Tank Crash. I'm still on vacation. Questions about outlet & electricity.

Discussion in 'Other Reef Talk' started by neuro, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    Wondering what went wrong with the outlet in my house, and if you have any ideas that would be great, since I'm not an electrician.

    Facts & Clues:
    1. I had everything hooked up to a UPS (lights, controller, pumps, etc).
    1a. I don't remember if I also put my internet & cameras on the same UPS. I don't think I did.
    2. I don't have a lot of info on the UPS, just that it does work when I unplug it from the wall and my tank is operating fine.
    3. Three days ago I lost internet connection to my controller and my cameras, etc. Power outtage maybe? Neighbors say "no", but I don't trust them since they said they saw my lights on from my fish tank about a day ago.
    4. I had my best friend do water changes for the last two weeks. He's quite a knowledgable reefer.
    5. The only outlet that does not have power is the outlet my fishtank is hooked up to.
    6. Power was out for at least 3 days.
    7. All SPS coral have STN/RTN, LPS are gone.
    8. The outlet is on it's own circuit (Though, the house is old and I don't know if anything else is on the same circuit).
    9. EDIT: I don't know if the outlet is dead/fried, or if the circuit breaker tripped.

    I had him check on my tank. He sent back really bad news w/pictures to tell me my tank had a crash.

    He also sent everything he did for me:
    - He did a 10% water change
    - scooped out all my dead fish, which is all my fish.
    - Replugged my fishtank power into another outlet in the house that was working.
    - I don't know what is still alive or not. When I get back I'll be doing another water change.

    1. How much water changes and how much from now on?
    2. Could the UPS have caused the circuit breaker to trip, assuming there was a power outtage at one point?
    3. Should I keep my LED/actinics on only? and leave the MH off until things get better?

    You all have no idea how bad of a year this has started out. This issue is only the icing on the cake to a lot of bad news. I'm bracing for more bad news in other areas of my life in case I think the worst is over and there are things I just haven't heard of.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014
  2. euod

    euod Supporting Member

    Wow! I do not know why our tank just acts weird when we leave town? Oh, I know about bad news, once it is on a role, I am always on guard for the next one. These days I am expecting once a week. It's always something that will go out of whack, so these days, I am also making my own chaos. :) Anyway, hit me up when you get back, and I will find something to pay forward to you.
    neuro likes this.
  3. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    thanks euod

    btw, just to note: I don't know if the outlet is dead/fried, or if the circuit breaker tripped.
  4. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    I am not remotely knowledgeable on electrical wiring, so I can't help you with figuring out what went wrong. However, I wanted to say I'm sorry and that I hope some things can recover! This has to be an awful thing to find out while on vacation and is definitely something I stress out about when I'm gone. Let me know when you have everything sorted out and I would love to donate some frags!
    neuro likes this.
  5. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    thanks felicia & eoud.

    I appreciate the offer on frags. In the meantime I've got to see in the next few weeks what's going to survive.
  6. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Wow! Major sympathies.:eek:

    Likely a tripped breaker. Or possibly tripped GFCI, if you have that on that circuit.
    Cause is really hard to say.
    If you have a GFCI, those can trip pretty easily.
    A breaker takes a lot. But if you had a brownout or surge, it could certainly trip.

    I doubt it was the UPS, unless UPS has failed. Since it is working on another outlet,
    my guess is that it is OK.

    Once the breaker/line died, I doubt the UPS lasted long.
    Future suggestion is to limit what is on a UPS. But at 3 days, not really anything
    that would have made a difference.

    With all that die-off, you likely need a lot more than a 10% water change.
    That should be really high priority.
    Where are you located?? A lot of us have salt water sitting around ready to go.
    I probably have 30 gallons or so.

    I would only put on LED lights, in order to minimize bi0-activity until water is back to normal.
    neuro likes this.
  7. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Just FYI:
    If the breaker is tripped, the switch in the breaker box will be partly moved to the off position,
    but not the whole way. You need to move it all the way off, then back on, to reset it.
    If a GFCI is tripped, there is usually a little button on the receptacle. Push it in to reset.
    It may not be on the receptacle that you use for tank, since several can be wired in series.
    neuro likes this.
  8. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    +1 on a tripped breaker, that would explain why one outlet didn't work.

    Everything is on a UPS? How large is the UPS? If you have everything on a UPS you're asking for trouble simply due to the fact that most UPS aren't going to provide power for very long, UPS are meant to keep power up to computers and what not long enough for you to save what your'e doing they are not meant to be like a laptop battery where you can keep going for hours on end. So basically you're giving yourself a false sense security.

    1. I probably wouldn't worry about a water change for now if everything died just deal with the smell of death when you get back, if you still have some corals/clams/inverts the amount of water change would depend upon how long the dead stuff was in your tank. I'd probably shoot for 100% water change though (how big is your tank?)

    2. UPS probably isn't the cause of your outlet going kablewie (whatever kablewie means). Some things that come to mind if the outlet is a GFCI outlet and you have halides turn on and off, could have triggered the pop, my halides had a nasty habit of false triggering my GFCI outlet (which is one reason I never put lights on a GFCI). GFCI could have had a false trip in general. If no GFCI and you're running near capacity on power the breaker could have popped. If you're near capacity and things went on all at once (heater, halides, etc) a sudden in surge could have made it trip. If you had a power outage, your UPS tried to keep things going for a few minutes, when it ran out of juice your tank was dead, then when the power came back on a sudden surge could have tripped the breaker.

