Fuse Boxes vs. Breaker Boxes for Pump and Heater...

PoolStored

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I was reading this thread: Help with pool light. In it @1poolman1 indicated "Since the 2010 National Electrical Code was published, pool pumps require a ground-fault circuit breaker."

Yikes...I have a fused breaker box like this one, that is fed by a normal breaker in the panel.
1668618536198.png

Being "extra," as @Newdude says, I'm going to upgrade this leg of my equipment.

Is it better to replace the breaker in the panel with a CFCI breaker ($100-150), or replace the fused breaker with a GFCI Load Center ($97) like this:
1668618782811.png
@JamesW
 
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PoolStored

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Does that include the breaker?
Yes (except, as I've been researching, it is a 50A breaker, pump needs 20A).

I'm not overly concerned about the price/price difference, but happy to pay more to do it right. I'm more interested in the thinking (and for content here).

Option 1
Panel w/ GFCI breaker ------- Fused Load Center (at pad) ---- Pump

Option2
Panel w/ Regular breaker ------ GFCI Load Center (at pad) ---- Pump

Option 3 (new)
Panel w/GFCI breaker ------ Disconnect switch (at pad)----- Pump ($45 60A disconnect for AC)

1668621384463.png


What are the codes/best practice/issues/tradeoffs with either option?
 
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PoolStored

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I would refer this to a local electrician for local code compliance.

Maybe someone else knows a specific answer for this.
I'll do that unless someone else shows up.

I think the best thing to do is a modified Option 3
GFCI breaker in the panel ------ Non-Fusible disconnect ($16) at the pad -----pump
1668622381226.png

This avoids a breaker - breaker sequence.
This avoids a breaker - fuse sequence.
Provides cutoff at the pad.
Meets the NEC for a GFCI for pool pump.
 
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flynwill

Well-known member
Sep 18, 2021
246
Los Angeles, CA
What's the rating on the current breaker in the main panel and/or can you tell what gauge wire the run is?
If it is just a 20A breaker and 12G wire then I would agree your modified option 3 is probably best and I'm pretty sure would meet the NEC requirements.
If the existing feed is greater (eg 40 or 50A breaker 8Guage wire) then I would suggest replacing the fuse panel at the pool with a small 8 or 6 circuit sub-panel (no main required) and a suitable 20 A GCFI for the pump.
 

1poolman1

In The Industry
Jul 14, 2014
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Sacramento
I'll do that unless someone else shows up.

I think the best thing to do is a modified Option 3
GFCI breaker in the panel ------ Non-Fusible disconnect ($16) at the pad -----pump
View attachment 462630

This avoids a breaker - breaker sequence.
This avoids a breaker - fuse sequence.
Provides cutoff at the pad.
Meets the NEC for a GFCI for pool pump.
It depends on what equipment is in the circuit after the main panel. If it only has the filter pump oar filter and booster pump, you can use it. If the load splits any other way, as to a light, you need to have the GFCI in the pump circuit only.
 

PoolStored

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If the load splits any other way, as to a light, you need to have the GFCI in the pump circuit only.
Can you explain why? Thanks!

I will have to look when I get home. It is *possible* that the current sensing switch I use to sense pump power and turn on/off SWCG, and the SWCG itself are on that circuit, I just don't remember.
 

ajw22

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Can you explain why? Thanks!

I will have to look when I get home. It is *possible* that the current sensing switch I use to sense pump power and turn on/off SWCG, and the SWCG itself are on that circuit, I just don't remember.

SWCG and pump can be on the same GFCI circuit.
 

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ajw22

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Huh? Can you guys reconcile and explain the why behind it? Really interested.

Sure Poolman and I will meet at the bar tonight and send you minutes of the meeting.

If NEC does not allow SWG and pump on the same circuit then just about every SWG installation is not in compliance. And instructions like these from Pentair are incorrect:

WARNING:CHLORINE GAS BUILDUP CAN OCCUR WITH IMPROPER WIRING: To reduce the risk of personal injury the IntelliChlor® Salt Chlorine Generator (SCG) Power Center must be installed on and wired to the load side of the time clock, electronically controlled switch, or relay load side, so that it will receive power only when the pool pump is on. Otherwise, dangerous chlorine gas buildup can occur. The IECG should never be energized when the pool pump is OFF and water is not flowing through the unit.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
33,846
"In general", you don't want to put other things on the same breaker as the pump.

For example, the light should be on a separate circuit.

The SWG is a specific exception due to the fact that it should only be powered with the pump.

A booster pump could be another exception since the booster requires the main pump to be on.

For automation like ProLogic, the automation controls the SWG or booster and they can be on separate breakers.

Some automation connects the SWG and booster relay to the pump relay.

For single speed pumps without automation, the booster pump switch line terminals were usually tied to the main pump switch load terminals.
 
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1poolman1

In The Industry
Jul 14, 2014
3,149
Sacramento
Huh? Can you guys reconcile and explain the why behind it? Really interested.
On many pool installations the main pool breaker at the house panel feeds a pool equipment-pad sub panel. From there more breakers can be installed, one for the pump, one for the light, perhaps another for something else, like yard lighting, all depending on the size of the main pool breaker and sub-panel. The pump will take 240v, but the light (or transformer), and/or yard lighting will take 120v, only one leg of the power. If the breaker at the main panel is a double-pole 240v, ?amp GFCB, it will trip if only 120v on that circuit is used, i.e. pump off and only pool or yard light on. It can also trip if the pump is running and one of the other loads is turned on. All it senses is an un-balanced load and considers that a ground-fault event.

The pump, or pump and booster pump, need to be on their own GFCI breaker. You can add a SWG as well, but you have to start watching the total load with all three running.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
33,846
You can have a mixed load (240/120 volt) because the double pole GFCI breaker has a neutral connection.

The breakers senses the balance on all 3 wires including both hot wires and the neutral.

This is why the load neutral connects to the breaker and the breaker neutral connects to the neutral bar.

The Siemens 2-pole GFCI circuit breaker can be installed on a 120/240V AC single phase, 3 wire system.


1668726097878.png

1668726068346.png
 

PoolStored

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Ok, finally got home and a chance to poke around. Findings:
1) There is a 20A GFCB on the pool pump.
Wiring3.jpg
2) The disconnect for the pump, as I remembered is fused.
Wiring2.jpg
3) There must be another 110 circuit pulled to the pad. (I turned off the pump breaker and GFCI plug at pad still had power [little green light]).
Red = fused pump disconnect
Blue (see pic below) = Current sensing relay for SWCG, conduit out the bottom feeds the pump.
Yellow = feed from the panel (240 and a 120, I believe, based on the plug being hot and the conduit coming out the bottom feeds the outdoor kitchen). Will open in the spring to confirm.
Green = Heater disconnect.
Wiring 1.jpg
2) Blue arrow CSR for SWCG. 240 feed through the loop, up to the disconnect, and back down to the pump.
Plumb 2.jpg


So, I think I am good. Will confirm in the spring that the SWCG and CSR are on the 120.

My only outstanding question...does it matter that my disconnect is fused?
 

proavia

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Is the electrical setup in your pic exposed to the elememts?
If so, you need to get water proof boxes installed instead of the two tan boxes and the metal box (yellow arrow) - and the metal flex conduit need to be replaced. The duplex electric outlet box also needs to be a water proof - and an "in use" cover plate installed.

Even if in a protected area, this is still around water (pool equipment) and should be better protected.
 
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