A simple GFCI outlet saved me from taking 120v and 15A last night. I’d installed it five days before for the fish tank, thinking that the only thing worse than water and electricity is saltwater and electricity, given its superior conductivity.
All the while installing it, I kept thinking, “I’m doing this really for Marjorie.” She’s the one who has nightmares about the house burning down around her children. Did I really need it? I mean, it may be on a GFCI protected circuit anyway, right? Don’t I have a circuit breaker to take care of big problems? I installed it anyway and didn’t think much about it anymore.
…Until last night when I was turning on an auxiliary pump and things went wrong. A PVC connection gave out (long story) and saltwater went spraying out of the tank at 1000 gallons/hour, drenching me, the wall, the lights above the tank, the two power strips mounted on the wall right in front of me and the floor. I quickly unplugged the pump but didn’t realize the GFCI had tripped for a few minutes, since I was crawling around with towels on the wood laminate floor.
I dried everything off and tried to reset the GFCI. It wouldn’t work. Eventually I turned off the circuit and removed the outlet and my heart skipped a beat as saltwater began dripping out of the outlet. Yep.
Did I mention that when it tripped I had water and electricity flowing everywhere? I’m think that was a great way to spend $17 and I would do it again in a heartbeat, now that I still have one.