Need help making a power station for my aquarium


Old 06-08-07, 03:07 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Need help making a power station for my aquarium

I live in a rental property and the outlets here do not have any grounds and as you can guess upgrading the electric is out of the question. I was thinking about making a power center with 10 outlets the first a gfi all run with switches to each outlet. also the box in the wall is plastic not metal so I cant ground their either. my question is could I take about 3 feet of copper and pound it in the ground then just attach the ground wire from the power station to it and just use the normal 2 prong outlet?
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Old 06-08-07, 04:08 PM
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Welcome to the forums! Your ground must go all the way back to the panel, so pounding a rod in the ground is out of the question. Why not install a GFCI receptacle in the nearest location, with line on top and load on bottom, and plug in a multiple power strip into it. You will be protected without having to rewire the place. You will have to label the GFCI as "non grounded".
Old 06-08-07, 04:15 PM
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thanks for the invite. currently the outlet is behine an aquarium that weighs about 2000 lbs so getting to it is interesting to say the least. I currently have one of those in line gfi outlets if I used that connected to one of those three to two prong reducers will that protect me? also I have aproblem with stray voltage in the water can you think of any ideas to ground a probe. my house has the old style fuses so I doubt you can ground anything through there. what about just a ground probe run outside?
Old 06-08-07, 05:15 PM
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You are very confused about grounding.

Running a wire to the outside and attaching it to a ground rod will not help you in any way shape or form. It would be a waste of time and money.

All you need is GFCI protection. Either replace the receptacle with a GFCI one, as chandler suggested, or use your in-line GFCI.

That's all you need.

As for your stray voltage problem, if you really have one, the GFCI will trip and provide protection.
Old 06-08-07, 05:18 PM
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thanks so much for the help. I will just use the in line with the adapter I just got a little freaked out when I actually measured the voltage in my tank
Old 06-10-07, 09:04 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NE INDIANA
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For my 2-cents worth, I've had a couple of occasions where I've felt (and measured) mild shocks from my aquariums. On one occasion, it was due to a hairline crack in a heater, and another time there was a fault in one of the hoods that have the florescent lights. Other than a lot of salt creep, I never did identify the exact cause, but replacing the hood eliminated it. Despite being on a GFCI circuit, neither incident caused a tripped GFCI.
Old 06-10-07, 09:16 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: New Bern, NC
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I am confused about the Plastic boxes, and No ground wire part.

Bakelite boxes were the first non metal ones, and they did not come out till a ground wire was used in all cables. (not to leave out AC cable which grounds through the casing)

I find plastic boxes, and no ground wire to be an odd mix.
Old 06-10-07, 09:26 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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I asked my landlord about that and they said they moved the outlets but used the existing hardware I iknow stupid but no one said landlords are smart

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