Intelliflo VS pump tripping GFCI breaker

Aggiesdm

New member
Oct 15, 2020
4
San Antonio, Tx
Hi, I've read around the forum, but I can't seem to find a similar post, so here we go...

I came home to find that my pool pump was not running. Went down to check it out and found the the Pentair 220amp GFCI breaker was tripped in the control cabinet. I tried to reset it and it immediately tripped again. The drive unit (Pentair 353251 mfg 5/8/2015) on the pump lights up and says "Alarm - Power Failure" assuming because of the tripped breaker. I called Pentair and they were pretty useless other than saying "call a repair center" or "replace the 220 breaker". I replaced the breaker with the appropriate Siemens 220 breaker and it's still tripping it immediately.

After speaking to a local pool tech, they recommended either replacing the entire unit ($1500) or just the drive ($1000). All this was over the phone without actually looking at it to diagnosing it.

So, my question is....Is there a way for me to diagnose what's tripping the 220 amp GFCI Breaker? How can I determine whether its a bad drive or a bad motor without completely disassembling the unit? If its a bad drive, I'd rather replace it myself for $650-700 vs paying tech to do it for $1000+. I'm pretty handy and comfortable working with electricity, but just don't know much about this type of unit.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,842
Bedford, TX
A,

It is rare for us to see IntelliFlo pumps that "immediately" trip the breaker..

I'd try a couple of obvious things first.. Disconnect the power at the pump to make sure your don't have some kind of weird power cable issue.

I'd also make sure the motor can be manually turned.. With the power off, I'd try to rotate the impeller from inside the pump end.. or maybe take the cover off the back of the motor and see if it can be turned from that end.. I have never had any of my three IntelliFlo pumps apart, so not sure.

You can always take the control head off and see if anything looks damaged. Not sure what that would tell you one way or the other.. :scratch:

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

tstex

Silver Supporter
Aug 28, 2012
1,869
Houston, TX
A,

As Jim stated, before you do anything, turn off the power.

Does your breaker trip immediately even if the pump is in the off position? If so, then this is a wiring or possible grounding issue/

Another obvious and basic to examine is all the wiring that goes to pump. Since you just replaced the breaker and are getting the same results, we can rule out the circuit breaker.

Next, have you had any power surges, spikes or e-storms that you are aware?

Usually when you reset a breaker and it immediately trips, there's something shorting...if it's not the wiring, then the origin of the shorts is the controller or motor. As Jim stated, if something is blocking the impeller?

Are there any other components on the equip pad that are having issues?
 
Last edited:

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,842
Bedford, TX
A,

Make sure the IntelliFlo breaker is not powering anything else... Depending on who wired the system, the IntelliFlo breaker may be used for several other things..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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Aggiesdm

New member
Oct 15, 2020
4
San Antonio, Tx
Well, here's what I found and the fix:

1. Took the control head off of the motor, reset the breaker and it was still tripping the breaker. So, I knew it wasn't the motor shorting it out.
2. Checked all the neutrals and also inspected the control head circuit board. Nothing out of the ordinary.
3. Finally called my local pool company that I've dealt with in the past. Good folks and the owner came out right away to help diagnose.
4. He said "what else is on that relay?". I told him that the only other thing was the UV water conditioner. He lit up and said.."That's your problem".
5. Sure enough, once he got here we removed the UV unit from the loop and the Pump kicked on like normal and all is well!!

Gonna leave the UV out for a while and see if I notice any difference. If not, then I'll leave it inactive until it becomes an issue. If I notice a difference, I'll look into replacing it ($900).

Anyway, all seems to be working normally at this point and I didn't have to spend $700-1500 to replace any pump parts! Score! I'm also returning the 220amp breaker and will get my $90 back!

Thanks for all the info and if you find yourself in the same position, check other things that could be on the same relay loop and causing your breaker to trip!
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,842
Bedford, TX
A,

The IntelliFlo is not supposed to be wired to anything else, except the IntelliChlor SWCG transformer if you had one.

If you follow the TFP pool care process, the UV is just a waste of money.. Sigh!!

How are you currently chlorinating your pool??? You should take a look through our Pool School.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,918
Laughlin, NV
Anyway, all seems to be working normally at this point and I didn't have to spend $700-1500 to replace any pump parts! Score! I'm also returning the 220amp breaker and will get my $90 back!
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tstex

Silver Supporter
Aug 28, 2012
1,869
Houston, TX
A,

Make sure the IntelliFlo breaker is not powering anything else... Depending on who wired the system, the IntelliFlo breaker may be used for several other things..

Thanks,

Jim R.
Good call Jim. I knew when I saw your post I hit "the like" bc that was probably a very good call.

To aggiedm...depending on how old your current breaker is for the VSP, you might want to hold on to that new breaker. Most places will not take back electrical parts, but maybe you might get lucky...nothing wrong w a back-up breaker....
 

Aggiesdm

New member
Oct 15, 2020
4
San Antonio, Tx
A,

The IntelliFlo is not supposed to be wired to anything else, except the IntelliChlor SWCG transformer if you had one.

If you follow the TFP pool care process, the UV is just a waste of money.. Sigh!!

How are you currently chlorinating your pool??? You should take a look through our Pool School.

Thanks,

Jim R.

Currently Chlorinating with normal 10% liquid chlorine, but have lots of fluctuations. I'll definitley read through the TFP method. I travel quite a bit for my job, so I'd love to find a route that is a little less "hands on" if possible, but living in South Texas, the heat seems to wreak havoc on my chemicals if unattended.

Again, thanks for all the info and I'll look through the info and consider a donation today!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,842
Bedford, TX
A,

A few years ago, my wife and I went to Europe for 21 days.. The pool was clear as a bell when we got back.. This is because we have a saltwater pool. In my mind, the only kind of pool to have.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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