Pool pump tripping pool main breaker

kutsyy

Member
Mar 1, 2013
17
I am having a problems with our pool pump tripping main but not pump breaker and I was hopping for some directions.

We have 8 years old pool and for the last few months I am having a problem of main 60 Amp been tripped. I pin pointed it to the pool pump in the rainy day. Interesting part is that pump doesn't trip it's own 30 Amp dual breaker but trips main 60 Amp breaker, even when there is nothing else is on. I am thinking about checking wiring on the main breaker, but would love to hear suggestions.

Main breaker model: Product Details - Industry Mall - Siemens USA

Thanks,

Vadim.

PS: and yes, I'll disconnect electricity from the house main panel first, before opening pool main.
 
Last edited:

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
1,527
Marrietta Ga
To clarify if nothing else is running off the pool panel but the pump it kicks the main 60 amp breaker but not the 30 pump one?
Also you mentioned rainy day, is it only when it rains?

I am not an electrician but know breakers do go bad sometimes..YOu could buy a clamp around amp meter like below and see how many amps you are pulling at the main panel..
Don't open the cover unless you feel comfortable :)

 

kutsyy

Member
Mar 1, 2013
17
To clarify if nothing else is running off the pool panel but the pump it kicks the main 60 amp breaker but not the 30 pump one?
Yes. To double check, I turned off all breaker except for the pool and control panel, the same result.

Also you mentioned rainy day, is it only when it rains?
I am not 100% sure yet, but seems that it is only around time when it rains.

I am not an electrician but know breakers do go bad sometimes..YOu could buy a clamp around amp meter like below and see how many amps you are pulling at the main panel..
Don't open the cover unless you feel comfortable :)

interesting, but I am not sure what it would tell me, I know that pump can not draw more then 30 Amp. So I think it is either wiring, connectors or breaker.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
1,214
Spring Valley, NY
Is the main breaker the dedicated GFCI for the panel or is the 30 amp pump breaker GFCI too. There may be contact somewhere when it rains,
enough to trip the GFCI or the 60 amp is just weak.
 
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markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
1,527
Marrietta Ga
Is the main breaker the dedicated GFCI for the panel or is the 30 amp pump breaker GFCI too. There may be contact somewhere when it rains,
enough to trip the GFCI or the 60 amp is just weak.
Wonder if the 60 amp is a GFI? Can't hurt to double check all the wiring but the water tripping part would worry me.
If the main is a GFI they do go bad and depending on your knowledge you could replace it your self.
If not maybe able to find an electrician off nextdoor who might ant a side job :)
 
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kutsyy

Member
Mar 1, 2013
17
Is the main breaker the dedicated GFCI for the panel or is the 30 amp pump breaker GFCI too. There may be contact somewhere when it rains,
enough to trip the GFCI or the 60 amp is just weak.
Only main is GFCI. The rest of the panel (including dual 30 Amp for pump) is regular.

So my plan for now is:
1. Disconnect electricity in the house panel
2. Open Pool Main and Poll panel
3. Visually inspect wiring, re-tight all connections
4. If #3 doesn't help, get Siemens 60 Amp Double Pole Type QPF GFCI Circuit Breaker-US2:QF260AP - The Home Depot and replace it
5. If #4 doesn't help, call professional electrician

Does it sound right?
 

RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
582
Cabool, Mo
No. Your breaker is fine, it is doing what it should be doing. You have water getting in to your pump causing it to trip. Most likely a shaft seal leak, but could be anything. Find the water issue and fix that.
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
443
Orlando
I’m not sure your logic makes sense here. If the main breaker is a GFCI and the 30A breaker is not, then I think it’s likely that a ground fault is tripping it and not over current. That’s what a GFCI is supposed to do. Additionally, you said that this only happens when the pool pump is on, so to me that points to an issue with the pool pump, not a wiring issue in the panel. If it was a wiring issue in the pool panel, then it would happen at any time, regardless of whether the pump was on or off. Additionally you said it seems to happen more frequently when it rains, which also points to a ground fault issue.

My guess, based on the symptoms as you’ve described them, is that somewhere on the pump or the power line for the pump there is exposed wiring and when it rains and gets wet it gets connected to ground, which would trip the GFCI. You might be able to do some testing by spraying the pump with a hose while it’s on to see if that causes the GFCI breaker to trip.

I would suggest inspecting the pump wiring first. Obviously turn off the power first, then check the connection at the pump. Make sure the housing is still water tight. Also check the connections and housings of any switch or timer that you have on the pump line as well as the wiring between the pump, the switches/timers, and the panel.
 

kutsyy

Member
Mar 1, 2013
17
OK,

I think it is starting to make sense. So essentially since pump breaker is not GFCI, it doesn't trip on ground fault of the pump and main breaker trips. Which means that issue is either in the pump or wiring to the pump. The pump is inside the wooden box, so it never really gets wet. I also have heater on the same breaker and I had some rat issue in the heater wiring before but main trips when heater is off, could it be related to the heater?

Sounds like I need to call pool company over. The issue is, so far this happens only when rains, and we don't have rain on the forecast for the next 2 week, and likely till October.

Is there anything I could try, and would it still make sense to call pool company? I am attaching photo of the panels and the pump.

