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Thread: LED Lights Tripping Filter Pump Breaker

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    LED Lights Tripping Filter Pump Breaker

    Hello All,

    I've been lurking on this forum for some time throughout my owner-builder pool that recently completed a few weeks ago. At start-up and fill a problem was detected with the Jandy Savi LED pool lights tripping the Jandy ePump GFCI breaker. The equipment is connected to an Aqualink system and the pump breaker only trips when turning the lights off while the pump is running. Turning the lights on never trips the breaker. The lights are on a separate 15A breaker. There are 3 LED lights (2 in the pool and 1 in the spa). The 2 in the pool are on one Intermatic transformer and Aqualink AUX relay and the 1 in the spa is on a separate Intermatic transformer and Aqualink AUX relay.

    I attempted to troubleshoot the problem today thinking that there could be an issue with one of the Intermatic low-voltage transformers. To troubleshoot, I performed the following steps by removing the light junction box cover:
    1) Disconnected pool light #1 from transformer #1. The breaker still tripped with power cycling.
    2) Disconnected pool light #2 and reconnected pool light #1 to transformer #1. The breaker still tripped with power cycling.
    3) Connected pool light #1, pool light #2, and spa light to transformer #2. The breaker still tripped with power cycling.
    4) Disconnected pool light #1, pool light #2 from transformer #2. Connected spa light to transformer #1. The breaker still tripped with power cycling.
    5) Reconnected spa light to transformer #2. The breaker still tripped with power cycling.
    6) Restored all lights to original configuration. The breaker still tripped with power cycling.

    So, I don't think the transformers are the problem, and I could not isolate the problem to a single light, since they all trip the breaker. When the pool was filled, the lights were not all securely tightened, so I have a concern that there could be water behind them in the conduit back to the elevated junction box.

    I don't know what to try next, could the breaker be bad? What if there was water in the conduit between the lights and junction box, it's possible this could cause a leakage current path that is being sensed on the line for the GFCI breaker? Perhaps the insulation on the pool light wires is damaged, but I would be surprised if all 3 were damaged?

    Any suggestions or recommendations would be much appreciated.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: LED Lights Tripping Filter Pump Breaker

    Did you ever unhook (turn off) power to all the transformers and power them one at a time? Just unhooking the lights from the transformers won't tell you if the transformer is bad because it's still receiving power.

    You could have a bad GFCI. It's been known to happen that they trip for no reason, but I'd eliminate everything else first.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: LED Lights Tripping Filter Pump Breaker

    I disconnected each transformer this morning. When both are disconnected the pump breaker does not trip when cycling power to the lights as one would expect. However, with either transformer connected by itself and cycling power, the breaker trips.

    One other item of possible note as I was inspecting the connections is that the two transformers are fed by a GFCI outlet that is installed between the 15A breaker and transformers. This GFCI is not resetting when the lights are cycled, but rather the GFCI breaker for the pool pump.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: LED Lights Tripping Filter Pump Breaker

    I'd suspect the pump breaker in that case. If it isn't too expensive, it may be worth it to replace it and see if that's the problem.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: LED Lights Tripping Filter Pump Breaker

    One other thing to check, I doubt it will make a difference one way or the other but it is code and should be adhered to. Check the sub panel neutral buss bar (where all the white wires connect) and make sure it is not bonded to the panel, Google bonding neutral in sub panel and you will get all kinds of results. The bus bar should be insulated from the case by some sort of plastic standoff, if it is bonded there will be a green screw or metal tab that bonds the bar to the panel. If that screw is there you should remove it, the neutral should only bond to ground at the main house panel not a sub panel. I can imagine a scenario if bonded where there is the tiniest bit of voltage that gets to the ground as the transformer discharges the GFCI might trip. Probably not because if that were the case I would expect it to trip the outlet GFCI too but electrons are funny stranger things have happened.
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

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    Re: LED Lights Tripping Filter Pump Breaker

    I just checked my LEDs when I got home, my control panel is switching the hot (black) to the transformer via an aux relay defined for lights, the input of that relay comes from the hot out of the GFCI outlet, the neutral comes from the out of the GFCI directly to the transformer. That neutral does not attach to the neutral bus bar goes just to the led transformer, and the ground is from the ground bus bar.

