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Thread: GFCI Breaker Issue on Pentair EasyTouch Load Center

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    GFCI Breaker Issue on Pentair EasyTouch Load Center

    Hey Folks!

    Iím installing a dedicated receptacle for a low voltage transformer for landscape lighting, and connecting it to an EasyTouch subpanel to control the lights. I have everything connected and the breaker keeps tripping when I plug anything in. It seems to be fine if nothing is plugged in. Can anyone help me figure out whatís going on?

    This is what I have connected:

    1) 20 Amp Siemens GFCI breaker with 12AWG wire to the subpanel relay (line) connection.
    2) 12AWG wire from the relay (load) connection to the receptacle.
    3) Ground wire (12AWG) from ground buss bar to ground connection on the receptacle.
    4) Neutral wire from the breaker to the neutral buss bar.
    5) Neutral wire (12AWG) from the neutral buss bar to the neutral connection on the receptacle (wasnít so sure on this one).

    Could the two neutrals connecting to the neutral buss bar be the issue? Should I run the receptacle neutral into the breaker neutral connection instead?

    Iíve done simple wiring connections around the house and I thought this would be relatively easy. Guess not. Pentairís manual was no help so Iím hoping someone out there can.

    Thanks in advance to anyone offering suggestions!
    36'x20' Freeform, IG - 13k gal, Spa - 800 gal, Diamond Brite, Intelliflo VS pump, TR-140C sand filter, Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 2HP Whisperflo pump (waterfall), Pool Pilot Digital RC-42 SWCG, K-2006

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    Re: GFCI Breaker Issue on Pentair EasyTouch Load Center

    What is being supplied from the breaker to the Easy Touch, 110V or 220V?
    20k gal. IG plaster w/spa. 2 HP Aqua-Flo "A" pump, Hayward DE6020 filter. "The Pool Cleaner".

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    Re: GFCI Breaker Issue on Pentair EasyTouch Load Center

    Quote Originally Posted by sbcpool View Post
    What is being supplied from the breaker to the Easy Touch, 110V or 220V?
    There's a 2 pole 40 amp breaker coming from the house to the EasyTouch so I'm assuming it's 220.
    36'x20' Freeform, IG - 13k gal, Spa - 800 gal, Diamond Brite, Intelliflo VS pump, TR-140C sand filter, Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 2HP Whisperflo pump (waterfall), Pool Pilot Digital RC-42 SWCG, K-2006

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: GFCI Breaker Issue on Pentair EasyTouch Load Center

    You need to run the neutral from the receptacle to the neutral terminal on the GFCI breaker, not to the neutral bus.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: GFCI Breaker Issue on Pentair EasyTouch Load Center

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
    You need to run the neutral from the receptacle to the neutral terminal on the GFCI breaker, not to the neutral bus.
    Awesome! Will try it tomorrow. Thunderstorms rolling in now. Thanks Bama Rambler.
    36'x20' Freeform, IG - 13k gal, Spa - 800 gal, Diamond Brite, Intelliflo VS pump, TR-140C sand filter, Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 2HP Whisperflo pump (waterfall), Pool Pilot Digital RC-42 SWCG, K-2006

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    Re: GFCI Breaker Issue on Pentair EasyTouch Load Center

    Bama has you covered on this. load neutral has to be on the breaker terminal. The GFCI is looking for it to monitor current flow. Without it, the breaker sees the hot current going out but has nothing coming back to compare to.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: GFCI Breaker Issue on Pentair EasyTouch Load Center

    Ok, couldn't wait. Made the switch. Works perfect! Thanks again Bama Rambler!
    36'x20' Freeform, IG - 13k gal, Spa - 800 gal, Diamond Brite, Intelliflo VS pump, TR-140C sand filter, Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 2HP Whisperflo pump (waterfall), Pool Pilot Digital RC-42 SWCG, K-2006

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    Re: GFCI Breaker Issue on Pentair EasyTouch Load Center

    If the neutral bar in the EasyTouch is connected to the neutral terminal on the breaker, I don't understand how connecting the receptacle to the EasyTouch neutral bar is electrically different than connecting the receptacle directly to the breaker's neutral terminal.


    Code:
    |          |--------(N)---------|          |--------(N)-------|          |
    | Breaker  |                    |EasyTouch |                  |Receptacle|
    |          |--------(L)---------|          |--------(L)-------|          |
    versus

    Code:
                                   ______________
                                  /              \
    |          |--------(N)------/  |          |  \-----(N)-------|          |
    | Breaker  |                    |EasyTouch |                  |Receptacle|
    |          |--------(L)---------|          |--------(L)-------|          |
    20k gal. IG plaster w/spa. 2 HP Aqua-Flo "A" pump, Hayward DE6020 filter. "The Pool Cleaner".

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: GFCI Breaker Issue on Pentair EasyTouch Load Center

    Quote Originally Posted by sbcpool View Post
    If the neutral bar in the EasyTouch is connected to the neutral terminal on the breaker, I don't understand how connecting the receptacle to the EasyTouch neutral bar is electrically different than connecting the receptacle directly to the breaker's neutral terminal.
    It's complicated, but suffice it to say that's how it's designed.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: GFCI Breaker Issue on Pentair EasyTouch Load Center

    The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is that the EasyTouch has bonded the neutral and ground, but I can't think of why in the world they would do that.
    20k gal. IG plaster w/spa. 2 HP Aqua-Flo "A" pump, Hayward DE6020 filter. "The Pool Cleaner".

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    Re: GFCI Breaker Issue on Pentair EasyTouch Load Center

    Quote Originally Posted by sbcpool View Post
    The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is that the EasyTouch has bonded the neutral and ground, but I can't think of why in the world they would do that.
    It's not. The ET panel is set up like any other subpanel. The neutral bus and ground bus arent bonded together.

