Stray voltage?


New member
I may have some stray voltage running thru my tank. I have an auto ranging multimeter and set it on ACV then I put one probe into the grounding hole of my outlet and the other into the water. It was reading 12, then I turn off the pump and it read 7, then I turned off the skimmer and it dropped to almost 0. Am I doing this right? If I am should I be concerned with that much stray voltage? I just find it wierd that my return pump and my skimmer pump would be leaking.


New member
The voltage that you are measuring is most likely not due to a break in the insulation of your pumps but rather it is coming from the electric field associated with the AC current in the motors. This field, when it reaches the conductive salt water of your tank or sump, can induce small voltages similar to the way electricity is generated in the first place. I have never tried to measure mine directly, but you could remove this voltage by using a titanium grounding probe in your tank that would basically short the water to the ground of your outlet, thus removing the capability of it building up any potential voltage. As a side note, I would also make sure that any circuit that you have that supplies electricty to your tank incorporates the use of a Ground Fault Interruption Circuit just to make sure you are protected in case something does every short.


New member
I agree with Pais wiley. Had a little problem way back. Kole tang got lateral line disease. Stray voltage can cause this. I'm a EE so I did some testing too. Stray voltge was the results from a cheap PS. Bought a ground probe then and the voltage went to 0. Temp solution, but I got rid of the source. I still use the probe for safety against parts going bad and introducing unwanted stray voltages.