Grounding Probe Problem

Malenurse

Premium Member
I posted this question in the main forum a couple months ago, but didn't get a clear answer. Maybe one of the FRAGS has some advice. I tried putting a titanium grounding probe in my reef. When I plugged it in, I noticed I would get clear micro-shocks when I touched the water. My house was built in the early 60's and I guess the outlets aren't grounded (there is just a black and a white wire coming from them). Any idea what might be going on?

Another question - given the outlet problem, is it still possible to somehow ground my tank? There's an outside water faucet with a pipe going down into the ground just on the other side of the wall from the tank. Could I just drill a thin hole through the wall, run a wire outside and attach it to this pipe? If so, what kind of long thin drill bit would I have to buy to drill the hole all the way through the drywall and the outside concrete block?

Maybe a more important question - how important is it to ground your tank?

Any advice would really be appreciated.
Chris:(
 

aztbs

New member
I am not an electrician

This is my understanding, I am sure someone wiser will chime in. You use the grounding probe in conjunction with GFI outlets. If there is a piece of equipment leaking stray voltage, grounding the tank will cause the current to flow and the GFI will trip.

The reason you use the probe is so that it grounds the tank, takes the charge and trips the outlet instead of YOU being the ground that the electricity passes through and causes the surge. It is meant for your safety.

If you are getting stray voltage in the tank, then you MUST find the piece of equipment that is causing it. (start by unplugging any heaters, they are the biggest culprit) Then check powerheads and pumps.

Hope that helps. A better answer in 3.. 2.. 1..
 

azrednex

New member
You should get an electrician to come by and check out what kind of wiring you have, sometime during the 60s they started using a ground wire in the cable but not terminating it to the rectept if this is the case your golden you just replace the recepticle.
or you can replace the recepicle with a GFI recepticle andthat would give you good protection because GFIs work off of the nuetral and the hot and have little to do with the ground.
If niether of those work for you the water line would be a good thought.
 

azrednex

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10422575#post10422575 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by aztbs
I am not an electrician

This is my understanding, I am sure someone wiser will chime in. You use the grounding probe in conjunction with GFI outlets. If there is a piece of equipment leaking stray voltage, grounding the tank will cause the current to flow and the GFI will trip.

The reason you use the probe is so that it grounds the tank, takes the charge and trips the outlet instead of YOU being the ground that the electricity passes through and causes the surge. It is meant for your safety.

If you are getting stray voltage in the tank, then you MUST find the piece of equipment that is causing it. (start by unplugging any heaters, they are the biggest culprit) Then check powerheads and pumps.

Hope that helps. A better answer in 3.. 2.. 1..

Ha Ha !
 

bajabum

New member
First time a pump starts bleeding current, you will know it. Two people died in Prescott last year or year before after putting there hand in an ungrounded tank with a current leak. I have had a recent arm jerking/heart stopping experience from not one, but 2 leaking pumps this month. I make sure I have rubber soled shoes on before even a finger goes in until I get the GFI.
 

Malenurse

Premium Member
For azrednex RE: grounding

For azrednex RE: grounding

I replaced the outlet with a GFI outlet, but I didn't do anything with the receptacle (I assume by "receptacle" you mean the metal box that the outlet sits in). I haven't tried to ground the tank again since I did this. So, if I plug a grounding probe into a power strip which is plugged into the GFI outlet, should the tank be grounded?

Also - when I got the shock the last time I tried to ground the tank, I disconnected ALL electric from the tank. Even with just the grounding probe plugged in, I still got a shock (the probe was plugged into a power strip if that makes any difference). When I removed the grounding probe - no more shock. I know NOTHING about electricity, but this sure seemed bizarre to me!
Chris
 

Kentanner11

New member
hmmm? Maby a weird grounding probe? Hey you dont have an electric eel in there? If you did than I would say that is your problem! jk! Have you tried to plug it into a different circut in your house?
 

Malenurse

Premium Member
"Have you tried to plug it into a different circut in your house?"

No I haven't, but even doing something as simple as that is stretching my electrical abilities to the limit!!! Do you think a negatively-charged electric eel might solve the problem?!:lol:
 

random_ryan

New member
hmm. It sounds to me that you has positive running through the ground side. might want to have an electrician look at it.
 

Kentanner11

New member
That would be cool!! I would still try it, all you have to do is take an extention cord (or 2) and plug it into an outlet on the other side of your house (or as far aways as you can) and see if the problem still ocurrs. It does sound odd!
 

ZOAKEEPER

Zoa Trainer
Ground

Ground

Grounds are essential and important throughtout your home. Do you have G.F.I.'s in your bathroom? Do you have them in your kitchen? If not you should. Home wiring in the 60's had a ground wire (unless done by a fly by night contractor) Your home wiring should have 2 wires. A black, a white and a solid most likely uncovered copper wire( this is the ground). If that is what you have I would contact azrednex and see if he has a meter. I'm sure (i'm throwing this out there,crazy huh) for a fee (or a frag) if he has the time he could upgrade the electrical system (receptacles) and really help you out. If not call a licensed electrician. get a quote and let them tell you what you have, that should be free. If not call someone else! just dont buy into a $8,000. electrical upgrade! (unless you plan on staying there for awhile. Good Luck, :) David
 

Alto

New member
Were you getting shocked before the grounding probe went in to the tank?

I had a light fixture that used to zap me very mildly until I figured out that it was the culprit. With the edges of the aquarium being moist/wet it would conduct to the tank water. I thought it was a pump or a heater but really it was the light. If you have tried removing everything else and it still happens you might try removing the light too if you didnt already and see if it still happens.
 

Malenurse

Premium Member
No, I wasn't getting shocked before the grounding probe went in. Somehow the grounding probe was causing the shocks. And, by the way, best of luck on your audition, Alto. I love Top Chef - people like you who can truly COOK absolutely amaze me.
Chris:)
 

Alto

New member
Thanks a lot, cooking is just one of those things that makes sense to me.

I'd guess that something about the ground on that receptacle isnt right. Since it started when you put it on the tank. If you can run a wire outside to your water supply pipe you can ground to that. Or they sell grounding rods at most home improvement places. Its like 4' of 1/2" copper that you pound into the ground then tie in a wire and thats your ground.
 

Kentanner11

New member
yea, also (I have no elecrical/plumbing traning but am a true DIY) If you have a faucet/ or other plumbing that is closer to your tank than a wall or easier to get to, I think that you can connect it to that instead of drilling through your house.
 
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