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Thread: Do I need a GFCI breaker for my pump?

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    Do I need a GFCI breaker for my pump?

    I have a sub panel next to my pad, with a 240V breaker feeding my pump (through a timer). It just occurred to me that the pump is not GFCI protected. I did a bit of reading here, and it appears that it was built to code, but the code has since changed, and it would not be compliant now. Others here have stated that if feeding a pump directly (no outlets), GFCI is not necessary. It seems to me, however, that a fault in the pump could electrify the pool. I'm not really anxious to spend $110 on a GFCI breaker, but I'm even less anxious to get electrocuted by my pool. So is a GFCI breaker necessary? If not, why not?
    IG 20K gal w/deep end, vinyl, 1 HP Regal Beloit EPC pump, single 120 sqft Haywood C-1200 cartridge filter, Polaris 360 cleaning robot, pool frog (that is not being used).

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    Re: Do I need a GFCI breaker for my pump?

    Not sure how you'd get electrocuted by a pump, unless someone tosses it into the pool. I'd be more concerned about frying the controller on a variable-speed pump without a GFCI, but in any case, GFCI is a good idea.
    Geebot
    Chicago, IL
    30K gal, InGround Plaster Finish, 3.5'-9.5', Maytronics S300 Cleaner

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    Re: Do I need a GFCI breaker for my pump?

    Single speed pump.
    IG 20K gal w/deep end, vinyl, 1 HP Regal Beloit EPC pump, single 120 sqft Haywood C-1200 cartridge filter, Polaris 360 cleaning robot, pool frog (that is not being used).

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    Re: Do I need a GFCI breaker for my pump?

    Check w your local county code enforcement agent, or go look at a recently installed pool and see how it's configured, regardless of the speed of the pump.

    As Gee stated, no one in or around your pool will get electrocuted by your pool pump or anything else on the pad. However, when working on your equipment pad w your pump, that could possibly be a diff story. It's always a good policy to turn off your breaker/circuit when working on your pump.

    Finally, GFCI codes have been duly enacted in many more instances for the pool industry, kitchen systems, etc, which all originated from the bathroom being the first GFCI installs. Also as stated,, GFCI's are a wise install anywhere what involves water-based systems. If GFCI's are mandatory in your area in 2018, your county or city inspectors should be able to tell you.

    good luck, tstex
    InGround 15K gal, 18'x30' 3.5' to 5.5' depth w/ 9'x9' spillover Spa, Pebblesheen w/ Travertine, Hayward 3 HP VSP, Hayward C4030 Cartridge, Hayward 1.5 HP for 2 Scupper columns, ProLogic, PL-PS-8 Panel, Hayward H400FD 400K BTU Heater, 3 ColorLogic LED, Spa Blower, TF-100 w S-Stick, QC Tiger Shark, Autofill If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    CJadamec's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need a GFCI breaker for my pump?

    Yes a pool pump can put electricity into the pool water. There is a nice 1/2 inch thick piece of solid metal that connects the electric motor to the impeller that is in your pool water.

    In 2014 the NEC changed the code book to close a loophole that allowed pumps to skirt the GFCI protection requirements. This new code only applies to new installations or any work that would require a new permit to be needed.

    If it makes you feel safer about your pool then change the breaker. You can get a dual pole GFCI breaker for around 50 is you shop online. If it we're me I would change it. There is nothing that says you have to tho.
    Chuck-
    15x30 AG, Pentair Superflo VS, 19" sand filter, TF-100 test kit
    Aqua Comfort ACT750 heat pump / 6x20 ground mount solar panel / DIY automation

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    Re: Do I need a GFCI breaker for my pump?

    CJademec wrote:

    "Yes a pool pump can put electricity into the pool water. There is a nice 1/2 inch thick piece of solid metal that connects the electric motor to the impeller that is in your pool water"

    I stand corrected, chuck would certainly know better than I...get a GFCI...
    InGround 15K gal, 18'x30' 3.5' to 5.5' depth w/ 9'x9' spillover Spa, Pebblesheen w/ Travertine, Hayward 3 HP VSP, Hayward C4030 Cartridge, Hayward 1.5 HP for 2 Scupper columns, ProLogic, PL-PS-8 Panel, Hayward H400FD 400K BTU Heater, 3 ColorLogic LED, Spa Blower, TF-100 w S-Stick, QC Tiger Shark, Autofill If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Do I need a GFCI breaker for my pump?

