Aquarium Safety

35% Off ! All WYSIWYG fish and corals

florida joe

Well-Known Member
#1

At about 4am my smoke alarm started to beep. After checking and feeling secure it was only the low battery warning I went back to sleep (pillow over head).
I started to think of all the electrical items we have associated with our tanks. If there were to be an electrical fire would I be ready. Probable not. Murphy’s law would insure that it would happen in the middle of the night. Half asleep I would have to hunt for a fire extinguisher. It’s off to Home depot today for a small fire extinguisher placed in an inconspicuous place near my tank. Just food for thought my fellow hobbyists
 

t316

Active Member
#2
Good advice Joe...

Which reminds me, I still have a couple of receptacles that are not GFCI that I need to switch out.
 
#3
LOL...How funny...I think about fire all the time...when the kids were little we had a planned exit strategy (I thank God we never needed to use it) I would grab my cat (dogs too) and jewelery (LOL) .....Really...like you said who knows what we would realloy do faced with that situation
EXCEPT I KNOW I WOULD NOT LEAVE W/O MY CAT
 

culp

Active Member
#5
yea i already beat you to it Florida Joe. i put a ABC fire extinguisher on the side of the stand months ago just in case.
 
#6
Originally Posted by florida joe
http:///forum/post/2974002

At about 4am my smoke alarm started to beep. After checking and feeling secure it was only the low battery warning I went back to sleep (pillow over head).
I started to think of all the electrical items we have associated with our tanks. If there were to be an electrical fire would I we ready. Probable not. Murphy’s law would insure that it would happen in the middle of the night. Half asleep I would have to hunt for a fire extinguisher. It’s off to Home depot today for a small fire extinguisher placed in an inconspicuous place near my tank. Just food for thought my fellow hobbyists

Great post Joe...
Some times a little preventive measurements can come in handy too.
Check cords for worn spots from constant vibrations around the tank.
Make sure all receptacles are GFCI protected. They wont stop an overload, that's the job of the circuit breaker, but will trip on a ground fault.
Do not overload said breakers! The fire could start at your panel. Joe, buy two fire extinguishers and keep one by you electrical panel.
This would be a good time to figure out which breaker feeds your aquarium just in case you need it in a hurry.A small piece of colored tape next to the breaker comes in handy in an emergency.
As cheep as smoke detectors are,(saw one at Wal-mart for under $9.00 with a light) put one over your tank!
Being a retired electrician I could go on forever, but Joe got the ball rolling, any more good tips?
After all, most fires are electrical in nature.

Joe, did you get a battery for your detector,too?
 

t316

Active Member
#7
Originally Posted by meowzer
http:///forum/post/2974006
EXCEPT I KNOW I WOULD NOT LEAVE W/O MY CAT
Here she goes with that 'cat love' again. My cat better hope you are visiting with me if/when a fire occurs

Let's go back to the GFCI's for a moment. I am going to replace the one's that I initially installed as regular recept's, but do you guys ever have problems with them tripping accidentally? That's why I left them out in the first place, not because I forgot. I have them at the panel, just not on the individual receptacles, because I was worried about them constantly tripping at every little overload...like my bathroom, if my wife has the iron on, and her curlers or something, then turns the blow dryer on (all different recept's, but same room)...WHAMMO....I'm hearing my name called and have to go to the basement to reset the switch.
Although I am aware of the risk vs. safety on the tank equipment, I just didn't want the tank going out when I'm away and sitting for 8-10 hrs until I get home to reset...
 
#8
Originally Posted by T316
http:///forum/post/2974060
Here she goes with that 'cat love' again. My cat better hope you are visiting with me if/when a fire occurs

Let's go back to the GFCI's for a moment. I am going to replace the one's that I initially installed as regular recept's, but do you guys ever have problems with them tripping accidentally? That's why I left them out in the first place, not because I forgot. I have them at the panel, just not on the individual receptacles, because I was worried about them constantly tripping at every little overload...like my bathroom, if my wife has the iron on, and her curlers or something, then turns the blow dryer on (all different recept's, but same room)...WHAMMO....I'm hearing my name called and have to go to the basement to reset the switch.
Although I am aware of the risk vs. safety on the tank equipment, I just didn't want the tank going out when I'm away and sitting for 8-10 hrs until I get home to reset...

