Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Pump kicking breaker....maybe

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Henderson, TN
    Posts
    218

    Pump kicking breaker....maybe

    Here is the situation. This is on a new install and was put in just in time to cover last winter. So this is the first summer being used. My pump had been running with no problems since opening. We added some fill dirt around the concrete and that portion of the yard in getting read for sod. Well, it came a flood about 2 weeks ago and washed a lot of the mud around my pump and when I got home, the breaker was kicked off. It would kick off when we tried to turn it on. So I got the mud away from the pump and allowed everything to dry. Then I could turn the breaker on and everything was okay.

    Now, when it rains heavy and any rain gets pooled around the pump, it throws the breaker. The power is run to and connects to the pump via conduit. So I figure that maybe some water is getting the conduit on the low side where the pump is and throwing the breaker. So I went out a few days ago and put some silicone around the connection of the conduit and pump. It hasn't really rained since. BUT....I get up this morning to turn my pump on and it kicks the breaker. It didn't even rain last night (that I know of). I am really confused here. The pump is completely sealed, correct? Could the initial mud have adversely affected the pump in any way?

    I guess my next question is should I call the pool installer or my electrician?
    35000 gallons
    Hayward Sand Filter
    Jandy AquaSeries Ei Pure Salt System
    IG
    Vinyl
    Pentair Superflow 1hp

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW Indiana
    Posts
    9,086

    Re: Pump kicking breaker....maybe

    No, the pump is not sealed. They are generally drip-proof, but not sealed to handle sprayed or pooling water. It sounds like you are getting water in the pump or wiring and tripping your GFCI. The conduit is an unlikely source of the problem since the wires should be insulated. Condensation can cause a GFCI to trip as well.

    Maybe a picture of the pump installation might show us something that would help isolate the problem.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Henderson, TN
    Posts
    218

    Re: Pump kicking breaker....maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    No, the pump is not sealed. They are generally drip-proof, but not sealed to handle sprayed or pooling water. It sounds like you are getting water in the pump or wiring and tripping your GFCI. The conduit is an unlikely source of the problem since the wires should be insulated. Condensation can cause a GFCI to trip as well.

    Maybe a picture of the pump installation might show us something that would help isolate the problem.
    Ahhh...okay. I was under the impression the pump was totally sealed. That may be the problem. I will snap a picture tonight and post it up. I personally think that after adding the dirt and sod, the pump needs to be sitting higher than it is now. I know it would be a pain, but should I consider re-plumbing the lines (the ones to the pump that are visible and not buried) and sitting the pump on some pavers to raise the height? This would potentially alleviate the problem for good. I know you will see it more clearly when I take the pictures, so I'll get them tonight.
    35000 gallons
    Hayward Sand Filter
    Jandy AquaSeries Ei Pure Salt System
    IG
    Vinyl
    Pentair Superflow 1hp

  4. Back To Top    #4

    TFP Guide

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    western NY
    Posts
    1,557

    Re: Pump kicking breaker....maybe

    Is the breaker a GFCI type or is it a standard overcurrent breaker? How is the wire ran out to the pump/motor? Is it direct burial or is it single wire conductors in conduit? As long as the motor is not under water it should be OK. If you are comfortable working with electric, open the cover on the end of the motor and inspect it for dirt, moisture, etc. If the connection points are dirty/wet then it will cause the GFCI to trip.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Henderson, TN
    Posts
    218

    Re: Pump kicking breaker....maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by danpik
    Is the breaker a GFCI type or is it a standard overcurrent breaker? How is the wire ran out to the pump/motor? Is it direct burial or is it single wire conductors in conduit? As long as the motor is not under water it should be OK. If you are comfortable working with electric, open the cover on the end of the motor and inspect it for dirt, moisture, etc. If the connection points are dirty/wet then it will cause the GFCI to trip.
    I'm fairly certain it is GFCI, because it has the little yellow reset button under the on/off switch. The wire is ran via condiut (the grey flex stuff). The motor is not under water at the moment, but the day it came the flood and the mud and stuff washed around it, it definitely received quite a bit. I can open the cover and check it out no problem. I would be almost certain there is dirt in there after that mess a couple of weeks ago. I'll look at that tonight and see what I find.

