surge protectors and battery backups

alphamalle

New member
Many battery back Ups double as surge protectors as well. I have one for my tv though the name brand escapes me right now.
 

sleepydoc

Team RC
depending on your setup and the (un)reliability of your local power supply, a battery backup.

Also depending on your setup, a surge suppressor may or may not be necessary. Be aware that if you have a battery backup, you will likely need to add a GFI plug after the backup, since the battery backup will essentially negate the GFCI protection of the outlet it's plugged into.
 

Phinnay

New member
Make sure you get a battery backup that outputs a pure sine-wave if you intend on running magnetic drive pumps from it. The SmartUPS series by APC is a good choice.

The Cheap APC BackUPS series you find at Staples/ etc... do not put out a pure sine wave, your pump may work but it will sound angry and grind.
 

tphill

New member
For my 38g, I built a 'power distribution center' that has switches and plugs, and a main plug with built in circuit breaker, and the whole thing is plugged into a walmart surge protector. For the other smaller tanks (2 10g's and a 20g) everthing is just plugged into walmart surge protectors. No issues so far, and hopefully no fires down the road!

For the 75g, I have already wired in a dedicated line from the main breaker box. Will have a gfci plug before the tank is running, currently is regular plug.
 

Deinonych

New member
Be aware that if you have a battery backup, you will likely need to add a GFI plug after the backup, since the battery backup will essentially negate the GFCI protection of the outlet it's plugged into.

I've been wondering about this. Are you saying each individual device would need a dedicated GFI plug connected to the UPS?
 

petere1989

New member
I'm sorta concerned about plugging in more things. I live in my grandpa's house, and it was wired for like, a floor lamp, and thats it. Theres no ceiling lights and the wiring is still the original from the 40s when it was built. Is a surge protector at least a good idea? I know it won't prevent wiring trouble, haha, but it will protect the investment in the fish tank
 

Phinnay

New member
You probably aren't drawing enough for it to be an issue. The average space heater draws way more than a decent sized tank setup.

You can purchase a kil-o-watt meter for $30 at lowes / depot that can tell you exactly how much your tank is drawing, or do the math and add up everything you have plugged in.

A surge protector is a good idea, but it does exactly what it says it does - protect you from surges from the power company / lightning. A surge protector will not protect you from getting electrocuted or protect your tank in the event of a power outage.

You should be plugging everything in to a GFCI outlet. this is a device that constantly monitors the power and shuts down if it detects a short. They will work even with the old two-prong plugs likely found in your grandmas house.

Apart from that, its up to you. Virtually all battery backup units double as surge protectors and will take the hit in the event of a power surge. They do not draw much power themselves, only enough to keep their batteries charged.

If you do not have a GFCI outlet for your tank, you can buy short extension cords with one built in. Plug that in to the wall, and everything for your tank into the end of the extension cord. Don't forget drip loops!
 

JohnnyHT

New member
You probably aren't drawing enough for it to be an issue. The average space heater draws way more than a decent sized tank setup.

You can purchase a kil-o-watt meter for $30 at lowes / depot that can tell you exactly how much your tank is drawing, or do the math and add up everything you have plugged in.

A surge protector is a good idea, but it does exactly what it says it does - protect you from surges from the power company / lightning. A surge protector will not protect you from getting electrocuted or protect your tank in the event of a power outage.

You should be plugging everything in to a GFCI outlet. this is a device that constantly monitors the power and shuts down if it detects a short. They will work even with the old two-prong plugs likely found in your grandmas house.

Apart from that, its up to you. Virtually all battery backup units double as surge protectors and will take the hit in the event of a power surge. They do not draw much power themselves, only enough to keep their batteries charged.

If you do not have a GFCI outlet for your tank, you can buy short extension cords with one built in. Plug that in to the wall, and everything for your tank into the end of the extension cord. Don't forget drip loops!


Thank you. Too many people think GFCI protects electronics. :thumbsup:
 

surgy

New member
im an electrician, a gfci monitors the difference in amperage between the neutral and hot wires in a circuit. when it senses a difference it trips and breaks the circuit. a UPS constantly pulls a steady load and would only benefit from being gfci protected if it was in danger of being in contact with water. you can buy gfci protected "splitters" that plug into the ups and protect everything plugged into it.

btw a gfci will trip in .026 seconds when it detects a difference. if you were to come in contact with an energized wire in the water with your feet are on the floor, without a gfci: you get the full voltage of the circuit (120 volts in US) and the full amperage the breaker can output (most of the time its 20A) for 1-30 seconds IF the breaker trips at all. your body has resistance and might not alow the full 20 amps to pass through tripping the breaker, maybe 19A of current......

ps: takes about .25A to cause a heart attack
 
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