GE GFCI trips under certain conditions.

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
339
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I have a GE GFCI circuit breaker that powers my pump and SWG. It will trip if I run the pump too low, or when I adjust the valve down going to my main pool drain. It won’t trip if I run the pump above 1400 RPM or if I have the main drain and the skimmer set wide open. What could cause this to occur? I was thinking it might have something to do with electrical noise, from running too low, however having it trip when one of the valves is partially closed doesn’t make any sense to me. image.jpg
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
7,652
NY
Possibly related, the Pentair VS pumps cause phantom trips to regular GCCI breakers. Siemens makes a specific breaker for it (and also a rebranded Pentair model for $50 more) that has a 6 milliamperes trip point instead of the usual 3(?).

Not every pump does it but it drives ALOT of people nuts that do have the issue. Many of those people end up swapping it to 30 Amps to clear the issue (highly not recommended)
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
24,836
The power factor is lower at lower speeds which might be why you are having problems at low speed.

I would try the Siemens breaker if it will fit in your breaker box.

Or, get a new individual box for the new beaker if necessary.

 

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
339
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Perhaps the GFCI is sensing a motor strain at certain rpms or water suction needs which impacts amperage (heat) tripping the GFCI? That or the breaker itself is simply old and needs to be replaced. How old is your motor?

@JamesW thoughts please?
Both the pump and the GFCI were installed late last summer.
 

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
339
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
The power factor is lower at lower speeds which might be why you are having problems at low speed.

I would try the Siemens breaker if it will fit in your breaker box.

Or, get a new individual box for the new beaker if necessary.

Thank you. I had heard that some of these Pentair vs pumps can trip certain breakers under certain conditions. My solution was to simply not run it lower then 1400rpm until I tried to adjust the valves for the skimmer and the main. It’s good to have a specific GFCI breaker to look for. I appreciate the reply. I will try to replace that the next time the universe deems I have the free time to do it!
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
7,652
NY
It’s probably either the noise interference from the VS pump similar to the Pentairs, or it tripped once or twice for real and is now extra sensitive. That happens too. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Orion7319

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
339
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
It’s probably either the noise interference from the VS pump similar to the Pentairs, or it tripped once or twice for real and is now extra sensitive. That happens too. :)
It’s only tripped once when I ran the pump over 1400RPM. I discovered recently that it also trips when I adjust the flow down on the main drain. I wouldn’t worry about it if I didn’t want the skimmer to skim a bit better then it is.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Newdude

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
7,652
NY
Mine was as random as could be. Fine for 2 months and then 3 times in a day. The only thing I could wrap my head around running 24/7 at the same low speed was the pump temperature on certain days with the right sun shining on it. But then it worked fine at 100 degrees plus. 🤷‍♂️
 

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
339
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Mine was as random as could be. Fine for 2 months and then 3 times in a day. The only thing I could wrap my head around running 24/7 at the same low speed was the pump temperature on certain days with the right sun shining on it. But then it worked fine at 100 degrees plus. 🤷‍♂️
At least mines not random, and I can make it do it. I just don’t know when exactly it will do it if I run it below 1400, but it will usually do it sometime that day. It would be nice if they included the appropriate GFCI breaker along with the pump.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Newdude

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
339
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
The only other weirdness I have going on with this pool is the filter. It’s a sand filter. It’s weird because I will get a large reduction in flow but my new PSI gauge never registers much of an increase. I have to backwash more frequently then I like to maintain a decent flow from the pump. When we bought the house I paid a pool company to replace the sand. The pool company had recommended that we replace the sand in the course of controlling a algae bloom that we inherited from the previous owners. They didn’t seem to know anything about pools though. They tried to tell me that the vinyl liner dropped in behind the fiber glass steps. I knew enough at the time to know that wasn’t right. As a result I am questioning rather or not they used the correct amount of sand or even the right type of sand. For all I know my sand filter could be filled with regular play sand. At some point I’m going to replace it myself simply because I don’t know what exactly I’m dealing with there. It seems to filter fine, doesn’t blow out of the returns or anything like that, but I get a very noticeable reduction in flow every now and then from one day to the next. I get lots of flow right after I backwash it, but less then a week later it is always greatly reduced. Nothing wrong with pool chemistry and water is very clear. I guess it could have been the DE powder I was adding but I never add that much and followed the wiki here for how to do it. I skipped it this time to see if it makes a difference on how long it takes for the major reduction in flow. I suppose that this issue could potentially be contributing to the pump tripping and might be part of the reason it trips at lower RPMs. In fact earlier this week I thought the pump wasn’t running at all and had been running fine the day before. I backwashed it and it’s really flowing very fast now.
 

