View Full Version : What do I do about electrical interference

12/02/2008, 05:06 PM
Ok found out that my lights are messing with my ph pen when they go out my pen works fine. Will this do anything to the tank? Would a grounding rod help? This used pendant that I bought is the problem. It has only two wires for the bulb. There is no third wire for a ground.

12/03/2008, 12:11 AM
Is it an electronic ballast or a standard magnetic? I assume the ballast is close by. You would probably receive more/better advice on this topic in the DIY section than in the chemsitry forum.

Randy Holmes-Farley
12/03/2008, 06:01 AM
The electrical interference is a pH measuring device issue, not an issue that is causing harm to the tank or any real pH effects in the tank.

So just measuring away from the lights or when they are off will "solve" the problem. :)

12/03/2008, 07:42 AM
I keep no pH probes in my tanks just in my sumps. I think I will try a probe in a tank and see just what the lighting will do. I have remote magnetic ballasts but electronic PC ballsts that are in the hood. Randy do you surmise the lights emissions themselves will cause interference with the probes or with their insulated lead wires?

Randy Holmes-Farley
12/03/2008, 08:59 AM
There is well known interference between some lights or light ballasts (not sure which) and the Pinpoint pH monitor. Switching to battery seems to stop it with that brand. We discuss it here:


12/03/2008, 08:38 PM
I am aware that the electronic ballasts can reek havoc. Even some wireless controller modules will not work well with systems using some electronic ballasts. I am also aware that silicone insulated wiring on probes experience less interference problems from each other, same as thermocouple wiring leads. I use a lot of thermo couples for haeting and colling controllers and eliminated the interfrence problems I was having just by adding a layer of silicone shrink fit tubing over the standard fiberglass insulated wiring. I can now run the leads in bundles where they use to need several inches of air space between them.

I imagine if the issue was important a peron could contact the makers of X-10 units. They were the first perosns I remember introducing talk about interference from electronic ballasts in use for reef tanks. I believe some controller manafacturers (as a selling point) even list their not using X-10's with their products due to that reason.