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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, i got a aquarium and because the aquarium is in my bedroom where i sleep, i have some life threatning questions.

1) so i just purchased a timer power strip (8 outlets) and it doesnt have GFCI. so i will purchase a GFCI single outlet and plug the power strip (8 outlets) into it. will this setup still give me protection from shocks, or do i have to plug my equipment directly into the GFCI outlet??

2) Another question about drip loops, i will try to drip loop all my wires that are coming from my aquarium, but say i forget one, and water travels from the aquarium, to the wire , to the outlet, what would happen?? fire , shocks, explosion?? will gfci still work?

3) and lastly, lets say in the middle of the night, my aquarium starts leaking and water goes on the floor, and because my outlets are next to it, the water enters the outlets and the wall outlet, will gfci still protect me and shut off the breaker?? or will i be fried after waking up and stepping on the floor?
 

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Children Boogie
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it's not necessary to get a GFCI outlet. Those things are expensive and if you don't know what you're doing, don't install outlets. It's good to have the power strip off the floor. Mount to a wall or your stand.

Your house circuit breaker should shut down the power if there is a short.
In all my years with aquarium, I've never had electrical issues.
 

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GFCI won't hurt anything and I believe they are an important safety device. It's a rare occurrence that you'll be in a life threatening situation, but if you are you'll be glad there's a GFCI circuit there. There's a reason many codes require these be placed in all bathroom outlets.

Circuit breakers trip when an unusually large amount of current is drawn through them. GFCI trips when electrical imbalances are detected indicating electricity going where it shouldn't (like through a person). GFCI are much more sensitive and react much faster than a wall mount circuit breaker. Essentially, they are indeed different and it's entirely possible to be electrocuted without the main circuit breaker ever tripping.

You can plug a power strip into a GFCI and it should protect you against any water contacting the outlets. That's primarily what they're for, protection in situations involving water.
 

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you don't have to install a GFCI outlet. You can buy a GFCI adapter, or extension cord at Lowe for relatively cheap. Plug it into your wall outlet and your powerstrip into it and you'll be fine.
 

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I think its a good idea to get a GCFI on your tank outlet, because it is water and electricity. I like the idea of an adapter for this purpose. It is the case that your house's circut breaker is only for stopping large shorts and protecting the building as a whole. The point of GCFI is to stop the electricity so fast that it cannot stop your heart (I believe the spec is something like it must trip in less than 1/3 the time it takes for your sinus rhythm to occur) which is very different from the goal of other breakers.
 

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it's not necessary to get a GFCI outlet. Those things are expensive and if you don't know what you're doing, don't install outlets. It's good to have the power strip off the floor. Mount to a wall or your stand.

Your house circuit breaker should shut down the power if there is a short.
In all my years with aquarium, I've never had electrical issues.
This is well intended but bad advice.

I don't have a GFI on my tank, but I know I should. It's not that dangerous, so my laziness has won out for the time being, but I would never recommend that someone not use a GFI. That's like saying "don't worry about seat belts, I've never been in an accident."
 

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It is a good idea to use a GFCI. Get the plug-in adapter kind.

Your scenario #3 sounds highly unlikely. There is a much higher risk of shock while working on your tank, with problems such as severed wires or fixtures falling into water.
 

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Do the plug-in GFCIs reset themselves after a power outage? I had a couple of plug-in GFCIs and they would trip (or at least go into a state that required a reset) when the power went out and would not pass electricity after the power came back till I reset them.

The socket GFCIs do not seem to have this problem.
 

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I never used a GFCI adaptor on my tanks until I married an electrician lol. He worries constantly about my light bulbs sitting just a few inches above open water.

The worst thing I have ever had happen with electricity and fish tanks is once when I accidentally dropped a light fixture into the water. It electrified the water so that anytime it was touched it would give you a shock! The fish survived, I'm not sure how. My roommate at the time managed to de-electrify the water by sticking a piece of wire for electric fencing into the water, and putting the other end into a potted plant (with gloves on!). I had already tried a couple of water changes, but that wasn't working.
 

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The worst thing I have ever had happen with electricity and fish tanks is once when I accidentally dropped a light fixture into the water. It electrified the water so that anytime it was touched it would give you a shock! The fish survived, I'm not sure how. My roommate at the time managed to de-electrify the water by sticking a piece of wire for electric fencing into the water, and putting the other end into a potted plant (with gloves on!). I had already tried a couple of water changes, but that wasn't working.
You're pulling our legs.
 

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Algae Eater
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I never used a GFCI adaptor on my tanks until I married an electrician lol. He worries constantly about my light bulbs sitting just a few inches above open water.

The worst thing I have ever had happen with electricity and fish tanks is once when I accidentally dropped a light fixture into the water. It electrified the water so that anytime it was touched it would give you a shock! The fish survived, I'm not sure how. My roommate at the time managed to de-electrify the water by sticking a piece of wire for electric fencing into the water, and putting the other end into a potted plant (with gloves on!). I had already tried a couple of water changes, but that wasn't working.
I dont buy that, maybe a heater gone bad. It wont hold a charge from you light falling it!
 

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The worst thing I have ever had happen with electricity and fish tanks is once when I accidentally dropped a light fixture into the water. It electrified the water so that anytime it was touched it would give you a shock! The fish survived, I'm not sure how. My roommate at the time managed to de-electrify the water by sticking a piece of wire for electric fencing into the water, and putting the other end into a potted plant (with gloves on!). I had already tried a couple of water changes, but that wasn't working.
LOL HAHAHA..I am going to start filling buckets with water and then dipping a light in them and putting a lid on them to save electricty in case of power outages. LOL waterchanges...HAHAHAHAHAHA Hopefully you didnt damage any city water treatment equipment with your charged water LOL HAHAHAHAHAHA
 

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Get one of those strips that has a GFCI built in. I installed a GFCI outlet but, there is no reason that one built in to the power strip wouldn't work just as well. Spend the $15.00, its cheap safety. A power outage shouldnt trip a GFCI.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
i understand that gfci are mandatory and i will buy a gfci wall mount (the one that connects to the wall outlet and gives you like 6 extra outlets) but would it still trip if water gets in it, thats the part im scared about.

now i can always hang my timer power strip (that will connect to the gfci wall mount) on the wall above the aquarium, so water wont reach there. but what about the gfci wall mount thats about 1" above the floor. if my aquarium starts leaking, and water gets in there , then WHAT??

i know im being a little paranoid, but i will be sleeping in that room, thats why im so scared?
 

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GFCIs are incredibly sensitive. So sensitive in fact that they trip while running some devices.

I'm sure that if water were to cause any type of short at all the GFCI will trip.


P.S. you're not going to die.
 

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Yes, water will trip the GFCI. If you're really concerned about water on the floor electrocuting you, get a titanium ground, plug it in, and lay the titanium part on the floor. If there is a flood that gets electrified, the titanium ground will pass the electricity to the outlet ground and discharge the electrified water.
 
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