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Thread: new gfci 20amp breaker tripping on new install of pool pump & other equipment

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    new gfci 20amp breaker tripping on new install of pool pump & other equipment

    I just had a pool company install brand new equipment for our pool, including a new Pentair Intelliflo 2VST pump, new Pentair SWG, Pentair cartridge filter & new Jandy IAqualink 2.0 upgrade for the VS pump.

    When installing the new pump, "per code" he installed a new 20amp GFCI breaker for the pool pump, and already when testing the system the first time the breaker tripped, and he told me to "keep an eye on it, if it keeps tripping", we told him we want him to replace it right away since it doesn't bode well if a brand new breaker/equipment starts tripping the first time he turns it on, which he agreed to do.

    Now after having the system run the scheduled program for just about a day (2 x 4 hrs morning & evening) it tripped again presumably when starting up the pump for the evening program (at least we never saw it run when we were outside, and when I checked the pool equipment around 9pm (2 hrs after start time) pool pump & everything else was off, but the jandy controller was saying that pump & SWG is on, checked the breaker and saw that it had tripped.

    When talking with the installer he says it's a common occurrence with GFCI breakers being too sensitive and "sometimes they trip randomly, sometimes they don't" and that the only thing he can/will do is change the breaker to a non-GFCI breaker and that will fix the problem.

    I called Pentair and asked about it, and he said he hadn't heard about any issue like that on a new pump, and said it could be bad wiring, a bad breaker or a bad "drive" on the pump. Of course the pool guy says there's nothing wrong with his wiring and that he "can't keep replacing GFCIs". We certainly don't want that either, we just want a reliable system that works, especially after spending close to 10k on new pool equipment...

    I'm in the Los Angeles area, and it's in the middle of summer so everything by the pool equipment area is of course completely dry with low humidity.

    Does this sound normal to you guys? For one thing it's code, and apparently he still wants to change it to non-code breakers to "fix the problem" and says that it's not a safety hazard because the motor isn't touching water. I don't know what to do, and he's not giving me any other options. Also not sure if the SWG is on the same breaker and if that would cause a safety hazard even if the pump supposedly wouldn't.
    Last edited by bjornk; 08-17-2016 at 04:11 PM. Reason: dry location
    IG, pebble tech, approx 20k gallons (33x16 free form) with 3ft raised spa approx 1k gallons & waterfall
    Pentair FNS Plus FNSP60 DE filter (broken), 3 Pentair WhisperFlo WFE-8 2HP 1.30SF pumps (2 broken, 1 leaking a bit when starting), MiniMax N7 gas heater (also broken), AquaRite SWG (it or cell not working), AquaLink RS8 Control, Dolphin Z5 cleaner, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: new gfci 20amp breaker tripping on new install of pool pump & other equipment

    So some initial thoughts.

    First, I would make sure the breaker is a Siemens GFCI breaker with a minimum 6 milliamp rating. That is what Pentair recommends.

    Second, if that does not work I would check all the connections between the pump and the breaker, they all should be snug and tight.

    Third, I would check the motor control and then the motor itself. Its always possible the pump is bad out of the box.

    Why when the GFCI trips do we always assume it the protection device and not a fault?

    Finally, Yes, a GFCI is required by code. I doubt you got a building permit (almost certainly required in Fullerton) but a GFCI is still required.
    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: new gfci 20amp breaker tripping on new install of pool pump & other equipment

    Pentair provides a specially made relay breaker to work specifically with these intelliflo pumps. It resolves that issue you are experiencing


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    Re: new gfci 20amp breaker tripping on new install of pool pump & other equipment

    +1 to gwegan, common problem with VS pumps and Gfci breakers. I deal with it constantly. Pentair actually makes their own breaker now that's not so sensitive because of this problem.

    "the motor isn't touching water" ?????? What are you pumping? Air? Last time I checked pool pumps pump water and when the seal goes guess what the motor is going to touch not to mention the metal impeller screw threaded into the motors shaft........ Gotta love electricians!

    GL!

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    Re: new gfci 20amp breaker tripping on new install of pool pump & other equipment

    Thanks for the replies! I checked the jandy panel but I don't see any brand name on the breaker, I took a couple of pictures in case you can decipher if this is a Siemens or Pentair breaker. Going by the label at the top it says "2 pole E-45310 Issue NO AD-287 120/240V 60Hz Class A CU/AL8-14 LR 33607", searching for those numbers I get Eaton or maybe Cutler & Hammer which look very similar.

    I'm also including a picture of the entire panel if you think it looks OK, looks fairly clean to me but I don't know if it's done properly.

    How do I check the motor control and motor? It's of course also a concern that it might not be the breaker that's the problem, and if it's the pump it's of course an even bigger issue since it's brand new.
    Like I said in the original post, other than the times it tripped, the pump seems to run OK, priming and then lowering RPM to what's set in the iaqualink program, and the control panel on the pump is disabled since it's connected to the iaqualink.

    pyrotiger: Do you have a model nr / link to the Pentair relay breaker that you're referring to? I tried a google search but can't find it.

    JoelFitz: Yeah that answer didn't sit right with me either. A pool pump certainly handles plenty of water, and if something goes wrong...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    IG, pebble tech, approx 20k gallons (33x16 free form) with 3ft raised spa approx 1k gallons & waterfall
    Pentair FNS Plus FNSP60 DE filter (broken), 3 Pentair WhisperFlo WFE-8 2HP 1.30SF pumps (2 broken, 1 leaking a bit when starting), MiniMax N7 gas heater (also broken), AquaRite SWG (it or cell not working), AquaLink RS8 Control, Dolphin Z5 cleaner, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: new gfci 20amp breaker tripping on new install of pool pump & other equipment

    Looking name up, I see u have two wires hooked into that breaker. Did removing one set help if u attempted that?


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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: new gfci 20amp breaker tripping on new install of pool pump & other equipment

    This is the Pentair that is in my panel.. And.. my understanding is that NO other items are supposed to be on this one CB.

    My Pentair CB looks like this ... http://www.backyardpoolsuperstore.co...FYU1aQodaewCYg

    Jim R
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    Re: new gfci 20amp breaker tripping on new install of pool pump & other equipment

    pyrotiger: the other set of wires goes to the SWG, or so I assume. I don't know if the SWG is supposed to be on a separate breaker or not. From the manual for the Intelliflo "The pump should be permanently connected to either a circuit breaker, 2-pole timer or 2-pole relay. Note: If AC power is supplied by a GFCI circuit breaker, the pump should be wired on its own independent circuit unless the pump is operated in tandem with a Pentair salt chlorine generator."
    Haven't tried removing any of the cables, nor have I had any more random trippings of the breaker, but it's just been one day since it tripped. Have tried turning on/off pool lights and spa lights to see if that might have been what tripped it, but everything ran fine when I tested.
    IG, pebble tech, approx 20k gallons (33x16 free form) with 3ft raised spa approx 1k gallons & waterfall
    Pentair FNS Plus FNSP60 DE filter (broken), 3 Pentair WhisperFlo WFE-8 2HP 1.30SF pumps (2 broken, 1 leaking a bit when starting), MiniMax N7 gas heater (also broken), AquaRite SWG (it or cell not working), AquaLink RS8 Control, Dolphin Z5 cleaner, TF-100 test kit

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