Heater GFCI requirement

cybertoad

Active member
Jan 30, 2019
42
California
I have a question about GFCI protection on gas fired heaters (Pentair MasterTemp.) Our pool was coompleted last summer and features a maxed-out EasyTouch panel. Now I'm reading that the gas fired pool heater may have required a GFCI per the 2017 NEC, but I’m not certain. I’d prefer the protection if it would in any way increase safety.
As you can see, the heater and blower are on a tandem double pole 20amp breaker. Is there any reason those two circuits (from an amperage standpoint) couldn’t just be combined on one GFCI breaker? (I don’t think a tandem GFCI breaker is made but could be wrong.)

Thoughts and advice on whether I’m code compliant, and even if so, if GFCI upgrade is a good idea would be appreciated.E489ECFE-24BE-4689-AA95-3D872AAF1815.jpeg
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
11,733
Northern NJ
Yup, 2017 NEC says...

680.28 Gas-Fired Water Heater. Circuits serving gas-fired
swimming pool and spa water heaters operating at voltages
above the low-voltage contact limit shall be provided with
ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.

When was your pool installed? Has your local codes adopted NEC 2017?
 
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cybertoad

Active member
Jan 30, 2019
42
California
Pool was installed in 2019. I just checked an online reference for the California Building Code, apparently the 2017 NEC was not adopted until Jan. 1, 2019 with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2020. As such, it looks like we were still on 2014 NEC at time pool was permitted.

Still, I’d like that circuit to be GFCI protected at my expense. What is the best-practice option on this panel given our current configuration? Just combining the heater and blower circuits into one GFCI protected circuit? Seems reasonable to me. Or if there is an overriding reason for the blower to be on its own circuit (should not need GFCI from my standpoint as it has plastic housing and electrically isolated by PVC pipe, and no chance of contact with pool water w/Hartford loop & check valve) I could swap the 220v spa blower for 110v model and put in tandem 20 amp non-GFCI single pole breaker to run the computer and blower. That, of course, would be more substantially more costly.
 
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