Aquarium low voltage in wall wiring

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Old 11-23-13, 03:05 PM
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Aquarium low voltage in wall wiring

I have a coral reef aquarium, and have several electrical questions, mainly dealing with codes. My setup is extremely safe, but the last thing I want or need is some technicality proving to be a headache in the future should something happen or an inspector seeing it.

All of my AC equipment is out of wall, connected to GFI protected outlets mounting in the wall. The power inside the stand is provided by a GFI outlet, with an outdoor waterproof box to prevent splashing water in the unlikely event. Should I put any other protections on these?

I need to run several low voltage wires through the wall, these go into the basement below where I have controllers located. my questions:

1: Would this technically be considered "in wall"?..I have this tank place in front of a door that I temporarily walled off one side with drywall, the other a removable panel for access to plumbing that flows from tank to in stand(simple PVC).

2. I need to run a standard USB cord and other sensors through this in wall or wall cavity to the cellar. The sensors are temperature sensors, one is a Ranco sensor the other similar to it. All are low voltage with little power going through them.

3. I run 2 DC powered flow pumps. These are high quality pumps(Tunze 6105 pumps) that have very long cords that house 3 wires wrapped in quite thick insulation. These were not "pulled" through the wall, rather snaked by hand as I have total access, and there is no stress on the wires now or during install. Pumps are 24 volts DC and pull 21 watts each from the wall.

I hope that all makes sense...
 

Last edited by James77; 11-23-13 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 11-24-13, 12:55 AM
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As long as all of your AC components are protected by a GFI circuit should be protected.

You can run the low voltage wiring thru the wall. I don't see any problems there.

The DC wiring in the wall, for the pumps. should be protected at the source, especially if it's a storage battery.
 
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Old 11-24-13, 04:05 AM
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Wires in the wall must be "rated" for in-wall use. Non-rated wires might have insulation that burns hotter and/or more quickly and/or with more noxious smoke in event of electric or non-electric fire.

You can use Romex. Any splices must be accessible. In-wall junction boxes for low voltage wiring are "bottomless", are usually orange in color, and don't have box fill limitations, although you can also use standard blue or gray or metal boxes.

Upsizing of wires required for voltage drop purposes applies to much shorter distances. As a rule of thumb, 24 volt wiring (AC or DC) can go about 1/5'th (24 divided by 120) the distance that 120 volt wiring can go for a given size and amperes. Eighteen to twenty gauge doorbell wiring can go quite a long distance because the amperage is very low.
 
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Old 11-24-13, 11:29 AM
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Would this technically be considered "in wall"?..I have this tank place in front of a door that I temporarily walled off one side with drywall, the other a removable panel for access to plumbing that flows from tank to in stand(simple PVC)
Everything in that space is in a wall when the removable panel is in place, and not in a wall when the removable panel is removed. You need to decide whether to have the panel in place and meet all of the requirements for in-wall installations, or to leave the space open on one side and meet the requirements for "in the open" installations.
 
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