    Thanks for the suggestions so far guys.
    35000 gallons
    Hayward Sand Filter
    Jandy AquaSeries Ei Pure Salt System
    IG
    Vinyl
    Pentair Superflow 1hp

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Milford, CT
    Posts
    333

    Re: Pump kicking breaker....maybe

    As a test you could probably disconnect wiring from the pump and wire in a receptacle instead and see if the breaker trips once you plug something in and turn it on.

    I tracked a similar issue once for literally 3 seasons. It wouldnt trip the GFCI breaker (in my panel, not a GFCI receptacle) right away, and it wasnt just the pump (vacuum, simple desk light, etc all tripped the breaker eventually....sometimes 10 minutes, sometimes 2 hours). Only during the peak of the summer (really hot and humid). Turns out the wire going to the pump was direct burial and had gotten nicked at some point. A patch was made to attempt to fix it, but I guess over the years it corroded enough from being underground that once the humidity got high enough the moisture content of the soil was putting the GFCI just about on the edge of tripping. Fire up a pump (or light, or vacuum) and eventually it leaked enough to trip.

    Since you mention a lot of moisture, its very possible its getting to the incoming line itself and has nothing (technically) to do with the pump. First eliminate the pump as the culprit, then take it from there.
    22K IG vinyl, .5HP Northstar pump, S244T filter, AutoPilot Digital w/SC-48 cell

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Henderson, TN
    Posts
    218

    Re: Pump kicking breaker....maybe

    Okay, I haven't gotten the pictures loaded yet but I'll tell you what I found. I took the cover off that covers the electrical connection. It was full of dirt and caked with mud at the bottom. I got my air hose and blew off the connections and turned it on...it came on and ran. I turned it back off and blew through the vent holes on the sides and dirt and **** was going everywhere. I did this for a little bit and then turned it back on and it tripped the breaker again. So I'm thinking that's definitely the issue.

    Now my next step is take that motor assembly off and apart and clean that junk out. There is mud in the bottom so there is for sure moisture in there that has to be affecting the connection.

    My question now is....do I have to plug the skimmer and returns to remove the motor? It looks like there is just 4 bolts that hold it to the propellar housing and that's it...other than the ground and electrical connections. It is a Pentair Superflow by the way.
    35000 gallons
    Hayward Sand Filter
    Jandy AquaSeries Ei Pure Salt System
    IG
    Vinyl
    Pentair Superflow 1hp

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Pump kicking breaker....maybe

    I would seriously consider raising the pump up off the ground and changing the plumbing or you very well could be dealing with this multiple times a year if you get serious rains.

    Some pumps you have to remove many more bolts to split the pump in 2 pieces. Then you have to remove the impeller and then you can remove the 4 bolts holding the motor on. In your case you are just trying to get at the motor, so you probably just have to split the pump apart. I have not had to mess with my SuperFlo yet, so not sure if it is the same as my old Haywards.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  9. Back To Top    #9

    TFP Guide

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    western NY
    Posts
    1,557

    Re: Pump kicking breaker....maybe

    Sounds like the problem has been found. Now to get it cleaned out and dry. I have effectivly cleaned dirt from inside motors with distilled water. Obviously they have to be disconnected from the power source. Getting the pump apart to get at the motor and disassemble it is something I can not help you with as I am unfamiliar with that pump. I am sure there is an exploded view of it somewhere on the web that will give you clues about dissassembly
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Henderson, TN
    Posts
    218

    Re: Pump kicking breaker....maybe

    Here is a pic of my pump

    35000 gallons
    Hayward Sand Filter
    Jandy AquaSeries Ei Pure Salt System
    IG
    Vinyl
    Pentair Superflow 1hp

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Pump kicking breaker....maybe

    Oh man. You really need to get that pump higher ... even for better ventilation buffer around it. At least get a large paver (or a few) so it is not sitting on dirt.

