; PlantGuild vortex CO2 reactor; pH = 6.6, kH=70mg/l, GH=120mg/l; EI; Flourish excel on 50% weekly water change: AGA Member.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-03-2006, 12:39 PM
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Hehehe, I did something similar by mounting 3 4-socket outlets inside the stand for my automated 180gal tank. Unfortunately, I still have power strips, because I didn't add enough outlets. I plan on adding more one of these days. My tank is on it's own seperate GFCI breaker. I mounted the outlets up high in the stand to allow for drip loops. I used the plastic flexible conduit and outdoor weather proof outlets with rain covers. I also sealed around where the conduit comes thru the floor and into the tank stand with aquarium sealant.

For the outlets themselves I used the radioshack X-10 outlets where the top socket can be switched on and off by the timer from their home automation kit.

I did run into a problem with this setup and that is: The ballast for my large metal halide light fixture hanging over the tank generates a lot of electrical noise that drowns out the radio signals from the timer to the X-10 outlets that are passing through the powerline. As a temporary fix, I put the lights on normal timers, and set the X-10 timers to only switch while the lights are off.

I guess the best advice I can give is add twice as many outlets as you think you'll need.

I love the way you connected switches to yours, and I may do something similar with my next modification. Thanks a ton for the idea!
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-04-2006, 01:52 AM
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I know I posted this before, but here's my power center:




The first duplex is constant power and serves the filter, heater and U/V. The timers each control a duplex. This allows up to (4) recept's for each timer, or if I need to I can split the recept's to add more constant power recept's.
The first timer controls the Lunar Links. The second timer controls the 30 W Dawn/Dusk and the fan in the canopy. The third timer controls the (2) 96 w CF's, the CO2 solenoid and the pump for the CO2 reactor.


Tommy

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-04-2006, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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Sweet: Love the wide open spaces and clean layout.

Do you have a disconnect between the tank and your UV? I can't decide if the payoff is worth the effort and money.

Andrew, MASI Treasurer

This message is always under construction: 75-gallon tank; 2, Eheim 2026 filters - one twice broken; Tek Light with 4, 54W T5s (6000K) ; Sand on top of 4:1 sand:clay mixture; Milwaukee CO2 controller; PlantGuild vortex CO2 reactor; pH = 6.6, kH=70mg/l, GH=120mg/l; EI; Flourish excel on 50% weekly water change: AGA Member.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-04-2006, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g8wayg8r View Post
Do you have a disconnect between the tank and your UV? I can't decide if the payoff is worth the effort and money.
No. That is an older picture. I now have a tee between the outlet of the filter and the return line. I split the return to increase the dwell time of my U/V. The U/V is on the "bull" of the tee, and there's a ball valve on the "run" of the tee with another return to the tank. I use the ball valve to balance the flow between the U/V and the straight return to get even discharge into the tank from both returns.

Tommy

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Red Turquiose Discus, Japonica shrimp, assorted Blue Eyed Rainbows, Tetras, Hatchets, Danios, Rasboras
10 gal low tech planted Celestial Pearl Danio (Celestichthys margaritatus) & Emerald Dwarf Rasbora (Microrasbora erythromicron)
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