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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Being shocked by your aquarium sounds like one of those IMPOSSIBLE nightmares, but I'll tell you, it's very real and can happen when you least expect it!

My story with it is, I had pulled out all of the cords and surge protectors to re-organize them. Leaving the main [50$ battery backup] protector plugged in to plug all the cords in it and get rid of the other 4 surge protectors...As everybody knows, aquariums can be soooo much easier to clean with everything off, which is what I do anyway, so I continued to do a 40% WC...about 3/4 of the way done, the water didn't all go in the tank, it went on the stand, the floor and me...well, ALSO, on the surge protector...it shocked the CRAP out of me! When I got it unplugged, any place that was wet on me was burnt or red...while the rest of my stuff was OK...including the Fish. The only other thing that wasn't ok was the surge protector, the battery was dead, it was black and before I turned it off, it started arcing.

So, I'm ok, just burnt, but not to the critical point but this has definitely taught me that things least expected could happen in a millisecond, and don't work on your aquariums when you feel kinda out of it. :(

Take my experience and learn from it,

Happy aquaria keeping!
 

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thats odd the surge protector didnt trip when it started arking... atleast it was not salt water. you probably would have had more then a red mark. probably would have smoke coming off the top of your head!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, especially considering it was 50$...you'd think it'd suck up it's wires and run away. LOL

It's not "just" a red mark, most of the areas are "crispy" for lack of better words...the area around is RED, but where the water was is looks boiled, yet black...IDK why it didn't spread more, I guess it was just luck...

And what you just said is making me consider ditching the SW idea. lol
 

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Are these real?
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Don't take that lightly... your life is in danger, I would not call it fun at all.

Invest in GFCI protection. It's $15 or 20 spent well.

A while ago I burned a hole in my finger when I touched an un-insulated wire from a ballast. I meant to connect it to another bulb, and just kept procrastinating.

Last night I managed to drop a lighting fixture into a tank. The T5 bulbs burned for a second or so under water, I watched them a bit dumbfounded, then they turned off. I disconnected the fixture, and pulled it out. It is drying now, I hope the ballast made it...
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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If you're as burnt as you sound like you may be, you need to go to the doctor if you haven't already. Burns can be nasty and VERY easily get infected. Especially as you were surrounded by tank water when it happened.

I hope everything turns out OK for you, Kenny!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
jreich, I'm glad it wasn't worse then it was...but yes, I'm definitely going to replace all the tank sockets with GFI's...

Wasserpest, Did the light go in with fish? I've had a few smaller lights accidently fall in the tank, but they were VERY low voltage and well sealed.

Laura, I washed them really good[with anti-bacterial soap, which for the first time ever didn't really hurt] a few hours after it happened[when I could stand for more then 2 seconds!] and am making sure to keep them very clean, so I don't have to go to the doctor, I'd really rather not...but if I need to I will...

I'm hoping they'll heal fast...but that part will take time...

Really I chalk this all up to s*** happens, but, I do need to be more careful about this, I don't want a repeat and with eventually having a fish room[more plant then fish. lol], I need to have extra precautions.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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You should go to the doctor anyways, really. You run serious risk of gangrene setting in with burns.

Your not feeling anything is a bad sign- indication that the burns may be severe enough for nerve damage.

The longer you wait, the less chance that a doctor will be able to help, especially if the burns are bad enough to warrant skin grafts.

Burns really aren't something to "wait and see" with.
 

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Children Boogie
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wouldn't the circuit breaker trigger?

And always have the strip off the ground. Screw it to your stand if you have too.
My dad was into electrical & mechanical stuff so the safety precautions were drilled into us. He would have frowned on the live exposed wire there :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Laura, It's not that I can't feel anything, it's just, it doesn't hurt all that bad, it still does tingle from time to time[meaning they itch]. :eek:

Mistergreen, It didn't trip. It was 5 seconds until I was finally able to unplug it. I usually have it screwed to the stand, but I had all the power cords & surge protectors out and the convenience made me decided to do the WC...

F22, did you get shocked?
 

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I vote for a doctor visit too. Electric shocks can have weird and unexpected effects. One not mentioned yet:

"Low blood pressure (hypotension), fluid and electrolyte disturbances and the release of myoglobin (an iron-containing protein present in the muscles) into the circulation can cause kidney failure. "

This can happen days after the initial shock, and you will never see it coming.

I certainly hope that you're ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm kinda thinking about it now...earlier, I twitched and spilled my drink on me and the cat that was begging for my dinner, ugh, that's annoying! The cat's definitely not amused. LOL

How would one go about disabling the effects of the Myoglobin?? Would I have to get a shot or what? I'm 17 and definitely can handle shots, I'm just curious. lol

EDIT: Ugh, I just googled, and it requires a blood test with blood drawn from the arm every few hours to test the levels of it! :eek: I don't think that'll be a problem tho, I would mostly be concerned about the burns getting infected.
 

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EDIT: Ugh, I just googled, and it requires a blood test with blood drawn from the arm every few hours to test the levels of it! :eek: I don't think that'll be a problem tho, I would mostly be concerned about the burns getting infected.
The doctor would be able to assess the severity of the burn and determine if tests, antibiotics, or other treatments are necessary.
 

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jreich, I'm glad it wasn't worse then it was...but yes, I'm definitely going to replace all the tank sockets with GFI's...

STOP!!!
GFI circuits must be installed correctly or they are worse than not having any GFI protection. Running the in series is a no no. Plugging a GFI protected extension cord into a GFI protected circuit will usually pop one of the GFI units before you can electrocute yourself by dropping your corded drill into the pond you're standing in.

For retro fit work, purchase your GFI from a reputable supplier. Not the $3.00 store. The cheap imported crap isn't just worthless. It's dangerous.

Read the directions that come with the GFI unit and connect the wires in the order specified. There is a reason the one side or end is covered by a label. It is all too easy to get confused particularly in the dim light after you turn off the power to fix things. Upstream before downstream.
A GFI outlet unit is designed to protect a specific number of downstream outlets. Normally one GFI per circuit.
 

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wouldn't the circuit breaker trigger?
No. Circuit breakers are designed to trip after a certain period of time of over-current. They don't respond quickly enough to prevent electrocution. When your refrigerator kicks on, it draws more than the 15 amps your breaker is rated for, if only for a fraction of a second.

I've read multiple times on this site alone about people who dropped a light fixture into the tank that kept working for some time.

I'm guilty of not having a gfi and need to get one. Accidents don't just happen, and this thread is a good reminder.


Hey Demonbreeder: Do your parents know? They should be involved in the decision to go see a doctor or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
dbosman, I'm gonna get my dad to install them.

Kid Creole, My parents know, they're leaving it too me, I just REALLY don't want to spend 100$ on a stupid mistake...I've already lost 50$!

Lego, With your tanks, YOU'RE TAKING A CHANCE!!???

I spent the day with my friends dressed in all black[yes, I had black cloth on my face too where it's very slightly burned], being equated to "death". LOL

Lets just say, burnt is not a good color on me. ROFL

Still sucks it was 90 degrees tho! LOL
 
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