lost power, but no breaker tripped?


New member
So yeah, I lost power to my sump, etc, just as if the breaker tripped. I was standing right there when it happened, so I go over to the breaker panel. Nothing tripped, nothing red, but I off/on that breaker just in case, and nothing. On/off the rest of the possible breakers, nothing. Anyone run into this before? wth?


Active member
Check your GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interupter) it has probably tripped. It is the outlet you probably have your sump devices plugged into many have 2 small black & red pushbuttons on them. if it tripped one oy yout items could be bad, you will need to reset the GFCI and test each item by unplugging them all and plugging them in one at a time, when it trips again that is the bad device, Check powerheads & in sump pumps first.

Good luck.


New member
Thanks for the quick replies, I was a bit panicked. It was in fact a gfci but not what I have all my stuff plugged into, it's the first one in line on that particular circuit- with nothing plugged into it! Here's the story, in case you're interested; Started mixing water for a w/c, 3 buckets, each with a pump that I plug into on a strip with the rest of my sump, etc in my garage. Already realizing this was all on the same circuit, but never having an issue in the past with the exact same amount of stuff plugged in. So everythings humming along, then out of the blue that circuit shuts off. I figure I tripped a breaker, unplug the mixing pumps and go over to the panel to turn thr breaker back on, but it's not tripped! Here's where I got nervous, thinking there weren't any "easy" options left to explore. The oulets I have my sump, etc plugged into are not gfci (but are set up in a manner so as not to get wet, even in a flood of my system), but I remembered that if there is a gfci "upstream" on that circuit, and it trips, everything downstream will lose power. The outlet on that circuit closest to my panel is the gfci, and was tripped! Strange 'cause there is nothing plugged into that outlet. I reset it, and it again tripped when I plugged in my mixing pumps. I have no answer for this as like I said, I've set up identical to this multiple times, every water change. My only guess is that the pumps on my return and skimmer are in need of cleaning, I have not done that in a while...making them a bit less efficient, drawing more power, and pushing me over the edge of the .. upstream gfci? Strange.
Let me know if you have any other guesses. Thanks.


Premium Member

When you wire circuits "downstream" of the GFCI, then all those circuits are protected by the GFCI.

A GFCI does not measure overcurrent, but an imbalance of current.

One of your pumps is leaking current into the water and there must be some way for that current to reach ground.

Reset the GFCI then try one pump at a time & see if it trips again.

If it does you need to replace the pump.



New member
Thanks stu-
I think I have it narrowed down to a Rio pump, one of my mixers. The other 2 are maxi's. Figures, huh?

Just to check I just now went and stuck my finger in the water bucket with thie Rio- yow!- yep, current leak, like stu said.

I have 6 maxi's, 1 Rio, 1 Hydor Korallia, 1 Aqua clear. All my maxi's are running like champs, 3 of those from when I started 5 years ago. The other brands have all crapped out for one reason or another...