Pool/Pump Breaker - Keep Tripping - VSP

jmutones34

New member
Jan 3, 2021
4
Greenville, SC
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Hello All,

Good morning! I am a new member here and wanted to post of an issue that I am having that I really hope someone can help me out on.

I purchased a home in Oct 2020 that has an in-ground saltwater swimming pool. Since I purchased the home the pool/pump breakers on the outside electrical panel have been tripping on average every two days. See below for pictures of the panel, GE breakers for the pool/pump, pump, VSP and chlorine generator.

The sellers stated that they had no previous issues with this and the only electrical related item done on the home since I purchased it was to install a GFCI outlet (instead of a regular outlet) at the rear of the home but that is on a different circuit than the pool/pool pump.

I have reached out to several different people and have received the following answers below.

#1 A poorly operating GFCI breaker that needs replacement (home inspector)
#2 The circuit is drawing too many amps and may have multiple items on the same electrical circuit as the pump. (home inspector)
#3 Current leakage / Ground Fault / Short Circuit somewhere in the wiring or motor. (home inspector)
#4 The breakers are GFCI and need to be replaced with non-GFCI (pool company)

I have been told by my go to home inspector (I am a realtor) that the GFCI breaker may need to replaced due to it's age as it looks older and he had issues turning it on. In other words, when it tripped it he would turn it off and then try it turn it back on again but it would immediately go to the tripped position. Sometimes, it took multiple tries to finally get it to turn on.

The home inspector also said that the chlorine generator and my irrigation system (which I never use) are on the same circuit and could be drawing too many amps and then tripping.

For what it's worth an electrician who worked on some other aspects of the interior of my home this past week but didn't really diagnose the pool issue as he said they don't touch pools said that he thinks its issue #3 but I don't know if I have confidence in him.

If someone could give me some guidance that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,244
Bedford, TX
34,

It could be 1 2 or 3, but 4 is just laughable... Pumps should be GFCI protected..

The cheapest thing to do is to install a new GFCI breaker and see what happens.

Since it is winter, you could temporarily disconnect the power to your salt system.. If it still pops, you would know it is not the salt system.

Did it just rain, or is your pad always wet around the pump?? There is a leak hole between the pump and the motor at the bottom of the two.. If you have water coming out there, then you have a seal leak and water could be getting into the motor.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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jmutones34

New member
Jan 3, 2021
4
Greenville, SC
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Thanks Jim!! I think I will move forward with replacing the GFCI breaker and see what happens.

I did turn off the chlorine generator several weeks ago at the recommendation of a different pool company and it has continued to trip.

As for the pad I have another issue where there appears to be a leak or crack in one of the pipes. I live in SC, but went out of state between 12/18 - 12/29 and found out once I returned that one of the days that the temperature dropped down to 18 degrees overnight (my pool was not closed and I didn't think it would get quite that cold). I took a video but was unable to upload it so I took a screenshot. It is shooting out water at the top and leaking water at the bottom. So I'm guessing that's why the pad is wet in the above picture. I have since turned off the pool equipment but wanted to shoot a video to show to a local pool company to see if they can diagnose/fix.

The tripping issue happened for a couple months before the leaking/cracked pipe though.

If you have any other hopeful info let me know. Thanks!

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,244
Bedford, TX
34,

A GFCI can pop if any type of moisture gets into the pump connections.. So, where the power connects to the pump must be dry and also any timer/switch that applies the power to the pump and the same thing goes for any junction box in between the pump and the timer/breaker.. It does not take a lot.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

jmutones34

New member
Jan 3, 2021
4
Greenville, SC
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Thanks, I will keep that in mind! I will start with replacing the breakers. Is there a certain brand recommended?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,244
Bedford, TX
The only breaker that you need to change is the one that is popping.. I assume this is the one for the pump.

I'd use a Siemens GFCI breaker if it fits your panel.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

jmutones34

New member
Jan 3, 2021
4
Greenville, SC
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Thanks Jim! You the man!

There is the pool/pool pump on the same pole breaker (right now with they are all GE's on the exterior).

I'll check with an electrician to see if it is OK to use the Siemens GFCI double pole breaker on this panel.

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