GFCI breaker tripping to pool pump

Hello all, I need your ideas....

DH came home late last night (after huge storms and tons of rain) to find pool pump not running. I am stuck in NYC until Monday. He has no working computer with him, so I am writing this....

We know from online monitoring that the pump was happily running along on Friday.

It is a one year old (renovation completed May 2010) Jandy Stealth 2HP single speed pump/motor controlled by Pool Pilot. Breaker in box on pool pad is tripped. Reset breaker, DH hears a split-second of tiny noise from pump, then the breaker trips. If he resets breaker and turns on pump, the breaker trips right away--doesn't even get that tiny noise any more. Other items fed by breaker panel are fine, but pump is only two-pole load, I think. I should ask DH if heat pump is fed by this box or by the house heat pump supply.....

There is nothing at all clogging the system. Heck, the loop-loc has been on the spotlessly clean pool for months; skimmers clean, pump...

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I have an in ground swimming pool. There is an outdoor sub panel with a 20amp GFCI breaker is connected to the pump. Today we had a bad rain storm...water coming down cats and dogs in every direction.

After the storm, I noticed my pool pump wasn't working. The breaker had tripped. I tried to turn it on, and it went off immediately.

So, I swapped out the breaker and the same thing it's not the breaker. Tomorrow, I am going to disconnect and wirenut the wires from the pump (disconnect the pump). If the breaker doesn't trip after that I will conclude there is a short in the wires running through the conduit...right?

Because it will be a pain to pull the wires and replace....which I am ok to run (temporarily, just to make sure it will work) the wires directly from the panel to the pump without putting them in the conduit right away. When I say "not right away" I mean long enough to make sure the breaker doesn't trip. If it doesn't trip then I would...

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Electrical problems can be among the most mysterious and frustrating that pool owners experience. They are also dangerous to the untrained DIYer so great caution – or a licensed electrician – is required when attempting to diagnose. Here are the most common reasons we see when it comes to pool pumps tripping.


GFCIs are quite sensitive to moisture so if your breaker trips after a storm, you might just need to let the sun do its thing for a day or two. If it’s not summer, you can probably just leave the pump off for a day and try again once everything has had a chance to dry. In summertime, you can still get by with your pump not running for one or two days but it will require some extra chlorine (shock) and manual circulation with a pole or paddle a couple times per day.

Keep in mind that rain isn’t the only possible source of water. A misdirected sprinkler, spray from power washing, even high humidity can affect a GFCI.

Bad or Wrong...

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Your pool pump should be on a GFCI breaker if it was properly wired. What you have is a current leakage problem possibly due to moisture leakage getting into the windings of the motor. Rectify this problem before using the pool. If you don't have GFCI breakers protecting the pool pump and normal breakers are tripping you have a seriously dangerous situation. Get an electrician to look at it right away and don't let anyone in the pool.

If this problem just started then there is something in motor causing it to draw more current. It is either an internal short in the windings of the motor or a bearing problem that is causing more current to flow. In a pool pump the impeller may be jammed causing the motor to draw more current. If the breaker trips immediately it is likely a short. If it takes a few seconds to trip it may be the impeller. If it runs for several seconds and is very noisy it is the bearings. In most pool pumps you can take them apart and fix bearing...

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GFI devices are prone to degrade over time. Also, when used outdoors there are additional moisture issues that may cause sufficient current leakage to trip the breaker.

I had a similar problem this Spring. I was using a 20 amp GFI "master" outlet that protected two additional outlets 'downstream' of it (wired to the 'load' terminals on the GFI outlet- I'd have the check the doc. to see what terminology was used here). The pump was plugged into one of the downstream outlets.

Replacing the GFI seemed to solve the problem. I did ante up $20 for an 'outdoor' model of the 20 amp GFI unit, several bucks more than the standard 'indoor' unit - have no ideal if that represented additional value or not.

Note also, that this is the third such pump I have used for my pool cover. The other two failed to come on at all after about a year's use. The mfg replaced them under warranty (I may have had to send back the old pump - I forget!).


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2 HP at 120 volts ?? that is not very common I have ran into most pump in that size normally I get them in 240 volts.

2 HP @ 120 volts you will be at anywhere from 18 to 24 amps depending on the design of motour itself.

The 20 amp breaker may trip and may not trip at that level so if you are running at 20 to 24 it may hold for quite a while but once you get above that level it will trip pretty fast.

I really suggest that when you run new conductors I will suggest that you get 240 volt motor and two pole RCD { GFCI } breaker I know they are not cheap but in pool and spa area they are very strict on codes.

That one reason why I useally get the pool pumps wired at 240 volt escpally with larger one { anything over 1 HP normally I switch over to 240 volts unless you have subpanel there that specficlly can handle it and the distance that will affect also on 120 volts.


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The unit keeps tripping the GFI. We had found the reservoir. Turn ON the power after fitting and Push Test button. GFI (ground fault interrupt) breakers are installed in bathrooms, kitchens and near water faucets. I can see how upsetting the breaker constantly tripping would become. Ground-fault circuit interrupters, better known as GFCIs or GFIs, are used to protect people from electrocuting themselves. The 15 amp gfi in the breaker box never trips (unless I test it). RE: Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping You have an Arc fault breaker which trips faster than a GFI. Do you have an amp meter. The circuit breaker in my basement with the GFI which is 60 amps is only.

