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Thread: Pump keeps throwing gfci.

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    Pump keeps throwing gfci.

    Hi everyone!

    Just wondered if anyone could give me do some trouble shooting for my pump (days away from warranty expiring, if they count installation date : ( )
    I have made sure all the connections are good. Replaced old gfci with a new one. Tried plugging in to a different (30 amp) circuit. It's on a 20 amp by itself.
    Took the back off while checking connections turned shaft left and right, turns freely. It is a Pentair 1.5 (340039.)
    Any more I can do myself? If not, anyone know someone near West Columbia,SC that is an honest/reasonable repair person?

    - - - Updated - - -

    *oops "help"

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    Re: Pump keeps throwing gfci.

    18 views and nothin'
    Thanks guys, for the love.
    Going to be fun when I try to put the SWG in
    AAAAAnnnnyway, Pentair responded and had to send out via img receipt and install bill so they can send someone out. Meanwhile pool gets greener and greener.
    Back to square one I guess, time they show up.
    28000 IG Hybrid Pool,Pentair 340039 1.5HP,Sand DollarSD-80,Solaxx Harmony SWG & Robot, Soon to be installed CircuPoolSWG-45,PoolMaster 5 way TK
    (I know,I know what I SHOULD HAVE)

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Pump keeps throwing gfci.

    Gfci trips on a single speed pump usually come down to a bad connection somewhere, a weak/overly sensitive breaker, or a bad motor winding. Hopefully the tech can sort it out.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: Pump keeps throwing gfci.

    sorry about that.. can you post some pictures? showing wiring to pump, GFCI, controllers, anything you can show, maybe someone will see something that is missing..
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    morzh's Avatar
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    Re: Pump keeps throwing gfci.

    I just had this exact problem three days ago. Usually this means your motor developed electrical leakage.
    You could drain the water from the pump and see if it does the same when runs dry with no water in it. Mine worked fine until water hit it. You could try to chenge your GFI breaker first.
    Also you could try to disconnect the pump and turn the switch on, if it trips, your wiring is bar, but unlikely.

    Luckily I had extra moror. This cured it. You might have to change it.

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    Re: Pump keeps throwing gfci.

    this is what you should have for a GFCI breaker... Siemens QF120 20-Amp 1 Pole 120-Volt Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter - Circuit Breakers - Amazon.com

    what I am not sure is why a regular breaker is tripping? something is not right for a normal breaker to be tripping...
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Pump keeps throwing gfci.

    Sounds like a bad winding that is shorting to the motor case if it's flipping a regular breaker. Is it spinning at all?


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Pump keeps throwing gfci.

    Add bleach to chlorinate your water and brush to mix it in.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Pump keeps throwing gfci.

    Okay here are some pics. Anything in the wiring that looks hinky was not done by me. This house was a foeclosure we spent a year on the inside (weekends and a couple vacations) working on before we moved in. We didn't got to work on the pool until last year. Only had about 2 months use before it was too cold to swim. I don't appear to have
    a gfci "breaker." Just a gfci outlet which the pump is plugged into. It is the only thing on that 20 amp breaker. I did change the gfci outlet to a new one. Pool May 2012 by neverclearone | Photobucket

    - - - Updated - - -

    Not sure if that gets you to the new pics I posted.
    Let me know if you can't see the equipment pics and the sub panel.
    28000 IG Hybrid Pool,Pentair 340039 1.5HP,Sand DollarSD-80,Solaxx Harmony SWG & Robot, Soon to be installed CircuPoolSWG-45,PoolMaster 5 way TK
    (I know,I know what I SHOULD HAVE)

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    Re: Pump keeps throwing gfci.

    Love the frogs, don't kill them. They are a good folk, just find them a new puddle

    Can't see the pucs with breaker or pump.

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    Re: Pump keeps throwing gfci.

    No way, we relocated them to the river. Okay, neverclearone's Library | Photobucket
    How bout now?
    28000 IG Hybrid Pool,Pentair 340039 1.5HP,Sand DollarSD-80,Solaxx Harmony SWG & Robot, Soon to be installed CircuPoolSWG-45,PoolMaster 5 way TK
    (I know,I know what I SHOULD HAVE)

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    Re: Pump keeps throwing gfci.

    Cowboycasey I don't have a GFCI Breaker (after looking at your link) just a GFCI outlet which the pump (and only the pump) uses. Also, did you install your Circupool SJ45? I have the same thing I purchased online and want to install it myself. Can you post pics so I can see how you have it installed?
    28000 IG Hybrid Pool,Pentair 340039 1.5HP,Sand DollarSD-80,Solaxx Harmony SWG & Robot, Soon to be installed CircuPoolSWG-45,PoolMaster 5 way TK
    (I know,I know what I SHOULD HAVE)

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    Re: Pump keeps throwing gfci.

    Also as of now we only have one return and one skimmer. We plan on having work done on it hopefully this spring, to repair the other return (it is closed off, as I assume it was leaking like the one we had repaired. The drain also is closed off . Would like to have concrete jack hammered and new poured if we can get son-in laws brother-in-law to do it on the cheap along with new deck and coping.
    28000 IG Hybrid Pool,Pentair 340039 1.5HP,Sand DollarSD-80,Solaxx Harmony SWG & Robot, Soon to be installed CircuPoolSWG-45,PoolMaster 5 way TK
    (I know,I know what I SHOULD HAVE)

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    Re: Pump keeps throwing gfci.

