Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Grounding Pump....Tripping Breaker...I'm not an electrician

  1. Back To Top    #1
    buddywiser's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    98

    Grounding Pump....Tripping Breaker...I'm not an electrician

    and I didn't sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night either Anyway, we just had a Heat Siphon (heat pump) installed and the installer told us he recommends grounding the heater to a copper rod. He also mentioned that the pump (Jacuzzi) could also be grounded to the same rod. The pump is probably 10 years old and has never been grounded. The metal clip to attach the wire on the pump is pretty rusted and I can't even get it off to replace it. So I banged an 8 ft rod into the ground and attached the heater with #6 copper wire. Same for the pump, except I wrapped the wire around the metal clip because I can't loosen the screw to insert the wire through. But it tripped the breaker in the house (from the pump). The heat pump seems to be okay. I started it back up again without the ground wire attached and everything is fine. I then touched the ground wire to the metal clip while it was running and it tripped the breaker again.

    Any ideas?
    24000 Gal, 18x36 Vinyl
    Hayward Super Pump
    Jacuzzi Tri Clops Cartridge Filter
    Heat Siphon Heat Pump

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    217

    heat siphon heat pump

    Hi buddywiser
    This is a funny thing. I just installed a Heat Siphon heat pump and I had the same problem. Turns out The heat siphon runs on 220v 2 hot wires (no neutral) and ground. If you look you have a neutral wire someplace running to ground on the heat siphon pump. In my case I did this at the ground fault breaker running the ground wire to the breaker instead of the grounding bar. the white wire from the ground fault breaker goes to neutral bar. Just remember thar is no neutral wire going from the box to the pump. Hope this helps if I didnt explain this well we will try again.
    Ric W
    Ric W
    My Pool
    8605 gal fiberglass, 3/4 hp pump, sand filter, aquabot cleaner, heat siphon heat pump, tiger river(sumatran) spa

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    291
    It sounds like you may have a situation where you have different ground potentials. Remember the neutral (or ground) is grounded at or near your breaker box. The spike you drove into the ground at the pool may hae a slightly different potential and that difference may be tripping the ground fault breaker. Generally you are better off to have just one ground point.
    20x40 IG vinyl, heatpump and solar and 3 siberian huskies, 10kw PV solar electric system. Nikon Photographer D800e dSLR.

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW Indiana
    Posts
    9,090
    No reason to attach the wire to a ground rod. The important thing is for the bonding points to be connected to each other and to the remainder of the bonding system: light housing, dive stand, ladders, rails, steel pool walls, slide stands, rebar in the deck. Grounding that wire adds to lightning safety, but leaving it ungrounded reduces the likelihood of some power line accidents sending current through the pool. I'm not in the pool if it even looks like lightning, so I don't mess with the rod.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    217
    hi buddwiser
    John T gave you good info on bonding to earth ground for the pool equipment. Also the pump and your heater must have a separate earth ground then the one used for your breaker box. All this equipment is usually installed to the earth ground pump, heater + what John T said. This is Article 680 of the national electrical code.

    now your heat pump works fine untill you attach the earth ground lug.
    your heat pump is a 240 vac 2 wire circuit this is a standard circuit for ac compressors.
    the way you have it wired right now is you have the neutral wired to the ground wire on the heat pump. The neutral is not a ground the heat pump thinks it is because thats how you have it hooked up.
    How should I hook up the heat pump??
    you have 2 wire with ground cable. The 2 plastic coated cables are load lines they each go to the load terminals on your breaker. there is no more wires coming from the heat pump to the breaker. the green wire from the heat pump is hooked to the bare wire(ground) and goes to the breaker box by passing the breaker and straight to the grounding bar in the breaker box. do not hook your ground to the breaker at the neutral lug remember the ground wire goes straight to the grounding bar and not to the neutral on the breaker. I hope this helps If you look at your ac compressor for your house this is how they install them. It is 2 wire with ground and no neutral.
    Ric W
    My Pool
    8605 gal fiberglass, 3/4 hp pump, sand filter, aquabot cleaner, heat siphon heat pump, tiger river(sumatran) spa

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    291
    That does not sound correct. If you open up your electrical panel you will see the the ground wires and the wite neutral wires are all tied together. The ground wire in a 120v circuit is really just a redundant neutral to protect if the neutral fails - as they are all tied together.

    The point I was making is that with GFI circuits in particular you need to be careful that there is no potential difference between the ground and the neutral - if their is it will trip. When you install a ground spike a great distance from the main panel you will almost always have a potential difference between the two, thus the breaker will trip.

    It is just for this reason that if you have a subpanel the ground and the neutral are not tied together at the subpanel, rather they are run separately back to the main panel.

    You are correct that with 220V you have not neutral perse. You are running power across two hot 110V lines which are 180 degrees out of phase with one another, hence your read an RMS voltage of 220V.
    20x40 IG vinyl, heatpump and solar and 3 siberian huskies, 10kw PV solar electric system. Nikon Photographer D800e dSLR.

