Too many amps on one breaker?

Billrector

Well-known member
Nov 3, 2013
118
0
Fort Worth, TX
#1
I'm in the middle of installing an Intermatic PE635 automation system. The instructions call for the spa blower to be connected to the breaker for the main pool pump. This is necessary because of the way Intermatic does the wiring for their control system. In the past, the blower was on a separate breaker, but that is no longer an option if I want to use the automation to control the blower. I'd like to hook the following up to the main pump breaker:

1) Spa blower - as stated above, I have no choice if I want the blower controlled by the automation system. Amp draw: 4 amps
2) Main pool pump - Amp draw: 11.5 amps
3) Stenner Pump - don't I also want this connected to the main pump breaker as I don't want the Stenner to operate if the pump is not running?? Amp draw: 1.7 amps
4) Raypak RP2100 heater - this was hooked up to the pump breaker originally. I'm assuming it should be connected to the main pool pump breaker also as you don't want the heater to run if the pool pump is not running. This is a propane gas heater and I'm assuming the amp draw is small, but I can't find the amp draw for this device. This information is not contained in the instruction manual and I have not been able to find it on line.

My main pump breaker is 20 amp and with this setup I'll have 17.2 amps plus whatever the heater is. Is this too much on that breaker?

If it is too much, any suggestions on what I move to another breaker? I'm thinking my only option would be the Stenner, but that does not remove very much amp draw?

Suggestions?
 

Divin Dave

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Oct 2, 2013
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Longview, Texas
#2
Hi, hopefully one of the more experiened electrical guys will chime in. I dont know if all of those items on a breaker like you explain is the thing to do or not without actually seeing all of it.

But, in the event it is ok, why cant you just install a bit larger breaker in place of the 20?
 

Billrector

Well-known member
Nov 3, 2013
118
0
Fort Worth, TX
#3
Hi, hopefully one of the more experiened electrical guys will chime in. I dont know if all of those items on a breaker like you explain is the thing to do or not without actually seeing all of it.

But, in the event it is ok, why cant you just install a bit larger breaker in place of the 20?
I thought of that, but I'd have to go to a 30AMP breaker and all the wiring is 12 gauge which I don't believe is large enough to carry that current? Also, my breaker box is limited to 80AMP and I'm there now. I do have one 20AMP breaker that only has a waterfall/fountain on it.
 

Jabooh1

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2013
320
0
Friendswood, TX
#6
Breakers are only supposed to be loaded to 80% of the listed rating I believe.

Not knowing what type of wire they used (assuming UF-B) it is rated at 20 amps.

You can't increase the breaker above 20 without pulling new wires.
 

Billrector

Well-known member
Nov 3, 2013
118
0
Fort Worth, TX
#7
Have you considered using the controller to just power relays, leaving the actual loads on their respective circuits?
Richard,

Thanks for your suggestion. I have a vague understanding of what you are talking about. Can you elaborate? What type of relay would I need? I assume I would need to either put the relay/relays in another box or install them somewhere in my existing box?

Thanks!
 

Richard320

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Jan 6, 2010
20,322
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San Dimas, CA (LA County)
#8
Richard,

Thanks for your suggestion. I have a vague understanding of what you are talking about. Can you elaborate? What type of relay would I need? I assume I would need to either put the relay/relays in another box or install them somewhere in my existing box?

Thanks!
Actually, I can't. My electrical expertise is pretty well confined to DC automotive circuits. But I do know there are relays for industrial use, which is how a normal lightswitch can turn on hundreds of fluorescent lights. I think google or a certified electrician would be your best bet with specifics.
 

stebs

Well-known member
Dec 8, 2013
120
0
#9
There has to be a way to put them on separate breakers.... What if the spa blower goes bad? Itll shut everything down. Same goes for the heater. same goes for the stenner... The pool heater should have a pressure switch to shut itself down when the pump turns off, although having your automation system tell it to shut down and let the pump run for a few to help cool it down is the ideal situation and let the pressure switch be the backup.
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
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Silver Spring, MD
#10
The Intermatic PE635 has five switches in three groups: the first pair of switches must share a circuit, the second pair of switches must share a circuit (allowed to be different from the one used by the first pair), and the final switch can have it's own circuit. The final switch can be setup as low voltage or line voltage. The first four are all line voltage.

