FINMOOD FISH FORUM

A forum to discuss on fish
It is currently Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:33 am

All times are UTC + 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 56 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:57 am 
Offline
MARLIN
MARLIN
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:17 am
Posts: 30
Location: Lion City
Did a search but could not find much discussions on the captioned; which I think is very important considering the huge capacity of water we're handling and especially when electrical items are submerged (eg. pumps, wavemakers, heaters etc) and also falling of lighting fixtures and so on.

Here's my compilation:

1. Number ONE "Must Have - ELCB Plug/Adaptor

If a submerged electrical item has a earth leakage, your fishes may swim normally but you WILL receive electrical shocks (minor) or electrocution (worse) the moment you put your hands in the water. (The hand serves as a electrical return through your body to the ground)

The ELCB Plug/Adaptor, having a typical tripping current of 10mA or 30mA (get the 10mA ones), will save your life by tripping the circuit the moment a live or earth fault is detected including water splashes on any electrical sockets:

Image
Image
Image

DO NOT depend solely on the Master Circuit Breaker (MCB) which was mandated in every households. It will trip almost instananeously if there's a earth/current leakage BUT may NOT be FAST ENOUGH to stop the current from killing you (main "culprit" - Excessive Cable Length).

The ELCB Plug/Adaptor will trip within a heartbeat fast enough (forgotton the specs - in terms of nanoseconds) to stop the current (including the weaker harmless ones) from reaching you.

IMPORTANT Notes:
(1) The ELCB Plug/Adaptor must be attached to the wall socket (not extension sockets)
(2) If you use an extension cable, make sure the total cable length is NOT >15m. Anything longer WILL NOT WORK. (Simple electrical law: Voltage = Current x Resistance.... where Voltage & Current (tripping current) are constant and Resistance the only variable and is affected by the cable diameter, resistivity and most importantly... length)

*Disclaimer: I'm only familiar with the 2 brands depicted in the above pictures. If you do purchase other brands; pls read manufacturer's instruction very carefully especially on the rated tripping current and recommended max cable length.

* ELCB = Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker (some countries called it RCCB, Residual Current Circuit Breaker or GFCI, Ground Fault Circuit Interruptor in the USA)

2. Number ONE "Must Know"

When electrocuted, why some people died and some only received electrical burns? (same current rating in both scenarios)

The answer lies in the "path the current travalled". In short... if a current travel pass your heart, you can kiss the world goodbye....

Now all of us know that current travels "everywhere" and fastest by the shortest path especially mediums with the least resistance...

Scenario 1:

If you put only 1 hand, say your right hand, into the tank (with electrical leakage), the shortest path for the current to travel is:
Right hand -> torso (right flank) -> right leg -> ground

The current did not travel pass your heart, you'll get electrical burn and won't get electrocuted (in most situations except extreme cases...).

Scenario 2:

If you put both hands into the tank, the shortest/possible paths for the current are:
1 hand -> heart -> the other hand -> tank water or/and
Right hand -> heart -> left leg -> ground or/and
Left hand -> heart -> right leg -> ground.

The current crosses the heart in all the above paths and fatality is almost guaranteed.

Preventive Measures:

1) Install the ELCB Plug/adaptor (strongly recommended to every aquarium/pond owners)
2) Cultivate the habit of putting only 1-hand into the tank (if need to) and the other hand into your pocket (or elsewhere) as much as possible.
3) Keep the floor dry whenever practicable.
4) Forgotton the most important 1.... Swtich off your mains when performing tank maintenance or when you need to put hands in it.
5) There's also this rubber gloves that can cover the entire length of your arm


Last edited by civic5163 on Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:28 am, edited 3 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:59 am 
Offline
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:09 pm
Posts: 14848
Location: Singapore, North
Thanks for opening thread and highlighting the risk everyone is facing in fish keeping and outline the prevention and mitigation. I have always have this phobia and concern all along particularly if I have a submerged equpiment like powerhead, submerged lighting, UV, heater...because of a couple of bad experience.
One instance is my mains keep on tripping ended up I got to spend money to call an electrician to trace the source of leak to a powerhead. Strange that he did not caution me not to use and I continue using despite of the occasion trips till one fine day I got a very bad electric shock then I pull out and discarded away.
Another instance is my UV bulb or adpator I suspect leak current and I got an instant shock even when I touched the glass panel, can't imagine how bad if I touch the water!
Whenever I touch water I always do it very slowly and carefully, if need be I would wear a rubber sole shoes or stand on a chair or stool. I also have a test pen to test the water occasionally. However, I realized there is alway very light stray current passing through water if you have electric equipment like lightings (due to water splashing) and pump. Never would I get a zero reading on current when measure with test pen. I am always wary.

_________________
LauLanChu
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:00 pm 
Offline
MARLIN
MARLIN
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:17 am
Posts: 30
Location: Lion City
Well.. keeping a aquarium ought to be something that all of us should be enjoying.. not something that would give us something to be fear of in return.