    When I bought my place, the pool pump did not have a GFCI, so I put one in for added safety.

    I got a Siemens GFCI breaker for the equipment pad at Home Depot for around $ 50 bucks.
    I chose Siemens because it fit my box, but also they are known to be more reliable if
    you have a vs pump. Mine is single speed, but it's good knowing it will work if I go vs some day.

    peace of mind!
    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.

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    Re: Do I need a GFCI breaker for my pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by borjis View Post
    When I bought my place, the pool pump did not have a GFCI, so I put one in for added safety.

    I got a Siemens GFCI breaker for the equipment pad at Home Depot for around $ 50 bucks.
    I chose Siemens because it fit my box, but also they are known to be more reliable if
    you have a vs pump. Mine is single speed, but it's good knowing it will work if I go vs some day.

    peace of mind!
    borj,

    did you check w Hayward to determine the spec's for the needed Siemens breaker? since you don't have a VSP, you might not need the one I had to get, therefore your price is a lot less...mine was closer to $100...thanks, tstex
    InGround 15K gal, 18'x30' 3.5' to 5.5' depth w/ 9'x9' spillover Spa, Pebblesheen w/ Travertine, Hayward 3 HP VSP, Hayward C4030 Cartridge, Hayward 1.5 HP for 2 Scupper columns, ProLogic, PL-PS-8 Panel, Hayward H400FD 400K BTU Heater, 3 ColorLogic LED, Spa Blower, TF-100 w S-Stick, QC Tiger Shark, Autofill If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    borjis's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need a GFCI breaker for my pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by tstex View Post
    borj,

    sis you check w Hayward to determine the spec's for the needed Siemens breaker? since you don't have a VSP, you might not need the one I had to get, therefore your price is a lot less...mine was closer to $100...thanks, tstex
    No, what I did was get the exact same rated breaker as the one previously in the panel, only it has the gfc in it.
    and mine is wired for 240v. It's worked well the past 2 years.

    $ 110 seems way more for your application, but if Hayward said that's the one you needed
    for that vs pump, probably best to go with it.

    Siemens breakers are known to be more reliable for vs pump's in that they don't false
    trip like other brands can.
    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.

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    Re: Do I need a GFCI breaker for my pump?

    borj stated:

    "Siemens breakers are known to be more reliable for vs pump's in that they don't false trip like other brands can."

    They are supposed to be best for the VSP applications bc their mA rating is 4-6mA vs most others at 3-5mA. However, my ecostar pump has tripped many of Siemens best rated DP 20amp GFCI breakers, along w many Sq-D's too.
    InGround 15K gal, 18'x30' 3.5' to 5.5' depth w/ 9'x9' spillover Spa, Pebblesheen w/ Travertine, Hayward 3 HP VSP, Hayward C4030 Cartridge, Hayward 1.5 HP for 2 Scupper columns, ProLogic, PL-PS-8 Panel, Hayward H400FD 400K BTU Heater, 3 ColorLogic LED, Spa Blower, TF-100 w S-Stick, QC Tiger Shark, Autofill If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Do I need a GFCI breaker for my pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by CJadamec View Post
    Yes a pool pump can put electricity into the pool water. There is a nice 1/2 inch thick piece of solid metal that connects the electric motor to the impeller that is in your pool water.
    This was my thought as well. I'm an electrical engineer, but I don't work with AC power or electric motors. But I still understand that an AC motor has lethal levels of electricity running not far from the armature shaft, which is connected to the impeller.

    Quote Originally Posted by CJadamec View Post
    In 2014 the NEC changed the code book to close a loophole that allowed pumps to skirt the GFCI protection requirements. This new code only applies to new installations or any work that would require a new permit to be needed.
    Not concerned about code in this case. No new construction here, and no permit required.

