Breaker Tripping

CannonBall35

New member
Jul 17, 2019
3
Delaware
Hi Everyone!
The breaker for my pool pump has been tripping. The pool was built in July 2019. I live in the northeast and the pool ran from July-Early October before closing and had no issues. Starting this July the breaker for the main pump was tripping. The pool company came out and they said it was a loose wire on the Polaris pump and tighten it up. Issue went away and then started again in a few weeks. Just after labor day my heater (heat pump) stopped working.

Yesterday Pentair came out and replaced the capacitor on the heat pump and everything was back up and running. Now the filter has been running since Labor day up until yesterday and never tripped. Yesterday when the heater was on for about 3 hours the pool pump breaker tripped. It tripped twice yesterday and once this morning. The heater is on different breaker. I had the electrician out and the pool company and they are unable to identify the problem. Any suggestions?

The two pictures below are the control box. The two 20 pole breaker is the ones that keeps tripping. That breaker runs a pentair Whisperflo 1 hp pump, Pentair Saltwater Cell, and the Polaris pump. The breaker on the right is the heat pump by itself. Something is odd that now the heat pump is back up running the main pump breaker is tripping again.

20201009_104503.jpg20201009_104515.jpg
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,553
What pump do you have?

How comfortable are you working with electricity?

What is the total amp load on the breaker?

Are you comfortable opening the box to access the wires and measure the current and voltage?
 
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Homebrewale

Well-known member
Apr 21, 2020
330
Apex, NC
What does the manual say is the minimum sized breaker? My heat pump requires a 40 amp breaker.

Edit: I misread your post. I thought your heat pump, not your pool pump breaker was tripping.
 
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CannonBall35

New member
Jul 17, 2019
3
Delaware
Thank-you for the reply. I don't mind opening the box but I don't have voltage meter. The pump is pentair whisperflo I believe a 1hp. It's not a variable speed.

Filter went on at 8:30am and the breaker tripped around 11am. Only thing running was the heat pump, filter pump and salt cell. I didn't have the polaris pump running. I tried to reset breaker but it kept tripping. I let it sit for 30 minutes and the breaker finally stayed on. Has been running since without tripping. I have it running overnight to see if stays on. I'm still awaiting a response from the pool company.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,553
You need to figure out if the breaker is tripping due to an overload or a ground fault.

If you're not sure about working with electricity, it would be best to get an electrician.

If you want to get into it, check the amperage and check for any ground continuity to power supply wires.

Note that this is dangerous if you don't know exactly what you're doing.

Don't do anything that you're not sure that you can do safely.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
21,219
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
You have a 20 amp breaker. Breakers should only be loaded at 80% of rated amperage or 16 amps for a 20 amp breaker.

  • Pentair whisper flo 1 HP - 8.5 - 7.7 amps depending on voltage of 208-230V
  • Polaris PB-4 - 6.4 amps
  • Pentair Intellichlor Power Center 1 amp
You could be pulling 15.9 amps or more if your voltage is around 208V.

I would not have put the Whisperflo and Polaris pump on the same breaker.

While you say your Polaris pump was not running when you load a CB near capacity you can overheat it and it can begin tripping prematurely.

I would measure the voltage and amps as James has suggested. I might replace the CB. If a replacement CB develops the same problem over time then I would look to put the Polaris pump on a different CB.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,553
If you feel comfortable, open the box and show the wiring.

I suspect that the wiring is probably not done exactly right and the gfci is tripping.

Also, check the amperage.

Theoretically, the breaker should not trip until the amperage exceeds the breaker rating.

A 20 amp breaker must trip at a sustained current of 27 amperes (135 percent) at less than one hour, and at 40 amperes (200 percent of wire rating) in less than 120 seconds. These two trip points (135 percent and 200 percent) are defined in NEMA Standard AB-1, MCCBs and Molded Case Switches.

 
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CannonBall35

New member
Jul 17, 2019
3
Delaware
I appreciate the feedback.

I let the pump and heater run all night. This morning the breaker was tripped not sure what time it tripped most like after midnight. I reset it at 7am and tripped again around 8:45. From the post the troubleshooting is outside my wheelhouse. I will have an electrician come by.

It's baffling that the breaker wasn't tripping at all when the heat pump was down, now all of sudden the heater is back up and on it's own breaker and the filter breaker is tripping again. The other odd part is that it's sporadic. I will keep everyone updated.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,553
It might be some sort of noise on the wires causing the gfci to trip.

Have the electrician check the power quality. Check the frequency and look for noise on the line.

The Pentair GFCI breaker is less susceptible to noise and might help if it's a noise issue.

The Pentair circuit breaker is a Siemens QPF style breaker. 20 Amp Double Pole Type QPF2 GFCI Circuit Breaker. Available at Home Depot.

Are the wires feeding the subpanel big enough?

Make sure that the wires going to the heat pump are not too close to the wires for anything else.

The high current in the wires might be inducing small currents in the nearby wires.
 
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