For my pretty-safe setup, I don't install any electrical items in the tank at all. I used batteries on all my monitoring meters even when a AC Adaptor is available.
:1st

For the ultimate in fishkeeping electrical safety: Get the ELCB Plug/Adaptor (The best thing about this thing is... when it trip, the rest of the house will not be affected; only this particular socket will be shut-off... one less reason for your Minister of Home Affairs to nag you on spending too much time on the hobby.)

Additonals Safety Measures:

- Get extension sockets with SURGE PROTECTOR built-in (abt $10 more then the normal ones) - Submerged electrical items will be less prone to stray currents and damages -> well worth the money!

- Get an Aquarium Grounding Probe to better capture stray voltage that also contributes to fin rot, hole-in-the-head disease etc (Not Recommended to be used on its own):

Image

- Install electrical items externally when practicable; e.g UV lamp.

- Avoid cheap electrical items; use established & reliable brand especially the powerheads (If I remember the figures correctly... >70% (pls refer to SCDF web site for correct figures) of HDB fires were attributed by overhead pumps due to overheating... according to the SCDF Statistics).

* HDB-Licensed Electrical Contractors: The last time I checked with my renovation contractor, the supervisor and his workers did not know anything about tripping current and the max cable length thingy; and their Licensed Electrical Workers (LEW) were always busy at other sites. I never get to see any LEW even when my renovation was completed! Can only be more careful on our sides - i.e to assume that the cable lengths are not always optimal. Demand to see the original copy of the LEW license if your contractor claimed to be an approved electrician.

Have a safe and enjoyable fishkeeping journey!

:tc


Last edited by civic5163 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:40 am, edited 4 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:33 pm 
Offline
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:09 pm
Posts: 14848
Location: Singapore, North
Once again thanks, you are knowledgable!

_________________
LauLanChu
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:44 pm 
Offline
DRAGON
DRAGON
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:24 am
Posts: 474
Location: Toronto - Canada
I have Aquarium Grounding Probe in my tank for years now, it is not expensive and very important to have in tank if you have any submeresed electrical equipment.

I have read a story of a someone who had a fish, fish was swimming all right with no problem but whenever she get close to heater, just like something hit her, she would scare and swim away quickly, person figured latter on by the shock received in one day from heater that heater glass was cracked and leaking current to water.

Sometimes it is not that easy to notice as electric current is not high but it will cause all kind problem for fish that no medication could cure.

Good info civic5163 thanks :)

_________________
I Hope helped by sharing, Alex.
ImageImage


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:17 am 
Offline
DRAGON
DRAGON
User avatar

Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 9:05 am
Posts: 442
civic5163 wrote:

1. Number ONE "Must Have - ELCB Plug/Adaptor



hi cibic :) thanks for the post! May I know where this ELCB can be purchased?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:18 am 
Offline
MARLIN
MARLIN
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:17 am
Posts: 30
Location: Lion City
You can get it in most hardware shops. But those shops in Sim Lim Tower Basement 1 (didn't go other levels) are selling them at a cheaper rates. They also have 24-hr timers with assorted designs and at much cheaper rates then LFSs.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:54 am 
Offline
UNICORN
UNICORN

Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:15 pm
Posts: 165
Bro civic5163, great info and thanks for highlighting the danger. I normally switch off the main before putting my hand into the tank, but sometimes laziness get into the head. For safety sake and for lazy fellow like me, really better to get hold of these safety devices. Will the earth probe alone be sufficient to prevent electric shock?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:01 am 
Offline
MARLIN
MARLIN
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:17 am
Posts: 30
Location: Lion City
"Grounding Probes" are Not recommended to be used on its own...

The Grounding Probe will only protect you... not the fishes. As installing the probe will close the loop for electrical return to the ground; and your beloved fishes will be subjected to continuous "electrical therapy" if there's a stray current (and no ELCB is used) until they finally given up hopes with this world.

It's going to be the same as those birds standing on a single power cable and never get "barberqued"; but would be if the bird's backside got itchy and decided to put 1 leg on another cable (that itchy 1 leg is providing the electrical return path)

Also bear in mind that water is a relatively good conductor of electricity... and that the source of problem/stray current will always be there until someone removes it; and pls DON'T touch any submerged electrical item if you never switch off the mains.

Getting the ELCB plug/adaptor is the way to go. If not, pls at least do a visual checks on the submerged cables/casings for damages everytime you do a tank maintenance.

Come on bro.. if investing $100 can potentially save a life, you will do it for all your loved ones wouldn't you? (Not too sure abt the retail price for each piece, I normally buy in bulks at abt $50-70 for my workplaces)

BTW, I'm not affiliated/related to any ELCB plugs/adaptor suppliers, I'm just a Safety Practitioner sharing what I preached at the workplaces. And some of those good inputs were actually given by very experienced Electrical PE or medical practitioners.


Last edited by civic5163 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:29 am, edited 5 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:46 am 
Offline
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:09 pm
Posts: 14848
Location: Singapore, North
So the question of harm to fish due to stray current is unfounded. A suspended tank is like a floating body which is an open circuit that current cannot flow, unless we earth the tank, just like earthing of any electrical appliances. So earthing the tank or water could do more harm then good to your fish?

