Do You Turn Off Your Filter/heater During Water Changes?

Handelma

Do you turn off your filter/heater during water changes? I always do, but I'm not sure that its necessary, mainly I just don't want my little guppies pushed around by the flow as the water level gets lower.
 

Annie59

You should turn them off. For one thing if the heater isn't in water it will overheat as will the pump in a filter if ran to long without water. Turning the heater off is a must, it can and they do break if still plugged in out of water.
 

Fanatic

I don't turn off the heater unless it goes halfway out of the water if sitting vertically, or completely if horizontally.
 

Aquadisiac

I always unplug both. During a 50% WC, the water drops below the intake of the filter. Both are easily unplugged and plugged back in after so I’d rather be safe than sorry and not stress my equipment.
 

TamiR

Yes! I have had to remind myself of this both times I have changed water (new aquarium, first time in the hobby)...so now since I keep forgetting I posted a note above my bucket and siphon to remind myself lol.
 

david1978

I have my heater low and horizontal and my filter intake is pretty low in the tank so no I don't bother turning either off.
 

SarahBear1009

I unplug everything but the lights. My heater is not one that can be fully submerged. It has two lines and the water line of my tank can only go between those two lines. So, its safer to unplug it.
 

Epicoz

I unplug just my filter but good to know about the heater
 

Donthemon

I don’t. I have a canister filter so easier not to turn off. I just make sure it didn’t get below the intake and suck in air. As far as the heater goes as long as you are not adding cold water as it could crack the heater due to temp difference.
 

ForceTen

If the intake tube goes below the water line, it will suck air and quit moving water.
Good heaters can go at least half way (water level) down safely.
30% water changes for me take 30 minutes at most. Just did one today. Unplugged nothing.
 

TheWalkman

All my equipment is on a power strip. So I just turn the whole tank of during a water change. I don’t want to be splashed, or equipment fail because it’s not submerged.
 

Crispii

I always turn off my heater and filter, but I don't turn off my lights.
 

Bryangar

I never turn off my heater. Just my filter since the intake is out of the water when I do my 50% water changes.
 

AmStatic

Everything but the lights
 

Thunder_o_b

What is a “water change?”


You know I am kidding.......Right?

But yes, I Turn them off. Every aquarium is on its own power strip so it is a simple flip of one switch.
 

kallililly1973

I never turn anything off. my heater is horizontal and close to the bottom of all my tanks and I never WC more water than the level of my filter intakes. Obviously other than doing filter maintenance then that’s the first thing I do is unplug it and put all the media in a bucket of tank water n go about my WC then clean the media in tank water and replace the polyfill... it’s always worked well for me.
 

Mary_Selix

Two different methods for me. I always turn filter (half hour before cleaning) to calm the water and using the air stone while filter is off to make vacuuming easier (makes everything settle to the bottom). I turn heater off completely while vacuuming and anything more than a 50% water change I shuffle it lower to water level when refilling with prepared water from the night before to be sure to dechlorinate thoroughly. As I refill I shuffle heater down to water and slowly raise it with the water level as it rises to make sure if water is cooler then should be it heats it as it fills. But to each their own.
 

Wickedfun

I always turn off / unplug both the filters and the heater, just seems safer.
 

Coradee

Hi, having learned the hard way (shocked from from a faulty heater) I always turn everything off before putting my hands in the tank, better safe than sorry.
 

Dennis57

Yes I unplug the filter, heater and the power head
 

Skavatar

yes. I turn off my filters, b/c its bad to let them run dry. and yes, I do change out that much water, about 75%.
 

jfer76

All my equipment is on a power strip. So I just turn the whole tank of during a water change. I don’t want to be splashed, or equipment fail because it’s not submerged.
Yep, this is exactly what I do, too.
 

wd67

I don't do as I only do 10% water changes. I turn off one of the filters each week so I don't upset the system. Running a hob and sump.
 

badrad

Years ago I had the unfortunate pleasure of cleaning up splattered glass from a heater that exploded on me as I filled up with cool water. Rather stupid mistake as I normally only do a 10 to 20% water change and I usually don't need to turn off the heater since it is still under water, but in the middle of draining I decided to go for 50% change. And so the heater was left on and I totally missed hearing it sizzle as the water drained to the halfway mark. As soon as I added the cool water into the tank, there was a loud pop and I immediately realized what had happened and I quickly switched off all power to the tank. Luckily no injury to any of the fish, and no electrocution to either myself or the fish. But lesson learned - stick with original plans, don't change your mind midway without rethinking what procedures need to be followed.
 

