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Thread: Installing pool timer. GFCI or no?

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Installing pool timer. GFCI or no?

    I have two 2 pole 20 amp breakers that go to my pump pad, one for the SWG, and one that is labelled pump; and a single pole 20 amp GFCI that goes to the pool light. I just ordered an intermatic timer to save me a ton of money on my electric bill, literally $90-106 per month by my math. Anyway, my question is about GFCI requirments to the pad. This pool is about 6 years old, the pad is 10+ plus feet from the pool, and everything is direct wired. I have found conflicting opinions/requirements about whether a GFCI is required in this installation. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I realize GFCI is probably better either way. I'm just trying to figure out if it is required per code.

    On another note, when it comes time to wire the timer, does anyone see a problem with swapping the booster pump and SWG breaker? To me it makes more sense to have the SWG and main pump on one breaker, and the booster pump on its own breaker. At a later date I'm thinking about putting in either a mechanical timer or a timing relay to control the booster pump. That way I can hit the button, it will run for the allotted time, and shut off so I'm not paying for it to run in case I forget about it.
    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Installing pool timer. GFCI or no?

    The most recent versions of the code require GFCI, but the older version list it as optional when everything is hard wired. Different areas adopt the newer versions of the code at different times, so I have no idea what version your area currently uses. GFCI is a good idea in any case, required or not.

    Putting the SWG on the same circuit as the pump, so it is only on when the pump is on is a very good idea.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Installing pool timer. GFCI or no?

    Thanks. So, one circuit for the main pump and SWG, and another for the booster. Right now they just have a fusible disconnect on each pump, and the SWG relies on the low flow switch to cut power if you shut the main pump off. I'll take them beyond that silliness. I still need to verify that one breaker is running both pumps. That's how it is labelled, but that seems like a pretty heavy load on one circuit with virtual no load on the SWG circuit. I don't know why they didn't run a single 30 amp service out there and be done with it. Maybe that violates some code. I'm pretty good with electrical stuff, it's just better to have verification when it's your *** on the line.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: Installing pool timer. GFCI or no?

    You want to make sure that the booster pump can only come on when the main pump is on.

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Installing pool timer. GFCI or no?

    Right now it only has a pull out style disconnect on it. After I get the timer wired in I'm gonna put some kind of timing relay on the booster pump. I'll have the coil energized with the main pump to act as an interlock to keep it from running when the main pump isn't running. Then I can just hit a button and it will run for however long I set the timer for.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: Installing pool timer. GFCI or no?

    You could use a dual timer.

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Installing pool timer. GFCI or no?

    All of those I've seen were around $200. I got a single timer for $50 shipped. I don't need the booster on a set schedule anyway. I only use it once or twice a week.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Installing pool timer. GFCI or no?

    Ok. Here's the breaker test results. One breaker controls the main pump. The other breaker controls the SWG and the booster pump. As the warden on Cool Hand Luke said: "Some people you just can't reach." Guess I'll be swapping a couple wires when I install the timer.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Installing pool timer. GFCI or no?

    The issue with the booster pump is that you never want the booster pump running when the main pump is not running. As long as you take care of that manually you will be fine (after switching the SWG over to the pump circuit).
    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

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Installing pool timer. GFCI or no?

    I got that part. I just love the tinkering and automating. If it was cheaper and feasible I would put a pressure switch on the intake of the booster pump so if the main pump locked up, it would shut down the booster pump immediately instead of waiting however long it would take to blow the fuses. I guess that's a moot point because in a locked rotor situation they should fail very quickly. I used to work for an electrical supply house. I got to play around wiring motor starters and stuff, so I find it fascinating. Like building your own personal electrical Frankenstein's monster. On a bright note, I just found these in my garage. Now I just have to figure out how to wire them. Never wired a 240v GFCI before.



    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: Installing pool timer. GFCI or no?

    I re-did my shed breaker box a couple years ago, and I have my 240V pump on a 20 amp GFCI breaker (GE breakers - that GFCI breaker was about $100). I do have a 120V 20amp outlet out there also, and that is a GFCI outlet ( and fed from a different breaker box than the pump).
    16x32 IG 19,000 gallons, Pentair 1.5 hp Energy Efficient Superflo pump (348024),vinyl liner, Chlorine dispenser, Hayward S-244T sand filter

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Installing pool timer. GFCI or no?

    I had seen that they weren't exactly cheap breakers. I'm glad to found them while I was chasing down brown recluses in the garage. I got the wiring figured out. Not too difficult. I was running on adrenaline and alcohol at the time so I wasn't thinking the wiring through completely.
    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Installing pool timer. GFCI or no?

    I got my timer in, and just got the pump and SWG switched over to it. Now I need to do some fine tuning with my run time and % on the SWG, and get my GFCI breakers put in.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Installing pool timer. GFCI or no?

    Looks like you're well on your way. Like Jason said, some area's codes require GFCI, some don't. If you have the choice and the ability to do so, go GFCI throughout. At a minimum, the circuit the pool light is on should ALWAYS be GFCI for safety and you've got that.
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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Installing pool timer. GFCI or no?

    The light is GFCI. There are two GFCI breakers in the garage. We just bought the place, so I'm not sure what they are for. I do know where I'm gonna put them.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Installing pool timer. GFCI or no?

    Timer and check valve are installed and functional. I still have to mess with my pump run times. I may just end up with a 10 hr run time during the day. I was trying to give it a break in the middle of the day to keep run time down without the pool getting dirty.

    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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