Unless you have some other equipment you haven't mentioned there shouldn't be any problem having the blower on it's own circuit breaker.
 

Billrector

Well-known member
Nov 3, 2013
118
0
Fort Worth, TX
#11
The Intermatic PE635 has five switches in three groups: the first pair of switches must share a circuit, the second pair of switches must share a circuit (allowed to be different from the one used by the first pair), and the final switch can have it's own circuit. The final switch can be setup as low voltage or line voltage. The first four are all line voltage.

Unless you have some other equipment you haven't mentioned there shouldn't be any problem having the blower on it's own circuit breaker.
Hi Jason,

Thanks for your comment. Regarding the 5 circuits in the Intermatic PE635, I have the system configured as follows:

1) Single speed pool pump
2) Spa blower
3) Polaris 280 booster pump
4) P4043 valve actuator to control 2 valves
5) Heater - low voltage to control heater thermometer remotely

In addition, I have the following equipment that currently I can't control with the PE635:
1) Stenner pump - I plan to add another timer in my open box (P7103ME I'm thinking) and power it with 120V with one leg from Circuit one of the PE635
2) Waterfall - I have a separate pump running a waterfall that currently is controlled by a wall switch and it looks like it will have to stay that way!
3) My pool and spa lights will also stay on wall switches unless I can figure out how to automate them using the Z-wave.

Based on the above, I don't see how I can move the blower off of a shared circuit with the main pump, the Stenner pump, and the heater?

Appreciate everyone's help!
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
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Silver Spring, MD
#12
Indeed, quite a bit more equipment. If you want to control all of that remotely you need something fancier than the PE635.

Assuming the Stenner is 120 volts and the pump is 240 volts, you don't want to put the Stenner on one leg of the pump circuit. If you have a GFI breaker, which is required by recent versions of the electrical code, having the Stenner on one leg will trip the breaker any time the Stenner comes on. If they both operated at the same voltage there wouldn't be a problem.
 

dumbcluck

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Aug 4, 2013
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long beach
#13
a breaker supplies constant power.
it is the automation that controls when it gets or doesn't get power.
no need to share if amps are too high. 16 is really max for a 20a circuit.
heater usually needs flow to turn on so wouldn't turn on without pump normally. why not put heater and blower on same circuit? they will probably be coming on together anyway but only if pump is running I would guess.
these things could all easily be controlled with proper relay setup.
Jason is right, you cant steal one leg from a 220v circuit for 120v power. you need a separate circuit and also a neutral.
any photos of your current setup would help.
 

Billrector

Well-known member
Nov 3, 2013
118
0
Fort Worth, TX
#14
Here is a picture of my current project as well as a schematic.
View attachment 34039

IMG_0748.jpg

I've given this some more thought and am wondering if the following will work:

All equipment per schematic. Add a 240V relay which will be triggered by the pool pump switch and a 120V 7-day timer to run the Stenner pump (also 120V). This would enable the Stenner to run when both the timer and pool pump are active.

Replace the existing toggle switches for the pool and spa lights with Z-wave switches so that I can control them from the Intermatic remote. These are 120V which should be easy to find, but I'm not sure about having them in an outdoor weatherproof enclosure like they are in now and what that will do to the Z-wave signal?

If I can find one, replace the toggle switch to run the waterfall. This has to be 240V and again would be in a weatherproof box....again, signal issues?

If I can do all this, I will be able to automate ALL of my equipment!!! That would be awesome!

Comments and suggestions welcome!

Like the schematic shows with
 

dumbcluck

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Aug 4, 2013
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long beach
#15
Its hard to see on my phone but it looks like you want to share legs from different circuits. No. You cannot borrow power from another source to make up your own 220. This will cause major problems.
If I'm seeing it wrong sorry.