    A GFCI breaker in the ET box works like a GFCI breaker in the main would. The neutral from the load (outlet) is connected to the GFCI breaker. The little curly-Q white pigtail off the breaker is connected to the neutral bus.
    Like Bama said, how a GFCI breaker works is a little complicated to type out here.
    if your interested how it work, Google will give you the info
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: GFCI Breaker Issue on Pentair EasyTouch Load Center

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406 View Post
    It's not. The ET panel is set up like any other subpanel. The neutral bus and ground bus arent bonded together.

    A GFCI breaker in the ET box works like a GFCI breaker in the main would. The neutral from the load (outlet) is connected to the GFCI breaker. The little curly-Q white pigtail off the breaker is connected to the neutral bus.
    Like Bama said, how a GFCI breaker works is a little complicated to type out here.
    if your interested how it work, Google will give you the info
    I thought the OP said he wired the outlet directly to the neutral bar in the EasyTouch and not to a GFI breaker. I'm not confused about how a GFI works, I'm confused about where the current is going when the EasyTouch neutral bar is in the circuit to cause the main panel's GFI to trip. Unless the EasyTouch is creating a ground fault, it shouldn't trip the GFI at the main panel.
    20k gal. IG plaster w/spa. 2 HP Aqua-Flo "A" pump, Hayward DE6020 filter. "The Pool Cleaner".

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    Re: GFCI Breaker Issue on Pentair EasyTouch Load Center

    As I posted earlier, the GFCI breaker needs a neutral reference to monitor current flow. The hot wire connected to the load (motor) gets current from the breaker. If the return voltage goes directly to the neutral bar, the breaker never sees the return current. If it can't see the current coming back it assumes it went somewhere else and turns the circuit off. The neutral pigtail on the breaker is not connected to the neutral wire terminal on the breaker directly. There is some circuitry involved between the two. This circuitry is what is looking for the current imbalance between the hot and neutral (usually 4-6 MV) When the current imbalance is below that threshold, the circuitry keeps both the hot and the neutral connections in a closed state and allows the current to flow.

    Item number 5 in the original post is where the problem was. He bypassed the GFCI with the neutral conductor from the receptacle and went straight to the neutral bar.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: GFCI Breaker Issue on Pentair EasyTouch Load Center

    Quote Originally Posted by sbcpool View Post
    I thought the OP said he wired the outlet directly to the neutral bar in the EasyTouch and not to a GFI breaker. .
    He did. And thats why it tripped. The neutral from the load HAS to be connected to the GFCI breaker. The only neutral on a GFCI breaker that goes to the bus is the curly Q from the breaker. If a neutral is run directly to the bus from the load, even if the curly -Q is attached as well, it'll trip.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: GFCI Breaker Issue on Pentair EasyTouch Load Center

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406 View Post
    He did. And thats why it tripped. The neutral from the load HAS to be connected to the GFCI breaker. The only neutral on a GFCI breaker that goes to the bus is the curly Q from the breaker. If a neutral is run directly to the bus from the load, even if the curly -Q is attached as well, it'll trip.
    I thought he was saying the GFI on the main breaker was tripping, not the GFI in the EasyTouch.
    20k gal. IG plaster w/spa. 2 HP Aqua-Flo "A" pump, Hayward DE6020 filter. "The Pool Cleaner".

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    Re: GFCI Breaker Issue on Pentair EasyTouch Load Center

    Quote Originally Posted by danpik View Post
    The neutral pigtail on the breaker is not connected to the neutral wire terminal on the breaker directly. .
    ^^^^What he said

    danpik posted at the same time as me.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: GFCI Breaker Issue on Pentair EasyTouch Load Center

    Quote Originally Posted by danpik View Post
    As I posted earlier, the GFCI breaker needs a neutral reference to monitor current flow. The hot wire connected to the load (motor) gets current from the breaker. If the return voltage goes directly to the neutral bar, the breaker never sees the return current. If it can't see the current coming back it assumes it went somewhere else and turns the circuit off. The neutral pigtail on the breaker is not connected to the neutral wire terminal on the breaker directly. There is some circuitry involved between the two. This circuitry is what is looking for the current imbalance between the hot and neutral (usually 4-6 MV) When the current imbalance is below that threshold, the circuitry keeps both the hot and the neutral connections in a closed state and allows the current to flow.
    Exactly correct. And if the neutral bar in the EasyTouch is wired to the neutral terminal on the GFI breaker at the main panel, where is the current leaking to cause the GFI in the main panel to trip? It has to be at the EasyTouch.
    20k gal. IG plaster w/spa. 2 HP Aqua-Flo "A" pump, Hayward DE6020 filter. "The Pool Cleaner".

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    Re: GFCI Breaker Issue on Pentair EasyTouch Load Center

    Quote Originally Posted by sbcpool View Post
    I thought he was saying the GFI on the main breaker was tripping, not the GFI in the EasyTouch.
    Not the way i read it. He has a 40 amp dipole feeding the ET box.

    There is no GFI breaker on the OP's main.
    When he wired it up in the ET box correctly like Bama told him, all is well
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: GFCI Breaker Issue on Pentair EasyTouch Load Center

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406 View Post
    Not the way i read it. He has a 40 amp dipole feeding the ET box.

    There is no GFI breaker on the OP's main.
    When I read "20 Amp Siemens GFCI breaker with 12AWG wire to the subpanel relay (line) connection" that lead me to picture a GFI breaker on the main wired to the line connection on the ET, but now I see it's ambiguous and could be read either way (GFI breaker in the ET wired to the main, or GFI breaker in the main wired to the ET).
    20k gal. IG plaster w/spa. 2 HP Aqua-Flo "A" pump, Hayward DE6020 filter. "The Pool Cleaner".

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