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Information Bulletins · Electrical Hazards Involving Aquariums in Schools



Electrical Hazards Involving Aquariums in Schools

Water and electricity together pose the very serious - potentially fatal - hazard of electrical shock. Particular attention must be paid to the location and maintenance of aquariums and their electrical appliances to protect workers from injury.

To reduce the hazards of electrical shock with aquariums, follow these simple guidelines.

  1. Do not touch electrical cords, plugs or appliances with wet hands.

  2. Connect any aquarium appliance (water heater, air pump, filter unit, canopy light, etc.) only to an electrical circuit with a Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI) installed at the outlet or in the circuit at the panel.

  3. A "drip loop" must be provided on any electrical cords leading away from the aquarium (i.e. between the aquarium and any electrical connection) to prevent water from flowing down the cord and into the connection.

  4. Power cords and outlets must be located away from potential water spills or leaks.

  5. Some appliances are "double insulated" and require only a 2-prong plug. However, other appliances have a 3-prong grounded plug and must be plugged into a grounded extension cord, grounded power bar and/or grounded outlet.

N.B.   Any equipment that has been “tagged out” should absolutely not be used.