    Quote Originally Posted by CJadamec View Post
    If it makes you feel safer about your pool then change the breaker. You can get a dual pole GFCI breaker for around 50 is you shop online. If it we're me I would change it. There is nothing that says you have to tho.
    Yes, it WOULD make me feel safer. That's why I asked the question here. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't overlooking some other mechanism that makes the system safe. However, the GFCI breaker for my Square-D sub panel runs more like $110.

    Thanks for all the replies.
    IG 20K gal w/deep end, vinyl, 1 HP Regal Beloit EPC pump, single 120 sqft Haywood C-1200 cartridge filter, Polaris 360 cleaning robot, pool frog (that is not being used).

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Do I need a GFCI breaker for my pump?

    Assuming one has a non GFCI breaker installed in the breaker box and the pool pump is connected to a delicated 240v outlet. Would an GFCI extension cord work, like http://www.anderson-bolds.com/Mercha...ry_Code=TRC_SS between the breaker box outlet and the pump to retrofit the system with GFCI protection?
    I suppose to change the actual fuse inside the breaker box would require to hire a license electrician.

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    sktn77a's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need a GFCI breaker for my pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by dblko View Post
    Assuming one has a non GFCI breaker installed in the breaker box and the pool pump is connected to a delicated 240v outlet. Would an GFCI extension cord work, like http://www.anderson-bolds.com/Mercha...ry_Code=TRC_SS between the breaker box outlet and the pump to retrofit the system with GFCI protection?
    I suppose to change the actual fuse inside the breaker box would require to hire a license electrician.
    Well, the Square-D GFCI breaker for the OPs box is pretty much the same price as the above GFCI extension and would require installing a 220v socket (the panel is not connected with a 220v plug). The breaker comes with instructions in the box that reasonably handy person (such as an electrical engineer) should be able to follow.

    $110 for peace of mind sounds like a good deal!
    Keith
    15,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool, 1.5" PVC plumbing
    1.0HP Sta-Rite DuraGlass P2R pump, Hayward S244T sand filter
    Teledyne-Laars Lite-2 250k heater, Hayward CL200 chlorinator
    Polaris 380/Hayward 6060 booster pump

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    Re: Do I need a GFCI breaker for my pump?

    Yeah, agree, better not trying to take any shortcuts and just install the real thing. Took another look and the breaker that's connect to my pump does not have any writings on it to tell what type it is, but it has a "test" button. Would that mean its already a GFCI type?

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    sktn77a's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need a GFCI breaker for my pump?

    Yes, the test button usually signifies a GFCI type breaker.
    Keith
    15,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool, 1.5" PVC plumbing
    1.0HP Sta-Rite DuraGlass P2R pump, Hayward S244T sand filter
    Teledyne-Laars Lite-2 250k heater, Hayward CL200 chlorinator
    Polaris 380/Hayward 6060 booster pump

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    CJadamec's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need a GFCI breaker for my pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by sktn77a View Post
    Yes, the test button usually signifies a GFCI type breaker.

    Not always. There are also AFCI breakers which are designed to interrupt Arc faults. These are NOT the same nor do they work the same as GFCI breakers. There are also combination AFCI/GFCI which as the name suggests it protects against arc fault and ground fault.

    Simply having a test button does not mean GFCI. You need to read the information on the device.
    Chuck-
    15x30 AG, Pentair Superflo VS, 19" sand filter, TF-100 test kit
    Aqua Comfort ACT750 heat pump / 6x20 ground mount solar panel / DIY automation

    Photos of 2016 Build, Inside Your Breaker Panel, Free Copy of 2017 NEC code
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    sktn77a's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need a GFCI breaker for my pump?

    True, but no qualified electrician would install an AFCI for outdoor use, especially for a pool.
    Keith
    15,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool, 1.5" PVC plumbing
    1.0HP Sta-Rite DuraGlass P2R pump, Hayward S244T sand filter
    Teledyne-Laars Lite-2 250k heater, Hayward CL200 chlorinator
    Polaris 380/Hayward 6060 booster pump

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