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Old 01-19-2012, 01:45 PM   #16
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GFCI special application--on demand for brief period


Having an aquarium I do understand the problem with getting filters reprimed sometimes. However for brief periods (couple of min ) I don't see the issue. If it is a concern to you then I will offer this as a solution.

Weather or not this conforms to any codes is up to the individual user to determine. You will need a conventional 3 way switch, a regular recepticle, a GFCI recepticle, a 3 gang work box and a short 14 gage cord.
The following diagram will shows the wiring for the hot side. The neutral and ground should be wired conventionaly so I did not show them. A 3 way switch is basicaly an A/B switch. You will keep the filter plugged into the conventional recepticle at all times. When the switch is in one position it will power the recept normaly. A quick flip will disconect the power from the infeed to the recepticle and rout it thru the GFCI, out the load and to the recepticle. The brief (les than a second) moment between changeover should not affect the filter. When done simly switch it back. One thing to note here is the GFCI will trip imediatly if there is an electrical anomoly in the tank. It will not wait for you to be in the water.

Now ducking and running for cover.


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Old 01-19-2012, 02:42 PM   #17
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GFCI special application--on demand for brief period


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Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
A Class A GFI trips between 4-6 mA.
Are there other classes quite available?

May be indeed many in the aquarium hobby are using a GFCI that trips at too low a current difference?

Thanks for the helpful hint.

Last edited by highdeserthome; 01-19-2012 at 03:39 PM. Reason: Class B is about 25 ma.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:51 PM   #18
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GFCI special application--on demand for brief period


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Originally Posted by danpik View Post
Having an aquarium I do understand the problem with getting filters reprimed sometimes. However for brief periods (couple of min ) I don't see the issue. If it is a concern to you then I will offer this as a solution.

Weather or not this conforms to any codes is up to the individual user to determine. You will need a conventional 3 way switch, a regular recepticle, a GFCI recepticle, a 3 gang work box and a short 14 gage cord.
The following diagram will shows the wiring for the hot side. The neutral and ground should be wired conventionaly so I did not show them. A 3 way switch is basicaly an A/B switch. You will keep the filter plugged into the conventional recepticle at all times. When the switch is in one position it will power the recept normaly. A quick flip will disconect the power from the infeed to the recepticle and rout it thru the GFCI, out the load and to the recepticle. The brief (les than a second) moment between changeover should not affect the filter. When done simly switch it back. One thing to note here is the GFCI will trip imediatly if there is an electrical anomoly in the tank. It will not wait for you to be in the water.

Now ducking and running for cover.

Thanks.

Yes, I don't have to skip the first outlet. I can wire the line of the first outlet with GFCI to outlet 2,3 4 etc.

A circuit with just two outlets will work, taking care of amp load.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:39 PM   #19
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GFCI special application--on demand for brief period


Class B is about 25 MA.

I have to look but I think class B is what most places sell.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:47 PM   #20
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GFCI special application--on demand for brief period


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Originally Posted by highdeserthome

I have to look but I think class B is what most places sell.
Bull**** 25ma will kill you
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Last edited by Julius793; 01-19-2012 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:15 PM   #21
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GFCI special application--on demand for brief period


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Class B is about 25 MA.

I have to look but I think class B is what most places sell.
Class A is all that's typically available. Class B is referred to as GFPE, or ground fault protection for equipment. It is not intended for personnel safety.

If I felt really strongly that I didn't want GFCI on an aquarium installation, I would assemble some type of ground fault alarm device to provide a clear warning if there has been a ground fault. This would require some real hacking of the internals of a GFCI.

For what it's worth, GFCI's essentially never trip in the absence of an actual ground fault. There may occasionally be exceptions to this, but hardly ever. If the GFCI for your aquarium trips, it probably averted a much more serious problem.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:28 PM   #22
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GFCI special application--on demand for brief period


Sounds like someone likes the fish more than personal safety.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:52 PM   #23
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GFCI special application--on demand for brief period


I use a UPS on my aquarium and thats it. I protect myself from power outages but dont worry about a short in the equipment, if I were going to worry about that I would probably look at buying something to detect current in the tank instead of putting it on a GFCI that could trip on accident.


http://saltaquarium.about.com/od/aqu...rayvoltage.htm
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:09 PM   #24
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GFCI special application--on demand for brief period


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Sounds like someone likes the fish more than personal safety.
Why does it sound so?

I am using GFCI when there is a chance for personal unsafety.

It seems you have the logic reversed.
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:11 PM   #25
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GFCI special application--on demand for brief period


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I use a UPS on my aquarium and thats it. I protect myself from power outages but dont worry about a short in the equipment, if I were going to worry about that I would probably look at buying something to detect current in the tank instead of putting it on a GFCI that could trip on accident.


http://saltaquarium.about.com/od/aqu...rayvoltage.htm
A UPS is for power interruption.

It does not help when there is a fault.
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:16 PM   #26
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GFCI special application--on demand for brief period


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For what it's worth, GFCI's essentially never trip in the absence of an actual ground fault. There may occasionally be exceptions to this, but hardly ever. If the GFCI for your aquarium trips, it probably averted a much more serious problem.
This is not the point.

I WILL be using GFCI when there is a risk.

When I am not using GFCI, I am NOT at risk as I will not be touching anything wet.

Interesting is risk to the livestock in it.

This has always been interesting to me. I think when an animal is entirely within the water, not touching anything that is of a lower potential, it is not at risk even if there is a leak. Much like a bird on a high voltage line.

A human being with one hand in the water and wet feet (attached to lower potential) is at risk.

The risk to the livestock is the stoppage of life support from the equipment.

Apparently what I think of as very clear is not to many people reading this, a few quite opininated.

Last edited by highdeserthome; 01-19-2012 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:03 PM   #27
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GFCI special application--on demand for brief period


I would just get a 2ft extension cord with GFI protection built in and plug your tank into that while you are working on it. If your pumps can not lose power for 3 seconds while you change a plug then they might be the problem, not a GFI that you think could trip for no reason. If the pumps are that sensitive any power bump could take down your aquarium. How often do you need to work on items in the aquarium anyways?
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:22 PM   #28
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GFCI special application--on demand for brief period


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I would just get a 2ft extension cord with GFI protection built in and plug your tank into that while you are working on it. If your pumps can not lose power for 3 seconds while you change a plug then they might be the problem, not a GFI that you think could trip for no reason. If the pumps are that sensitive any power bump could take down your aquarium. How often do you need to work on items in the aquarium anyways?
First, there are many pumps and heaters.

Second, the type of pump I have is sensitive to power interruption (new better older get worse) and may not restart on resumption of power. I have many pumps and redundancy on this.

There are reasons why I need GFCI on demand. I have thought of all these easy alternatives.

I said I have an aquarium; I actually have several.

Last edited by highdeserthome; 01-19-2012 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:31 PM   #29
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GFCI special application--on demand for brief period


I'd consider using an isolation transformer in such a situation.

Same thing they use in hospital operating rooms, etc.
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:36 PM   #30
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GFCI special application--on demand for brief period


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I'd consider using an isolation transformer in such a situation.

Same thing they use in hospital operating rooms, etc.
You mean one in which the number of coils in the primary and secondary are the same?

I actually have one from salvage from work, but how would it help?

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