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Unread 08/21/2004, 11:42 PM   #1
fishcraze2002
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Electrical shock by Tunze 6080

i did a water change this morning, and unplug my Tunze 6080 to avoid bubbles when draining the water level down.. after the change, i plug in the Tunze and everything looked fine.. i can see the strong flow from the pump as usual.. But when i stuck my hand to the water an hour or two later to feed my fishes, and it shocked the heck out of me!.. I unplugged the Tunze and the electrical shock was gone.. leave the pump off for another hour, plugging again, and still get shocked! Checked the wire and power plug and they looked dried and fine.

This is not the first time, it happens before. I used to run this tunze on a timer, and my power strip got tripped once in a while when the pump kicked on. So, I stopped running from the timer, and plugged it straight to the power source and it stopped tripping. But it would trip sometimes (not every time) when i restarted the pump like as if there was an imbalance current or the pump might pull too much power when it started, causing the power strip to trip. I also got some light shocks before by this pump.. When that happened, I'd unplug the pump and plug in again a few minutes later, and the shocks were gone.. But this time, that trick didn't help, it still shocked after several tries at one hour intervals..

Could you tell me what could go wrong with this pump, causing the shocks? And can I send it in for repair? Thanks.


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Unread 08/22/2004, 08:09 AM   #2
rvitko
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In 5+ years of using Tunze I have never seen or heard of one person getting shocked barring one incident which was the result of faulty household wiring. If you would like to send it in and I find through three tests any evidence of stray voltage I will replace it for free, unless the cord or pump has been cut or modified. If I find nothing you will need to have an electrician work on your wiring. The Tunze pump is grounded and this means that a faulty ground or another source of stray voltage now has a complete circuit to cause a shock. I strongly suspect the pump is not the cause.


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Roger Vitko
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"He's for every one of us, stands for every one of us, he'll save every man, woman and child in a mighty Flash!"

Current Tank Info: 210 gallon planted tank with Altum Angelfish
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Unread 08/22/2004, 10:25 AM   #3
fishcraze2002
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do you have the service address for me to send it in? thanx.


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Unread 08/22/2004, 11:59 AM   #4
invincible569
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You sure its not something you have loose somewhere?


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Unread 08/22/2004, 12:41 PM   #5
rvitko
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Yes

Tunze USA
1107 N Bend Dr
Austin TX 78758

You could check yourself if you have a volt meter by placing the pump in a seperate bucket of water on another circuit and using a volt meter to measure stray voltage.

The three tests I will run are- watt meter reading, stray current detection with a Borg Warner Stray Current Alarm and a GFCI check using the latest UL spec GFCI outlet.


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Roger Vitko
Tunze USA

"He's for every one of us, stands for every one of us, he'll save every man, woman and child in a mighty Flash!"

Current Tank Info: 210 gallon planted tank with Altum Angelfish
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Unread 08/22/2004, 01:19 PM   #6
fishcraze2002
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I'll try the bucket test as you said before sending it in.. thanx for the quick reply.


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Unread 08/22/2004, 04:59 PM   #7
fishcraze2002
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Did the bucket test and need help to explain what's going on w/ my tank electrical system and the pump itself..

First to avoid confusion, I have two power supply sources (or outlets) on my tank. The one that powers the Tunze is a dedicated 20amp circuit with GFCI. The other is a 15amp with no GFCI and shared w/ other equipment in the house.

Back to the test, I put the pump into the salt water reservoir (for water change when needed). Hook the plug back to it usual power strip (with GFCI)==> no shocking. Use the voltage meter to measure voltage ==> 0.
Unplug the pump and switch to a different power strip which connect to the other circuit loop (15 amp)==> no shock.
So looked like the pump is fine!

But when i put it back to the main tank, and plug it back to the 20amp loop (w/ GFCI), mearsured the voltage==>0. But when i stuck my hand to the water ==> SHOCKED like hell! Unplug it==> NO shock.
Then, I plugged the pump to the other power source (15 amp w/ no GFCI) ==> NO shock

So, there is some wierd interaction between 20 amp, GFCI protected strip and the pump! Is the GFCI circuit has something to do with this? or the grounding of the pump is faulty since the shocks only happended when i plugged the pump to that curcuit, no other equipment causing that.. ==> HELP please. What can I do to fix this since I try to keep my Tunze pump and my main return pump on diff power supply sources.

Is there a phone number for Tunze service so I can call in during the week days to ask questions directly rather than writing long description thanx.


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Unread 08/22/2004, 05:30 PM   #8
rvitko
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I have seen this problem before and have no explanation. The pump is not the culprit however as your tests show. I have seen this happen with many grounded pumps besides ours and I can't explain why but there is another source of stray voltage and the grounded apparatus simply induces a shock from the other source. If I were to test the pump here I think it would pass with flying colors. The reason i think this is it does not trip the GFCI and if the pump were creating stray current even 5W extra draw would overheat the pump and shut it off in a couple hours and on it's own there is no stray voltage.

