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Thread: Bad Wiring and New Pump?

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Bad Wiring and New Pump?

    My new home problems just keep multiplying.

    I was on this forum reading about GFCI requirements and found out that as of 2009, it was required that pool equipment be wired directly to a GFCI breaker switch. This is true right?

    In inspecting my pool equipment, I found what appeared to be adequate bonding wires, but NO GFCI breaker at the panel. My electrician installed the GFCI breaker and the thing will not turn on, because it keeps tripping. Well, we followed the line and found out a couple of things that I'm wondering about.

    Should my pool equipment have its own line directly to the breaker? it currently has a GFCI outlet between it and the breaker panel. Perhaps this was the GFCI protection they intended on having?

    Also, the wiring appears to be running through WHITE PVC pipes. My electrician indicated that these are PVC pipes for water use as opposed to the grey ones he uses.

    Finally, the wires running through the pipe ending up in the area of my pool equipment was very sloppily connected in what looks like a tiny junction box on the floor. The problem is that the opening is facing UP to the sky, and the cover on it was totally loose that we could open it by gently touching it. Inside it were the exposed wires AND all sorts of leaves, spider webs and dirt. This can't be good right?

    Is it best to just route all new dedicated lines from the breaker panel to the pool equipment? I would get all new conduit and of course, a GFCI breaker switch.

    Is it best to replace the very old looking pump that still seems to leak a tiny bit at the filter flange when my filter pressure is close to 30 psi?
    My electrician says that either the wiring OR the pump is causing the GFCI switch to trip.

    It's gonna cost around $1500 to create the new lines, as he said he would do it correctly and hidden (he was going to dig up planters and stuff so the conduit was hidden as much as possible).

    In the meantime, he suggested that I never swim in the pool unless i switch off the breaker for the pool equipment. Is this necessary?

    Thanks in advance for your advice. I'm gonna be a sponsor for this site right away. You all have saved me tons of money and likely protected me and my family from problems.
    16,250 Gallons, IG Plaster; Pentair Clean & Clear CC100 Cartridge Filter with WhisperFlo Pump;
    Pool install 1980's; TF-100 Test Kit; Stage 2 California drought restrictions

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    Re: Bad Wiring and New Pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocketfish View Post
    My new home problems just keep multiplying.

    I was on this forum reading about GFCI requirements and found out that as of 2009, it was required that pool equipment be wired directly to a GFCI breaker switch. This is true right? Generally all pool equipment except low voltage lights must be protected by a GFCI. In your case using an outlet GFCI is preferred because the breaker is remote.

    In inspecting my pool equipment, I found what appeared to be adequate bonding wires, but NO GFCI breaker at the panel. My electrician installed the GFCI breaker and the thing will not turn on, because it keeps tripping. Well, we followed the line and found out a couple of things that I'm wondering about. A GFCI breaker is not required.

    Should my pool equipment have its own line directly to the breaker? it currently has a GFCI outlet between it and the breaker panel. Perhaps this was the GFCI protection they intended on having? Yep. And in your case it is probably better. Anyway Best Practices is to run a line from the main panel to a subpanel witch acts as a maintenance disconnect. Does the pump plug in or is it hard wired?

    Also, the wiring appears to be running through WHITE PVC pipes. My electrician indicated that these are PVC pipes for water use as opposed to the grey ones he uses. That is correct. When was this pool built ? Did they get a building permit. That would have never passed a OC building inspection.

    Finally, the wires running through the pipe ending up in the area of my pool equipment was very sloppily connected in what looks like a tiny junction box on the floor. The problem is that the opening is facing UP to the sky, and the cover on it was totally loose that we could open it by gently touching it. Inside it were the exposed wires AND all sorts of leaves, spider webs and dirt. This can't be good right? Not Good. Is this the junction box for the lights? Is there a junction box for the lights? Are there lights, how are they controlled?

