View Full Version : Powerstrips/bars? All not safe for aquarium use?

Fraggle Rock2
01/14/2007, 11:36 PM
Are all powerbars/strips labeled as "not intended for use with aquariums"...??

I purchased a heavy duty metal encased power bar made for power tools by Belkin, but it states "not for use with aquariums". Are there any power bars that can be used? Any warnings on those American DJ power centers?

My powerbar is currently mounted on the inside of my cabinet door. I don't have a sump, so I am hoping that is a safe spot. I was going to put the powerbar further away and mount it into a shelf, but some of my equipment cords were too short. However, I did install a GFCI outlet in my wall.

Also, anyone ever put some silicon around the edges of their power bars to make it less susceptible to water? The one I have is a metal case and as a result it has seems where the metal pieces come together on the bottom edges.

I know some controllers have power bars/centers as accessories, but those are very expensive. I noticed the Lighthouse controller appears to come with a Belkin power bar...not sure if it's heavily modified or not.

After seeing several threads about fires over the years I am quite paranoid.

Any advice, suggestions or reassurance would be appreciated.

Fraggle Rock

01/15/2007, 12:01 AM
IMO you are alright to have it mounted inside the cabinet, the company that makes them are trying to cover themselves from accidents and you also have the GFCI outlet so if something happens this should trip.

01/15/2007, 01:32 AM
Being using my Belkin powerstrip for over 5 years under my cabinet.

No doubt it is a liability issue that the mfg doesn't want to cross should a powerstrip fail in an aquarium application.

01/15/2007, 08:42 AM
I would make sure you plug that strip into a GFCI type recpticle, or dedicated circuit from your fuse box / circuit panel.

I would also mount it higher up, and if possible with teh hole in the recpt facing downward, (or have some other way to create a drip loop, i.e. so that water does not drip down the cord and into the recpt holes on the strip).

Good luck


Fraggle Rock2
01/15/2007, 04:49 PM
Thanks for the replies. I do indeed have a GFCI outlet installed.

The powerbar is mounted vertically on the door, but I have drip loops on all the cords; all of them have to form a loop anyway due to the height of the power bar.

I will probably just figure out some sort of cover for it and leave it at that.


01/15/2007, 05:06 PM
i just use whatever ole power strip i can dig up in some box.. I think the ones i'm currently using were found in a box with an atari ;0

but.. I run mutiple GFIS on my tank, I have seprate gfis for heaters, main pumps, powerheads and lights.. So if one gfi pops and I can't get it to it right away there is still is at least some water motion, and or heat source (wether it be lights or heater)

01/15/2007, 05:48 PM
Don't forget the drip loop.

01/18/2007, 01:32 AM
I plan on using some sort of rubber. Maybe mount the power strip in the cabinet(ceiling), so that the outlets are facing downward. Behind the power strip, between it and the cabinet, I'll put a rubber membrane, like a roofing material. Kind of make it like an umbrella for the powerstrip:D .

01/18/2007, 09:20 AM
If I were you I would do exactly what you said, mount it on the ceiling of the cabinet, and make sure water can not drip into it. I had a housefire cause by faulty powerstrip so be careful.

01/18/2007, 09:23 AM
I think the other issue you are dealing with is condensation inside the powerstrip. Lots of bare metal bars in there to distribute the power and it gets a lot of condensate on them causing corrosion and possibly fire. I opened up one of my once and it wasn't pretty inside.

01/18/2007, 09:44 AM
Yep, a fire petifies me. I have a GCFI outlet, a smoke detector above the aquarium and just bought a big fire extinguisher.

Regarding corrosion, the strips are fairly inexpensive, so I will be replacing mine every year of so.

i dont eat fish
01/18/2007, 09:45 AM
Just a little FYI, at Target, I just bought a power strip with a built in, digital, timer for $10. 4 outlets timed, 4 switched. It definitely said "not for aquarium use". It might have been leftover from christmas.

01/18/2007, 11:18 AM
You might want to tcheck the current rating on that strip? Can it handle 10-15A?

Use it for items less then its rating... Sump lighting, moonlight, feeding, ATO, etc...