gfi buzz

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Old 12-12-06, 05:43 PM
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gfi buzz

The gfi breaker in the disconnect box for my hottub buzzes. I have a 40A gfci breaker in the main panel, this feeds the disconnect box which has a 50A gfi breaker inside. The breaker in the main panel is quiet but the one in the box buzzes when live. The circuit is wired with #6-3 wire and was fine for about 4 mos. The hotub function is ok and the gfi does trip. any ideas....?
thanks.
 
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Old 12-12-06, 06:13 PM
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The gfi trips .... when tested only.... not for just any reason? Right?

If normal operation... Then SHUT OFF MAIN, at main panel. Open up the hot tub panel, and tighten all connections, including mounting hardware.(All screws holding every thing together).
 
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Old 12-12-06, 07:25 PM
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yes, the gfi trips only when tested, thanks for the reply, i'll recheck everything in the hottub panel. is a loose connection the most typical cause for a 'buzz'. what else can cause this? thanks.
 
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Old 12-12-06, 07:42 PM
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Yes, this "buzz" can occur under load (the demand on the ckt). Tighten a everything up and see what happens.

These sounds are hard to isolate, try it out and post back (either way, we like to know if we help, some ego,some good will).

It may be more, worse case from the sounds of it, A new disconnect(warrenty).
 
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Old 12-12-06, 08:14 PM
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Generally speaking you might get a dozen answers to why a breaker is buzzing. Lectriclee has given you one common reason. What I pick up on this post is that everything was working fine at first then in about 4 months the 50 amp gfci in the spa panel starts buzzing. Loose connections are probably first on the list and lectriclee has already pointed you in that direction. Next thing to consider is high amp draw..ie... pulling alot of current through that gfci. First thing that comes to my mind is a problem with a pump in the spa. The next thing would be the heater but its unlikely the heater. Pumps when they are running close to overload trip pull more amps than normal operation. Or they arent starting and the motor is pulling locked rotor amps causing the breaker to buzz like crazy. This fault will eventually cause the breaker to trip. I think I would take the pump or pumps out of the circuit and remove that load . Then see if the buzzing stops with the pump disconnected.

Roger
 
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Old 12-12-06, 08:24 PM
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Roger, I don't disagree.

Would you first not want to tighten things up, then "wait and see"?
If you remove the load, you will have no "buzz", unless there is a contactor of sorts.

If it persists, Then tear it apart. Or perhaps even have someone (electrician), or invest in an amprobe (perhaps the same cost, for a one shot deal) check the system before tearing it apart?
 
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Old 12-13-06, 07:09 AM
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I thought that is what I said.... that you were correct tighten things up first?
For some reason I didnt see your last reply that the buzz may be load related or I most likely would have not posted.

He asked for other reasons that might cause this so I gave him another place to check.

I was simply giving him another item to check if tightening the terminations didnt work. You dont have to tear the thing apart to isolate the pump circuit. I was just telling him that if the problem goes away with the pump load off the circuit then good chance you have a problem with the pump/pumps or related plumbing. In some spa's the pumps will not run when heating so this could be another way to see if the buzzing is pump related. He could have a faulty gfci but I just dont think that is on the list of most common causes for a breaker to buzz.
You bring up a excellent point if a gfci disconnect is being used where a contactor may be involved...... that may be the best bet.

Roger
 
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