Electrical question

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by moz, 13 Nov 2007.

  1. moz

    moz

    Joined:
    30 Jul 2007
    Posts:
    638
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Port Elizabeth
    I seem to have a bit of stray voltage, when my hand is in the tank wherever I have cuts on my fingers it stings, when I disconnected a 40w pump I had in the tank, the stinging was a lot less so I am assuming that there was a problem with the pump. Also how do I check the voltage/current in my tank and what is acceptable?
     
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. Rory

    Rory Admin MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    5 May 2007
    Posts:
    4,850
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    JHB
    Hi Moz

    You can get a cheap voltmeter from makro/game/pnp hyper/any hardware place/any electrical place. Then put the one end of it in the water and the other end on something earthed. If it isn't already you should probably earth your tank stand.

    Wearing shoes helps. Not having cuts helps. Using the voltmeter to monitor the voltage and turning off each thing you can see which ones contribute the most (such as the 40W pump).
     
  4. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    8 May 2007
    Posts:
    24,229
    Likes Received:
    127
    Location:
    Point Waterfront Durban
    hey man,ive got the same problem in my tank,gave up hope trying to find the fault.at times theres nothing present and sometimes it practically shockes the life outa me.i just wear rubber sole shoes when i work in my tank now
     
  5. moz

    moz Thread Starter

    Joined:
    30 Jul 2007
    Posts:
    638
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Port Elizabeth
    Thanks Rory, I think I'll get some safety boots and one of those earthing straps that should help prevent electrocution. But earthing the stand, and finding my voltmeter would probably be a good start.
     
  6. Rory

    Rory Admin MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    5 May 2007
    Posts:
    4,850
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    JHB
    Earthing strap? As in around your wrist and connected to earth? That is probably the opposite of what you want to do... The point of the rubber boots etc is so that you aren't earthed so the current doesn't flow from the tank, through you and into the ground. Connecting your one hand to earth and sticking the other in the tank is a rather bad idea...
     
  7. Kanga

    Kanga Retired Moderator MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    7 May 2007
    Posts:
    4,576
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    In the Koeberg blast radius
    damn I'd say:lol::lol:

    would be reeftank/toaster
     
  8. Hill

    Hill

    Joined:
    8 May 2007
    Posts:
    1,473
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Auckland
    Most earthing straps have a large resistance resistor in series with their earthing lead. Normally in the mega ohms. So you won't become toast. But it will not help too much either.

    Do as Rory says.
     
  9. moz

    moz Thread Starter

    Joined:
    30 Jul 2007
    Posts:
    638
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Port Elizabeth
    OOPs, I think I'd better just do what Rory suggested and not get too creative, my knowledge of electricity it seems, is likely to get somebody hurt.
     
  10. Hill

    Hill

    Joined:
    8 May 2007
    Posts:
    1,473
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Auckland
    I will be in the area on the 24th/25th if you need help. Will probably have a major hangover tho.
     
  11. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    29 May 2007
    Posts:
    17,868
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Hi moz - this seems to be a "common problem" - me too HAD the issues previously. I contributed it to the following:
    - worn out wiring going to the power-heads in your tank (even though the wiring does not seem frayed) -> what to do to test: switch off the power-heads, ONE BY ONE, and see which one "stops the shocking feeling"
    - IF you are using the y-type fluorescent ballast connectors for the globes, which are not sealed in any way (not guaranteed to be water-proof) - these might be arcing, and "leaking current", as seeing that the water is so close-by.... and the wires are so THIN.... check to see if you are still being "shocked" when the lights are switched off....

    These were my conclusions - possibly worth checking...

    Good luck!

    PS: I don't get that anymore since I removed a LOT of the smaller power-heads in my tank (only have a few very strong ones), and also changed my lighting to T5's in purpose-made lamp-units.... no more shocking experiences from the tank ;-)
     
  12. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    4 May 2007
    Posts:
    5,974
    Likes Received:
    119
    Location:
    KZN
    I have found that the voltage normally comes from the fluorescent fittings. Anyway an easy way to find out where the problem lies is to unplug everything and start plugging in one at a time and test the waters after each piece is plugged in. Now how you test the waters is up to you personally i would use a multi meter.
     
  13. Hill

    Hill

    Joined:
    8 May 2007
    Posts:
    1,473
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Auckland
    No nothing works better than the good old finger shock test. :lol:
     
  14. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    12 May 2007
    Posts:
    7,859
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    the Motherland
    Are you sure there is stray voltage? if you have cut fingers then the salt water alone will sting, try wearing gloves. Failing that try out the turn everything off method as suggested by Alan, if not, stop playing with sharp things;)
     
  15. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    4 May 2007
    Posts:
    27,993
    Likes Received:
    782
    Nah, use your tongue, nice little tingle, you know like how you lick the 9v batteries :D
     
    Last edited: 14 Nov 2007
  16. Afsal

    Afsal

    Joined:
    7 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Dbn,Kzn
    U just my tongue get that feeling , yuck
     
  17. Hill

    Hill

    Joined:
    8 May 2007
    Posts:
    1,473
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Auckland
    Ha Ha read somewhere that 4 to 7 Australians die every year testing batteries like that. Think we should contract them to test all our batteries too?
     
  18. moz

    moz Thread Starter

    Joined:
    30 Jul 2007
    Posts:
    638
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Port Elizabeth
    Done the finger test, since I took out the 40w pump, no more problems so that seems to be the source.
     
  19. Hill

    Hill

    Joined:
    8 May 2007
    Posts:
    1,473
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Auckland
    Then you should be OK.
     
Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - Electrical question Forum Date
Electrical Question Anything DIY Related 1 Oct 2009
Electrical Question Anything DIY Related 19 May 2009
Zetlight electrical current issue Lighting 4 Dec 2015
Urgent help needed electrical accident Urgent Help Needed 30 May 2015
Illumilux Blanco 50/50 electrical connection The Serious Reefer 28 Dec 2013
24 hour, electrical timers with independent channels-Lets keep things stable Test Kits, Controllers, Reactors and Dosers 13 Oct 2013
[wtd] Hailea Chiller Electrical Help Wanted 17 Sep 2013