    With that much straight pipe above it, raising it should not be too hard ... depending what is to the left of the picture.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Henderson, TN
    Posts
    218

    Re: Pump kicking breaker....maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Oh man. You really need to get that pump higher ... even for better ventilation buffer around it. At least get a large paver (or a few) so it is not sitting on dirt.

    With that much straight pipe above it, raising it should not be too hard ... depending what is to the left of the picture.

    Agreed! Basically, to the left of that pic are the main lines, return, etc...that run out about 3 feet and then 90* down into the ground. They are no higher than what you see leaving the pump. The piping above the pump would be very easy to raise. The lines in the left of the picture would be the biggest issue. That and extending the power which wouldn't be THAT big of an issue either. It looks like I have a small project to get done this weekend....as if I didn't have enough already

    I found a pdf that I printed off on the pump so I know how to disassemble it. Now I just need to plan my attack and get it done!

    I don't guess the height of the pump in reference to the pool water makes any difference, does it? Also, do I just plug the returns and skimmer baskets until I get done? Then prime the pump once it's over and turn it back on from there?
    35000 gallons
    Hayward Sand Filter
    Jandy AquaSeries Ei Pure Salt System
    IG
    Vinyl
    Pentair Superflow 1hp

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Pump kicking breaker....maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by TN94z
    I don't guess the height of the pump in reference to the pool water makes any difference, does it? Also, do I just plug the returns and skimmer baskets until I get done? Then prime the pump once it's over and turn it back on from there?
    A few inches (or even a foot or 2) make no difference for the IG pumps with the height relative to water.

    If the equipment is above the pool level, you should not have to plug anything.

    For the suction line, it is "best" if you dug down and extended the vertical pipe so there was still just one 90 turn to head into the pump. That said, adding 2 90s to jog the pipe up a few inches if you did not want to dig, would work but add a little bit of head loss (not likely a big deal).
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Henderson, TN
    Posts
    218

    Re: Pump kicking breaker....maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    For the suction line, it is "best" if you dug down and extended the vertical pipe so there was still just one 90 turn to head into the pump. That said, adding 2 90s to jog the pipe up a few inches if you did not want to dig, would work but add a little bit of head loss (not likely a big deal).
    That was my biggest concern. The easiest way would be to added another 90, but it's in a spot where I can dig down. I may just do that and extend the pipe. Now I just need to figure a plan on the electrical and I'll be good to go.


    Thanks everyone for all of the help!!! It beats having to pay the pool guy to come out and do it.
    35000 gallons
    Hayward Sand Filter
    Jandy AquaSeries Ei Pure Salt System
    IG
    Vinyl
    Pentair Superflow 1hp

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Henderson, TN
    Posts
    218

    Re: Pump kicking breaker....maybe

    Well, I removed the pump and took it apart as much as possible and cleaned it as much as possible. I could not get into it enough to be able to hand clean everything. So I set the pump out in the sun to dry the mud and then blew it out with an air hose.

    I filled the low area in with dirt and added two 1ft square concrete pads that I then set the pump on. I then re-plumbed the lines and finally got everything hooked up. It has ran great every since.

    Until......last night when it rained. There was no water or mud puddled around the pump this time and the pump didn't show any signs of anything getting into the vent holes. But when I got up this morning and tried to turn it on, it is throwing the breaker again. I guess my next step is to disconnect the wiring from the pump and install a receptacle on the wiring to see if it still throws the breaker??
    35000 gallons
    Hayward Sand Filter
    Jandy AquaSeries Ei Pure Salt System
    IG
    Vinyl
    Pentair Superflow 1hp

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •