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Author Topic: Technical question: plug ins.  (Read 2249 times)
Gregg
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« on: February 18, 2016, 03:28:43 PM »

I have a question regarding electrical power to my tanks.  I am about to move my small fry tank, hopefully set up a Q tank as well. This is what is there now.<a href="http://s1049.photobucket.com/user/lv2crp/media/001_zpsxoyt2cdh.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1049.photobucket.com/albums/s392/lv2crp/001_zpsxoyt2cdh.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 001_zpsxoyt2cdh.jpg"/>[/url]
It powers a pump, a hob filter, and lights on one side, and TV components on the other. It looks like a hazard to me.  My wife tells me of power strips. What may used safely to power from one plug in what is needed for three tanks?  Alternately, another outlet runs the 2 smaller tanks as such. <a href="http://s1049.photobucket.com/user/lv2crp/media/004_zpsm3pjgt1x.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1049.photobucket.com/albums/s392/lv2crp/004_zpsm3pjgt1x.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 004_zpsm3pjgt1x.jpg"/>[/url]
<a href="http://s1049.photobucket.com/user/lv2crp/media/003_zpsl07pr6vg.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1049.photobucket.com/albums/s392/lv2crp/003_zpsl07pr6vg.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 003_zpsl07pr6vg.jpg"/>[/url]
<a href="http://s1049.photobucket.com/user/lv2crp/media/002_zpsrptdnsp4.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1049.photobucket.com/albums/s392/lv2crp/002_zpsrptdnsp4.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 002_zpsrptdnsp4.jpg"/>[/url]
My son tells me that the breakers might be the problem.  You guys who have multiple tanks must have a good system. This is an old home and doesn't have the set up for the electrical units we use these days.

Gregg
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2016, 03:59:49 PM »

I'm not exactly sure what your question is but, if it is you wanting to know if this is overloaded or not, are you blowing fuses?  If you are, it is overloaded.  If not, it's not in my opinion.  One thing that I would mention is that the cords that are coming from your aquarium should hang down past the outlet and then come back up to the outlet.  This is so that, if water would get on the cords, it would follow the cord down and not be able to come back up and get into the outlet.
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Gregg
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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2016, 06:45:41 PM »

Hi Pat Mary,

No, I was wondering if there was a cleaner, neater, less messy option.  Perhaps something with multiple outlets from a single power strip. We have one with 6 "plug ins," i can't describe it better.  If I had another I would be using 12 from a double wall outlet.  Have not done that, but if anyone has safely used something as such I would like to know. As I am not a scientist nor am I an electrician. Thanks again.

Gregg
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2016, 07:45:20 PM »

We have power strips around the house for different things.  I do have one for my fish stuff.  I also have a surge protector in case we have a power outage and the power comes back on suddenly.
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Gregg
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2016, 08:52:53 PM »

Good! It also occurred to me, they wouldn't make them if they were not both safe and applicable.  I can use a 6 outlet power strip for 2 tanks and another for one tank and other accessories.  If anyone thinks otherwise this is what I'll do and get the tanks moved/running (QT) as soon as possible.  This frees the only other wall outlet I have.

Gregg
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russ
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2016, 09:30:20 PM »

Just in case that this may be a consideration..........When using power strips, never plug a power strip into another power strip to extend it's length or to extend the amount of plug-ins. That will cause an overload to the lines.
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Gregg
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2016, 10:01:01 AM »

Lots of good advice. Can't end this without a big thank you all. Any other considerations please let me know.

Gregg
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TwoTankAmin
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2016, 10:09:25 AM »

It is not all that complex. For a start, most equipment for tanks doesn't draw that much power. Heathers are the biggest users. Lights these days tend to be lower power as well. So here is what you can do to "eyeball things. Every piece of equipment has specs which includes how many watts are used. Filters, pumps, heaters etc. are all rated this way as well as others. You can use this information to determine how many amps are involved. Fuses and circuit breakers are rate in amps.

It is easy to add up all the wattages involved. What you will discover is they may be less than what you believed. Heaters are easy as they are bought in watts. The other stuff you have to look at to get the watts, but here are a few examples:
200 gph AquaClear hang on uses 6 watts, their 500 gph uses 14 watts.
An Eheim Pro 3canister good for up to a 92 gal tanks uses 16 watts.
A Mag Drive 950 gph pump uses 93 watts.