    3. What do you have left in your tank? If nothing that's terribly light loving don't even turn the halides on, if you have nothing that is light loving don't turn the lights on at all.
    neuro likes this.
  9. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    Thanks Mike & Mark:

    Thanks for the condolences everyone, I really, really appreciate it. I'm looking for some relief and BAR has been the best medication.

    I plan for a bigger water change when I get back, total tank volume is 70 or so gallons. I don't have all that fresh water, but I intend to make as much as I can. I'm going to be too jet lagged to function and not enough energy and containers to lug water back and forth.

    The GFCI is on the power strip itself (built in). My friend couldn't find the breaker box so he couldn't determine if the circuit tripped, but deductive reasoning tells me it did trip.

    I asked about the MH because besides that and the two heaters, are the biggest draws on the tank for power. It could also be the heaters that caused the trip, but right now I'm not quite sure. But my guess is as good as your's Mike: that when the power came back on, the whole thing tripped the circuit. Maybe separating the power draw from different circuits may help prevent this in the future.

    The UPS isn't large at all. I only have it in the event that things go wrong, I can get someone to get to it asap. I figured it would at least give me 30 minutes or an hour before I can handle the issue. But Japan doesn't have easily accessible internet (strange, I know, right?), so I couldn't figure out what was wrong for the last few days. I didn't want to bother anyone until I had the most information from my neighbors before asking a friend to come all the way down to my house to check things out (again).

    My cameras are working now and it's sad to see things in it's current state. My controller seems to understand there was a major outtage and left off the major power draws.

    thanks a ton everyone, for helping me figure out what things I should look out for when I get back. I'm going to leave the MH off for now.
  10. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    It's possible that the heaters and the MH and the pumps and other stuff all was running at the same time and might have overloaded the breaker. Maybe do a calculation to see how many amps you are drawing.
    neuro likes this.
  11. Kmooresf

    Kmooresf Supporting Member

    So sorry man. I'm having an anxiety attack just reading this. Not much consolation, but happy to give coral when your ready to re-stock.
    neuro likes this.
  12. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Hey let me know when you're back in town & if you need any help. I'm available most evenings, I could maybe even pick up 20 gallons of RO on my way there if needed.

    You've seen my tank, after things are back in order you are free to come over & clip whatever coral you want. I'm serious :)
    neuro likes this.
  13. patchin

    patchin Facilities / Event Coordinator

    Sorry to hear. I lost some fish the last time I went on vacation and I got really down, so hang in there.
    neuro likes this.
  14. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    Thanks for the reminder JAR.

    When I get home ill split the power draw to 2 separate circuits and see how much power I'm drawing.

    I'll see what's still alive. Dreading the cleanup work.

    Sucks because I was going to start a few dbtcs when I got back with frags I didn't have room for.
    JAR likes this.
  15. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

  16. tankguy

    tankguy BOD

    Man oh man that is heart breaking. Once your back up and running I have some sps i can donate to you
    neuro likes this.
  17. patchin

    patchin Facilities / Event Coordinator

    When are u getting back?
    neuro likes this.
  18. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    i just got back a few hours ago. =( what a mess...

    Thanks JAR, I'll pick that up.

    - ALL SPS/LPS are gone. Damned, lost some really nice pieces that took forever to grow.
    - All zoas are closed. Some are melting.
    - Did a ~20 gallon water change. That's all the freshwater I had left. Will do another 20 gallon water change on Tuesday.
    - Turned MH back on, but I'm going to turn it off and turn on the second heater. At this point I think getting the water temps back up to ~78 is more important.

    - I had some water on the floor because of all the die-off causing my filter sock to clog up after my friend reconnected everything.
    - I have fans blowing on the floor, smell of wet wood is not going well with my wife but she understands.

    - Realized I don't have a second outlet/circuit near the tank. Either I will have to limit what I put on the same circuit, or hire an electrician to show me how to add a second circuit/outlet.

    - Need to figure out if I want to go through the trouble of removing dead SPS. Right now I just don't have the will to take them out. maybe tomorrow.

    tl;dr: All in bold above

    1 Question:
    My RODI is operating @ 40psi max most of the time (I have bad water pressure), I fill about 5 gallons in a few hours/half a day. Is it worth it getting the booster kit? How much should I be getting in a day if it's a 1:3-ish waste water ratio? I have a 75 gpd setup.
  19. Marc

    Marc Guest

    Hey Neuro,

    I'm sorry to hear about what happened to your tank. Did you figure out what might have caused the power outage?

    I had a bad experience with booster pumps. The pressure switch failed and the pump kept running. Eventually it over heated and leaked everywhere. So if you can live with out it. I say don't even bother. BUT if your RO system is setup somewhere where like the garage then it can only help you produce more water. It can probably run enough pressure where you can run two membranes.

    I hope you get your tank sorted out.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    neuro likes this.
  20. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    I have tons of extra coral if you want some :)
    neuro likes this.

Share This Page