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Thread: GFCI Circuit Breaker wont reset

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    Question GFCI Circuit Breaker wont reset

    I recently installed a new Hayward MaxFlo 2303VS pump about a week ago on my above ground pool. Pump was performing perfect the first week after installation.

    I had installed a 240v 15amp 2 pole GFCI breaker. Since the MaxFlo does not have a neutral at the pump, the GFCI breaker at the panel does not utilize the neutral, the white pig tail goes to ground.

    After 2 days of heavy rain (around 5" or better) my pump stopped working. I went out to the panel and the GFCI breaker was popped and would not allow for a reset - not even for a fraction of a second. I don't get that hard click like you get when locks into the on position. Once I let go it just moves back to middle position. I do get a click when I move it to reset (left) but still wont stay on when I move it right, it just goes back to middle when I let it go.

    The next day (yesterday) after the rain stopped I went under the deck and removed the watertight cover to the electrical connection on the pump housing and found it full of water. (This is the area where the electrical leads are connected) I found the leaky culprit and corrected it and after drying everything out for a couple of hours I still cannot get the breaker to reset. Its still behaving as described above.

    Could I have damaged the pump circuit board or is it possible the GFCI breaker went bad? Another question is could the water have gotten deeper into the pump behind the lead (watertight) housing?

    I have another 2 pole 15 amp (non GFCI) breaker I am thinking of swapping out with the non resetting GFCI just to test and see if it is the breaker but don't know if this could damage the pump if the problem is elsewhere. Or should I let the pump dry out for a day or two before trying this.
    Above ground 16,000 gallon, Hayward MaxFlo 2303VSP2 1hp pump with Hayward sand filter and salt system - single skimmer and return

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    JoeGolan's Avatar
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    Re: GFCI Circuit Breaker wont reset

    Most likely the GFCI breaker is working and the fact that it keeps tripping should be telling you something is wrong. GFCIs trip when they see unbalanced current. This is how it protects you.

    Click here for a great article on GFCI circuits Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs):


    Do NOT energize that pump before you learn what is causing the GFCI to trip.

    If you know how to use a meter, disconnect the pump from the circuit and measure the resistance (ohms) from each hot wire to the ground wire (and housing) of the pump, use the higher scale so you can see high resistance readings. The proper readings would be "infinity" indicating that there is NOT a high resistance short (or leak) to ground causing unbalanced current. If you see any resistance reading at all, that would indicate that there is a problem. If the readings are still infinite then your cause may also be water in the conduit that hold the wiring feeding the pump. A similar test could be done on the (de-energized) wiring as well.

    If you do not know how to use a meter or are not sure what you are doing, please hire a professional to diagnose it for you.
    I'm a black and white type of guy ... the only gray in my life is the hair on my head
    750 gal fiberglass built in spa with Hayward equipment. Pump is SP3010X15AZ Control is Aqua Plus with a T-cell-3 SWG and a H400FD Heater, Hayward C12002 cartridge filter filter

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    Re: GFCI Circuit Breaker wont reset

    The white pigtail should be connected to the panel neutral bus bar in a sub panel not to ground. Are you saying there is no neutral bus bar in the panel.

    If this is a main panel it should go to the common neutral ground bus

    If there is no neutral in the sub panel then you cap the white wire. Though I have never done this with a self testing GFCI
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: GFCI Circuit Breaker wont reset

    Great advice! My neighbor is an technical representative for Square D and I have asked him if he could help with using the meter and testing for any resistance. I need to wait until he gets home this evening and let you know how the results. I was afraid to swap breakers for the reasons you describe.
    Above ground 16,000 gallon, Hayward MaxFlo 2303VSP2 1hp pump with Hayward sand filter and salt system - single skimmer and return

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    Re: GFCI Circuit Breaker wont reset

    At your advice I did not try to replace the breaker. I actually pulled the pump and when tipped on end about another cup of water came out. I used a blow dryer on it for about and hour then placed it in a box with moisture removal agents. I tested the circuit breaker after disconnection the pump and it reset just fine.

    I installed the old pump and will allow the new pump to dry out over the next several days. I did test the ohms after drying out and everything looks good so I am hopeful the GFCI breaker helped to prevent damage to the pump. All I can do now is cross my fingers and hope for the best!

    BTW thanks for the article on GFCI breakers!

    Ill reply next week after re installing with the results.

    Thanks for advising me not to swap out the breaker as a means to test!
    Above ground 16,000 gallon, Hayward MaxFlo 2303VSP2 1hp pump with Hayward sand filter and salt system - single skimmer and return

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    JoeGolan's Avatar
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    Re: GFCI Circuit Breaker wont reset

    I'm a black and white type of guy ... the only gray in my life is the hair on my head
    750 gal fiberglass built in spa with Hayward equipment. Pump is SP3010X15AZ Control is Aqua Plus with a T-cell-3 SWG and a H400FD Heater, Hayward C12002 cartridge filter filter

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    Re: GFCI Circuit Breaker wont reset

    A pool Pump does not normally use a GFI breaker. Those types of breakers are for pool lights and outlets near the pool. 120V and 240V pumps use a standard breaker and the pump is grounded in the panel, and bonded to the other equipment at the pad.
    20K gal In-ground pool w/spa; IntelliControl, IntelliChlor, IntelliPH (Acid-Injector), SAM/SAL lights, Pentair FNS60Plus filter, two 1.0 HP WhiperFlow pumps, Jandy/Compool auto-valves, RayPak Heatpump, Jandy Gas heater

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    Re: GFCI Circuit Breaker wont reset

    Quote Originally Posted by CountyBumkin View Post
    A pool Pump does not normally use a GFI breaker. Those types of breakers are for pool lights and outlets near the pool. 120V and 240V pumps use a standard breaker and the pump is grounded in the panel, and bonded to the other equipment at the pad.
    The current NEC requires GFCI for pool pump motors.

