Pentair Easy Touch breaker swap help

Dock Ellis

Silver Supporter
Aug 3, 2016
47
DFW TX
I recently added 3 Pentair landscape lights and when wiring them in with the pool lights on the ET panel noticed that the breaker was not GFCI protected. I also couldn't get power to the new landscape light transformer by using a jumper wire from the pool light spot at AUX 5 to AUX 2 where I was wanting the landscape lights. So I figured I would kill two birds with one stone and swap out the breaker for a GFCI and get a breaker with two load spots and just wire directly to AUX 2 from one and plug in the other hot wire that is currently going to the GFCI outlet then to the ET transformer.

The problem came when I turned the power back on to the panel. The equipment was getting power but the ET display was blank. So I plugged the old breaker in and just used a wire nut to get power to AUX 2 and the GFCI outlet and that did the trick. I'm just nervous because I know new code requires that to be a GFCI breaker and I'm not sure where I went wrong. The old (now current) breaker is an Eaton 20a single pole and the GFCI is an Eaton BR GFCI 20a breaker. Any ideas? Here is a picture of the panel wiring with the GFCI breaker before I switched back. The electricians who connected the pool, spa, and entry lights have a 2 gang J Box, an Intermatic j box, and an intermatic 300 watt transformer wired next to each other so I suspect that might be the culprit but I can't really make sense of all the wiring they did. One thing was that the old breaker I'm now using didn't have a common wire but the GFCI one did that I wired into the common bar.

Thanks.

IMG_6276.jpg
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,340
Bedford, TX
Doc,

If your plan was to try and confuse me, you did a great job... :)

It is hard to tell where the wires should go as they are almost all black and red and hard to tell where they go..

I am puzzled as to why the power to the panel was shut off by replacing the breaker?? Can you look at the system power transformer (the top one) and tell us which wires on the primary side go where...

Pool lights on most EasyTouch installs are powered through the GFCI outlet on the side of the panel.. Are you sure that yours are/were not???

Tell us what the top row of relays control.. The first one is the Pump/Filter relay, then Aux 1, 2, and 3.

The new GFCI breaker should have a Hot output, a Neutral that is from the landscape system and the pig tail that should be connected to the neutral bus bar.

Let me know what you find,

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Dock Ellis

Silver Supporter
Aug 3, 2016
47
DFW TX
Doc,

If your plan was to try and confuse me, you did a great job... :)

It is hard to tell where the wires should go as they are almost all black and red and hard to tell where they go..

I am puzzled as to why the power to the panel was shut off by replacing the breaker?? Can you look at the system power transformer (the top one) and tell us which wires on the primary side go where...

Pool lights on most EasyTouch installs are powered through the GFCI outlet on the side of the panel.. Are you sure that yours are/were not???

Tell us what the top row of relays control.. The first one is the Pump/Filter relay, then Aux 1, 2, and 3.

The new GFCI breaker should have a Hot output, a Neutral that is from the landscape system and the pig tail that should be connected to the neutral bus bar.

Let me know what you find,

Thanks,

Jim R.
Sorry for the delay Jim, finally back at work. So the transformer to the panel was powered from the GFCI outlet, which was powered by the breaker I replaced. That's what I can't make sense of. Maybe the redundancy caused an issue? It never has in my residential applications but that's all I can come up with.

I suspect you are correct regarding the GFCI outlet going to the pool lights, thank you for that. I think the fix here is to stick with the original breaker and just tie in to the load wire going to the pool light transformer to power the landscape light transformer. That will get the GFCI protection and should be a pretty easy switch.

Regarding the relays, that's what I could not figure out. I know that the first is obviously the filter pump, which has a circuit breaker labeled, AUX 1 is the spa bubbler, 2 is now the landscape lights, 3-5 are the pool, spa, and entry lights, which are able to be controlled independently, 6 is the feature pump, and I'm not entirely sure what 7 is.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,340
Bedford, TX
Doc,

There is no need for the system transformer to be wired to a GFCI, I suspect they just found it a convenient place to get power..

I would install the original breaker and use it to return your EasyTouch back to its original configuration.. Then I would also install the new GFCI breaker and use it to power just the landscape lights.

In my mind it is simple and if one of the GFCIs pop you will know what is causing it.

I would also move the system transformer to the always hot side (input) of the GFCI outlet.. Not important, just something I would do. I would not want the ET to shut off just because the GFCI popped..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Pool Clown

In The Industry
Sep 5, 2008
2,015
Silicon Valley, CA
Yes, if you "Daisy chain" GFI's, you will get either no workie, or always tripping GFI. Neutral for GFI's must be exclusive to one another.
You may want to just remove those two from the outlet (like Jim suggests) and connect to line side of one of your relays, and neutral buss, just to make it easier. Preferably the first relay on the left (filter pump), and let the filter pump breaker carry the load. You dont really need to power the ET with a GFI, although local code may require it. Also, confirm transformer yellow wire terminates with no connection (for 110 V use).