Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 35

Thread: GFCI won't reset

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Gilbert
    Posts
    54

    GFCI won't reset

    The GFCI on the side of the pool panel won't reset. This GFCI appears to be connected to the pool light. This doesn't seem to affect the pool light operation, however I noticed I have had to change the pool light more frequently than I should. I have changed it 4 times in 12 years. This is a lot considering it very, very, very rarely gets used at night. This GFCI had not operate for a few years now but I figure I need to get it fixed. I also noticed that the grounding block on the pool panel box, is heavily covered with a white hard scale. Is there a way to clean this scale out? Could this be affecting the GFCI operation?
    If the GFCI is tripped I would expect for the light not to work unless is not working at all, thus the reason I am not able to reset it? I am not able to push the Test button in however, I am able to push the reset button with ease.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    borjis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Pacific NW
    Posts
    2,609

    Re: GFCI won't reset

    Your talking about a GFCI breaker correct?

    Has it ever worked?

    Are you sure it is the ground block and not a common bus? - are there white, or green / bare copper wires going to it?
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
    (1.5 HP motor) Raypak PR266AEN (266k btu) gas heater. TF-100 Test Kit.
    Dolphin E10 Cleaning Robot.

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Bedford, TX
    Posts
    9,274

    Re: GFCI won't reset

    EBD,

    In a lot of cases the electrician will use the back side of a GFCI outlet to provide the required GFCI protection for the pool light.

    I can't think of any scenario where the GFCI outlet could possibly cause a pool light to have premature failures.

    When you say your "grounding block" is corroded, is this inside the panel? And if so, does it have white wires going to it or does it have green or bare copper wires going to it?

    Is your panel "bonded"? It should have one or two bare copper wires connected to clamp like device most likely outside under the bottom of the panel.

    Corrosion would be more likely to cause a GFCI to trip than to prevent if from tripping.

    If you can't push the test button, you really don't know if the GFCI is working and it should be replaced.

    Thanks for posting,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Gilbert
    Posts
    54

    Re: GFCI won't reset

    Borjis, is not a GFCI breaker. It just connected to the side of the panel and the pool light connects through it. It worked originally when the pool was built. Stopped working long after but since the pool light kept working I didn't worry about it.
    I recently replaced my pool pump motor so while I was in there hooking up wires I decided to take care of things. It might be a common bus. There's so much scaling I can't see the wires end without disconnecting the switch which is in the way. I will look and report back.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Jim, yes it is inside the panel. I see the bonding going from underground and around the pool pump equipment. I will have to remove the light switch to check on the color of the wires. The switch is right above what I called grounding block and it's so scaled with white junk I can't see the wires at all. I will check tonight after removing the switch.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Gilbert
    Posts
    54

    Re: GFCI won't reset

    I checked on that block and all three wires going to it are green so it seems like a grounding block.
    If I plug something on the GFCI receptacle, it gets powered. The black test button just seems frozen. Should I just replace the GFCI?

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Gilbert
    Posts
    54

    Re: GFCI won't reset

    I checked on that block and all three wires going to it are green so it seems like a grounding block.
    If I plug something on the GFCI receptacle, it gets powered. The black test button just seems frozen. Should I just replace the GFCI?

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    2,769

    Re: GFCI won't reset

    Yes you should replace the GFCI receptacle. New GFCIs have an auto test function so they will not even set when there is a fault and self test on a regular basis.

    You should also open your junction box to your light and see if you also have "scale" in there.

    Please post pictures of these conditions. I'm wondering what the scalce is and like Jim I am wondering if your panel is bonded to the pool and we are having a "battery" effect.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  8. Back To Top    #8

    TFP Guide


    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Chandler AZ
    Posts
    1,061

    Re: GFCI won't reset

    Yes - and you may want to clean any scale/corrosion out to the box too. I would think you want to be sure you have good solid connections throughout all electrical connections.

    If you get the new GFCI from one of the big box stores (HE, Lowes, etc.), get the "commercial" grade one, not the elcheapo version.

    I believe the pool light should be wired in downstream of the GFCI. In other words, tripping the GFCI will remove power from the light also.
    Gene
    ​12,300 gal IG play pool - Pebbletec - built 10/1999 || Hayward S360SX 36" sand filter || Hayward Ecostar SP3400 VSP || A&A In-Floor cleaning system || Quik Water Leveler || Quik Dek-clor (limited use)
    TF-100 testkit / Speedstir - A good test kit is not an expense, it's an investment

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Gilbert
    Posts
    54

    Re: GFCI won't reset

    I ended up replacing the GFCI. The screws holding up the wiring were a little rusty and didn't look in good shape. The new one is nicer and have the self testing etc. The good news is that I have a green light on the GFCI indicating it was wired correctly (it is the same wiring as before anyway). Bad news is that pool light is not working. The almost good news is that the GFCI seems to be working correctly because it is still tripped and I am not able to reset it, so the light won't work and the receptacle downstream which was placed closer yet away from the the pool as required by city code is also dead. This is how it used to work before when the GFCI was installed and I didn't have the problem of changing a burned out pool light as frequently. This lead me to the pool light and perhaps water in it. I didn't open it but I flipped it upside down and shook it and although I don't see standing water there are some very, very super tiny drops of water in the glass. Would this be enough to affect it and what could I do to fix it? I don't have a separate junction box. Everything is inside the pool panel in the picture. I don't see any bonding going to the box. It goes from the ground and around the pool pumps.
    As to the grounding block, I just replaced it. Here is a picture of the old one. What is a battery effect and how does it occurr?
    Attachment 58580Attachment 58581

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Bedford, TX
    Posts
    9,274

    Re: GFCI won't reset

    EBD,

    Your automation system should be bonded just like the pumps. The automation enclosure should have a little clamp like device for the bonding wire just like the pumps have. Should be on the outside of the enclosure bottom...