  7. Back To Top    #7
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879
    There should be two different "grounds" in a pool system and they should not be connected together. The electrical ground, green wires, should all be connected together and connected to the main electrical panel. The green electrical ground should normally only be connected to a grounding rod in one place, typically at the main panel. There are a few very rare exceptions to this, typically when you have a sub-panel *very* far from the main panel. None of those exceptions should apply in your situation because the pool pump should already be grounded properly and you simply want to hook the heaters ground to the same place the pumps ground is connected.

    The green electrical ground is *not* the same as neutral, particularly when a GFI breaker is involved. Yes, ground and neutral will be connected together at one place at the main panel, but once past the GFI they serve different functions. If a GFI breaker sees ground tied to neutral on the load side it should trip.

    Then there is the bonding wire, which should connect all of the metal parts that might touch the water and should *not* be connected to the electrical ground. The body of the pump and the heat exchanger on the heater should be connected to the bonding wire. This will also connect to the rebar in the concrete or the metal frame of a vinyl pool, often there is a metal mesh in or under the deck, and anything else metal that touches the water.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    291
    Thanks for the further clarification.

    Question about the bonding wire - you state that it should not be connected to electrical ground, but if it connects to the motor body and the motor body is connected to the electrical ground then aren't the bonding wire and electrical ground connected at this point?
    20x40 IG vinyl, heatpump and solar and 3 siberian huskies, 10kw PV solar electric system. Nikon Photographer D800e dSLR.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    217
    well stated JasonLion
    I hope budywiser isnt totally confused would like to here how he is doing. John T and Kirbinster you both know your thoughts cary a lot of weight in my book I hope I didnt step on any toes. How about it budwiser let us know how your comming.
    Ric W
    My Pool
    8605 gal fiberglass, 3/4 hp pump, sand filter, aquabot cleaner, heat siphon heat pump, tiger river(sumatran) spa

  10. Back To Top    #10
    buddywiser's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    98
    LOL!!! I am Soooo confused...
    I'm sitting in a meeting reading this so I can't type much. But, Thanks to ALL for your replies (even though it's way over my head
    I'm still not sure what to do.
    24000 Gal, 18x36 Vinyl
    Hayward Super Pump
    Jacuzzi Tri Clops Cartridge Filter
    Heat Siphon Heat Pump

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW Indiana
    Posts
    9,090
    Quote Originally Posted by kirbinster
    Thanks for the further clarification.

    Question about the bonding wire - you state that it should not be connected to electrical ground, but if it connects to the motor body and the motor body is connected to the electrical ground then aren't the bonding wire and electrical ground connected at this point?
    It is connected to ground via the pump body which, as you say is grounded via the electrical system. That's okay. It's also going to be connected via contact with the earth as well in other places.

    The problems you can get into is when you have multiple electrical grounds on the same circuit, sometimes current can flow in the ground wires or through the earth. You don't want that. To clarify one thing, Canada requires the bond wire to be grounded via electrode; The US specifically says it doesn't have to be. The main reason is the increased likelihood of stray voltage with the extra ground. If your neighbor is putting up a TV antenna or using a backhoe and it hits a power transmission line, you are safer with less grounding. If a lightning storm comes up, you are safer with more grounding. I can't control what others do while I'm in the pool, but I can get out if it looks like a storm, so I favor the no ground rod setup. The odds are pretty slim that it will make a difference, but I have heard from people who have had shock issues when touching the sides of the pool that were resolved when they disconnected the bond wire from a ground rod.

    As to the wiring, the neutral and ground are connected at the main breaker panel, but they should not be connected at the subpanel or in the pump or heater. If they were connected, half of the neutral current would flow in the ground wire. Once again, that's a bad thing. If you do connect them, it will trip a GFCI breaker.

    To clarify the reason for the bonding system: If everything that a swimmer can touch is at the same voltage, they cannot be shocked. So if you connect a wire between everything conductive that touches the water or that a swimmer could reach while in the water (or that a bystander could touch while touching the water), everything will be at the same voltage. This remains true even if you drop a hair dryer into the pool or the light fixture fails and exposes the lines directly to the pool water.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW Indiana
    Posts
    9,090
    Quote Originally Posted by ric
    well stated JasonLion
    I hope budywiser isnt totally confused would like to here how he is doing. John T and Kirbinster you both know your thoughts cary a lot of weight in my book I hope I didnt step on any toes. How about it budwiser let us know how your comming.
    No toes stepped on here. You are dead on with your info. I wouldn't even mind being proven wrong, since it's better on a forum than inside a breaker box.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  13. Back To Top    #13
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879
    The code has some strange wording about connecting the bonding grid to the electrical ground. First they say not to do it, then they say that it will be "incidentally" connected through the pump and through the pool light conduit. The way I interpret it that means that you shouldn't run a wire between the two, but if the pump happens to connect them then that is alright.

    The bonding grid and the electrical ground serve two different purposes. The bonding grid is designed to prevent stray currents from running through the water, while the electrical ground is designed to provide safety in case of a short of one of the hot connectors.