    Is it best to just route all new dedicated lines from the breaker panel to the pool equipment? I would get all new conduit and of course, a GFCI breaker switch. As I said before run a line from the Main to a subpanel. Then a breaker for the pump, GFCI and another breaker for everything else, non GFCI. You can run lights and everything else off that.

    Is it best to replace the very old looking pump that still seems to leak a tiny bit at the filter flange when my filter pressure is close to 30 psi?
    My electrician says that either the wiring OR the pump is causing the GFCI switch to trip. Or the daisy chained GFCI. Take the pump in to a shop, have them bench test it.

    It's gonna cost around $1500 to create the new lines, as he said he would do it correctly and hidden (he was going to dig up planters and stuff so the conduit was hidden as much as possible).

    In the meantime, he suggested that I never swim in the pool unless i switch off the breaker for the pool equipment. Is this necessary? Its not a bad idea until you figure out what is wrong with the GFCI. Because right now you essentially have no GFCI protection.

    Thanks in advance for your advice. I'm gonna be a sponsor for this site right away. You all have saved me tons of money and likely protected me and my family from problems.

    Did the electrician test the Bonding? If not he needs to do that. Here is the test explained for electricians. Swimming Pool Equipotential Bonding [Part 3 of 3, Testing], (28min:39sec) - YouTube


    Finally I'm a bit concerned your electrician is not that famimilar with pool electrical, You should refer him to this: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...tws655OlTlceYQ It will download a PDF File.


    Post some pictures of these problems
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Bad Wiring and New Pump?

    Answers below in blue. Got my bronze shield too! Thanks TFP

    Quote Originally Posted by gwegan View Post
    Does the pump plug in or is it hard wired? - It is hard wired.

    When was this pool built ? Did they get a building permit. That would have never passed a OC building inspection. - I was told in the mid 1980's

    Not Good. Is this the junction box for the lights? Is there a junction box for the lights? Are there lights, how are they controlled? - This is not the junction box for the lights. It is a junction box that pops up right next to the pump on the floor. The wiring is solely for the pump and heater, I think. My pool light goes to a separate junction box with an outlet (non GFCI, mind you) which goes to a switch. I am NOT using the lights when i'm in the pool, i'll tell you that for sure.

    Did the electrician test the Bonding? If not he needs to do that. Here is the test explained for electricians. Swimming Pool Equipotential Bonding [Part 3 of 3, Testing], (28min:39sec) - YouTube -
    I will forward this to him right away, THANK YOU.

    Finally I'm a bit concerned your electrician is not that famimilar with pool electrical, You should refer him to this: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...tws655OlTlceYQ It will download a PDF File. -
    He is very good at what he does, general home and building electrical work and is licensed. He DID tell me he is not familiar with pool codes, but this will definitely help. I really appreciate it.


    Post some pictures of these problems - I will try to post some soon but my phone memory is full!
    16,250 Gallons, IG Plaster; Pentair Clean & Clear CC100 Cartridge Filter with WhisperFlo Pump;
    Pool install 1980's; TF-100 Test Kit; Stage 2 California drought restrictions

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    Re: Bad Wiring and New Pump?

    Does the pump plug in or is it hard wired? - It is hard wired. If its hard wired it must be protected by a maintenance disconnect. Like the box your AC condenser comes out of on the side of your house. All pool electrical except the lights must have a maintenance disconnect within sight of the equipment and not more than 50 feet away. Using a subpanel with less that 6 breakers satisfies the maintenance disconnect requirement -- under the "rule of 6."

    When was this pool built ? Did they get a building permit. That would have never passed a OC building inspection. - I was told in the mid 1980's Yea its been DYIed since then

    Not Good. Is this the junction box for the lights? Is there a junction box for the lights? Are there lights, how are they controlled? - This is not the junction box for the lights. It is a junction box that pops up right next to the pump on the floor. The wiring is solely for the pump and heater, I think. My pool light goes to a separate junction box with an outlet (non GFCI, mind you) which goes to a switch. I am NOT using the lights when i'm in the pool, i'll tell you that for sure. Get us a picture of the light junction box. Pool light junction boxes are special, and must be UL listed. They can't have an outlet in them.

