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Another Gfci Tripping Problem


FightinTxAg
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I bought a 10 year old Jacuzzi Model 340 off Craigslist. It was running and hot at the seller's house, though I'm not sure he had it hooked up to a GFCI breaker, or just a regular one. I got it home and hooked it up. I wanted to flip the breaker on quickly for a second or two, before filling, just to make sure the spa would power up and that I had it hooked up correctly. Well, it trips the 50 amp GFCI breaker in the spa panel immediately. Turn on the breaker, and you can hear a click from the spa before the breaker shuts back off. Here's what I've tried (I can't be accused of not searching the forum):

1. Disconnected the spa, and made sure the breaker will stay on when energized, but not connected to the spa. Breaker is brand new, and seems fine. It doesn't trip when powered up, but disconnected from the spa.

2. Disconnected the heater from the spa pack, and checked resistance across the two lugs. I get 11.2 ohms. Seems ok. Breaker still trips immediately with heater disconnected.

3. Disconnected both pumps and the light from the spa pack. Breaker still trips immediately.

4. Disconnected the spa from the breaker. With the heater, pumps, and light all still disconnected, I checked for a short to ground by checking resistance between the spa's hot lead terminals and ground/neutral terminals. Here's what I have:

---Red to ground or neutral is infinity.

---Black to ground (green) is infinity.

---Black to neutral (white) is 41.5 ohms???

There's a jumper between where the black hot lead connects to the board (#2 slot) and the #6 slot on the board. If I disconnect this, resistance between black and neutral goes to infinity and the breaker won't trip. But, nothing comes on at all with that jumper disconnected. Here's a picture of the jumper, with the ends of it circled in yellow.

utf-8BSU1HMDAwMjYtMjAxMDAzMjItMjMyM.jpg

Maybe 41.5 ohms on the black circuit is fine - representing the resistance for powering up the control panel or something? But, even if so, shouldn't that circuit be between the hot and ground (green), and not between hot and neutral (white)?

Finally, there wouldn't be something in the spa that causes an external breaker to trip if you try to power it up empty, would there? I mean, if it were an internal fuse or breaker that was blowing, I might believe the spa has some kind of self-preservation feature to keep you from running it dry. But, I find it hard to believe the spa would do something like switch a circuit to include the neutral leg, counting on an external GFCI breaker to save itself.

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One more thing that occurs to me. Maybe I don't need the neutral?

I have a manual for my spa. It's actually kind of a generic manual that seems to apply for about a dozen different models. It says:

Electrical Requirements

Your spa requires a 230 VAC, 50 AMP, 4-wire, grounded type GFCI protected electrical service with copper conductors, and must be in a separate circuit having no other appliance connected in that circuit. If you do not have this kind of circuit, a qualified electrician should install the necessary wiring. A wiring diagram is provided on the inside cover of the electrical control box. Inadequately sized wiring may cause the unit to malfunction and bring about permanent damage to the spa’s electrical system. The circuit must also have a ground wire in order to take advantage

of the designed-in safety features of the spa. A bond wire must also be used.

WARNING: Without proper grounding and bonding, a system malfunction may cause fatal shock.

So, after reading that, I assumed it needed 4 wires hooked into the spa pack - 2 hots, ground (green), and neutral (white). But, after re-reading that section, it might be that the neutral just needs to be run to the spa's GFCI panel, and not to the spa itself. But, why would the spa have a terminal for a white neutral wire, if nothing should be connected to it? Could it be the spa pack was used on other models that needed the neutral (for some 110V components), and that's why it has a provision for a neutral?

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I bought a 10 year old Jacuzzi Model 340 off Craigslist. It was running and hot at the seller's house, though I'm not sure he had it hooked up to a GFCI breaker, or just a regular one. I got it home and hooked it up. I wanted to flip the breaker on quickly for a second or two, before filling, just to make sure the spa would power up and that I had it hooked up correctly. Well, it trips the 50 amp GFCI breaker in the spa panel immediately. Turn on the breaker, and you can hear a click from the spa before the breaker shuts back off. Here's what I've tried (I can't be accused of not searching the forum):

1. Disconnected the spa, and made sure the breaker will stay on when energized, but not connected to the spa. Breaker is brand new, and seems fine. It doesn't trip when powered up, but disconnected from the spa.

2. Disconnected the heater from the spa pack, and checked resistance across the two lugs. I get 11.2 ohms. Seems ok. Breaker still trips immediately with heater disconnected.