    Quote Originally Posted by neverclearone View Post
    Cowboycasey I don't have a GFCI Breaker (after looking at your link) just a GFCI outlet which the pump (and only the pump) uses. Also, did you install your Circupool SJ45? I have the same thing I purchased online and want to install it myself. Can you post pics so I can see how you have it installed?
    I sure can, I had an electition wire it in and it is wired into my Intermatic PE653RC Wireless Control System, it works great so far just using the buttons on the box and remote but I have to contact intermatic to get some help programming it

    I have the SJ45 wired into #3

    Here are some pictures, I will get better ones tonight if it stops raining..



    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Re: Pump keeps throwing gfci.

    So the pump is not hardwired but is pluggable to the GFCI outlet. Well, if you have any grounded load to test it and it does not trip, it is the pump (yes you changed it, but the ultimate proof of your whole supply is plugging the load and see if it is working.
    If you have say a heatgun with ground pin in its plug, it is a good test.

    Another way (as it was with me), stop the water from entering the pump, let it run dry. If it runs without it, and trips with water, it is another sign of electric insulation leak.

    Well, I take it, the condition of your pool being what it is, it is not race agains time, if your test points to the motor, and if a local specialist can do it cheaper than to buy the new one, sure. Myself, I would go for a new motor, unless really strapped with cash (the difference might be not what you expect anyway).

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    Re: Pump keeps throwing gfci.

    Quote Originally Posted by morzh View Post
    So the pump is not hardwired but is pluggable to the GFCI outlet. Well, if you have any grounded load to test it and it does not trip, it is the pump (yes you changed it, but the ultimate proof of your whole supply is plugging the load and see if it is working.
    If you have say a heatgun with ground pin in its plug, it is a good test.

    Another way (as it was with me), stop the water from entering the pump, let it run dry. If it runs without it, and trips with water, it is another sign of electric insulation leak.
    whoah! Do not run your pump without water, or you will likely be buying a new one.
    I'm curious to know how you figure this test will detect an electrical insulation leak on the motor when the water is flowing through the wet end of the pump?
    24k gallon inground vinyl liner pool, 8'-3' depth, 2 skimmers, 3 returns, basic 5 chem kit.
    Hayward: DE-60 filter, Superpump VS, AquaRite salt chlorinator w/T-Cell 15, TigerShark QC robot. Jacuzzi hot tub ~350gal. Air blower type, w/8 jets.

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    morzh's Avatar
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    Re: Pump keeps throwing gfci.

    There is no problem whatsoever running a pump for a short time without water, we are talking seconds though in my experience minutes did not do anything bad.

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    Re: Pump keeps throwing gfci.

    Quote Originally Posted by mgarf33 View Post
    whoah! Do not run your pump without water, or you will likely be buying a new one.
    I'm curious to know how you figure this test will detect an electrical insulation leak on the motor when the water is flowing through the wet end of the pump?
    When a pump isn't pumping anything the amps are extremely low because it doesn't require as much electricity to work. The higher the flow, the more current is required, possibly leading to a conclusion as to whether the winding insulation is leaking current when drawing more amps. Running dry for a few seconds isn't enough time to generate enough heat to damage anything.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: Pump keeps throwing gfci.

    Quote Originally Posted by mgarf33 View Post
    I'm curious to know how you figure this test will detect an electrical insulation leak on the motor when the water is flowing through the wet end of the pump?

    As n240sxguy just pointed out, plus what I said, there are two main reasons for the pump to throw a breaker when running water and not when running dry.
    Well, maybe three.

    One is a turn short. This relates to loading. Turn short kills one of the phases inductance turning it into an AC short circuit, so the motor has trouble starting and even if it does, it draws excessive current.This is likely to trip the overcurrent (regular) breaker and not GFI. If there is no water and the rotor rotates, without load the current might be below the trip threshold, but once it flows, additional current due to loading together with the abnormally increased current due to short will cross the threshold.

    The second one is the jammed rotor (mechanical) or, which is almost the same reult-wise, a bad starting cap. Both result in no rotation which is, again, a case of overload, excessive current and consequently throwing the overcurrent breaker.


    The third major one is electrical breakdown (leakage) of wire insulation. This does not create a short per se, but it results in the current from Line not fully returning to Neutral, part of it (however small, I think GFI detects 1mA) diverting directly to GND (Earth). This is a safety issue, physically motor is fine and will work. A possible scenario us: While it is dry the water does not touch anything that it normally touches (screws) and the GFI sees no leakage current; once water flows the leakage occurs (water is conductive) and the GFI trips.


    Other scenarios are possible. But in the 1st and 3rd cases it is probably cheaper to swap motors, unless there is something totally obvious (cracked insulation on connecting wires). Rewinding motors (did it once under the guidance of an experienced person) is very little fun, unless you are one of those rare people who enjoy it.
    So if brief visual with back cover off (and unplugged!!M) does not reveal much, my vote is for a new motor.

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