    Did the electrician test the Bonding? If not he needs to do that. Here is the test explained for electricians. Swimming Pool Equipotential Bonding [Part 3 of 3, Testing], (28min:39sec) - YouTube - I will forward this to him right away, THANK YOU.

    Finally I'm a bit concerned your electrician is not that famimilar with pool electrical, You should refer him to this: Redirect Notice It will download a PDF File. - He is very good at what he does, general home and building electrical work and is licensed. He DID tell me he is not familiar with pool codes, but this will definitely help. I really appreciate it. With the video and the cheat sheet he should be ok. If he has questions post or PM. The brain trust here can usually figure something out.

    Now go sit by the pool with the family and have some Margaritas.


    Post some pictures of these problems - I will try to post some soon but my phone memory is full!
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Bad Wiring and New Pump?

    Here are pictures of my pool equipment setup. this is a couple of feet away from the pool itself. The pool is BEHIND the wall you see.
    Please see post 7 for photo Zea3

    At the bottom right is the junction box that is just coming out of the floor. My electrician put on new nuts and taped them up temporarily. Prior to this it was just just sitting loosely in the junction box and the lid was so loose that I simply brushed against it and the entire box become uncovered. it was disguised by trash, like old tile and discarded screens. I discovered it when we were trying to figure out my wiring.
    Please see post 7 for photo Zea3

    Here are pictures of my pool light wiring. The first is of a NON-GFCI plug below and the light switch is the top one above. This CAN'T be safe. Based on the conduit, it looks like the line from the breaker comes into the electrical plugs, and from there the on / off switch and pool light.
    IMG_0294.jpgIMG_0295.jpgIMG_0296.jpg

    What are your thoughts on these items? It will cost me $1500 to create a new dedicated line from the breaker to the pool equipment via conduit. I was going to have the electrician make a maintenance disconnect right next to the equipment with a less than 6 breaker box and GFCI breaker. From there it would go to the pump and heater. I previously stated that I thought the line ran from the breaker panel to a GFCI outlet, to the pool equipment. That GFCI outlet is NOT connected to it as I ran the pump, tripped the GFCI outlet, and the pump kept running.

    As for the pool light. Is it simply enough to change that bottom outlet into a GFCI outlet? It will satisfy the code of GFCI outlets close to the pool, but more importantly, the pool light would feed into that. Sound good?
    Last edited by zea3; 07-01-2016 at 04:48 PM. Reason: remove broken links
    16,250 Gallons, IG Plaster; Pentair Clean & Clear CC100 Cartridge Filter with WhisperFlo Pump;
    Pool install 1980's; TF-100 Test Kit; Stage 2 California drought restrictions

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    Re: Bad Wiring and New Pump?

    Your first two pictures in your thread did not post. I've asked a Mod to try and fix them if they can.


    This wiring looks 70s or 80s at the latest.

    The cord from your pool light, whether its 120 or 12 or 15 volts must be in conduit and go directly to a listed pool junction box. Like this: Pentair Junction Box, (3) 3/4 Ports (78310600) - INYOPools.com


    Attachment 51323

    If its 120 volts it must be GFCI protected.

    It wouldn't take much to switch that plug out for a GFCI and protect the light or whatever is downstream.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Bad Wiring and New Pump?

    Gwegan, thank you for your response. How do I tell what the voltage is on the light? Also, are you saying to remove that bottom junction box that has the unprotected outlets and replace with the pentair junction box? Pardon my ignorance but after I did that (assuming one port is the input from the breaker panel, one is for the light, and one goes to the switch), where and how do i put in the GFCI provisions?

    - - - Updated - - -
    I uploaded links instead of pix this time:

    Here are pictures of my pool equipment setup. this is a couple of feet away from the pool itself. The pool is BEHIND the wall you see.