3. Disconnected both pumps and the light from the spa pack. Breaker still trips immediately.

4. Disconnected the spa from the breaker. With the heater, pumps, and light all still disconnected, I checked for a short to ground by checking resistance between the spa's hot lead terminals and ground/neutral terminals. Here's what I have:

---Red to ground or neutral is infinity.

---Black to ground (green) is infinity.

---Black to neutral (white) is 41.5 ohms???

There's a jumper between where the black hot lead connects to the board (#2 slot) and the #6 slot on the board. If I disconnect this, resistance between black and neutral goes to infinity and the breaker won't trip. But, nothing comes on at all with that jumper disconnected. Here's a picture of the jumper, with the ends of it circled in yellow.

utf-8BSU1HMDAwMjYtMjAxMDAzMjItMjMyM.jpg

Maybe 41.5 ohms on the black circuit is fine - representing the resistance for powering up the control panel or something? But, even if so, shouldn't that circuit be between the hot and ground (green), and not between hot and neutral (white)?

Finally, there wouldn't be something in the spa that causes an external breaker to trip if you try to power it up empty, would there? I mean, if it were an internal fuse or breaker that was blowing, I might believe the spa has some kind of self-preservation feature to keep you from running it dry. But, I find it hard to believe the spa would do something like switch a circuit to include the neutral leg, counting on an external GFCI breaker to save itself.

Do you have the two neutrals in the breaker box wire nutted together or are they connected to the ground bar in the gfi breaker box? If they are If they are connected to the ground bar, remove them and wire nut them together.

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Do you have the two neutrals in the breaker box wire nutted together or are they connected to the ground bar in the gfi breaker box? If they are If they are connected to the ground bar, remove them and wire nut them together.

They're connected to the neutral bar in the GFCI box, along with the pigtail from the GFCI breaker. This is incorrect? If I just wire-nut the two neutrals together in the box, the GFCI pigtail will be on the neutral bar all by itself, essentially unconnected to anything.

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Do you have the two neutrals in the breaker box wire nutted together or are they connected to the ground bar in the gfi breaker box? If they are If they are connected to the ground bar, remove them and wire nut them together.

They're connected to the neutral bar in the GFCI box, along with the pigtail from the GFCI breaker. This is incorrect? If I just wire-nut the two neutrals together in the box, the GFCI pigtail will be on the neutral bar all by itself, essentially unconnected to anything.

Is the nuetral wire going to the spa attached to load nuetral on the GFCI breaker? It must be on the breaker or it will never set. Follow the diagram on the back of the spa pack cover for connections. It could be a dual voltage pack 120 or 230

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Is the nuetral wire going to the spa attached to load nuetral on the GFCI breaker? It must be on the breaker or it will never set. Follow the diagram on the back of the spa pack cover for connections. It could be a dual voltage pack 120 or 230

I have a Midwest GFCI box, which I think has a Seimens GFCI breaker switch. The breaker switch has 3 terminals. I get 230V (actually 245V) across 2 of the terminals, and that's where I hooked up my hot leads. I have nothing else connected to the breaker switch itself, aside from the pigtail that goes to the box's neutral bar. Is this 3rd terminal, which I have nothing connected to, the load neutral you're talking about?

Here's a crude MS Paint sketch of what I've got in the GFCI box.

panel.jpg

Are you saying the white neutral line from the spa actually needs to go to the open terminal on the GFCI breaker switch, and not to the neutral bar in the GFCI box?

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Is the nuetral wire going to the spa attached to load nuetral on the GFCI breaker? It must be on the breaker or it will never set. Follow the diagram on the back of the spa pack cover for connections. It could be a dual voltage pack 120 or 230

I have a Midwest GFCI box, which I think has a Seimens GFCI breaker switch. The breaker switch has 3 terminals. I get 230V (actually 245V) across 2 of the terminals, and that's where I hooked up my hot leads. I have nothing else connected to the breaker switch itself, aside from the pigtail that goes to the box's neutral bar. Is this 3rd terminal, which I have nothing connected to, the load neutral you're talking about?

Here's a crude MS Paint sketch of what I've got in the GFCI box.

panel.jpg

Are you saying the white neutral line from the spa actually needs to go to the open terminal on the GFCI breaker switch, and not to the neutral bar in the GFCI box?

You've miswired the load neutral. Load neutral goes to the neutral terminal of the GFCI.

John

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