Your Resident Electrician for all your electrical questions!

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (DIY)' started by Young Frankenstein, May 12, 2012.

  1. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    That is correct. A GFCI will only protect you.

    Installing a GFCI is a fairly simple process and it will work even if you don't have a ground wire. If you have access to your breaker (or maybe fuse) box and can secure power to the outlets, it is something you can do yourself in around 15 minutes.
     
  2. West1

    West1 Well-Known Member

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    My concern is protecting my equipment since I know I will be switching all outlets to GFCI's. I believe I have a crawl space and was thinking about grounding certain GFCI's to a copper ground rod, would this be sufficient?
     
  3. _Alex_

    _Alex_ Well-Known Member Partner Member

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    Are you wanting something inside a canopy or a light fixture? If your wanting a "fixture" you will need to build some kind of case to hold everything in. And on a lot of lights the ballast run external now so the heat is not added on with the bulbs inside it.

    If going in a canopy basically just need to mount them bulb holders and reflectors on a board inside the canopy and wire them up.
     
  4. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Grounds are not installed to protect equipment. They only come in to play if the equipment has failed. Both grounds and GFCI are about people/fire protection, not equipment protection.

    As for installing a ground rod, there is no way to know if a ground rod will work without doing a soil sample. You would need to ask a local electrician what is typically used in your area. It is not uncommon to need a 10ft copper ground rod if you have well draining soil.

    What condition are you worried about that you are trying to protect your equipment from?
     
  5. West1

    West1 Well-Known Member

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    Im more worried about the unknown I guess (not an electrician). I was reading via web and I keep seeing the repeated Equipment is not safe with no ground wire. The surge will/could run to the equipment and ruin it.
    First time in the saltwater hobby so I am trying to cover all areas of failure.
    Doesn't help when the electrician said w/no ground wire its a very high risk.
     
  6. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    A household outlet typically has 3 prongs. One is the hot, one is the neutral, and one is the ground. The ground and the neutral are tied together in the electrical panel. The fact that the neutral is tied to ground will protect your equipment as well as anything.
    The ground plug is used for people protection. If the device you are plugging in has a metal frame or case, the ground plug is directly connected to that frame. This protects the person using the device if the hot lead shorts to the metal case inside the equipment.
    If the device is completely plastic or is "double insulated" it will not even have a ground plug. Since there is no metal case to ground the ground plug serves no purpose. That is why these devices only need 2 prong plugs.

    The one place a ground plug will help is if you use a power strip with built in surge protection. Those typically use the ground plug to redirect a surge from the hot lead to ground.

    Personally, given that I have a choice, I would never live in a home without grounded outlets for safety reasons. I do consider it high risk. That said, not everyone has that option so it is best to understand exactly what the hazards are and to try and absolutely minimize the use of any tools/equipment that come with a ground plug.
     
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  7. Shaun Sweeney

    Shaun Sweeney Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your offer to help. In my new install, the pumps are in the basement so I need to be able to turn them off/on from in the house, or in the basement. I picked up 3 wire switches but I'm not yet clear if I need wire that is different from the usual 15 amp house wiring to run between the switches. Many thanks.
     
  8. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Unfortunately, the post you quoted is around 4 years old and I do not believe they are active on this site anymore.

    Depending on your location and local codes, 12awg wire should be fine for this installation as long as your pump pulls less than 15 amps.
     
  9. Shaun Sweeney

    Shaun Sweeney Well-Known Member

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    LOL .. I just keep wandering around this cool site. Thanks for the response, I'm ok with the amp draw but still wondering about how many wires are needed between the 3 wire switches. I'm guessing it's 3 plus ground.
     
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  10. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    That is correct, you need 3 plus the ground.

    Let me add that depending on your wiring method, you may only need the 3 wire conductor between the two switches. Many different ways to make this work.
     
  11. Shaun Sweeney

    Shaun Sweeney Well-Known Member

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    Got it. Thanks. :)
     
  12. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor

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    You need 3 including the neutral and a ground if you are using one. You may need another one depending on where the feed it. Brew is correct, there are quite a few ways to do this. Also some legal ways :eek:
    3 way switches are fun and you can do a few wired things with them.
    Do you know how to hook up a bell and make it work with just one wire with no cuts in it? :rolleyes:

    ((Master Electrician 40 years)
     
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  13. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Tie it to the ringer and pull! ;)
     
  14. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor

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    You are good!! :D
     
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  15. Ramasule

    Ramasule Well-Known Member

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    I've always wondered why do transformers hum?
     
  16. Floyd R Turbo

    Floyd R Turbo Turbo's Aquatics R2R Supporter Gold Sponsors Toys For Kids 2016 Article Contributor Partner Member

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    They can't sing very well!!

    But seriously
     
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  17. Ramasule

    Ramasule Well-Known Member

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    It's because they don't know the words.
     
  18. West1

    West1 Well-Known Member

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    Thx for the details.
    We moved here temporarily due to High School, renting our house out that has 100% new electrical.

    I did not even think to review the electrical when we moved into this 2yr lease.
     
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  19. Awesome Dennis

    Awesome Dennis Active Member

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    Are the boxes in the wall holding the outlets metal or plastic?
     
  20. Ramasule

    Ramasule Well-Known Member

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    Either but not neither
     

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