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Thread: Pump tripping breaker

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    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Munster, IN
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    Pump tripping breaker

    So I finally got all my plumbing issues fixed after reworking all of the valves and fittings on the suction side of the pump. The pool is running pretty well now but I am running into an issue where every day or two the breaker for the pump is tripping. I have been unable to identify anything in common with when the breaker trips. One behavior that I have found especially strange is when the breaker sometimes trips immediately on startup. Occasionally (maybe 1/4 of the time the breaker trips) it is when I manually turn the switch on, the breaker flips so quickly once you turn power on that if you weren't paying attention you wouldn't even hear the pump begin to start up.

    I've recently replaced the timer (it was doing this before the replacement) and didn't see any obviously frayed or otherwise damaged wires that might be shorting. Is this a sign of an aging pump? It is a Hayward Super Pump and I honestly have no idea how old it is.

    The pump is wired in as 115v and is rated for 18.6 amps at 115v, given the breaker is a 20 amp breaker maybe that 1.4 amp difference between the pump and breaker rating is sometimes exceeded due to an aging breaker? It wouldn't be the end of the world to re-wire the whole thing as its probably the closest thing in the whole house to a circuit breaker but I'd rather not waste a bunch of time and money if its something simple.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Pump tripping breaker

    Can I assume this is a GFCI breaker?

    How old is the breaker?

    Is the pump the only device on this breaker?

    Breakers do age and loose tolerance as they do so. It may be a case where you just need a new breaker.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Pump tripping breaker

    It is a GFCI breaker, I don't know for sure but I'm going to assume its the original breaker so its ~25 years old probably. I've owned the house for less than year so I have no way to know for sure. The pump is the only device on the breaker.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Pump tripping breaker

    Then my first step would be to replace the GFCI breaker. Random tripping is a sign of a breaker past it's prime.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Pump tripping breaker

    Usually you only want a maximum of 75% of the circuit breaker rating to be used continuously. I.E. 15 amp load for a 20amp breaker. This helps with voltage spikes that most motors have on start up. You are pushing the limits of the breaker with the 18.6amp load. If the motor ages some or the breaker starts to wear out then pop goes the breaker. I would check and see what size wire that the circuit has and see if you can upgrade to a 25amp breaker but only if the wire size can handle it. Otherwise I would suggest rewiring the circuit if you plan to keep running the same pump.

    skeeter
    47 yr old(1977) 18,000gal Kidney shaped 38ft long plaster Pool with built-in Spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS3050 Pump, Pentair 48sf DE filter, Raypack RP2100 gas heater. HTH 5-way test kit

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    Re: Pump tripping breaker

    In case it can help someone else in the future... I replaced the breaker as recommended and it hasn't tripped even once since then. Thanks everyone for your help!

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    TFP Guide

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    Re: Pump tripping breaker

    Skeeter is a lil bit off the 18.6 amp rating on your pump is max current draw at locked rotor, so you aren't running at that current all the time. With out doing a running measurement you can only guess at the running current but it's probably in the 13-15 amp range so your 20 amp breaker is fine for that circuit.
    Chuck-
    15x30 Above ground, Pentair Superflo VS, 19" sand filter, TF-100 test kit
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