wiring new breaker box

f18fdg

Active member
Oct 5, 2007
31
I am changing out my pool equipment and so I decided to redo the wiring also.
The second picture is an image of the breaker box located next to my pool. The lower left is where the main wires come in, I have one black and one red wire that are used to run the pump, there is a white wire that is for the lights and one green wire for grounding.

1) By looking at this pic can you tell me if it is 240v or 120v. I read on another forum that by looking at how the timers were hooked up that you could tell. If wires are connected to terminal 1 and 3 then it is 240v.

2) The first pic is an image of where i want to install an additional breaker for the heater (my old heater did not require an electrical hookup). I bought a 30amp dual pole breaker, is this the correct one for a Hayward LoNox heater? I bought this since the ones running my pumps are two 15amp breakers hooked up together.



3) The box itself looks pretty bad, should i change it, if so any low cost recommendations.

Any advice is much appreciated
Thanks
 

sammm

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May 10, 2007
257
North Richland Hills, TX
f18fdg said:
1) By looking at this pic can you tell me if it is 240v or 120v. I read on another forum that by looking at how the timers were hooked up that you could tell. If wires are connected to terminal 1 and 3 then it is 240v.
It's probably easier to spot in your main circuit breaker box. Is it a single-pole or double-pole breaker feeding that circuit? 220V will have 2-hot wires (110v each).
 

Hotrod30

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Dec 22, 2007
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I can only tell you what I would do if it were me. Since you are asking if the box is 115 v or 230 v; I figure you don't know much about electricity. I would call an electrician. Look at it this way.... you, your family and your friends will be swimming in that pool. Is it worth taking a chance?

You want everything to run smoothly and not keep tripping the breakers. You want to make sure you have everything on GFI. Plain and simple.... you want to be safe.
 

98xc600

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Jul 7, 2007
148
Southern MN
It would be a 120/240 volt system. The black and red wire would have 120 volts to the neutral (the white wire) and you would have 240 across the black and red. Just by looking at the size of wire feeding that panel,you need larger wire feeding the whole thing. (If the heater really needs 30 amps) What size breaker is feeding that panel now? I'm betting it's 30 amps or less.

f18fdg said:
2) The first pic is an image of where i want to install an additional breaker for the heater (my old heater did not require an electrical hookup). I bought a 30amp dual pole breaker, is this the correct one for a Hayward LoNox heater? I bought this since the ones running my pumps are two 15amp breakers hooked up together.
You would need to find out the breaker size from the manufacture, not base it off the breaker size for the pumps. I'm not trying to be mean, so please don't take it that way, but the questions you are asking tells me you should call someone to look at it and install it. No heater is worth you losing your life or getting hurt!! And if you hook it up wrong your going to fry things!!
 

mnormington

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Jan 23, 2008
109
Burbank, IL
I'm with Hotrod on this one. If you're that in the dark about how to tell whether it's 110 or 220 you need to get professional help in this area. It's not something to be screwed with blindly.

I hope I don't come across the wrong way to you. Just trying to help you see that you need someone that knows what they are doing when it comes to this sort of thing. It can be very dangerous if not done properly.
 

Hotrod30

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Dec 22, 2007
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I expanded your picture and am troubled by acouple of things.

On the bottom, second pipe from the right... it looks like two white wires going into it. One from the middle breaker (blue toggle) and one going to the common bus.

On the common bus... the white wire on the bottom is from your supply and from what you wrote the other white wire is the common on your lights. Where is the common from your pump? Did someone run a two conductor with a ground and make it a 230 v using the green wire as the common? If so... it will work... not safe or to code. Or, are you running the pump at 115 v and running the hot and common thru seperate breakers.(?)

The incoming wire looks like 12 gauge. How long of a run is it and is it underground? For a pump, heater and lights.... it's not big enough. Also, I see four pipes on the bottom of the box. (from left to right) One for supply, one for the pump, one for lights, but I can't tell what the other pipe (far right pipe) does. What does that supply?

Sorry, but I think it's going to cost you some money to fix. Without being there to trace each wire, it's tough to tell what you have.
 

JasonLion

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A standard 240v pump is normally wired black, red, and green (hot 1, hot 2, and ground). White (neutral) is not normally wired to the pump.

A Hayward LoNox heater is a gas heater which doesn't draw very much power, less than 1 amp for several of the models that fit that description. They are frequently wired to the same circuit as the pump after the timer, so they won't go on when the pump is off (though that varies sometimes, for example a fireman's switch is required in some areas).

I am with the others on this one. You either need to learn a great deal more about electrical wiring or hire a professional to make the hookup.
 

