Well, aquariums eh. They run nicely 24/7 365 days a year, or so...........
In Germany, the traditional Xmas meal takes place on the evening of Xmas Eve. So, just as we were sitting down and the food was being placed on the table, everything went dark. There was a power outage. Checked the fuse box, and the Ground Floor of the house had tripped out. Some electrical device in there didn't want to play. So I quickly went around unplugging things with my son attempting to throw the switch back on to see if I could isolate the offending electrical device. Lo and behold, everything came back on when the aquarium was unplugged. So, I had a problem in there somewhere. At this point we decided to just carry on with the meal and I'd look at the tank afterwards.
So, time to find the offending electrical device in the tank. On the control panel I switched everything off, and then attempted to start things one-by-one and see which device was causing the system to trip. First off I tried to start the Vectra L2 main return pump. It didn't want to start, and if you have any of these Vectra devices you'll understand how maddening it is to have various coloured lights blinking on the Quiet Drive unit with no real explanation of what they mean. Oh, at this point I have to mention the Backup Battery unit didn't work. I'll have to check out why at a later time. So, I decided to get a couple of the rear pumps working and two of them started up nicely. I got the spare main return pump from the garage and as a last desperate attempt I tried to restart the Vectra, and it did ! Main return pump working and two of the rear pumps working so far. I then started up the Skimmer and the doser, and it was all working.
It was around this point my wife said that there was something wrong with the fridge/freezer. It was making a bleeping noise with numbers flashing on the display. Aha, methinks, it was the fridge/freezer all along that caused the trip, and not anything in the tank. The fact the Vectra didn't want to start was just because, well, it's a Vectra. The fridge/freezer was indeed kaputt, and we had to transfer all the frozen food to an old freezer we had in the cellar. The stuff in the fridge had to go outside the back door ! Remember, this was Friday 24th Xmas Eve, so we had no chance of getting anyone in until the 27th, which is a normal working day in Germany. OK, I restart all the rear pumps and the tank is running normally.
Until Monday morning the 27th.......the fridge/freezer is unplugged, and there was another power outage. The circuit breaker had tripped again ! My suspicion returned straight away to the tank. I switched off the four rear pumps and we were able to restart the power on the floor of the house again. I did say just last week on Shaun's thread that I needed to clean the pumps ! However, the Vectra once again would not start, and I now had a time problem as I had to be in work at 2pm, so I swapped out the Vectra for the old Red Sea return pump and fired that up. I also removed two of the rear pumps and cleaned them both. I then returned one of those pumps to the tank and installed my spare rear pump, and went to work. Main return working, two rear circulation pumps running and the skimmer running. That is enough to keep everything alive for now.
Those rear pumps were full of gunk. Could it be one of them was overheating therefore causing the trip? My experience is that when these pumps get too mucky they just stop working. My suspicion therefore is still being directed at the Vectra. It has caused me problems before and I now rate it as one of my worst puchases for the tank. I had to have the motor replaced before it was a year old and I have no idea why the battery backup didn't kick-in when the power failed, after all that is what the battery backup is there to do ! If the Vectra does have an issue then I don't expect it to trip the whole floor of the house either as it also caused the problem with the fridge/freezer! With the Vectra L2 I've always had problems re-starting it if I ever had to switch it off, say for maintenance reasons. I only ever used the 'feed mode' switch which would give me ten minutes to do what ever I wanted to do in the tank. This seemed to be the only way I could guarantee that the pump would not stop. For a so say quality product (with a quality price tag) I am not impressed with it at all.
Tomorrow I will clean and re-install the remaining rear circulation pumps and I will clean the Vectra. I think the only way I can test the Vectra is to run it (on it's side) in the bath ! If it's not in water it will not start. Most pumps you can plug in when on a work surface and hear them start and then unplug, but the Vectra will not do that.
So that was my Xmas weekend !