GFCI outlets

Discussion in 'DIY' started by weeple2000, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. weeple2000

    weeple2000 Member

    I believe we should be using GFCI outlets for our aquariums. I was curious if people had those installed or not. I also saw instructions regarding having cables loop towards the ground before plugging into outlets so that water could drip off of them safely.

    How important is this stuff? Or is it just general disclaimers that come with instructions?
  2. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    The drip loop is extremely important. GFCIs are a good idea too. I have many power strips with their own little breakers so the GFCIs are slightly less critical than the drip loops when talking about the actual outlets.
  3. Chuck

    Chuck Advisory Board

    Very important!
    Not only do you potentially prevent an electrical fire , but also getting a mean shock. 120 volts won't generally kill you but I have had my hands blackened. I also like the option of being able to shut off banks of heaters and filters individually so I can do water changes. That way I can leave the lights on . I also try to have all my outlets above the aquariums. I would like to see about having it hard wired one day.
    It's a good question.
  4. weeple2000

    weeple2000 Member

    My outlets aren't close enough to my aquariums, such that I need an extension cord and power strip for additional cables. Should I just fix the drip loop to the initial cable for the lights/heaters/filters? I have GFCI outlets, I will just need to wire them.
  5. Narwhal72

    Narwhal72 Well-Known Member

    You will want to fix the drip loop so that water does not run down into the power strip.

    Many aquarium related fires are due to water running down the cords into a multioutlet strip laying on the floor. If you can mount the power strip to the wall or the aquarium stand so it is not laying on the floor.

    If water were to run down into the power strip it can cause arcing which results in a fire. A GFCI will not prevent this. An Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter will though.

    Andy
  6. weeple2000

    weeple2000 Member

    The drip loop has to be present for the initial cable, is that correct? As in, I can't have the drip loop occur in the middle of an extension cable that the lights, heater and filter are plugged into, correct?
  7. weeple2000

    weeple2000 Member

  8. Narwhal72

    Narwhal72 Well-Known Member

    The drip loop(s) has to be between the aquarium and the extension cord. Using those hooks will work fine. But if you just hang the plug end of the extension cord you should only need one.
  9. SteveS

    SteveS Executive Board

    Everything is ground fault or arc fault in my house. If you do any new electric work on your house it needs to be by law either or or. I run alot of equipment so I have 6 seperate breakers so I can shut off various equipment like Andy . I stay far away from the "self testing" GFCI outlets. They have failed many times on me. Better to spend a few bucks more and buy the old school type. Even easier is replace your breakers instead of outlets . That will cost more though. All my outlets are also up very high. On the ceiling most are. I don't worry to much with my set up except for my breaker box inches away from a couple tanks. I also use alot of power strips. Cords everywhere so it is better to be protected from shock and fire having the correct set up for electric. This is for a fishroom though. Just a tank or two isn't a bid deal. Drip loops and power strips placed well dosent need GFCI really if your current outlets aren't protected already. This is just how I do things here . Been shocked a few to many times and my cats have knocked too many lights in the tanks to not have that little extra security.
  10. AssassinJimmie

    AssassinJimmie Chris B

    My Father-in-Law is an experienced professional electrician and I have been discussing updating my electrical setup for a while. He expressed the same concerns. If you want GFCI for safety purposes put it in the breakers. It will cost less then the aftermath of a fire.
    SteveS likes this.
  11. weeple2000

    weeple2000 Member

    I have a GFCI outlet I bought for this purpose, I need to swap out an existing outlet. If I can't find out which one is upstream of the two I am using, I may just swap out the breaker. I realized that the power strip I am using has a spot on the back of it so that it can be mounted to a couple screws. I picked up some drywall anchors today so that I can mount the power strip and create the drip loop for all of those cables.

    I really appreciate how helpful everyone here is. I actually sort of stumbled upon the club by accident. I saw a marking on a tank at a pet store that some fish were locally bred, and I figured there must be a way to find those breeders. A google search led me here. I feel like there are questions that can be asked resulting in answers much better and more direct than any google search can provide. The fact that people answering those questions are local as well, has a ton of value to it.
    Megan likes this.

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