I came into school this morning and my whole tank system had shut down, and none of the equipment was working! What should I do??
Your salmon can survive a very short period of time when the tank equipment is turned off. For example, your fish will be just fine if you turn all the equipment off as a safety precaution when cleaning the tank. Discovering your equipment has accidentally turned off is stressful (for you AND the fish!!), but here are some helpful questions to work through if you find yourself in this situation:
1. Is ANY of the equipment working?
Over time, some of your mechanized equipment may stop working and need to be replaced. However, it is highly unlikely that all 4 pieces of electrical equipment would randomly stop working simultaneously. If your chiller, powerhead pump, waterfall filter, and air pump stop working at the same time, the problem has to do with the electrical circuit.
2. Is everything plugged in?
Sometimes things get bumped and rearranged... double check that the 4 main pieces of equipment are plugged in: chiller, powerhead pump, waterfall filter, and air pump. Make sure the power strip is turned on and plugged in.
3. Did your GFI trip?
Since our program involves water, electricity, and children, each tank needs to use the yellow GFI adapter as a safety precaution (unless you're using a GFI outlet). This device will trip the circuit if any water enters the electrical components. For example, if a small amount of condensation drips from your chiller tubing into the power strip, the GFI adapter will turn off all your equipment to keep you safe. However, GFI adapters occasionally trip the circuit unnecessarily (i.e. they may get bumped by vacuum cleaners!), and you may need to simply press the reset button on your GFI.
4. Is your power strip dead?
If you press the reset button on your GFI nothing happens, your power strip may be dead. Try replacing it with a new one. If that works, THROW THE OLD ONE AWAY. You can put it with your electronic recycling, but do NOT use it again. Some power strips have a short shelf life. Power strips with surge protection may wear quickly if power surges are common at your school. If you suspect water has gotten into your power strip, throw it away.
Notify the SITC Coordinator if you experience an equipment failure. The more we know about these situations, the more we can help prevent them from happening to your fellow teachers!