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
339
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
The power factor is lower at lower speeds which might be why you are having problems at low speed.

I would try the Siemens breaker if it will fit in your breaker box.

Or, get a new individual box for the new beaker if necessary.

I can’t seem to find this breaker for a reasonable price anywhere. It’s unavailable as it has been discontinued it seems. I can find them on Amazon between $174.00 to $274.00. Are there any alternatives to this? I looked for a 15amp one, even though I’m not sure if that will work with my pump and SWG, but I can’t even find those.
 

LoneWolfArcher

Bronze Supporter
May 29, 2019
475
Michigan
GFCI breakers are expensive, no doubt. That is why most people opt for GFCI outlets when available (not all amperages have GFCI outlets). However, GFCI breakers can go/be bad as well. Did you have an electrician install the breaker?

Also, that breaker looks awfully old for a new installation. Did you use a used breaker?
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
7,652
NY
I can find them on Amazon between $174.00 to $274.00. Are there any alternatives to this? I
That should be it with varying degrees of supply issues / gouging. A few weeks ago I pulled it up for my electrician while getting a quote for my build and it was $230 on Amazon that day. I imagine it’s more at HD / electrical supply shop.

Pre-pandemic it was $110 for the Siemens and $160 for the ‘Pentair’ one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Orion7319

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
339
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
GFCI breakers are expensive, no doubt. That is why most people opt for GFCI outlets when available (not all amperages have GFCI outlets). However, GFCI breakers can go/be bad as well. Did you have an electrician install the breaker?

Also, that breaker looks awfully old for a new installation. Did you use a used breaker?
Yes I had an electrician install the breaker last summer. It’s a new breaker in a very old box, located in a shed that tends to flood in a heavy rain. I suppose the humidity and dirt are making the breaker look older then it is.
 

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
339
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
That should be it with varying degrees of supply issues / gouging. A few weeks ago I pulled it up for my electrician while getting a quote for my build and it was $230 on Amazon that day. I imagine it’s more at HD / electrical supply shop.

Pre-pandemic it was $110 for the Siemens and $160 for the ‘Pentair’ one.
That is some serious price gouging!
EDIT: Usually when a manufacturer has discontinued a product, they replace it with a newer version. Is there a newer version of this breaker that will work?
 

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
339
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
  • Like
Reactions: Newdude

laprjns

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2012
492
Ellington, CT
Pool Size
30000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pureline Crystal Pure 60,000
EDIT: Usually when a manufacturer has discontinued a product, they replace it with a newer version. Is there a newer version of this breaker that will work?
Lots of confusion on these Siemens GFCI. Breaker Type is QPF. Current catalogy number for a 20 amp is QF220A. The catalog number of the part that was discontinued back in 2016 part was QF220P,see here QF220P discontinued. I believe that the discontinued part did not have a self test function required by the 2015 change in the UL standard.
Just use QF220A in your searches. However as you are finding out they seem to be in short supply, The catalog number for the 15 amp GFC is QF215A

Siemens 2020 product Catalog- GFCI Breakers.png
 
  • Like
Reactions: Orion7319

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
339
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Lots of confusion on these Siemens GFCI. Breaker Type is QPF. Current catalogy number for a 20 amp is QF220A. The catalog number of the part that was discontinued back in 2016 part was QF220P,see here QF220P discontinued. I believe that the discontinued part did not have a self test function required by the 2015 change in the UL standard.
Just use QF220A in your searches. However as you are finding out they seem to be in short supply, The catalog number for the 15 amp GFC is QF215A

View attachment 342775
Ok found the breaker and ordered it. I am going to attempt to replace this myself, as it should be straight forward enough. I would like to replace the box as well though as it’s very old and is made by GE. It’s in a shed, but I need an outdoor one as the shed doesn’t have heat or air and gets very humid after a rain. It just needs to have one space for this one breaker. I would just purchase one made by Siemens however they seem to be out of stock for those right now. Any recommendations on the box? Thanks!
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support