Bane of our hobby...tank electrics.

Discussion in 'D.I.Y.' started by Trev Pleco, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Trev Pleco
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    Trev Pleco Algae destroyer

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    Picking up from WBS's 'ADA mini M' thread, how about we post some pics of our electrical nightmares/ set ups. I often find the volume and variety of plugs and fittings infuriating, especially when you start adding say three timers to each tank, one for lights, one for C02 and one for the air pump. Mount the timers and they take the space of two plugs or more, so yet another plug bay needs to be added and so it goes on. I'm sure they are better ways of doing things, please help techno geeks ! Am I just old and grumpy :laughing7: or do others share the same frustrations ?

    Marking the 101 plugs is a good start, as what can be more frustrating than being bent over double upside down in your tank cabinet pulling out plugs by process of elimination to finally find your heater, well.. what you thought was your heater ! Come on guys admit it, we have all done it !
     
  2. Luis Embalo
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    Luis Embalo Valued Contributor

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    I think that there is really no excuse for bad electrics, sorry.. :)

    Just buy long power strips, most computer shops sells it..

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Trev Pleco
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    Trev Pleco Algae destroyer

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    Ok, if I imagine that we work in square U.K holes here, as in your pic and not round, then only the longest of your power strips would suffice for one tank. Three timers will take up most of the space and then where do I plug the small two prong plugs which most things come with locally. I don't like changing the plugs to the bigger three prong as then you often loose your grantee, so I end up having to buy two to three prong adapters ;D
     
  4. wearsbunnyslippers
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    wearsbunnyslippers Administrator Staff Member

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    thats why i like those didgital timers, they fit next to each other on the multi plugs without wasting open plugs..
     
  5. Luis Embalo
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    Luis Embalo Valued Contributor

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    :) There must be round holes as well, computer rack all use long strips.. :)
     
  6. wearsbunnyslippers
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    wearsbunnyslippers Administrator Staff Member

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    luis - you will see once you hit sa shores..

    things are dominated by a very few major suppliers, so variety is not great, sometimes you just need to make a plan..

    "boer maak a plan" will enter your vocabulary pretty quickly :p
     
  7. Luis Embalo
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    Luis Embalo Valued Contributor

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    Ok, I use these for my tanks.. and can take three electrical timers..

    http://www.expansys.co.za/belkin-8-socket-surgemaster-telephone-protector-uk4m-111310/
     
  8. Luis Embalo
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    Luis Embalo Valued Contributor

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    But I know what you mean.. :) not much variety there..

    However, you can have a power strip made.. There is a shop in Edgemead (cape town) that deals just with electrics, and they can make all sorts of electrical stuff. So to have them make a power strip should not be a hard task.
     
  9. shihr
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    shihr Administrator Staff Member

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    just a quick Q.. what can this power strip do that normal ones cant?
     
  10. Luis Embalo
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    Luis Embalo Valued Contributor

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    I am just talking about using a power strip with more outlets, usually 6 outlets is more than enough for a tank.

    Had a quick search, and lets just say that I am glad that all my electrical kit is UK plugs.. :)

    I saw one power strip with 6 south african outlets, but at over R1000... not as cheap as I would have thought.
     
  11. shihr
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    shihr Administrator Staff Member

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    so what hapens when you have a "fish room" with 5 tanks and only one plug outlet? what are the steps to ensure its safe? ive always wondered...
     
  12. CharlieB
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    CharlieB Algae harvester

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    Re: Re: Bane of our hobby...tank electrics.

    What a damn good idea! I feel your pain 100% and will post a pic of my mess when I get home. I currently only have 2 timers and they take up almost 4 plugs argh. So now I'm constantly plugging and unplugging different plugs as I've just started a new tank and they tend to always be the wrong ones too. the other pain is the cords not being long enough! Haha oh the joys. Will neaten it up this weekend :)
     
  13. Luis Embalo
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    Luis Embalo Valued Contributor

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    Then you should either treat it as a server room, and get a power distribution unit, they usually come with a UPS, or upgrade your fish room electrics.

    Fish rooms lights can put a lot of strain on a power strip, and when they come on that could be enough to blow a fuse. Also, insurance companies are quick to find fault when your house burns down..

    Usually a wall distribution unit, rated at 50amp, then you can run all your power strips from it. The distribution unit would connect straight into your main power box using larger copper cable, ensuring that it would not burn out.

    5 tanks on a single wall power unit is crazy, and gambling with your life. I would not do it.
     
  14. wearsbunnyslippers
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    wearsbunnyslippers Administrator Staff Member

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    i have 4 plugs just on my relatively simple mini m.

    in my 400l, lets see, i have the one built in juwel light plug, then i have 3 extra dual ballasts, then a heater, CO2, the filter, a powerhead, a uv. so i need a plug with 4 sockets on permanently, 4 plugs on one timer for the lights, 1 plug on another timer for the CO2 and if i want to add an airstone, another timer with one plug one. it is a little crazy...

    10 plugs with 3 timers for one tank..
     
  15. shihr
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    shihr Administrator Staff Member

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    i wish we had an electrician on this forum.. would be so nice to pick his brain...i wonder how much a wall distrib unit would cost me in SA..
     
  16. wearsbunnyslippers
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    wearsbunnyslippers Administrator Staff Member

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    it doesnt help when i have tanks in the garage and almost every room in the house

    i have checked my breakers though, and they are spec'd to handle the load..

    if i had just one fish room, i would do it properly with timer switches etc. but yeah..
     
  17. Luis Embalo
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    Luis Embalo Valued Contributor

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    Labour is cheap in south africa, so you just need to get the kit and an electrician, the ones that work on homes are ok.

    I usually setup server rooms, but the techniques are the same, so I can direct a electrician on what I need.

    Basically you need a distribution box, then circuit breakers, and each of those circuit breakers go to each tank (or rack on my case). If a tank needs more than 6 power outlets, then you need to add a circuit for each power strip.

    Usually what is needed is one power strip for the lights, and another for the filters and pumps, or CO2. Then you can shut them out independently.

    We have people on the forum that setup tanks for clients, they can also offer more information. I maintain that the electrical setup should be the first thing that one should look before doing a tank, one thing goes wrong and you can hurt yourself, or burn the house down.
     
  18. GDT78
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    GDT78 Plant menace

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    A bigger multi adapter ? haha

    :evil6:
     
  19. shihr
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    shihr Administrator Staff Member

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    Luis this is where you are mistaken.. low skill level labour are cheap but skilled labour is very expensive in SA :(

    i think i'll get someone to come take a look as i want another tank in that room :p
     
  20. Trev Pleco
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    Trev Pleco Algae destroyer

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    Your wish is granted all the way from from White River, thankfully Rob just joined us this week, perfect timing !

    I agree WBS, not much selection here when it comes to decent power strips compared to the U.K say. We import from the East not Europe it seems. As for those Ellies (?sp) things, they are cheap and nasty and the two prong sockets quickly get stiff and jam from my experience.
     

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