    Pool pump motors should be on GFCI and it's good that this one was.
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    CJadamec's Avatar
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    Re: GFCI Circuit Breaker wont reset

    The 2014 NEC code book patched a loophole that was in previous versions of the NEC that made it so you could "design" the motor circuit to not need a GFCI per code which is how a lot of pools that should have GFCI on the pump motors ended up without it. The loophole had to do with the circuit load calculations. People used that loophole to say that pump motors didn't require GFCI across the board, which we all know is a bad idea.

    This is what the current code says.

    " 2014 NEC 680.21 sec (C) GFCI Protection.
    Outlets supplying pool pump motors connected to single phase 120-volt through 240-volt branch circuits, whether by receptacle or by direct connection, shall be provided with ground fault-circuit-interrupter protection for personnel."
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    Re: GFCI Circuit Breaker wont reset

    I learned something important today. Thanks.
    BTW, the link provided in post #2 even states that motors should not be on GFI breakers - so i guess both of us are outdated.
    20K gal In-ground pool with raised Spa overflowing into pool; two Jandy Sheer Descent waterfalls; Pentair IntelliTouch i7+3, IntelliChlor, IntelliPH, 3 SAM/SAL lights, Pentair FNS60Plus filter, two 1.0 HP WhiperFlow pumps, Jandy/Compool auto-valves, RayPak Heatpump, RayPak 406A LP spa heater, Polaris 360 PS Cleaner. Patio and deck lighting by Volt; Volt 600W landscaping transformer; Webber grilling station

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    Re: GFCI Circuit Breaker wont reset

    Quote Originally Posted by CountryBumkin View Post
    I learned something important today. Thanks.
    BTW, the link provided in post #2 even states that motors should not be on GFI breakers - so i guess both of us are outdated.
    That article may be before the 2014 NEC release, and should be updated. 'Permently installed motors' is a very broad term, the NEC spells out specifically 'pool pump motors'.
    Dom - TFP Guide
    Intex 18' X 48" Ultra Frame AGP 6700 gallons | Two Intex CS8110 SWG's | Hayward Pro Series 21" Sandfilter | Hayward 1.5HP Power Flo Matrix pump | Hayward Thru-wall Skimmer | Wanda the Whale | 72 sq ft of Sungrabber Solar Panels with Hayward GLC-2P-A | Taylor K2006 Test Kit, Sample Sizer & Speed Stir | Click Here To Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: GFCI Circuit Breaker wont reset

    Quote Originally Posted by CountryBumkin View Post
    I learned something important today. Thanks.
    BTW, the link provided in post #2 even states that motors should not be on GFI breakers - so i guess both of us are outdated.
    You are also taking that statement out of context as it is under the subheading of "What is nuisance tripping of a GFCI". I also agree with domct203 's statement that 'Permanently installed motors' is a very broad term.

    Understanding codes and their intent is an ever changing animal, always remember that codes are adopted by the local jurisdiction and are there for safety first. If there is ever a conflict always go with the stronger restraint.
    I'm a black and white type of guy ... the only gray in my life is the hair on my head
    750 gal fiberglass built in spa with Hayward equipment. Pump is SP3010X15AZ Control is Aqua Plus with a T-cell-3 SWG and a H400FD Heater, Hayward C12002 cartridge filter filter

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    Re: GFCI Circuit Breaker wont reset

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeGolan View Post
    You are also taking that statement out of context as it is under the subheading of "What is nuisance tripping of a GFCI". I also agree with domct203's statement that 'Permanently installed motors' is a very broad term.

    Understanding codes and their intent is an ever changing animal, always remember that codes are adopted by the local jurisdiction and are there for safety first. If there is ever a conflict always go with the stronger restraint.
    Hmm that's interesting, my screen name in your post contains a link to someone else's profile. How did you manage that LOL ?
    Dom - TFP Guide
    Intex 18' X 48" Ultra Frame AGP 6700 gallons | Two Intex CS8110 SWG's | Hayward Pro Series 21" Sandfilter | Hayward 1.5HP Power Flo Matrix pump | Hayward Thru-wall Skimmer | Wanda the Whale | 72 sq ft of Sungrabber Solar Panels with Hayward GLC-2P-A | Taylor K2006 Test Kit, Sample Sizer & Speed Stir | Click Here To Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: GFCI Circuit Breaker wont reset

    Quote Originally Posted by domct203 View Post
    Hmm that's interesting, my screen name in your post contains a link to someone else's profile. How did you manage that LOL ?
    I picked up the wrong screen name at first, let me see if I can fix that....sorry ..... DONE
    I'm a black and white type of guy ... the only gray in my life is the hair on my head
    750 gal fiberglass built in spa with Hayward equipment. Pump is SP3010X15AZ Control is Aqua Plus with a T-cell-3 SWG and a H400FD Heater, Hayward C12002 cartridge filter filter

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