Another concern I have is would the adaptor used be too sensitive and trip your supply often? You know goldfish cannot withstand even a short cutoff of areation and any sudden cutoff will prove fatal to fish, another side of problem to consider. As mentioned, I always find light stray current in the water, whenever any electrical equipment is used, because fish tank is overall a "wet" body and we trying to mix electricity with water.

_________________
LauLanChu
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:29 pm 
Offline
MARLIN
MARLIN
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:17 am
Posts: 30
Location: Lion City
LauLanChu wrote:
So the question of harm to fish due to stray current is unfounded.
Not really, STRAYed current do contribute to fin rot and Hole-in-head Diesase from my "limited" understanding.

A suspended tank is like a floating body which is an open circuit that current cannot flow, unless we earth the tank, just like earthing of any electrical appliances.
YES. More often then not, the human being is the "missing link".

So earthing the tank or water could do more harm then good to your fish?
I'm not going to conclude on this one. It's your take on your priorities and how much chances one is willing to take. As one may say that stray currents are mild most of the time, putting a Grounding Probe is great to minimize fin-rot and the Head-in-hole Disease and may not cause too much harm to the fishes and more importantly.. those nasty electrical-shock you experienced everytime you touches the water may be history.

The worse case scenario in a tank.. a fatal current leaking in the tank: (<- This para refers to using the Grounding Probes alone)
If you put the grounding probe, your fish MAY die.
If you don't put the grounding probe, you WILL die.
Of course this kinda scenario don't drop by too often; but when it does.. it ain't gonna drop you a sms/email to tell you in advance.

Another concern I have is would the adaptor used be too sensitive and trip your supply often?

From my >7 years of using it in all outdoor works and all portable tools/equip at work and even at home, the device had worked the way it would. And everytime it tripped.... ZERO cases were false alarm.


You know goldfish cannot withstand even a short cutoff of areation and any sudden cutoff will prove fatal to fish, another side of problem to consider.
That's why I only used AD/DC air pump. Opted out the Hiblows. Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) units can also be deployed on the safer side. Execute the "emergency procedures" that you'd already devised for power outages

As mentioned, I always find light stray current in the water, whenever any electrical equipment is used, because fish tank is overall a "wet" body and we trying to mix electricity with water.

My take: Install the Grounding Probe bro.. with the ELCB plug


Last edited by civic5163 on Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:55 pm 
Offline
HERO
HERO
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:19 pm
Posts: 3976
After reading this thread, it can be really scary, man. Another word, if you do not have any submerging pump or heater, are you save from getting electrocuted?

_________________
ImageImageImageImage


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:28 pm 
Offline
MARLIN
MARLIN
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:17 am
Posts: 30
Location: Lion City
i?m truly sorry.. think my last reply was very confusing indeed..
it?s only meant for 'using the grounding probe alone?

if u have the elcb plug, that dangerously high level of current, if any, will b detected and tripped remember?

Let's clarify things a little further..

1) Stray current (discussed in this thread)= refers to current leaked from a electrical device and does not include induced current from all electrical devices within the tank or nearby.

2) Induced currents are normally harmless.

3) Grounding Probe, when used alone, is more for protecting the aquarist then the fishes and is only of concerns if there is a leaked/stray current esepcially the significant ones. (If used with the ELCB, power will be cut-off saving both the fishes and aquarist for maybe the next 6-10hrs or more if you have the AC/DC pump or UPS or can execute recovery procedures in time. Otherwise, it's just another Power Outage.)

4) ELCB plugs will work better with a grounding probe. And in some scenarios within the tank, the ELCB will ONLY work if there's a grounding probe. Clarification: ELCB plug will work fine on its own at all times; but will cover more electrical situations (especially those within the tank) if used togather with the grounding probe"

5) If there's a defective elect equip in the tank.. replacing it at the soonest is the best way to go (instead of relying of safety devices).

6) Lastly, don't be too complacent even if you have installed all the best safety gadgets mankind could think of.

And maybe I should just add this: All safety devices discussed in this threads are more for protecting the aquarists/humans.

Do google a little more on grounding/ground probe and/or ELCB/RCCB/GFCI for more info.


Last edited by civic5163 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:46 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:36 pm 
Offline
JEDI
JEDI

Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 2:21 pm
Posts: 3376
civic5163..

thanks for this safety info..very informative...

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:51 pm 
Offline
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:09 pm
Posts: 14848
Location: Singapore, North
Pardon my limited knowledge on this aspect. Few more questions hope you can clarify (without googling).

i) Can elaborate more on what you mean by induced current, issit minor leaks caused by water splashing or wetting of cables?

ii) My understand of ELCB plugs is it will limit the current if there is an upsurge through plug tripping, but your main still remain intact, if the equipment draw excessive current.

iii) Grounding probe is earthing and there would be short circuit when current leak, your ELCB will trip if you have one else your main will trip.

iv) So I heard of grounding probe protecting the fish from fin and wen rots, how is that so? If grounded current would flow if there is an induced current and short circuit if there is a stray, how the fish got protected. Without grounding isn't no current flow and fish will not be affected. Maybe I understand wrongly.

_________________
LauLanChu
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 56 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC + 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group