Wierd stray voltage problem

rcmike

New member
Hey guys, I noticed today that I got a little tingle when I put my hand into the tank. I proceded to unplug everything to find out what the culprit was. Nothing in the tank made a difference until I got to the lights. When I unplug or turn off the MH lights the tingle goes away. Funny thing is the MH lights are suspended above the tank hanging from the wall. The cords go down to the ballast under the tank and I don't see any way voltage is getting into the tank. It does it with or without a grounding probe in the tank. Any ideas?
 

gflat65

New member
I had the same experience with VHO's... I was picking up a couple of amps from the VHO's. I just thought something was wrong with the ammeter or the user... Do the cords touch the tank anywhere? Maybe through salt creep or something it can transfer?
 

foggy54

New member
Perhaps some salt creep from ballast to sump? are you using 3 prong plugs and is everything grounded?
 

c_stowers

New member
It is possible to have an EMF induced voltage. However, I wouldnt think that there would be enough current to create a voltage that you could feel.
 

rcmike

New member
Well, I can't find any salt creep to the ballast anywhere. The sump is under another tank so it isn't getting in there. I tested the voltage from the tank to the ground and it was only 1.5V. I have a tiny cut in my thumb and that is where I felt it. I cleaned the carpet today so it is a little damp still. With bare feet I can feel it but with shoes on I can't.
 

rsteagall

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8071767#post8071767 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by c_stowers
It is possible to have an EMF induced voltage. However, I wouldnt think that there would be enough current to create a voltage that you could feel.

I agree this is what it is. I think its also referred to as inductance leakage. If you have ever played around with a tone generator probe... you'd understand a little more this occurs with flourescent bulbs. This can also happen with a transformer going bad on a powerhead. If your concerned about it, there are titanium probes that you can ground to your wall outlet.
 

rcmike

New member
Probably what it is. I don't even know what a tone generator probe is so I probably haven't played with one. :lol:
 

rsteagall

New member
9039.jpg



With that probe, a blind man could find every flourescent bulb or any other electrical device in your house :p
 

cee

New member
It's not likely induced EMF, unless you're running electronic ballasts, and even then it's unlikely. You've got salt creep somewhere or a bad ground, you just haven't found it yet. Are your ballasts setting on the "wet" carpet?

Dave
 

rcmike

New member
No salt creep but I did have ground problems. I took out the ballast and sat it on a chair with nothing touching the tank at all. I cleaned the cords so no chance of salt creep and it still did it. I took the enclosure apart and noticed the ground wire was touching the ballast and had melted the insulation off. When I upgraded to 400W ballasts I apparently got the wire a little too close when I put the lid back on. I had the lights on a different circuit than the GFCI since I was trying not to overload the circuit. When I tried plugging it into the GFCI last night and it would trip. After I fixed it this morning the GFCI didn't trip either.
 

rsteagall

New member
So, no more tingles when you stick your hand in the tank?

I'll tell ya whats scary... I challenge everyone to test voltage of their tank. Get a multimeter and put one probe in the tank and touch the other to the 3rd prong or screw of your wall outlet. :p I doubt anyone gets a 0 reading.
 

rcmike

New member
I actually did test it before and only got 1.5V DC and .3V AC. I need to test it again and see what I get.
 
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