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Thread: GFCI Best practice

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    GFCI Best practice

    I just purchased a home with an in-ground pool and trying to assess the electrical.

    The cleaner booster pump had a broken bonding wire (which I replaced).

    I have added a Hayward SWG.

    Nowhere in the system can I find any GFCI protection.

    My main concern is there are several 120V outlets around the yard including some within about 8ft of the pool which as far as I can tell are not protected.

    The pool panel is fed via a 60A double-pole breaker in the main electrical panel.

    In the pool panel, I have a 30A DP breaker feeding the filter pump, booster pump and SWG (via mechanical timers). Separate 40A DP breaker for the heat pump. Single pole breaker for pool lights (via 12V isolating transformer). A 20A DP breaker feeding a 240V outlet inside the house (I believe the PO had a tanning bed inside) and a 20A single pole breaker feeding the yard outlets.

    I NEED to protect the yard outlets with GFCI but my question is, would it be preferable to just replace the main 60A breaker with a GFCI thereby protecting the whole panel? The difference between the 20A & 60A GFCI is about $30.

    Thanks
    Chris Hawkins

    18,000 gallon vinyl Inground. Hayward Goldline Aquarite 40k SWG, Pentair Intelliflo VS pump.
    Polaris 3900 cleaner, Pentair Tagelus sand filter. AquaPro 1300 heat pump. TF-100

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: GFCI Best practice

    No, you can't have a GFCI breaker feeding a sub-panel. It would trip all the time.

    All breakers feeding equipment that contacts the water, plus the lights circuit, plus any outdoor outlets are supposed to be GFCI these days.
    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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    Re: GFCI Best practice

    Quote Originally Posted by chawkins99 View Post
    A 20A DP breaker feeding a 240V outlet inside the house (I believe the PO had a tanning bed inside)

    Thanks
    This is also a bit of a grey area as to a code violation. Some inspectors will fail an inspection on this and others will allow it. The premise is, that a structure can not be fed from two different sources. IE, two different panels. However, since it is all derived from the same originating panel some will allow it. I would not loose sleep over it, just be aware of it. Put the yard outlets onto GFCI breakers or find the first one in the string and put a GFCI there. I would be more comfortable with the breaker as it will also protect the wire to the first receptacle in the string where as a gfci receptacle will not start the protection until that device. The pool light transformer also has to be on a GFCI protected circuit
    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: GFCI Best practice

    I might be wrong on this but the multiple sources has to do with the power (ultility) supply to the building not the way that branch circuits are ran after that. The rule is there so that if the house catches on fire the fire department can yank the meter and the power will die to the house.
    20X40 30,000 gallon gunite pool

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    Re: GFCI Best practice

    Quote Originally Posted by racket View Post
    I might be wrong on this but the multiple sources has to do with the power (ultility) supply to the building not the way that branch circuits are ran after that. The rule is there so that if the house catches on fire the fire department can yank the meter and the power will die to the house.
    That is why I indicated that this is a grey area. The NEC does not control the utilities as far as codes go. I will have to look up the code section when I get a chance but, depending on how it is interpreted some inspectors call it out and others don't
    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: GFCI Best practice

    Thanks guys.
    I figured putting a GFCI on the 60A breaker would be bad, hence the original question. Plus it would make troubleshooting problematic.
    My first task is to protect the yard outlets with a GFCI breaker. That was my main concern.
    I'm still trying to make sense of the house wiring. It has solar panels and a whole house backup generator so I have three power sources. I'm not sure yanking the meter would kill power.
    There are four electrical panels including the pool panel.
    I'm not using the 240V inside and may remove it completely.
    Chris Hawkins

    18,000 gallon vinyl Inground. Hayward Goldline Aquarite 40k SWG, Pentair Intelliflo VS pump.
    Polaris 3900 cleaner, Pentair Tagelus sand filter. AquaPro 1300 heat pump. TF-100

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    Re: GFCI Best practice

    Sounds like a cool setup once you get it all figured out.
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    Re: GFCI Best practice

    60 amps, why so high? Before you change the breaker, check the wire size coming off the existing breaker. For 60 amps you need at least 6 gauge wire. If the existing wire is not 6 gauge or bigger, you need to figure out what size is there and install the correct breaker. Using an under sized wire is just asking for a fire in the event of an over load.

    14 awg = 15 amps
    12 awg = 20 amps
    10 awg = 30 amps
    8 awg = 40 amps
    Steve
    32 X 16 inground, 17260 gallons, Vinyl Liner, Triton II TR-60 filter,
    Sta-Rite 1hp pump Model #MPRA6E-147L, CircuPool SI-30 Plus SWG, TF-100 Test Kit

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: GFCI Best practice

    60 amps is very common for a pool sub-panel.
    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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