Thank you,

Vadim
 

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RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
582
Cabool, Mo
Anything getting power when it trips could be it. Even if the heater is turned off with the switch on the heater, it still has power to it so could be the cause.
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
1,527
Marrietta Ga
Yea if you can remove the wires to the heater and see if that helps..Chewed up wires and water could be the cause..At least that will give you an idea what to check.
Issue for me always is I hate to pay a pool guy to come out and say " your pump is bad and I can replace it for $2000" Thanks but go away, I will do it myself for $1000 :)
 
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wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
1,214
Spring Valley, NY
I would check to make sure the pump connections are absolutely tight at both ends including the grounds. I've seen this on more then one occasion on resistive loads that the connections get loose, a slight resistance will throw it out too.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
16,024
Northern NJ
Let's make sure you understand what causes a GFCI trip. In simple terms the GFCI monitors the electrons flowing through the two wires that make up a circuit. If electrons in + electrons out then all is good. If electrons in are more then electrons out it means the electrons are flowing someplace they should not and the GFCI trips. The electrons can be lost through corrosion leaking to ground.

As was previously said the electrons can be lost from any circuit from the GFCI CB to active equipment. You can try and use a process of elimination and open the CBs on everything except for the Prologic and main pool pump. If the GFCI still trips then it conforms it is the pump or something in the wiring of the panels. If the GFCI does not trip after a time then turn on one other circuit, repeat until you seem to identify which one is causing the GFCI trip.

Your pump does not need to get getting wet from rain. A leaking seal in the pump can let water get into the motor side. Over time a bit of water leaking into the pump causes corrosion in the motor and a path for electrons to be lost to ground causing a GFCI trip. It is often intermittent with a bit of humidity increasing the conductivity enough to trip the GFCI.

GFCI faults are tough to find and it takes a very structured approach of elimination to pinpoint the likely source. Especially when multiple devices are on a GFCI protected circuit.
 

kutsyy

Member
Mar 1, 2013
17
As was previously said the electrons can be lost from any circuit from the GFCI CB to active equipment. You can try and use a process of elimination and open the CBs on everything except for the Prologic and main pool pump. If the GFCI still trips then it conforms it is the pump or something in the wiring of the panels. If the GFCI does not trip after a time then turn on one other circuit, repeat until you seem to identify which one is causing the GFCI trip.
That was the first thing I did so yes, it is pool/heater circuit. And it trips only when I turn on "filter" on the Prologic.
 

kutsyy

Member
Mar 1, 2013
17
I would check to make sure the pump connections are absolutely tight at both ends including the grounds. I've seen this on more then one occasion on resistive loads that the connections get loose, a slight resistance will throw it out too.
Good point, will do.

Thanks.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
16,024
Northern NJ
I think you will find your GFCI trip goes away when you replace your pump motor. And if you disassemble the pump you will likely find a leaking seal and some corrosion in the motor.
 
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tstex

Silver Supporter
Aug 28, 2012
1,772
Houston, TX
First, your ecostar is the worlds best pump for tripping GFCI breakers. period.

Questions: how old is the pump? Is it under warranty?

Second, I would switch out the pool breaker and replace w a DB 20Amp GFCI Siemens breaker. On VSP's, never have anything else on that circuit breaker except the pump, period. If the heater is on the breaker, change it when you replace the breaker.

Finally, make sure all other equipment are on GFCI breakers, then switch out your 60GFCI in panel for a regular 60amp breaker. this way, whatever is not functioning properly on the equipment pad, it trips its respective breaker while allowing your other equipment on the pad to properly operate. Also, every time you trip the 60Amp GFCI breaker, it gets weaker each time and will eventually fail. If you want a green pool, use the ecostar and go away for 2-3 days in the summer. It's a worthless pump and should have been recalled bc the controller is faulty...
 
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RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
582
Cabool, Mo
Alot of expensive ideas being thrown around.
You said you had rat damaged wiring in the heater. You said the heater is on the pump breaker, and the 60a gfci only trips with the pump breaker on. Look at the obvious first. Turn off the breaker and check the heater for more damaged wire, remove nesting materials (carefully, there may be wiring in there too) and check for water, electrocuted rodents (yes, that happens), rusty spots, dirt, wet cobwebs on terminals, and anything else you notice.
If that isn't it, look around the pump for water. If it has a leak it will leave a wet spot. Be thorough, it isn't always obvious.
Check for anything else wired into the pump circuit. That does not have to be a dedicated circuit by code, so they could have wired something else in to it, cleaner pump, ozonator, even landscape lighting. Unfortunately, most pool guys are not electricians, but still wire their own equipment. So there is no telling what they may have done. I am a former electrician turned pool guy, and I have seen it all.
Let us know what you find.
 
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esb

New member
Jun 27, 2012
4
I have this *exact* same problem with my EcoStar. It appears that the EcoStar is a generally flawed design that has this problem for many. Mine trips my Siemens master 60A GFCI breaker which I've already replaced once thinking it was the breaker. The problem has gotten progressively worse to where the pump trips it as soon as it starts up now.

I decided to just replace the EcoStar with a Tristar VS that appears to have a better reputation. It should be compatible with your Hayward controller and appears to have the plumbing / attachment points in the same places as the EcoStar. I'm hoping its a drop in replacement. I just started a thread this morning looking for advice about the replacement process.
 
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