Hayward Super Pump trips GFCI

cholmes28

Well-known member
Jun 9, 2014
130
Marietta, GA
I have a GFCI outlet coming off my breaker panel inside my house, which then runs outside to my pool timer, and then to my pump, which is a Hayward Super Pump 1HP. The timer has power, but every time the timer kicks on the pump, the GFCI in the house trips. The pump motor never even tries to come on, and there are no noises or anything. Up to this point, I never heard any humming or loud noises. This happened right after we had a few days of hard rain. I have checked the impeller and it spins freely. The pump is a few months older than 3 yrs. I had a buddy walk me through testing the pump for an internal short using a meter, and there is not one that we could tell. Just to rule out the timer, I plan to bypass it and connect pump directly to the power, but I am thinking that will likely still trip the GFCI. Beyond that, does anyone have any suggestions for further testing? I read online that it could be the capacitor, but not sure if there is a way to test this. Ideas?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,656
Bedford, TX
28,

Sounds to me like you have moisture somewhere in the circuit.. A GFCI will trip on a very small current leak, much smaller than you can measure with a meter.

I suggest that you disconnect the power right at the pump (Make sure the wires are not touching each other or anything else) and then turn the timer on and make sure that the GFCI does not pop. If it does pop, you will know the problem is somewhere between the GFCI and the disconnected wires.. If it does not pop then the pump is the problem..

Since it happens after a rain, the first thing I'd want to do is make sure it is dry and bug free inside the pump..

Could also just be a weak (bad) GFCI..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

cholmes28

Well-known member
Jun 9, 2014
130
Marietta, GA
I will try what you suggest but it is a pain to access the pump wiring connections so would like to rule out bad GFCI first...Can I remove GFCI and connect the wires together, then turn on pump and if the breaker in panel doesn’t trip, then I know the GFCI is bad or do I need to just replace GFCI to test whether that is the issue?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,847
Northern NJ
I will try what you suggest but it is a pain to access the pump wiring connections so would like to rule out bad GFCI first...Can I remove GFCI and connect the wires together, then turn on pump and if the breaker in panel doesn’t trip, then I know the GFCI is bad or do I need to just replace GFCI to test whether that is the issue?
The GFCI is built into the CB. There are no wires to remove to bypass it.

For test purposes only, you can replace a GFCI breaker with a non-GFCI breaker and see if the pump runs normally. That will tell you that the CB is not tripping due to an amperage overload.

You still will not know if the GFCI problem is in the CB or the pump. You can replace the GFCI CB with a new one and see if it still faults in which case it is a problem in the pump or wiring.
 

cholmes28

Well-known member
Jun 9, 2014
130
Marietta, GA
Update. I bypassed the timer and the GFCI still tripped so that rules out a short in timer. Then I bypassed the GFCI outlet by removing and connecting wires directly. The pump came on just fine which tells me the GFCI is bad. I figured while I was at it I would install a GFI breaker instead of the GFCI outlet that seems to break Avery couple yrs but I had to order one. So I reconnected timer and turned pump on and figured I would clean pool but after about 1 min of running, the pump started making a strange noise and burnt smoke started coming from pump. It was still sucking though. Does that mean pump is bad?
 

cholmes28

Well-known member
Jun 9, 2014
130
Marietta, GA
Btw, in my case I have a regular 20A breaker then a GFCI wall outlet outside the panel which protects the circuit the pump is on. So that is how I was able to remove and bypass it.
 

cholmes28

Well-known member
Jun 9, 2014
130
Marietta, GA
Here are the pics of everything... This motor is 2 months after the 3 yr warranty. Is this normal? This will be the 3rd motor I have had to replace. The first one I replaced after 6 yrs, the second after 4 years, and now this one after just over 3 yrs.
 

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cholmes28

Well-known member
Jun 9, 2014
130
Marietta, GA
One thing I got to thinking was whether my pump was sized properly. It seems the method to calculate pump HP is a bit complicated. Is there a relatively easy way to figure out if I can do a 1.5 HP vs a 1 HP? If I am going to replace motor, now is the time to figure that out.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,599
The bottom vents look like they were blocked by debris. Water probably got sucked into the motor and caused it to short out.

The vents need to be open to get air flow.

You probably need to get the pump raised up some to keep it dry.

Why is the pump running on 120 when you have 240 available?
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,599
I was looking at the breaker box thinking that it was a subpanel.

Is that the main breaker?

In any case, you could have run 240 plus a neutral from the breaker box to outside.

If possible I would switch to 240 and get the pump off the ground so that it's not getting clogged with debris and sucking up water.
 

cholmes28

Well-known member
Jun 9, 2014
130
Marietta, GA
The bottom vents look like they were blocked by debris.
I have a LOT of leaves that collect around the equipment since I have a fence surrounding it on 3 sides. I am going to add a slanted metal roof over the equipment to keep rain and leaves from getting in there, so that should help. I like the idea of raising the pump a few inches, would the attached picture be all that is needed?
 

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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,599
120 volts is fine if that's what you have.

Definitely raise the pump a few inches to keep it clean and dry.

Maybe do a double 45 from the three-way valve to the pump.
 

cholmes28

Well-known member
Jun 9, 2014
130
Marietta, GA
Ok, thanks for all the help. I emailed Hayward to see if they will do anything for me since it is just 60 days past warranty, and if not, I will just buy a new motor and raise it up.