Aquariums are easy to ?wire up? you just add a pump, and an air pump, some lights plug it in and???..
(Example of wrongly wired plug, do you see all that is wrong)
"Well it works, so if it works its ok? Isn?t it?"
No it isn?t. Please allow me to explain.
Obvious to most that it is, anything electrical to go in a fish tank should be water proof, not just water resistant. If its to go near or above the tank, water resistant is often acceptable.
Once you have your equipment set up you can plug it in. Plug it into what? If you only have say just two items you should never open a plug and connect them to what is there, most electrical items now come with a fitted plug anyway, its there for a reason, please don?t cut it off. If a fuse ever blows, find out why. Has the cable become damaged or chewed? once the fault has been corrected you can change the fuse, but always use a fuse of the SAME rating never bigger, this is because during a fault the "weakest point" (The fuse) is designed to blow, if you put in a bigger fuse, the fuse may no longer be "The weakest point"
When you are happy with everything you can then plug each item in to one of these.
However its still does not finish there. Its best to secure the 4 sockets to a wall or back of the tank cabinet to stop it from moving or being pulled accidentally. There is also another reason. By mounting the socket on a vertical surface any plug plugged in should come from below the socket, this way you make a ?drip loop? This is so that if any water or condensation runs down the cable from anything in or near the tank it will not run into the plug.
How a plug normaly is
A plug with a drip loop (arrowed)
Also as it?s a fish tank, the 4 way socket should be plugged in via a plug in RCD
Other brands of RCD are available In short an RCD could save your life if there is any water where it shouldn?t be.
Please look out for other articles for your guidance.
As you said an RCD is to stop you being killed, its a blunt way of putting it, but that really is what they are for.
I wont bore you with an explanation of how they work,
You can get RCD Plugs such as this one
and you can get plug in adaptors, such as this one.
Other brands of RCD are available. The "problem" (if you will) is that although they are "priceless", if you have one protecting everything, should a fault occur, then in doing its job, it will switch off everything, which is why it is some times a good idea to have one on everything plugged in, but it can work out "expensive *" at around ?10 each, I think its worth it, but to be honest, I don't have as many as I should.
*If for example you have 10 things plugged in, it soon mounts up.
Good quality costs. Bear this in mind before you start.
Sorry if my reply is NOT want you want to hear, but what I have said is true.
This one is specifically designed for aquarium use. Powercuts will cause most plug-in RCD's to trip. This one however will not trip in a powercut, so all your filters, heaters etc. will be reinstated immediately when the power comes back on. Other plug-in RCD's have to be manually reset. If you have RCD's in your circuit breakers as SarahF described, these won't trip in a powercut either. As for what they do, in a nutshell they work on the basis that what goes in must come out. It monitors the current at live and neutral, if there's a significant difference then the current must be leaking out somewhere else (e.g. via someone touching a faulty appliance), so it trips.