    The bonding grid should not be affected by being wired to the electrical ground, but the electrical ground might be compromised by being connected to the bonding grid. The problem is that if there are stray currents in the ground between the main electrical ground and the pool bonding grid those currents might flow through the electrical ground wire, making the electrical ground wire potentially unsafe. It is possible to use a double insulated pump, which doesn't connect the two.

    The code is something of a black art in my book. There are a lot of situations that can come up that are difficult to anticipate in advance. The code is trying to anticipate all of those situations. Over the years strange situations come up and they revise the code to attempt to cover them. In some cases they make compromises. I suspect that it would be better if the pump didn't connect the electrical ground to the bonding grid, but making pumps that way might have been deemed impractical so perhaps that is why they allowed them to be connected. Really I have no idea. Code says what it says and inspectors are required to enforce the wording, not the intention behind the wording.

    buddywiser, you should have a bonding grid somewhere and the heater and pump should be connected to it. Depending on how your pool was originally installed, I suspect you can find a bonding wire coming out of the ground somewhere in the general area of the pump. If you can't figure that out on your own then you should get a qualified electrician to fix it for you.

    There are all kinds of special rules electrical systems around pools. Not all electricians appear to be aware of all of them. As a practical matter, not all pool equipment gets hooked up correctly and by and large people are not harmed. I wouldn't take that risk, and I don't recommend that you take that risk, but some people do.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    291
    JohnT - very good explanation. I am wondering about the last part about not getting zapped if you drop a hair dryer. Why would that be the case as the hot wire in the hairdryer is 110-120V higher than the ground/bond?
    20x40 IG vinyl, heatpump and solar and 3 siberian huskies, 10kw PV solar electric system. Nikon Photographer D800e dSLR.

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    217
    so sory we confused you buddywiser I thought it was headed that way. Your installer didnt finish the job. he should have installed the earth rod and he probably would have known the problem right away. i will suggest to call him back to explain what is going on the best you can. You need a electrion or a hvac person. Please dont shy away from asking questions this is what forums are for.
    Ric W
    My Pool
    8605 gal fiberglass, 3/4 hp pump, sand filter, aquabot cleaner, heat siphon heat pump, tiger river(sumatran) spa

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW Indiana
    Posts
    9,090
    Quote Originally Posted by kirbinster
    JohnT - very good explanation. I am wondering about the last part about not getting zapped if you drop a hair dryer. Why would that be the case as the hot wire in the hairdryer is 110-120V higher than the ground/bond?
    Because the pool is safe at either ground (whatever voltage that happens to be) or 120V because you would have to also be in contact with something at another potential at the same time. Since everything you can touch is forced by the bond wire to be at the same potential, no current flow. It is possible for there to be be localized current flow because of the resistance of the water, but the chances of dangerous current are way lower than if you had a hand rail at ground and an appliance fell in the pool. The reason is the current flows everywhere, not just through you because you are touching a handrail. In reality, the GFCI would trip.

    It is very similar to being in a car and having a power line fall on it. You are safe until you touch the ground and the door at the same time.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  17. Back To Top    #17
    buddywiser's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    98
    You guys are great to take time to offer up all that info. I've had some time to read through and it's starting to make more sense. The Intro to Bonding was especially helpful as I'm a new pool owner and had no idea about this. The poll itself is 10 yrs old and I don't think the pump was ever connected to the bond. Which makes me believe that there are probably many pools out there with heaters and pumps that are not. What I'm going to do is remove the wire from the heater to the rod and ditch that alltogether. Then I'm going to look for a wire near the pump area that could possibly be the bonding wire. If I feel that I need to call an electrician, it'll probably be something other than the installer, since I'm not quite sure what he knows about bonding either. Frankly, I'm not too confident I'll find a wire for bonding since the pump was never connected anyway. Thanks again for all of your help!
    24000 Gal, 18x36 Vinyl
    Hayward Super Pump
    Jacuzzi Tri Clops Cartridge Filter
    Heat Siphon Heat Pump

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    441
    buddywiser,

    Did you ever find the cause of your tripping circuit breaker?

    Titanium
    24,000 gallon inground freeform pool/spa circa 1983 (113 ft perimeter, 625 sq ft) with 350 gallon attached spill-over spa
    2007 2 HP, three-phase Hayward TriStar pump which is powered by an Ikeric VS-200 variable speed drive system
    1983 Laars XE Pool/Spa Heater Type ES 400,000 BTU, 1998 Hayward Super Star-Clear C-4000 cartridge filter (400 sq ft, 4 separate cartridges)
    1998 Polaris 380 pressure-side cleaner w/ 3/4 HP booster pump
    One skimmer :( and one PoolSkim :), One Supervision Galaxy LED pool lamp, Second story solar panels
    Hayward/GoldLine AquaLogic PS4 (replaced 1983 vintage dual circuit Intermatic timer)

Posting Permissions

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