    Is that how yours is set up perhaps they have it switching the neutral and not the hot?
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

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    Re: LED Lights Tripping Filter Pump Breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by atttech-2 View Post
    One other thing to check, I doubt it will make a difference one way or the other but it is code and should be adhered to. Check the sub panel neutral buss bar (where all the white wires connect) and make sure it is not bonded to the panel, Google bonding neutral in sub panel and you will get all kinds of results. The bus bar should be insulated from the case by some sort of plastic standoff, if it is bonded there will be a green screw or metal tab that bonds the bar to the panel. If that screw is there you should remove it, the neutral should only bond to ground at the main house panel not a sub panel. I can imagine a scenario if bonded where there is the tiniest bit of voltage that gets to the ground as the transformer discharges the GFCI might trip. Probably not because if that were the case I would expect it to trip the outlet GFCI too but electrons are funny stranger things have happened.
    I just checked the sub panel neutral bus bar, it is indeed elevated on a plastic rail standoff and isolated from the housing.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by atttech-2 View Post
    I just checked my LEDs when I got home, my control panel is switching the hot (black) to the transformer via an aux relay defined for lights, the input of that relay comes from the hot out of the GFCI outlet, the neutral comes from the out of the GFCI directly to the transformer. That neutral does not attach to the neutral bus bar goes just to the led transformer, and the ground is from the ground bus bar.

    Is that how yours is set up perhaps they have it switching the neutral and not the hot?
    Yes, mine is wired the same way. The load hot from the GFCI outlet is routed to the AUX relay input where it is switched to the first transformer. A wire is run in parallel from the input of the first AUX relay to the input of the second AUX relay that feeds the second transformer. The neutral from the GFCI outlet is routed directly to both transformers. Grounds are returned from the transformer to the ground bus bar in the Aqualink box.

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    Re: LED Lights Tripping Filter Pump Breaker

    Guess you will need to try a new breaker after all, You could reconfigure so you are switching the positive DC leg out of the transformers and see if that works but then those transformers would always be live might reduce their lifespan a bit and would use a small amount of electricity all the time but probably not any worse than a door bell or lighted address sign. I don't think you truly have a fault because if you did I would expect it to trip as soon as power is applied or randomly not just when turning the lights off. No matter what I would change the breaker a suspect breaker could be dangerous, not wort taking a guess on, if you get no change you can always return the unused breaker.

    One other grasping at straws idea just as a test is to bypass the GFCI outlet and feed the lights direct from the 15A breaker just to see if the problem goes away. If it does a 15A GFCI outlet is cheaper than a 2 pole GFCI breaker. Again I have no reason to think it will work but it is something you can try without a trip to the hardware store and will eliminate a link in the chain as the cause

    If you ever figure it out please let us know this kind of stuff drives me crazy.
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: LED Lights Tripping Filter Pump Breaker

    I ran into this exact same problem. What type of GFCI breakers are you currently using? Make/Model & Amps?

    Next, can you provide me with the Amps of each breaker, what electrical device is wired to it and what order the breakers are installed to each other? ie let's say if you can install 10 breakers, that the top left would be #1 and the farthest bottom right would #10.

    Lastly, what kind of lighting or programming features do your LED lights have? And, when the breakers are tripping, what is the current status of the LED's configuration? [ie, single color light, or, rotates to 3 diff colors, etc].

    Note: Panel was installed in Oct 2014, but when powered up in Feb 2015, I had 5-6 weeks of tripping GFCI breakers. Since fixed, I have not had a breaker trip ever again [knock on wood sound ]

    Thanks and pls advise,
    tom
    InGround 15K gal, 18'x30' 3.5' to 5.5' depth w/ 9'x9' spillover Spa, Pebblesheen w/ Travertine, Hayward 3 HP VSP, Hayward C4030 Cartridge, Hayward 1.5 HP for 2 Scupper columns, ProLogic, PL-PS-8 Panel, Hayward 400K BTU Heater, 3 ColorLogic LED, Spa Blower, TF-100 w S-Stick, QC Tiger Shark, Autofill

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