Hotrod30

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Dec 22, 2007
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One more thing I forgot to say; if you get a license electrician, he is going to look at the supply side breaker amp size in your house going to your pool. If it runs underground it should be a GFI. He will also look at the size wire supplying power to your pool. If anything is the wrong size; that will have to be changed also. A good license electrician will not do a 75% job. It’s done to code or not done at all. You might have to have it inspected again.
 

f18fdg

Active member
Oct 5, 2007
31
Jason, thats why I am on the forum to see if this is something I can do myself since I am pretty handy or get someone else to do it for me.

I guess a lot of you are also telling that whoever built this pool did a bad job with the wiring.

There was a Waterway pump, a 60sq DE filter and a booster pump and whatever wiring the people before us did seemed to be able to run the pumps for the 17 years we have lived in the house.

So with this info in mind, would you all say that the wiring feeding the breaker box from the main supply is inadequate and that I will have to get it completely redone. Most of the wiring is above ground though so it should be easy to replace.
 

Hotrod30

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Dec 22, 2007
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JasonLion said:
A standard 240v pump is normally wired black, red, and green (hot 1, hot 2, and ground). White (neutral) is not normally wired to the pump.

A Hayward LoNox heater is a gas heater which doesn't draw very much power, less than 1 amp for several of the models that fit that description. They are frequently wired to the same circuit as the pump after the timer, so they won't go on when the pump is off (though that varies sometimes, for example a fireman's switch is required in some areas).

I am with the others on this one. You either need to learn a great deal more about electrical wiring or hire a professional to make the hookup.

IMHO, that is where some people get in trouble. They run a 230 v pump with 14/2 with a ground (think cheap); bury common house wiring and wonder why the pump doesn't run good. Min should be 10/3 with a ground, underground wire (less that 100 foot) and GFI. I alway run a common with the two hot wires. Also, I won't piggyback a 115 v onto a 230 v circuit. I don't know what they are going to hook up to the 115 v circuit and alot of 230 v GFI breakers don't like it. I run a seperate 115 v GFI to the pool. Everything is GFI at the house breaker box.
 

JasonLion

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I wouldn't get too worried about it just yet. If you have a small pump, less than 15 amps, which seems very likely given what you have said, and this box is not too far from the main panel (50 ft or less) then everything is probably alright. The approach Hotrod30 is recommending is better in a couple of ways, but given the assumptions I listed above and perhaps a few more, the current setup might well be up to code and reasonable.

I suspect that different people have made different assumptions about some of the unknowns and come to different conclusions. For example there is no way you can add a 30 amp breaker to this box, but reading carefully I don't see any reason you will actually need to do that. Likewise running separate lines for 240v and 120v each with a GFI breaker at the main panel has it's advantages but running a sub-panel with mixed 240v and 120v as you have here is allowed by code and done frequently enough.

Having an electrician out to make the hookup is a good idea for a couple of reasons. They will be able to double check things in a way that is extremely difficult for us to do at a distance. My guess is that it will be a very simple job, trace a few wiring runs, guess the distance to the main panel, and check the pumps name plate for spec information to be sure everything is alright and then wire the heater in to the pump circuit. All of which could happen in 15 minutes or less. That is making a number of assumptions about information I don't know, the size of the pump, the distance to the house, why there are two white wires going into one pipe, etc. Someone on site can simply look and see to verify those things but running through all of them via the Internet will quickly get tedious.
 

Hotrod30

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Dec 22, 2007
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I'm still "old school", but I shouldn't have said that running 2 hots with a ground is unsafe. It's fine.... I was just cranky from watching the grandkid. When I wire in a pump I always wire in a dedicated common. Just my way.

That timer box is also acting like a helper box (sub-panel). It should have a 230 v breaker at your house box for the feed and then you are just taking 115 v from one side of the 230 v before you go into the 230 v GFI for the pump. The 115 v looks like it then goes to a 115 v GFI.

I do not know the diagram of the double timer so I can't comment on how you could spice in another circuit. Also, my old tired eyes can't tell if there is a breaker bus that the 115 v GFI snappes into and if there is room for another 115 v GFI breaker. I don't think your wiring would like a large load (10 amps or more) added on but if the amp load of the new heater is small you should be OK.

I am still wondering where the wires on the bottom right go to. On the bottom going from left to right it looks like feed from house, feed to pump, feed to lights and then that pair of wires.

Everyone here wants to help you rewire and save money but your picture isn't exactly clear and there are to many variables on what the original person might have done when wiring. There are also many variables on how to wire extra into the box, as you can see.

You want to be safe.
 

f18fdg

Active member
Oct 5, 2007
31
i will take a few more pictures and be a little more descriptive.
I'll probably post them up tonight.

Thanks for the help so far.
 