I have a submersible pump on a GFI circuit that runs fine for a time and. As for "breaker," the circuit-breaker-type GFCI does do. I just purchased a mid 80's trailer home and the ground fault circuit breaker trips periodically killing power to 3 wall outlets...

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I am having a problem with (2) circuits using gfci breakers. I have never had this problem using gfci receptacles.

I have (2) 20A circuits used for exterior receptacles. The homeowner wanted gfci breakers used instead of gfci receptacles so it would be easier to find where to perform a reset if there was a fault.

Here is the problem (on both circuits). The instant ANY power is drawn, the breaker trips. It makes no difference if a 2 wire or 3 wire device is plugged in. You can plug things in without tripping the breaker but the moment it is turned on, the breaker trips.

I do not have this problem with any of my AFCI breakers. I also do not have this problem on any circuits using gfci receptacles.

I have checked each and every plug on these circuits. They are all in metal boxes. I see no issues.

Any suggestions on where to start?


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I think this is what the code disagreement was about...

Prior to 2008

250.32(B)(2) Grounded Conductor

Where (1) an equipment grounding conductor is not run with the supply to the building or structure, (2) there are no continuous metallic paths bonded to the grounding system in each building or structure involved, and (3) ground-fault protection of equipment has not been installed on the supply side of the feeder(s), the grounded conductor run with the supply to the building or structure shall be connected to the building or structure disconnecting means and to the grounding electrode(s) and shall be used for grounding or bonding of equipment, structures, or frames required to be grounded or bonded.




2011 NEC

250.32 Buildings or Structures Supplied by a Feeder or Branch Circuit.

(B) Equipment Grounding Conductor.

(1) Supplied by a Feeder or Branch Circuit. To quickly...

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You did not say if your pump was external or submerged in your pond?
But since you say you can hear it running, I will assume it is an external pump.
The whirring sound could be something caught in the pump motors cooling fan or a foreign object in the pumps impeller that is rubbing on the casing as it revolves!!??

GFCI outlets trip on ground faults, usually caused by the hot wire to the pump etc, being damaged/ or becoming wet and leaking current to ground.

The GFCI can also trip if moisture is allowed to enter the receptacle [outlet]. It could be in the form of rain/snow/ice melting/or in summer, a blast from a garden hose!
Installing a weatherproof cover over the receptacle, will lessen the chance of these "nuisance trips".

Moisture could also be entering the plug cap on the electrical cord that runs to your pump or the cord itself, could be damaged, allowing moisture in, which can cause a ground fault.
You could have a ground fault in...

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Electricity is responsible for running pumps and motors, ignites gas heaters, and operates controls. When major renovation or installation of electrical circuits is required, call a professional electrician and subcontract the job. When troubleshooting short circuits or other specialized electrical problems, an electrician will solve and repair it faster than you can, so again, call a professional and let him do his job.

Water technician and electrician is required to make basic electrical connections, troubleshoot underwater lights that won't work, switch appliances from 110 volt to 220 volt, and so on. Understanding the basic concepts of how electricity works, is controlled, and is conducted, will keep you both safe and profitable.

Electrical Terms

Electrical Terms definitions are as below

Amperage (amps) is the term used to describe the actual...

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This was written by my good friend Kaisa Williams from The Spa Depot, an online hot tub supply retailer. Through her experience and expertise, she compiled a list of common problems you might run into when taking care of your hot tub, and gives solutions on how to solve them. Hope you find this post helpful, and if you have any additional questions, be sure to ask in the comments below.

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1. My Hot Tub Won’t Heat

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Our Jacuzzi J350 is about 8 years old, is under truss on the patio & has a spa cover. The last couple of days when we checked it we have found it off & the circuit breaker tripped. When I reset the breaker the dreaded OH error code is shown. When I shut the breaker off & on again then the display is normal. I have seen the temp gauge go downward reading the current temp but a it may immediately shoot up to 112-114 then pop the breaker. (Of course the water canВґt be that hot with the power off for a day. ) Upon reset OH is shown once again.

I can turn on the Jacuzzi & it will power on the pumps, lights, heater, etc. but it has to be just after resetting the breaker, usually twice.
It has gone through 2 of the 20 minute cycles but will trip the breaker again.

We did a drain & fill 4 weeks ago but havenВґt used it in 2 weeks & at that time it was working great.

Can somebody tell me what to look for in regards to the OH error.
I pulled the side panels off &...

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This troubleshooting guide will help you repair & troubleshoot many brands and models of pool pumps including such brands as Hayward, Pentair, Sta-rite pool pumps, and many others. The only difference is that some pumps will have different horsepower, name brand, but no matter what brand of pool pump you have they all will have an impeller and so on so this guide should work for you.

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1. A Short Circuit Protective Device (SCPD) such as a circuit breaker or fuse.
2. A means of switching it on and off, which means under load (load break), as in a manual switch, contactor or solid state device.
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In most cases you have devices that satisfied more than one of these 4 elements, such as a circuit breaker or fused disconnect with lock-out provisions, and a Motor Starter which is the switch AND the OLR. There are even some manual motor starters that are the SCPD, switch and OLR all in one.

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