So what you should do is to calculate what total amps your setups need. Most home circuits are 20 amps. This is easy to do using the online calculator here: http://www.supercircuits.com/resources/tools/volts-watts-amps-converter

1. Find the wattages of all the equipment involved.
2. Plug the following info into the calculator. Your Volts are 120, your watts are what you add up for your equipment and then you can find the amps.
3. Calculate everything else on the same circuit and add the two things together and you will know to the amp if you are exceeding the circuit(s) you are using.

Here is what I can tell you re my setups. I have tanks in three rooms which involves two 20 amp circuits. In addition to the tanks there are televisions, cable boxes, a computer and screen as well a UPS and cable boxes. I currently have 15 tanks from 5.5 to 150 gals on these two circuits. Most tanks have 2 or 3 filters,many have 2 heaters and about 1/2 run lights for part of the day. I have never had a problem. I run air pumps, power heads, small pumps, hang ons, canisters and assorted lights.

I also have a couple of power strips chained in pairs. I do this when short of wall plug space. I see no problem with this as I have seen plenty of setups with custom strips that have even more capacity for plugs than the 11 my chaining gives me. I have never chained more than two however and the strips I use are heavy duty, grounded (3 wire) and have a circuit breaker built in. Many people will suggest it is a good idea to use initial receptacles with ground fault interruption built in. The kind typically used in bathrooms or kitchens.

Hope this helps.
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Gregg
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2016, 10:50:34 AM »

That was another piece of information, of several, that I deem worthy of printing out and laminating.  I don't know the watts for my TV but the watts for the 3 aquariums I plan to  use with a strip seems tiny compared with what you have.  Great information! Thanks, very much'

Gregg
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TwoTankAmin
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2016, 12:19:27 PM »

gregg- YW and it easy to find TV info if you want. Get the model# of your TV. It is on the back someplace. The Google "make model# + power specs". I did this with mine and got:

Quote
POWER
Voltage, Hz 100V ~ 240V, 50/60Hz
Consumption (Max.) 129W
Consumption (Average) 106W
Standby Mode <0.1W

But the final arbiter of this all is basically simple. If you have it all set up and going and your circuit breaker (or fuse if you have that) never causes the power to go out, you are probably OK. For most people who do not have a fish room, there is not likely to be a power issue at all.
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2016, 07:18:30 PM »

I already have one strip set up. Will do the other when all things are ready to place.  I did my calculations as best I could and came up with a very low amperage. I think this may work well. Thank you again.

Gregg
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russ
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« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2016, 08:07:23 PM »

Yes it is the amp pull through the strips that count. I should have stated that earlier.  crazy Most of the equipment a hobbyist will employ would probably draw a bit less than 2 amps combined. If you have a 15-20 breaker governing the room, then you should be ok. There are still cautions with daisy-chaining the strips, but if they are new, then should be no great issue joining two of them.  happy
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gunnered72
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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2016, 08:54:25 PM »

Im an Electrician and i can tell you that its not your power consumption that will be a problem....Aquariums use very little power in the grand scheme of things.....The only items of equipment in an aquarium that consume a notable amount of power are the heater and maybe larger flourescent tubes....

Problems only arise with aquarium electrical equipment when connections are not made correctly and securely......Once you make sure all your plugtops are securely plugged into your outlets (whether they are wall outlets or extension cords) and that there are no frayed or exposed wires you will have no issues....

The other thing to remember is that even if you do overload your outlet circuit the fuse in your fuseboard will pop instantly or the circuit breaker will trip instantly depending on what type of circuit protective devices you have in your home (usually either screw in fuses or trip switches that can be reset).......

Finally something to be very wary of is doctored fuses in the old type screw in fuse boards.....In old houses people would repair blown fuses themselves with pieces of wire or aluminium foil............You are taking your life in your own hands with this practice.........You mentioned you are in an old home....Its just something to be aware of......Remember! electricity and water are a dangerous combination to say the least so dont take short cuts.........

Check your fuseboard for doctored fuses and make sure all your outlet and extension cord connections are made securely..... Thats my advice!!!
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Gregg
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« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2016, 09:49:05 AM »

Good info gunnered72,

I have breakers that can be reset.  Wonderful synopsis of the aquarium set up.  I am taking everyone's advice as to my set up, some of this I knew but I did ask this question.  It also occurred to me as I type in the dining room/kitchen, that the big appliances that surround me must be like a walls worth of full time tanks running.  Silly me. Still, I wanted to do this properly. 

Gregg
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