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Thread: Gfci breaker tripping

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    Gfci breaker tripping

    Brand new pool been running on standard 20 amp breaker. Now that deck is complete I finished up the wiring and installed a GFCI breaker but it trips as soon as the pump is turned on. Checked all connections and seems to be fine. Do all connections have to be taped? Does the pump have to be connected to a grounding rid, I see a ground lug on the motor?
    400,000 Litre in ground infinity pool, with 40,000 litre holding tank (116 235.703 04 gallon). Vinyl liner.
    Two Astralpool Cantabric sand filters, 900mm diameter, each with 550kg of sand.
    Two ESI MP6 1.5kw 3 phase pumps.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Gfci breaker tripping

    It's not uncommon for GFCI's to go bad. However it's best to assume the pump is causing it and go from there. If you have a spare GFCI you can replace it and try it out.
    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
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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Gfci breaker tripping

    A GFCI trip means that some of the current is 'leaking' from the energized part of the circuit or motor. In other words, some of the electricity that is going out to the motor is not coming back. This is a potentially dangerous situation, which the GFCI is designed to intercept, and yours is doing it's job.
    SOMETIMES, it may be a bad GFCI tripping w/o cause, but is more likely that there is a wiring problem.

    All connections do not necessarily need to be taped, but all should be made with approved wire connectors, and within approved enclosures.

    The pump should be connected to your pools' bonding grid (which is different from a ground connection).

    Tell us a bit more about your installation. Got pics?
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    Re: Gfci breaker tripping

    I'll get pics tomorrow. Everything is run in cpvc with approved connections. I've pretty experienced with residential wiring but not with the "bonding grid". Should I expect that the new pump motor could have a short?
    400,000 Litre in ground infinity pool, with 40,000 litre holding tank (116 235.703 04 gallon). Vinyl liner.
    Two Astralpool Cantabric sand filters, 900mm diameter, each with 550kg of sand.
    Two ESI MP6 1.5kw 3 phase pumps.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Gfci breaker tripping

    If it's a 220 breaker, the wiring on them isn't intuitive on a sub panel.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Gfci breaker tripping

    I missed the part that it was a new installation. I thought it had been running a while. It's most probably faulty wiring or equipment.
    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: Gfci breaker tripping

    It's a single pole, 20 amp, 110 breaker and has been running fine on a standard breaker for about 3 weeks. If it is a wiring problem then I would expect its something specific to the pool pump as I've been wiring for about 25 years.
    400,000 Litre in ground infinity pool, with 40,000 litre holding tank (116 235.703 04 gallon). Vinyl liner.
    Two Astralpool Cantabric sand filters, 900mm diameter, each with 550kg of sand.
    Two ESI MP6 1.5kw 3 phase pumps.

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    Re: Gfci breaker tripping

    If you disconnect the wiring from the power source, you should be able to test for continuity from hot to ground. Verify that there is no voltage between hot and ground before testing for continuity.

    Note: Do not do anything you do not feel qualified to do safely.

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Gfci breaker tripping

    Since it's been running OK w/o a GFCI, you can assume that there is not a direct short, or the breaker would have tripped. So you're looking a something like a 5ma+ leakage or a bad GFCI.

    The new motor could have a ground fault, though it's less common on new motors. Older motors, sure, because the insulation tends to degrade over years, and accumulations of oils, dust, ants, oxidation, etc. can allow more and more leakage over time.

    When you have an electrical fault, you kind of have to assume that EVERYTHING can be suspect, and rule out each in turn. Anywhere there is a connection along the wiring path can be faulted, and the wire itself could be cracked/skinned/broken somewhere along the way. (the wiring can be ruled out by bypassing with a temporary run above ground between the GFCI and the motor - just to test).

    If you can rule out everything up to the motor, then the motor is the probable suspect.

    As far as the bonding grid is concerned, it is an interconnection grid designed to keep all wettable components within a given distance from the pool at a single voltage potential to prevent any potential for electric shock from touching two different things, like the water and the ladder for instance. You can do a quick search of the forum using the google search at the very bottom left of each page for the term "equipotential" and probably get a good selection of discussions about it.

    Also, where are you located? The requirements are different in different areas, like US to Canada.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Re: Gfci breaker tripping

    I live in Michigan, and I'm comfortable disconnecting the power and checking for continuity. Will this be able to detect a leak as small as the leak that the gfci is catching? I'll try this tomorrow and will also read up on the interconnection grid as this is something I'm unclear about.
    400,000 Litre in ground infinity pool, with 40,000 litre holding tank (116 235.703 04 gallon). Vinyl liner.
    Two Astralpool Cantabric sand filters, 900mm diameter, each with 550kg of sand.
    Two ESI MP6 1.5kw 3 phase pumps.

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    Re: Gfci breaker tripping

    Most likely, your meter should be able to detect the ground fault if it detects any significant continuity. Another thing you could do is to connect another device, such as a lamp etc. to see if the gfci still trips.

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    Samantha Sabrina's Avatar
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    Re: Gfci breaker tripping

    Another thing you may want to have a look at is the rating on that GFCI outlet, some of those do have a load rating and your pump could be drawing too much current, so the GFCI could be tripping from overload.

    Also, is the one you have intended for outdoor use?

    There are different types depending on the application.
    Samantha

    In the process of building for a 22' Intex Ultra Frame, (completion date up in the air at this point).
    We could not beat our backyard into submission so we "Buried It".

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    Re: Gfci breaker tripping

    Samantha, it's a 20amp twist lock plug and is made for outdoors and is in an outdoor box with an enormous cover since the twist lock plug I so big. I haven't had a chance to look into this since I posted but expect to this weekend.
    400,000 Litre in ground infinity pool, with 40,000 litre holding tank (116 235.703 04 gallon). Vinyl liner.
    Two Astralpool Cantabric sand filters, 900mm diameter, each with 550kg of sand.
    Two ESI MP6 1.5kw 3 phase pumps.

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