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Looking to Buy Any reefer electricians out there?

Discussion in 'Buy/Sell/Trade' started by Brett McCarthy, May 3, 2021.

  1. Brett McCarthy GIRS Member

    50
    Urbandale
    Ratings:
    +16 / 0 / -0
    Hey everyone. Wondering if there are any reefers that are electricians also. I keep tripping the plugs so I end up having to reset them at least once a day. Hoping there is someone out there that can take a look at my setup who knows a lot about electrical work who is also familiar with reef tanks. Willing to pay for time and materials. I just need to have my tank not tripping circuits daily. This is just a recent phenomenon. Any advice or ideas?
     
  2. Easy E Novice Reefkeeper Leadership Team GIRS Member

    108
    Shellsburg, IA
    Ratings:
    +29 / 0 / -0
    Is it a GFI outlet or a breaker inside the power panel that's tripping?
     
  3. Tharp81 New User GIRS Member

    4
    Pleasant Hill
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    If it's a gfci, make sure you have your line and load wires correct.
     
  4. Brett McCarthy GIRS Member

    50
    Urbandale
    Ratings:
    +16 / 0 / -0
    It’s the outlets. They are on the same wall. One I have my Apex connected to so at max I am pulling 1300w and around 11-12 amps with everything(450 lights, 600 heater, pumps 80, skimmer 180, doser and small pump 25) running full out. The other outlet is running misc. wave makers, refuge light, ATO etc for maybe 400w total. Outlet 2 is the one that seems to trip more often.
     
  5. Easy E Novice Reefkeeper Leadership Team GIRS Member

    108
    Shellsburg, IA
    Ratings:
    +29 / 0 / -0
    If a GFI outlet trips, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's overloaded. In fact, it usually means that you have a faulty piece of equipment plugged into it. Since it just started recently, I suspect something in your system has degraded and is starting to go bad. Light ballasts are notorious for tripping GFI's. If you have LED's, then it's more likely a pump motor or a heater. It may be a hassle, but the best way to figure it out is by moving plugs to different outlets until you isolate the one that's causing the trips. Having 2 GFI outlets will make the process quite a bit easier.

    The cheap GFI outlets do go bad occasionally, but it's not likely to be a problem with the outlet itself or the wiring in your house, so an electrician probably can't help you much.
     
  6. Brett McCarthy GIRS Member

    50
    Urbandale
    Ratings:
    +16 / 0 / -0
    Hey. Now that you say it. I did notice two of my t5s weren’t on today and I had to twist it to get the bulbs to work again. I will replace the bulb that was the issue today and see if that changes anything and go from there!
     
  7. Easy E Novice Reefkeeper Leadership Team GIRS Member

    108
    Shellsburg, IA
    Ratings:
    +29 / 0 / -0
    If your fluorescent tubes aren't starting up properly, there's a very high probability that's what's causing your problems.

    Without getting too technical,, a spark of electricity has to jump all the way from one end of the tube to the other to get it to light up. The ballast stores up a lot of energy, then releases it all at once to create that spark. After the tube is lit, essentially you're looking at a bolt of lightning traveling from one end to the other. When the tube won't start, the ballast keeps trying, and continues to release that energy over and over again. Those sudden, brief power surges are exactly what GFI outlets were designed to prevent.

    What most people don't know is that a fluorescent tube probably uses about 10 x more power on startup than it does once it's lit, so if you have a tube that's flickering you're wasting a lot of electricity. It's not just the tube that can cause this. Bad ballasts or bad fixture contacts can produce the same results. If a tube doesn't have near perfect connections to the fixture, the high startup energy will generate a lot of heat at the bad contacts and burn them up very quickly. Salt residue causes chemical reactions with metal that can quite easily degrade the contacts. That's one of the main reasons I chose LED's.

    This is more information than you probably needed or wanted, but for some reason I felt like over sharing today. :) Good luck, and I hope this helps. It sounds like you're well on the way to getting your issues resolved.
     
  8. AdamLawrence Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    484
    Marion, IA
    Ratings:
    +154 / 0 / -0
    It could also be a weak gfci outlet aswell very easy to change. Also is your tank grounded if it is remove the the ground and use a volt meter to check for stray voltage. Can narrow it down by turning 1 thing on at a time.

    Sent from my SM-N960U1 via App
     
  9. Brett McCarthy GIRS Member

    50
    Urbandale
    Ratings:
    +16 / 0 / -0
    No. This is very valuable information. Going to clean the fixture with distilled water and replace the bulbs. Thanks for the tips!
     
  10. Brett McCarthy GIRS Member

    50
    Urbandale
    Ratings:
    +16 / 0 / -0
    I have tested with a volt meter and there’s no stray current. I have unplugged everything and tested the main tank and sump and at most I get 1.2 with everything on.
     
  11. AdamLawrence Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    484
    Marion, IA
    Ratings:
    +154 / 0 / -0
    I'm not following whats the 1.2 than?

    Sent from my SM-N960U1 via App
     
  12. Brett McCarthy GIRS Member

    50
    Urbandale
    Ratings:
    +16 / 0 / -0
    1.2 volts of stray current in the tank. I was making sure nothing was leaking into the tank which might trip something.
     
  13. AdamLawrence Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    484
    Marion, IA
    Ratings:
    +154 / 0 / -0
    I would change the outlet. Also never hurts to put new bulbs in either

    Sent from my SM-N960U1 via App
     
  14. Brett McCarthy GIRS Member

    50
    Urbandale
    Ratings:
    +16 / 0 / -0
    Yep! Been replacing the bulbs one at a time so not to shock them.
     
  15. nrenn Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    310
    Waverly, Iowa
    Ratings:
    +29 / 0 / -0
    Are you switching any pumps on/off? I have a small Sicce from a BioCube on a switched outlet that I use for maintenance reasons, and it will often trip my GFCI when i flip the switch to "off"
     

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