98xc600

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Jul 7, 2007
148
Southern MN
The two white wires that "look" like they are going into a pipe, I think, is the white wire that comes off of the GFCI breaker, it just happens to be kinked right above the pipe and then runs up to the neutral bus. If you look just under the blue switch on the breaker there is the Yellow reset button which would make that a GFCI breaker and they need that white wire going to the neutral bar.
I think what you have is up to code by looking at the pictures. but if you really need 30 amps for a heater then there is no way it's large enough. I agree with Jason, that 1 amp is more like it.
 

repair_guy

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Dec 18, 2007
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Murrieta, CA
Here is one thing I have not read yet. Everyone is making a recommendation on wire color. You cannot make an assumption on any voltage by referring to wire color. The same wire is under that plastic color and it carries the same voltage. If you are told that something is a ground and it is not wired properly, there is a bit of a rude awakening for you.

You should have a basic understanding of electricity AND then a voltage tester to make sure things are what they appear to be.

The funky thing is that it looks like your light cord is wired right to the breaker. What's with that? Certainly not to code there.

your heater will do fine on the load side of the clock. Those are 240 clocks and just make sure the voltage is correct before installing the heater.
 

Hotrod30

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Dec 22, 2007
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98xc600 said:
The two white wires that "look" like they are going into a pipe, I think, is the white wire that comes off of the GFCI breaker, it just happens to be kinked right above the pipe and then runs up to the neutral bus. If you look just under the blue switch on the breaker there is the Yellow reset button which would make that a GFCI breaker and they need that white wire going to the neutral bar.
I think what you have is up to code by looking at the pictures. but if you really need 30 amps for a heater then there is no way it's large enough. I agree with Jason, that 1 amp is more like it.
I think you are right on that white wire. I've looked at it so much I am starting to see things that are not there.


Repair Guy..... If you take the heater power off the load side of the clocks, will you have GFI service? Does the load side from the clock go to the GFI breaker and then to the motor?
 

f18fdg

Active member
Oct 5, 2007
31
Sorry I had to delete the previous pictures so I could upload the new ones
So for the pool I have a 30amp dual pole breaker at the main breaker box for the house (this means 240v)

From this four 10G wires (red(hot), black(hot), white(?, this one seems to provide power for the underwater lights, see below) and green(ground)) run about 70 ft above ground to the pool control box.

The pic below (labeled white wire) showes where they come in from the lower left.



The red and black wire connect to a plate to which additional breakers can be attached (I do not know name of plate) see pic labeled red and black wire.



The white wire connects to a hub. From this hub another white wire (12G) attaches to a GFI breaker. From this breaker are two wires (red and black wrapped in heat wrap) that lead to a switch that turns on the underwater lights

Two 15amp dual pole breakers are attached to the plates where the red and black wires are attached one breaker for each wire (unfortunately I reached my upload quota so I can't attach any more pictures). From these breakers 12G wires lead to the timer switches. The wires from the breaker attached to the 10G black wire are attached to terminal 3 of each timer (i have two timers, one for pump and one for booster), the wires from the breaker attached to the 10G Red wire attach to terminal 1 of each timer. The wires from terminal 2 and 4 of each timer lead to the respective pumps.

I hope this is descriptive enough.

The ground wire connects to another hub to which all other ground wires are attached.

I have an electrician friend who can come out to make sure things are up to code and hooked up properly
All the equipment i mentioned before is gone, I am adding a Whisperflo 1.5hp pump, 320sqft Pentair Cart Filter, and a 400K BTU Hayward LoNox Heater all within 5ft of the control box so i will use 12G wire to hook up.

So according to what I read so far I could hook the heater up to the circuit that controls Whisperflo pump and there is no reason to attach another breaker for the heater itself.

Since I am not using the booster pump anymore could I hook the heater up to that circuit?

Thanks for all the suggestions and concern.
 

repair_guy

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Dec 18, 2007
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Murrieta, CA
ok, that picture clearly indicates the light cord is not wired to the breaker which is good. However, if you look at the r/w/g "shrink" coated wire to the gfi breaker, there does not appear to be a continuation of this neutral (white) wire to the neutral busbar. It's clearly coming from the switch but to not connect it to complete the circuit is not good. If your electrician friend did not catch that, you need a real electrician. You still do in my opinion. I know it's been said over and over but you keep asking for another way to hook up this heater. It needs to go to the same load side on the pump clock, PERIOD!

From the looks of the trippers, I'm guessing the pump clock is on the left? From left to right the terminals are
1,2,3,4. There is an unused terminal on the extreme left that is unused for a 240v application.

The 1 an 3 have a small white wire under the lug. This terminal goes to the breaker as it is currently wired. Lugs 2 and 4 are the LOAD. Your pump and heater go there.

You really need that light circuit looked at. The only thing that gfi breaker is for is the lights. It appears wired correctly to the panel but NOT the light circuit.