This can be long and confusing,real quick, a GFCI senses a ground fault not an overload. If the breaker is tripping you have an OVERLOAD on the breaker:
Like pulling 25 amps on a breaker rated only for 15 amps.
If your receptacle gets wet and you touch either the neutral or hot the GFCI BREAKER in your panel will trip ( the little yellow button will pop up). This is different from an overload trip.(the switch will move to the center of the breaker requiring it to be pushed to one side to reset).
Clear as mud?
 
#9
This is a good reason to install the GFCI at the location of the tank.
BUT... if the circuit is still the one with your hair dryer, toaster, TV, and Microwave on it it will still cause an overload and trip the BREAKER causing you to lose power at the tank.
If this happens you need a separate circuit at the tank.
Mud getting clearer?
 

t316

Active Member
#16
Originally Posted by JimVette1
http:///forum/post/2974106
This can be long and confusing,real quick, a GFCI senses a ground fault not an overload. If the breaker is tripping you have an OVERLOAD on the breaker:
Like pulling 25 amps on a breaker rated only for 15 amps.
If your receptacle gets wet and you touch either the neutral or hot the GFCI BREAKER in your panel will trip ( the little yellow button will pop up). This is different from an overload trip.(the switch will move to the center of the breaker requiring it to be pushed to one side to reset).
Clear as mud?

Originally Posted by JimVette1

http:///forum/post/2974111
This is a good reason to install the GFCI at the location of the tank.
BUT... if the circuit is still the one with your hair dryer, toaster, TV, and Microwave on it it will still cause an overload and trip the BREAKER causing you to lose power at the tank.
If this happens you need a separate circuit at the tank.
Mud getting clearer?

Yes, I understand but that's the problem, I'm sure those breakers are going to have too much on them. All of the tank stuff is on breakers by themselves (ie...no toasters or microwaves, etc), but the amount of equipment itself is just alot (skimmer, tunzes, return pump, mh's, T12's, fan, etc.) I can just see those succors popping off once a day. Sounds like you are saying I need to upsize the breaker down in the box that controls all this, yes? And then I can switch out the recept's to GFCI and not worry about them tripping due to overload.
 
#18
Originally Posted by T316
http:///forum/post/2974236
Yes, I understand but that's the problem, I'm sure those breakers are going to have too much on them. All of the tank stuff is on breakers by themselves (ie...no toasters or microwaves, etc), but the amount of equipment itself is just alot (skimmer, tunzes, return pump, mh's, T12's, fan, etc.) I can just see those succors popping off once a day. Sounds like you are saying I need to upsize the breaker down in the box that controls all this, yes? And then I can switch out the recept's to GFCI and not worry about them tripping due to overload.
NO, it is not that easy to just put in a larger breaker!
The wire size and breaker size MUST MATCH!
#14 AWG on a 15amp Breaker.
#12 AWG on a 20amp Breaker.
You need a qualified electrician to check this out or you WILL need that fire extinguisher.

Bottom line, nuisance tripping on a GFCI is still better than a lethal shock.
from no protection at all.
 
#19
Originally Posted by florida joe
http:///forum/post/2974207
ANOTHER CAT
Seriously I am guessing a fire extinguisher. Good for you
Anyway I got to thinking about it, I am going to get 2 more, 1 for the kitchen, and one for the fish room....andthe one I got today is going by my bed...If I hear the fire alarm during the night, I sure do not want to have to look for the fire extinguisher (or my cat)
 

t316

Active Member
#20
Originally Posted by meowzer
http:///forum/post/2974840
Anyway I got to thinking about it, I am going to get 2 more, 1 for the kitchen, and one for the fish room....andthe one I got today is going by my bed...If I hear the fire alarm during the night, I sure do not want to have to look for the fire extinguisher (or my cat)
I'm sure the cat would be right there in your bed next to you, knowing you

Originally Posted by JimVette1

http:///forum/post/2974421
NO, it is not that easy to just put in a larger breaker!
The wire size and breaker size MUST MATCH!
#14 AWG on a 15amp Breaker.
#12 AWG on a 20amp Breaker.
You need a qualified electrician to check this out or you WILL need that fire extinguisher.

Bottom line, nuisance tripping on a GFCI is still better than a lethal shock.
from no protection at all.
I'll call the electrician who wired the house for me. I can change out the recept's, but no, I'm not experienced enough to know what I'm looking at, with certainty, down there in the breaker panel. (I'm having visions of Tool Time here
).
And just for Joe's thread topic here, I'll add that this is a reminder for everyone to replace the batteries in their smoke alarms. Not just for your tank's sake, but for your family. Also, make sure you have drip loops on all your cords that are located near the tank.
 
Top