Stray voltage! Help needed!

Discussion in 'Reef Fishes' started by Melonbob, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. Melonbob

    Melonbob

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    Ok, I was playing in my new (cycling) 180 and got a tingle from one of my lights a few weeks ago. Figured it was cause I had damp hands and moved on. Tonight I got a tingle from my brand new DT light. Not bad, just enough to know it was not right. So I am all paranoid because of Andrews problems with the k4's, so I break out the voltmeter. I get 30volts in the water! So I unplug the two Koralias, down to about 20, unplug the heater, down a bit more, the skimmer, the return pump. You get the idea, I do not get a reading below 3volts until EVERYTHING is unplugged. WTF? I'm an electrical idiot so I need help bad!

    Then I figured I'd check out the little 46 thats been running since last october......38volts! I gave up and that point and settled down for alot of reading, but I'm not having much luck finding an answer!
     
    Melonbob, Oct 23, 2008
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  2. Melonbob

    dustin_P74

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    are is everything plugged into a surge protector? if so it could be coming from there
     
    dustin_P74, Oct 23, 2008
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  3. Melonbob

    Altohombre The Tennis Pro Reefer

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    chances are they aren't all bad unless you bought them used from the same guy. Try a new surge protector and clean off all the plugs before using them and see if it makes a difference.
     
    Altohombre, Oct 23, 2008
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  4. Melonbob

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Its highly un-likely that all your equipment is throwing stray voltage.
    Might be a good idea to set up a bucket full of water test each piece.It'd also be a good time to check into arc fault and GFI outlets too.Maybe even a grounding probe.
     
    yote, Oct 23, 2008
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  5. Melonbob

    Melonbob

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    Update. The light was reading 56volts when I hooked the multimeter to ground and touched the body. It was enough to zap you. My mom in her infinate wisdom suggested a different plug, so I ran an extension cord across the room, and voila! No zap, no volts. Moved everything to that plug, but still reading about 30ish volts. Unplug one koralia, and drops to 20, everything else drops it 3-5 per item unplugged...
     
    Melonbob, Oct 23, 2008
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  6. Melonbob

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Are the outlets in your house grounded?
     
    yote, Oct 23, 2008
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  7. Melonbob

    ccCapt Reef Hacker Moderator

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    ccCapt, Oct 23, 2008
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  8. Melonbob

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    I had this problem a few months ago, and the stray voltage was coming from an extension cord I was using, which was making everything that was plugged into that extension cord look like it was frying things. Replaced the bad extension cord, and everything else went back to zero.
     
    Bifferwine, Oct 24, 2008
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  9. Melonbob

    jhnrb

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    Check the outlets with a simple tester for open grounds or reversed polarity. if the plug is good and your house wiring system is grounded, then install a ground probe to the tank and sump. (this is a controversal subject but better to deal with the stray voltage than not). good luck.
     
    jhnrb, Oct 26, 2008
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