• Looking to buy a cephalopod? Check out Tomh's Cephs Forum, and this post in particular shares important info about our policies as it relates to responsible ceph-keeping.

GFCI saved my life again - get at least one!


Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Jan 22, 2004
I was working on the ceph system to get it ready for some CB bangaii's in one of the 'extra' tanks and an on floursecent light on the live food tank fell in the live food tank. My hands were in the water and everything. Click, the GFCI tripped and turned everything off saving not just my live and everything in the systems life, but saved my daughter from watching me be electrocuted. Precautions will be taken to avoid the light being able to fall in the future, but even in the best designed system bad things can happen.
Don't take the risk, install a GFCI :biggrin2:

GFCI = ground fault circuit interrupt, sometimes called a GFI.
They are available to replace the receptacle in your wall from you home improvement store (you may want to consult an electrician for this) or are available as a wall 'wart' for about 10 bucks. This one is nice because it will come back on after a power outage - http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=TM-GFI&Category_Code= .
On my systems I actually run several so that if something trips, everything doesn't necessarily turn off.
I have also managed to trip the GFCI in my garage where my water mixing and spillage is most prevalent. If you are electically challenged and don't seem to get around to calling an electician, there is a plug in GFCI (one model offers 5 plugs) that can be plugged directly into any socket. It will only provide protection for electricals plugged in directly (unlike the one that Thales mentioned which will protect the outlet and everything extending beyond the outlet in the circuit). Additionally, there are circuit breakers with GFCI protection that can be used to protect an entire circuit. After catching a timer on fire (it is hard to think while you are holding a flaming piece of electically connected melting plastic), I added GFCI's of one form or another to almost all tank areas.
I've been told, although not confirmed formally, that GFCI safety is improved when the GFCI is closer to to short, so the ones at each outlet are ostensibly "better" than ones that protect a string of outlets or that are at the panel. I don't know if I believe this is significant, but I figured I'd pass it on. Also, supposedly it's better to replace a non-grounded outlet with a non-grounded GFCI than not, although grounded is obviously preferred.
Wow..glad to hear your alright...

This happened to me before when a friend broke a heater and dropped it into the tank while i had my hands in the sump. Except I had no GFCI and I got electrocuted hehe. All occupants and me were fine, except my 10" baby leopard shark swam only in circles after this and lived for a good amount of time.

I think Ill invest in one of those devices soon.
Wow, saltwater and electricity have always been enemies, glad your o.k. thats actually the first thing I did before installing my tank.
We got a new metal halide pendant when we first set up our seahorse tank. Before I hung it up, we set it on top of the glass lid and turned it on just to see how it looked. Well, a few moments later the bulb had heated up, and CRASH! The heat was intense enough to bust the glass lid, and the pendant fell into the tank. What did I do? I reached in and grabbed it, like an idiot, shocked the crap out of me. Our new surge protectors have GFCI!

Glad you're alright!

There's a thread on Reefcentral in the cephalopod forum, I think some of you have probably read it... "My best hitch-hiker is an OCTOPUS!" It's a great read, and an emotional rollercoaster. Long story short, the guy went on vacation, and the hoses on his auto-topoff unit busted, spraying water all over the electric components in his fish room, fried everything, lost everything. Lucky his house didn't burn down.
That certainly is the short of it (pun intended ;>). That has got to be the best all time thread I have ever read. You could have at least mentioned that the story starts with a hitch hiking octo (yeah, I know the title says that but ...
dwhatley;107716 said:
That certainly is the short of it (pun intended ;>). That has got to be the best all time thread I have ever read. You could have at least mentioned that the story starts with a hitch hiking octo (yeah, I know the title says that but ...

Are those not some of the best pictures of a briareus you've ever seen?

Very depressing thread, but yeah, tis great.

Shop Amazon

Shop Amazon
Shop Amazon; support TONMO!
Shop Amazon
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.