View Full Version : Power Unit heating up due to a cord from MH light

James A.
12/03/2009, 02:45 PM

I have an issue with the Aquatronica Power Unit heating up when a 400 MH light is plugged into it. The light's plug cord is also very hot. I tried it on two different Power Unit.

The heat is not evident when the light is connected to a regular wall outlet.

Has anyone experienced this? I'm thinking of using a seperate timer for the lights now.

Thanks for you input.


12/04/2009, 01:18 PM
i used this for my dual 250w MH-- Digital Aquatics Expansion Socket for ReefKeeper Controller. it worked on the AQ power bar.

James A.
12/04/2009, 01:34 PM
It works for my setup as well but concerned about the amount of heat it generates. It can be a fire hazzard issue.

I'm using the Aquatronica Controller with three Power Units (PU). The PU with the two 400W MH ballasts connecting it, is very warn to a point it has cracked the PU casing due to the heat/cooling cycle (MH on/off).

The breaker line is 15A and the PU is rated 16A.

I'm doing some research on RC and some folks are using seperate commercial timer instead.

Anyone with heat issues on the PU or my PU are defective? (I tried it on two PU already with the same heat issue).


12/04/2009, 03:03 PM
You may want to look at one of these I use it for my chiller so the load is not on the Aquatronica bar itself one plug plugs into the AQ powerbar the other plug goes into a separate AC outlet and the box itself allows 2 AC receptacles to be plugged into it,
When the AQ powerbar plug is activated it will activate the 2 plugs on the expansion box the best part is the exp box itself is not going to set you back more than $50 maybe less.

Neptune-Systems Socket Expansion Box
Product Number: CNNE-SOCKEXP

The Socket Expansion box is a small power strip with controllable 2 outlets used to reduce the power load on a direct connect (DC) box. The internal relay has negligible power consumption so it does not affect the power budget of the Direct Connect box. Features of the Socket Expansion box include dual outlets so two devices can be controlled by the same channel (outlets not independently controllable) and a high reliability direct wired control connection to a Direct Connect outlet. It can switch high power (up to 15 Amps) 120V loads.

James A.
12/04/2009, 09:40 PM
@dbond - thanks for the information. I will look into your suggestion further. As I discovered the last few days (testing a few configuration), that by unplugging one of two MH ballast from the PU, the heat signature is much less.

Is it fair to say that the Aquatronica PU can not handle high load (>400W) without overheating? It is advertised as 16A (~1800W):rolleye1:

12/05/2009, 08:30 PM
Initially when I only had 1 powerbar I had 2 250watt lights, 110 watts Actinics
plus skimmer pumps etc and never ran into a problem like your describing but I did stagger my startup of the m.h. lights and actinics so they did not startup at the same time not sure but I just assume the startup power to the ballasts could be more than 250watts on startup.

James A.
12/05/2009, 10:22 PM
I also stagger my two lights (Sfiligoi XR6 with IceCap ballast), 15 minutes for the two T5 (96W each). For the MH (400W each), I also stagger the lights 15 minutes apart. All the lights were on one PU. The other two PU are for pumps, heater, etc. I also understand that the ballast will draw more wattage when first startup but the two lights does not exceed 1800W (16A).

The heat signature is not hot immediately, after 6 hours of MH, the PU and the light plug were hot. I did tried to plug it into a regular socket and after 6 hours, the light plug and the wall socket are not hot.