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Old 07-09-2009, 08:12 PM   #1
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120v pond pump safety


3'x5'x2' deep pond with power-line-grounded pump on a GFCI, pond lined with plastic so the water is probably not grounded.

Have I overlooked any safety considerations?

Should I run a ground line into the water so if the pump fails it has a leakage path so it trips the GFCI?

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Old 07-09-2009, 08:46 PM   #2
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120v pond pump safety


Do a real life test.

Plug in a lamp cord to the GFCI recep and drop the stripped, hot end into the water.

I bet it trips in an instant.

If not then, yeah......throw some copper in there.

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Old 07-10-2009, 09:20 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
Do a real life test.

Plug in a lamp cord to the GFCI recep and drop the stripped, hot end into the water.

I bet it trips in an instant.

If not then, yeah......throw some copper in there.
I definitely have to do some testing; I don't even push the "test" buttons once/month.
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Old 07-10-2009, 10:39 AM   #4
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120v pond pump safety


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Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
Do a real life test.

Plug in a lamp cord to the GFCI recep and drop the stripped, hot end into the water.

I bet it trips in an instant.

If not then, yeah......throw some copper in there.
Just to be on the safe side. Be sure no one is in the pond? or swimming pool when you perform the test!Don't Drink and Drive!!!
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Old 07-10-2009, 11:51 AM   #5
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120v pond pump safety


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Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
Do a real life test.

Plug in a lamp cord to the GFCI recep and drop the stripped, hot end into the water.

I bet it trips in an instant.

If not then, yeah......throw some copper in there.
Actually, that is guaranteed to trip if you put the hot and neutral in.

A true test would be to put the HOT only lead in there...and see if it finds a neutral path back to earth.
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Old 07-10-2009, 12:07 PM   #6
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120v pond pump safety


I can't believe a test like this is being recommended on a DIY site! Granted its being directed to Yoyizit who i'd imagine is fully capable of safely perfoming said test. This should have one of those "Jackass" disclaimers attached to it, something like "we are trained proffesionals, don't try this at home" etc.
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:14 PM   #7
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120v pond pump safety


If I never post back you'll know why!

Water being grounded or not through the liner, beyond the call of duty or not, I should probably run a stainless steel wire between the water and a known good ground.
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:40 PM   #8
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Actually, that is guaranteed to trip if you put the hot and neutral in.

A true test would be to put the HOT only lead in there...and see if it finds a neutral path back to earth.
Why? if there is absolutely no path to ground, and the current only flows in the water between hot and neutral, then the circuit would be balanced, and the GFCI would see reason to trip.
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:42 PM   #9
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Why? if there is absolutely no path to ground, and the current only flows in the water between hot and neutral, then the circuit would be balanced, and the GFCI would see reason to trip.
Ok, I can see that happening...but the breaker should definitely trip as it would be a dead short.
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:25 PM   #10
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Ok, I can see that happening...but the breaker should definitely trip as it would be a dead short.
Not necessarily. Water doesn't always create a dead short.
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Old 07-10-2009, 10:50 PM   #11
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Not necessarily. Water doesn't always create a dead short.

This how people are electrocuted and killed in a swimming pool if the grounding isn't done properly. The goal is to eliminate any potential for voltage to flow. The GFCI protection is to detect any current leakage.
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Old 07-11-2009, 07:11 AM   #12
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This how people are electrocuted and killed in a swimming pool if the grounding isn't done properly. The goal is to eliminate any potential for voltage to flow. The GFCI protection is to detect any current leakage.
The post mentioned a dead short between the hot and neutral tripping the OCD which may, or may not happen depending on the amount of dissolved ions in the water. Granted, I don't think anyone would use deionized for a pond, but to say water will create an automatic dead short is a little misleading.
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:14 AM   #13
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In the 70s, in my attempt to debunk a James Bond/Roger Moore movie stunt, I lowered a running hand mixer by the cord into a tub of water.
Unlike the movie, there were no sparks and no short circuit - it just made a growly noise while under water and then speeded up when it was back out.

The resistivity of tap water is 1M to 100M ohm-meter.
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:52 AM   #14
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In the 70s, in my attempt to debunk a James Bond/Roger Moore movie stunt, I lowered a running hand mixer by the cord into a tub of water.
Unlike the movie, there were no sparks and no short circuit - it just made a growly noise while under water and then speeded up when it was back out.

The resistivity of tap water is 1M to 100M ohm-meter.
If Sean Connery's James Bond had done the stunt, your blender would have performed the way it should have. But you did an experiment based on a mediocre Bond, and therefore got mediocre results.
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Old 07-11-2009, 12:29 PM   #15
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. . .an experiment based on a mediocre Bond, and therefore got mediocre results.
That must be it!

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