Dch48

I always turn off both because the water level drops below the minimum line on both. I put inline switches in the cords of the heater and filter of my Betta tank because the plugs are under my bed plugged into an extension cord which is plugged into a power strip. It would be a hassle trying to unplug them. The heater has a light that is always on, green when the unit is idle and orange when it is running. That makes it easy to make sure it is turned off or back on.
 

Ashleigh3113

I always unplug both, but saturday I lost one of my angelfish due to me turning my canister filter back on and not realizing he was in the way. Just be careful when turning your filter back on as it could catch the fish by surprise and shake them up to no return.
 

Redshark1

I recommend switching off the heaters and filters during a water change.

The electricity supply into these is often of poor quality and the insulation can deteriorate underwater so that it is possible to get an electric shock.

It is a good idea to check the wiring regularly. It usually goes where the wire enters the body of the filter or heater.

In these cases the fish are usually ok but it is you who gets a shock as you provide a pathway for the electricity to go through you to the ground.

The aquarium can also be protected by a GFCI which will cut the power before you are shocked.
 

Ed1957

I do large water changes and my 2 HOB filters will stop working at a certain water level. So yes I turn them off. I have the 2 HOBs and the heater on a surge protector and just hit the toggle to turn everything off. The light goes directly into the wall outlet as I don’t want the light off when vacuuming.
 

FishMommer

Always do both, tanks are 20 gallon and 16g. WC usually 10-50% depending. A few times initially I forgot, my one Aquaclear was always a bit temperamental and would take Forever to restart - especially if I forgot to unplug - needed a few turns on the impeller. So that got me in the habit of not forgetting and safer vs. sorry.
 

Chantmiss

I do now.. ONCE.. I forgot about the heater.. 80% water change put my heater out of water.. It was on... when I started to put water back in.. and it hit the heater.. it EXPLODED. I Learned my lesson.. unplug and 100% clean after that.. and new expensive heater bought..
 

smee82

Yes heater and circulation pumps get turned off before I start but I don't turn off the return pump in the sump until its just under water.
 

Dave125g

Since I drain out 50%+ my water level goes below the filter intakes and below the minimum water level for the heaters, so u have to shut them down.
 

ghostdawg

Good topic. Since i'm a newbie and not thinking much about it. My first water change I turned the power strip off for everything before sticking my hand in the water. I guess worried about getting shocked!
 

Colt47

Just to be on the safe side I turn off my Heater and Filter espically during 50% or more water changes. Everything is on a power strip so I just unplug it and replug it in after I’m done
 

jjohnwm

A bunch of people not worried about it at all...and another bunch correctly mentioning that heaters and filters can be damaged if water levels go too low...and, finally, an amazingly low number of folk who realize that electricity is dangerous, and much more so when mixed with water. Standing on a possibly wet floor compounds the hazard yet again.

It takes literally a few seconds to disconnect these appliances before playing around in the water; even less if they are plugged into a powerbar that can be switched off. What on earth would possess someone not to do that?
 

ForceTen

A bunch of people not worried about it at all...and another bunch correctly mentioning that heaters and filters can be damaged if water levels go too low...and, finally, an amazingly low number of folk who realize that electricity is dangerous, and much more so when mixed with water. Standing on a possibly wet floor compounds the hazard yet again.

It takes literally a few seconds to disconnect these appliances before playing around in the water; even less if they are plugged into a powerbar that can be switched off. What on earth would possess someone not to do that?

I agree about the safety standpoint 100%.
I agree regarding a power strip. And suggest GFCI protection.
But you are correct. I am unplugging my filter and heater during water changes.

