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Thread: Fishy Issues with Brand New VS Pump

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    Fishy Issues with Brand New VS Pump

    Hey all, I just had a brand new pool built and have a Pentair Intelliflo VS pump. After running the first week it started to trip the breaker, which was a GFI (excuse my ignorance I don't know much about electrical), so they sent the electrician out who said that they see this all the time, and that after inspection is all done they usually just swap out the GFI breaker with a regular one saying that the GFI breakers are too sensitive for these variable speed pumps (something about the wiring in the pump). Well low and behold today I went to clean out the pump basket, I don't know if this is a coincidence, but after putting the lid back on and starting it up (and bleeding out air from the filter), the pump ran fine for about 20 minutes then shut off .. the breaker isn't tripping, but the pump is now giving an overcurrent error and simply wont start up. Waiting for the warranty guy to come but I'm wondering if the pump was defective and they replaced the breaker for no reason. I feel like the breaker should still be GFI. Obviously it is a requirement for a reason, right?
    14K Freeform Gunite w/60% Blue Quartz plaster, Quad DE filter, Intelliflo VS Pump + Booster for Cleaner, Aquacal Heat Pump

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    Re: Fishy Issues with Brand New VS Pump

    Quote Originally Posted by zethacat View Post
    so they sent the electrician out who said that they see this all the time, and that after inspection is all done they usually just swap out the GFI breaker with a regular one saying that the GFI breakers are too sensitive for these variable speed pumps (something about the wiring in the pump).
    This "myth" is going to get someone seriously hurt or worse someday. GFI's trip for one reason. Current leakage. The current coming back does not equal the current going out.

    Quote Originally Posted by zethacat View Post
    I feel like the breaker should still be GFI. Obviously it is a requirement for a reason, right?
    Yes
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: Fishy Issues with Brand New VS Pump

    Yikes, I just have to second what danpik said. It scares me that there are "electricians" out there this day and age that are that misinformed. If he thought it was a defective GFI he should have replaced it with a working one. If he thought something in the circuit is tripping the GFI you don't just remove the GFI, particularly when there is water involved!

    You are correct that the GFI was required for your pool builder to pass inspection for a reason. That reason is it is a layer of protection to save you from getting shocked in the event something goes wrong.

    I would avoid touching the water or any of the pool equipment while the breaker is on until someone puts that GFI back and your pump is working correctly with it installed. Either you had a defective GFI, or you have a defective pump or wiring that is/was leaking current. Since you are still having pump troubles I know where my guess is going. So possibly the only thing protecting you now is the pump/pool/ground bonding and you are only a single fault from getting shocked.
    20,000gal in-ground 16x36 sentry pools vinyl liner, Pentair sand filter, Pentair minimax NT heater, auto-cover, Polaris 280 cleaner.

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    Mike_W's Avatar
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    Re: Fishy Issues with Brand New VS Pump

    Quote Originally Posted by zethacat View Post
    saying that the GFI breakers are too sensitive for these variable speed pumps (something about the wiring in the pump).
    They are partially correct. Some Ground Fault Interrupters (also called "Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters", GFCI) are susceptible to nuisance tripping with variable speed motors and their controllers. However, the correct fix is not to remove this important and legally mandated safety device, but to use the right GFCI breaker. Pentair actually sells breakers that will work with their pumps and not nuisance trip. If the "electrician" is confused by this, have him call Pentair. Here is a link to a Pentair GFCI circuit breaker. Pentair Link

    I can't help you with the actual pump issue, sorry.
    Mike
    ~17' x 34' IG pool with attached spa - 20500 gallons - Gunite with a "pebblesheen"-ish finish
    Jandy iAqualink with iPad and Jandy PDA remote - Pentair IntelliFlo VS 11018 Pump
    AquaRite SWCG - Pentair SMBW 4060 DE Filter - Really Old Raypak heater
    "Wall-E" an Arneson-Hayward Navigator - A couple of Jandy/Zodiac WaterColors LED Lights - Blue-White F-1000 Flow meter

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    Re: Fishy Issues with Brand New VS Pump

    The pump eventually started working again. I think something may have been stuck in the impeller and eventually made it's way out. Now the pump is running solid, but I have sent an e-mail to PB requesting that the correct GFCI breaker be installed. The Pentair warranty guy is still scheduled to come check it all out and I will mention to him about the breaker issue.
    14K Freeform Gunite w/60% Blue Quartz plaster, Quad DE filter, Intelliflo VS Pump + Booster for Cleaner, Aquacal Heat Pump

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    Re: Fishy Issues with Brand New VS Pump

    Those breakers are for specific breaker panels. They will not fit into every application.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
    Certified in Hydraulics

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    Re: Fishy Issues with Brand New VS Pump

    Well, let's hope it fits in mine. I've got it sitting in front of me. Just waiting on the electrician to come install it.
    14K Freeform Gunite w/60% Blue Quartz plaster, Quad DE filter, Intelliflo VS Pump + Booster for Cleaner, Aquacal Heat Pump

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    Re: Fishy Issues with Brand New VS Pump

    The manual for my pump specifically calls for the part # I have (PA220GF), so I'm sure it will be fine.
    14K Freeform Gunite w/60% Blue Quartz plaster, Quad DE filter, Intelliflo VS Pump + Booster for Cleaner, Aquacal Heat Pump

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