RE: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #273

On the subject "mother of all hoods"
steveb at bga_com (Steve Benz) wrote:

< To be avoided at all costs are exposed hot wires in your hood.  I
< minimized this by making sure that no hot wires were spliced inside
< the hood, and the switches inside the hood are all switching the
< ground wire.

I assume by "ground wire" you meant the _neutral_ wire?
To all non-technical type would be hood builders: Never _ever_ switch
the ground wire.  It is there for safety and must be connected at all
times.  Having said that, I would like to point out why you should never
switch the neutral wire either.

When the neutral is disconnected all circuit elements up to that switch
(the ballast, wires, sockets, pins on the bulbs) remain at HOT potential,
including the side of your switch connected to the ballast!  This means
if you accidently touch an exposed part and another body part touches
ground (like that grounded aluminum strip, tank water, etc.) YOU will
complete the circuit.  If you haven`t insulated the terminals on your
switches you should do so if you are going to keep your present

Another reason you should always use a GFI outlet for your aquarium

Stephen Morrison
in Batavia, IL

< On George`s hood, he has to go through the UNSPEAKABLE BOTHER
< of hitting a switch to avoid being blinded when he flips the

good thing George is on vacation.....