But the light will remain on during water changes and maintenance. I know its likely the most dangerous thing, as it can fall in. I had my 120 volt non-gfcI fluorescent fixture fall into the tank while I had my arms in there.
I'm lucky. But a chance I'm willing to take.
 

wd67

I have a UPS unit on my tank. It has GFCI on one side and battery backup on the other side of the cabinet. All is GFCI but the side without the battery back up will shut down when loss of electric. My lights are in that one and so is my heater. On the filters I have on the battery back up and they will continue to work when we have a loss of power. The unit is pricey but I want the safety of that GFCI and also to keep things running if I can. I bought two extra batterys to help extend the on time. The house is from the 40's or 50's and has the old romax wiring in it. I ran a ground wire from the box to both of my UPS units. one for my babys and the other for the computer and weather station. Yeah I know..I am going to get flack of that but hey...whatever works. anyway, I kill the power and everything goes off but my lights. they are led and use transformers and I have had them fall into the tank a couple of times but they are low voltage so it didn't seem to do anything to the tank.As far as I know the UPS didn't go nuts when it happened as the lights didn't turn off.
 

ForceTen

I have a UPS unit on my tank. It has GFCI on one side and battery backup on the other side of the cabinet. All is GFCI but the side without the battery back up will shut down when loss of electric. My lights are in that one and so is my heater. On the filters I have on the battery back up and they will continue to work when we have a loss of power. The unit is pricey but I want the safety of that GFCI and also to keep things running if I can. I bought two extra batterys to help extend the on time. The house is from the 40's or 50's and has the old romax wiring in it. I ran a ground wire from the box to both of my UPS units. one for my babys and the other for the computer and weather station. Yeah I know..I am going to get flack of that but hey...whatever works. anyway, I kill the power and everything goes off but my lights. they are led and use transformers and I have had them fall into the tank a couple of times but they are low voltage so it didn't seem to do anything to the tank.As far as I know the UPS didn't go nuts when it happened as the lights didn't turn off.


You got it going on bro!
I never even considered a UPS on anything but my computer equipment. I like the out of the box thinking.
Actually your ground wire is mostly satisfactory as the NEC allows this today. Some requirements though, but if the ground goes from the receptacles back to the panel you are fine.

Be careful as even LED arrays are low voltage the drivers are not. I'm not familiar with new aquarium lighting technology. It looks quite foreign to me.
 

Elkwatcher

Everything gets tuned off on the power strip.. the light is a direct plug into wall a outlet and stays on... I need to see what I'm doing!
 

PascalKrypt

I have a UPS unit on my tank. It has GFCI on one side and battery backup on the other side of the cabinet. All is GFCI but the side without the battery back up will shut down when loss of electric. My lights are in that one and so is my heater. On the filters I have on the battery back up and they will continue to work when we have a loss of power. The unit is pricey but I want the safety of that GFCI and also to keep things running if I can. I bought two extra batterys to help extend the on time. The house is from the 40's or 50's and has the old romax wiring in it. I ran a ground wire from the box to both of my UPS units. one for my babys and the other for the computer and weather station. Yeah I know..I am going to get flack of that but hey...whatever works. anyway, I kill the power and everything goes off but my lights. they are led and use transformers and I have had them fall into the tank a couple of times but they are low voltage so it didn't seem to do anything to the tank.As far as I know the UPS didn't go nuts when it happened as the lights didn't turn off.
Thanks for making me feel better doing maintenance with my led lighting on. It just makes it way easier to see what you are doing (especially because I usually do my water changes late at night) so I don't turn them off as I do other equipment. Some are IP67 but some are not... but suddenly I realised you are right, due to the adaptors the actual fixtures would only have about 12 volts of current running through them. I feel safer now.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
4
Views
86
peachsonas
  • Question
Replies
6
Views
208
Cody
Replies
8
Views
330
John58ford
  • Question
Replies
9
Views
177
lucky123
  • Question
Replies
10
Views
239
!poogs!

New Aquarium Equipment Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom