If you are grounding your tank with an electrode...

Discussion in 'Pumps and Waterflow' started by RocketRooster, 1 Jan 2013.

  1. RocketRooster

    RocketRooster

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    ...and you happen to have any stray current flowing through it, you WILL have chlorine in your water. Just a thought...
     
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  3. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    Is this only for certain metals? Or maybe it's not Chlorine, but rather Chloride, which is not toxic to fish?
     
  4. RocketRooster

    RocketRooster Thread Starter

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    Any conductor. I'm referring to the electrolysis of sodium chloride (salt). Since the sodium ions in solution will precipitate on the cathode, the chloride ions will combine and gas out on the anode as chlorine gas. Some of it will dissolve in the tank water, which can't be good for your critters.
     
  5. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    Yes very true, but when you ground your tank there is no cathode or anode, just one rod, mine being titanium, @dallasg or @RiaanP can clarify this question. I totally believe in grounding your tank, the correct way!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  6. RocketRooster

    RocketRooster Thread Starter

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    No, you're not quite following. The grounding electrode can be made from any conductor. If the tank is grounded, you are completing a circuit for current to flow, and by definition you will have an anode and cathode (the faulty equipment leaking the voltage being the other electrode).

    If not grounded, no electricity can flow, even if you drop a single live wire straight in the tank.

    It is important to note that physics dictates that it requires the electrolysis of ions in solution to act as the electron 'circuit'. So the point is, if you can measure any voltage to ground during normal operation, you will have chlorine gas in your water, since it is the electrolysis of the salt in solution which enables the current to flow in the first place.

    I am also of the opinion that grounding your tank is important from a safety perspective, however any stray voltages to ground have to be immediately rectified at source, since it is affecting your water chemistry negatively.
     
  7. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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  8. RocketRooster

    RocketRooster Thread Starter

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    Just to add as a corrollary, of course the process also acts to desalinate your water, however it's unlikely to be significant.
     
  9. ccwilke

    ccwilke Majestic Pets Solutions Sponsor

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    Interesting
     
  10. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    some info

     
  11. Gazzer

    Gazzer

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    I have learnt the hard way with regards to this exercise!
     
  12. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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  13. RocketRooster

    RocketRooster Thread Starter

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    The source of the stray voltage isn't really relevant to my point - your earthing electrode is an anode that will release chlorine into the water the moment it conducts any current to ground, regardless of the source of the current. How much, depends on the voltage. I have no figures though and can't state how much of a problem it is, but you can't argue with the basic physics.

    Who knows how many mysterious tank nukes have occurred due to a chlorine spike? It's below everybody's radar, and the irony is that it can't happen if the tank isn't grounded...
     
  14. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Well I will check tomorrow to see how reactive titanium rods are, but like I said the electricity is an issue for us humans not the livestock, the only time it's an issue is when the electric wires are in the water, the copper wires can react
     
  15. Gazzer

    Gazzer

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    My brother got the shock of his life from sticking his hand in the tank and not realizing there was a cable that had accidentally fell in the sump. So we have now grounded our tank.
    My 2c regarding the chlorine and stuff. For electrolysis to happen, you would need a positive and negative anode. The earth is there to "trip" your earth leakage if a problem had to happen. Correct me if I am wrong???
     
  16. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    I rather ground my tank. Low stray voltages are not a problem. But full on 240V would trip your earth leakage after a brief moment of creating chlorine gas. That moment would be insignificant.

    But without a grounding probe, I could be killed the next morning when I stick in my hand to remove a fish that could have died because of the gas poisoning. And most likely I would still be barefoot.

    Nope, rather ground your tank. It is just better.

    Keep in mind that electricity is a lot worse for kids. If you feel stray voltage, kids feel the shock. Their bodies are just smaller and they feel it a lot more intense.

    Do not fool around.
     
    Last edited: 1 Jan 2013
  17. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    What I want to know is how much Chlorine, its a gas, wont it also quickly dissipate, so if you place your probe close to the skimmer intake, wont any gas produced just be expelled in the air?
     
  18. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    based on what i have researched, pure titanium wont react with salt water, and grounding the probe to a good earth or drainpipe etc will allow the electricity to discharge

    but i am looking for more concrete proof
     
  19. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    That's good to know Dallas! Hey, try have a nice day at work....:thumbup:
     
  20. RocketRooster

    RocketRooster Thread Starter

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    You okes aren't getting what I'm getting at. It doesn't matter what the anode is made of for the purpose of the discussion. The chloride cations give up electrons and will then bond covalently to form Cl2 gas if there is a potential difference in the water. These electrons are passed to the anode which conducts them to ground. This electrolysis is the only way for electrons to move onto the anode. It's physics and you can't escape it. It's how pool chlorinators work - nothing special about it.

    As for the fate of the chlorine, iirc from my varsity days, cl2 dissociates rapidly in water to form hypochlorous acid and hydrochloric acid, and probably hypochlorite. The former is a potent biocide. It probably depends on pH though, the high pH in a marine tank helps in that regard.

    The question is, how big of a potential problem is this, and how much leaking current can one tolerate in the tank environment before the chlorinating effect becomes deleterious to your critters' prosperity?
     
  21. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    so you are talking about low stray voltage that is too low to trip the household earth leakage.
     
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