    At the bottom right is the junction box that is just coming out of the floor. My electrician put on new nuts and taped them up temporarily. Prior to this it was just just sitting loosely in the junction box and the lid was so loose that I simply brushed against it and the entire box become uncovered. it was disguised by trash, like old tile and discarded screens. I discovered it when we were trying to figure out my wiring.
    16,250 Gallons, IG Plaster; Pentair Clean & Clear CC100 Cartridge Filter with WhisperFlo Pump;
    Pool install 1980's; TF-100 Test Kit; Stage 2 California drought restrictions

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    Re: Bad Wiring and New Pump?

    That is a pull box and is not designed for splices of any kind.

    A pool junction box must be 8 inches above water level and looks something like this:
    Swimming Pool Junction Boxes - Weatherproof Products

    The light fixture in the hole in the pool wall (called the niche) has a integrated cord that runs to the junction box through conduit. A insulated bond wire also runs through the conduit. The bond wire and the ground ware attach to the ground buss in the junction box. The hot and neutral attache to the hot and neutral from the switch. a ground wire runs from the j box ground buss back theough the swich and GFCI to the circuit breaker in the panel.

    You power should run from your circuit breaker through the gfci outlet to the switch then to the jbox then through the cord to the light.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Bad Wiring and New Pump?

    "That is a pull box and is not designed for splices of any kind."

    WRONG!!!

    It's not a pull box it's a Conduit Outlet Body.

    And Splices are Permitted under certain conditions as defined by NEC 314.16(C)(2)
    60' x 30' IG concrete pool built in 1998. 2 - 2" Suction Line( 2-Skimmers/2-Way Jandy Valve per line); 1 - 3" Suction Line (Floor Drain/ 2-Way Jandy Valve); 1 - 3" Return 8 Floor Outlets; 1 - Pentair IntelliFlo VS Prog Pump 240V/3HP (2013); 2 - Triton TR-140C Sand Filters Tandem Config (2013); 1 - In-line Chlorinator (2015). Misc - Pool Use: May to Sept; Turnovers: 2.5; Pump Operation: 23hrs

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    Re: Bad Wiring and New Pump?

    Ok my post above is technically incorrect on one point. This is a short radius conduit body; most would call it a pull box. A straight conduit body is permitted a limited number of splices if the conduit body is properly labeled and sized. Conduit bodies that are not straight are generally not allowed to have splices. Thats NEC 314.17(C)(3). So the way I read the code there should be no splices here.

    But if the point is that certain conduit bodies are allowed to have splices that's great. But it misses the larger point. Many don't put splices in conduit bodies even when allowed. Pool runs are generally not long so why splice. And my main point is this is not a pool junction box. That needs to be changed (unless there is a junction box downstream). But this box makes no sense.

    Finally, another point is the blue ENT conduit attached to the box. That has very limited uses and this is not one of them.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Bad Wiring and New Pump?

    I appreciate all your advice guys. I really do. I'm going to likely REDO the entire thing so I feel 100% safe.
    16,250 Gallons, IG Plaster; Pentair Clean & Clear CC100 Cartridge Filter with WhisperFlo Pump;
    Pool install 1980's; TF-100 Test Kit; Stage 2 California drought restrictions

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Bad Wiring and New Pump?

    It's not a short radius body .... it's an LB. Stop playing EC.
    60' x 30' IG concrete pool built in 1998. 2 - 2" Suction Line( 2-Skimmers/2-Way Jandy Valve per line); 1 - 3" Suction Line (Floor Drain/ 2-Way Jandy Valve); 1 - 3" Return 8 Floor Outlets; 1 - Pentair IntelliFlo VS Prog Pump 240V/3HP (2013); 2 - Triton TR-140C Sand Filters Tandem Config (2013); 1 - In-line Chlorinator (2015). Misc - Pool Use: May to Sept; Turnovers: 2.5; Pump Operation: 23hrs

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