    Good job on replacing the GFCI and the buss bar.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Gilbert
    Posts
    54

    Re: GFCI won't reset

    I don't see a clip or wire underneath the enclosure. I guess I could add one. Anything I should get in particular and does it only needs to be buried?
    Could this cause the battery effect mentioned?

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    2,769

    Re: GFCI won't reset

    Ok I'm going to disagree with Jim here a bit. The NEC is clear that panels and automation systems remote from the pool do not have to be bonded.

    That is in NEC 680.26 (B): "An 8 AWG or larger solid copper bonding conductor provided to reduce voltage gradients in the pool area shall not be required to be extended or attached to remote panelboards, service equipment, or electrodes."

    680.26 (B)(6) lists the electrical parts that must be bonded: "Metal parts of electrical equipment associated with the pool water circulating system including pump motors and metal parts of equipment associated with pool covers including motors, shall be bonded."

    So there is no requirement that remote panelboards and automation housings be bonded. Can you bond them? Well the code does not prohibit it. But if your panel is remote from the pool I would think twice before attaching it to the bonding system. Bonding exists to equalize voltage gradients. So if there is a voltage gradient between your pool water and your deck or ladder, then bonding equalizes it and someone touching both at the same time does not get shocked. However, you can have too much of a good thing. By bonding your panelbaord 35 feet from the pool you then move that voltage into the panelboard. Now someone standing in bare feet dripping water on the ground flipping a swich on the automation system has a greater risk of shock. Why? Because there may be no voltage gradient by the equipment pad, but your bonding has created one.

    Therefore its probably best to bond what is required and no more.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Bedford, TX
    Posts
    9,274

    Re: GFCI won't reset

    EBD,

    Gwegan, knows more about electricity and NEC rules, than I will ever know, so I'd go with his recommendations.

    The only reason I thought the enclosure should be bonded was because mine came with the bonding lugs installed, and the panel at my house is bonded. This may be because it is mounted above the same decking that surrounds the pool.

    I also though that the lack of bonding is what caused the corrosion of the buss bar, but based on gwegan's rebuttal, I have to assume that is not true.

    Gwegan, I appreciate you pointing us in the right direction..

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    2,769

    Re: GFCI won't reset

    As Jim points out with his example this is not simple and it can be a judgment call. If the panelboard is not remote should you bond it? Probably. But what is remote? The code does not say.

    I think there is some minuscule current in his equipment grounding conductor --- maybe stray current and that is causing the corrosion on the ground bar. If his motor is bonded then there is at least one connection between the bonding system and the equipment grounding conductor.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: GFCI won't reset

    In my opinion, the metal automation box should be bonded. Pentair Intellitouch, pentair easytouch, jandy aqualink and hayward prologic all have bonding lugs and specify bonding in the installation manuals.
    Support the site

    Trouble Free Pool is a free resource. The people who answer questions are volunteers. If you find the site to be a good resource, please consider making a donation to help support the site. Thanks.

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Gilbert
    Posts
    54

    Re: GFCI won't reset

    Ok I will watch for any start of corrosion. There used to be a salinator installed when the pool was first built and all I could think of is that at one point or another perhaps water from the shoot out valve might had hit the box and water might had dripped to the bottom of the box it it was not closed shut?
    Now for the GFCI what could be causing to trip. How could I test if the light is causing this. Could I just disconnect the loads and then try to reset it? Anything else I could look for?

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Gilbert
    Posts
    54

    Re: GFCI won't reset

    Intellitouch and easytouch lead me to believe we are talking about advanced digital boxes. My metal box only holds the timer for the main pool pump and just manual switches for the pool light, and the waterfall pump toggle switch.

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: GFCI won't reset

    I would bond the automation box.

    If you see moisture in the light, it can definitely cause a gfci trip. The light needs to be opened up and dried out.

    You should disconnect the light from power until it can be fixed or replaced.

    If the light has any corrosion, it should be replaced. If water has been in the light for a while, the light should probably be replaced.

    The light should have a junction box. Are you saying that the light cord goes directly into the automation box?
    Support the site

    Trouble Free Pool is a free resource. The people who answer questions are volunteers. If you find the site to be a good resource, please consider making a donation to help support the site. Thanks.

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Gilbert
    Posts
    54

    Re: GFCI won't reset

    I will open the light tomorrow and let it dry out. I am thinking about replacing it with an LED. Since I took the loads off the GFCI, doesn't this take the pool light off the loop as the cause of not been able to reset it due to the light tripping the GFCi?

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: GFCI won't reset

    Are you not able to reset the gfci even when nothing is connected to it?
    Support the site

    Trouble Free Pool is a free resource. The people who answer questions are volunteers. If you find the site to be a good resource, please consider making a donation to help support the site. Thanks.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

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