I don't think I can really help you further. Either GFCI is incorrectly connected, the main panel has an issue, or the source of the stray voltage is a light or another apparatus and the addition of the pump with the ground just induces the shock but is not the cause. I would consult an electrician, the ground strap of the pump itself could not be exposed as it would then ground the system and prevent a shock. Again, I don't understand this phenomena but I have seen it twice with other brands of pump and once with ours. In all cases another wiring issue had to be resolved and the pump was not the culprit. I might start with a simple outlet tester that can check for a hot neutral or hot ground reversal. The next most likely culprit is the lights or the heater. Keep in mind the air over an aquarium is laden with ions and can conduct electricity from the lights to the aquarium if any connections are loose or damaged.


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Roger Vitko
Tunze USA

"He's for every one of us, stands for every one of us, he'll save every man, woman and child in a mighty Flash!"

Current Tank Info: 210 gallon planted tank with Altum Angelfish
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Unread 08/22/2004, 07:06 PM   #9
fishcraze2002
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If I put a grounding probe, would that help eliminate the stray voltage issue? Also wonder if the stray voltage does any harm to corals/ fishes?


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Unread 08/22/2004, 07:51 PM   #10
rvitko
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Stray voltage is a hazard and a grounding probe is like plugging a leak- it still needs to be repaired and is an insurance policy and not a solution. I would go through everything electrical and clean everything and tidy up your wiring. That outlet checker device costs $7 at Lowes and is worth having- you might be surprised at what you find around the house.


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Roger Vitko
Tunze USA

"He's for every one of us, stands for every one of us, he'll save every man, woman and child in a mighty Flash!"

Current Tank Info: 210 gallon planted tank with Altum Angelfish
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Unread 08/22/2004, 08:55 PM   #11
fishcraze2002
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thanks. Will get that outlet checker tomorrow.


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Unread 08/24/2004, 08:47 PM   #12
fishcraze2002
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rvitko,
The other night when i put the Tunze to the 15amp circuit and got no shocks as stated earlier.. But the next morning I found that power strip was tripped. I reset the trip and everything running again- including the Tunze. But I unplugged the Tunze anyway until I found out the reason..

So, I bought the circuit tester yesterday to test the outlets around my tank. All the outlets are fine. Main GFCI tripped as it supposed to. I then plugged the pump back on and saw the flow as normal. Went today after work and see no flow from the pump. Try plug and unplug but still didn't run. Thinking it may get dirty and the turbine couldn't turn (as a friend advised), I removed the cover and clean the turbine - including the magnet core. Put it back to the tank and plug it in==> run for ~5 minutes and stopped!! Now I have no clue what's going on now. I think I'll send it to you soon unless you tell me otherwise.. Thanks.


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Unread 08/25/2004, 06:59 AM   #13
rvitko
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Yes, send it in.


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Roger Vitko
Tunze USA

"He's for every one of us, stands for every one of us, he'll save every man, woman and child in a mighty Flash!"

Current Tank Info: 210 gallon planted tank with Altum Angelfish
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Unread 08/26/2004, 11:11 AM   #14
fishcraze2002
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I sent the pump thru UPS ground today to Austin.. They told me it'd take only one day to deliver the pump to your place since I live in Houston. So hopefully you will receive it tomorrow afternoon Thanks for your help.


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Unread 08/31/2004, 02:50 PM   #15
fishcraze2002
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Roger, has you get a chance to test my pump yet? It was delivered to you last Friday. Thanks.


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Unread 08/31/2004, 03:08 PM   #16
rvitko
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Yes, it was sent back yesterday. The motor block drew a very high wattage and was exchanged for a new one. I could find no ground faults and no stray voltage but it took too much power and overheated so that is what caused the pump to turn off.


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Roger Vitko
Tunze USA

"He's for every one of us, stands for every one of us, he'll save every man, woman and child in a mighty Flash!"

Current Tank Info: 210 gallon planted tank with Altum Angelfish
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Unread 08/31/2004, 04:48 PM   #17
fishcraze2002
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Excellent! Wow that's quick! Thanks a lot!!! Can't wait to see the pump now.. In fact, yy acros missed it a lot


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Unread 08/31/2004, 06:47 PM   #18
invincible569
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fishcraze, where did you get the tunze from? gimme!


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Unread 09/01/2004, 06:58 AM   #19
fishcraze2002
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it was originally supposed to be sent to a guy named Edward on Huffmeister but they delivered to my house so i got a free tunze and that guys is still griping about that and frequent this forum a lot!


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Unread 09/01/2004, 07:14 AM   #20
invincible569
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Quote:
Originally posted by fishcraze2002
it was originally supposed to be sent to a guy named Edward on Huffmeister but they delivered to my house so i got a free tunze and that guys is still griping about that and frequent this forum a lot!
Ok I will come pick it up tonight!!!!


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