pool pump-GFI?,temp wiring

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  #1  
Old 05-31-07, 12:34 PM
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pool pump-GFI?,temp wiring

I am in process of putting on addition and had to remove my pool pumps last fall. Well contractor out of business and project not done (not even started in area where pumps were!) So, I need to temporarily wire my pumps. I still have the original switches in place. When I removed pumps, I disconnected the liquidtite connectors at the pumps. Could I open up the junction box where switches are located and remove old wires running to pumps and put in new (#12 THWN-there are two pumps, each on own 15amp circuit. 230V, 8-9 amps each but I think#12 was used) wire in liquidtite conduit to a new temporary location? Is there a max distance I can go with this? I thought I saw 6' somewhere?

I found bare wire alongside plumbing. I assume it is the bond wire. I checked continuity between it and my metal stairs in pool and it did have continuity. This was originally attached to pump bodies and filter (steeL bodies on all). I have this and would dig it out so could get it to new location. I think I read that you can't break the wire.

When doing all this, I noticed that the pump circuits are NOT GFI protected. Seems like they should be. Do I go buy double pole GFI breakers to put in panel? They are not cheap. I think nearly $100 each.

I know someone is going to say get professional to do it. I will probably have someone check it out, but I wanted to do what I can before I bring them in.

thanks
Bill
 
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  #2  
Old 05-31-07, 01:05 PM
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> liquidtite conduit to a new temporary location?

Liquidtight is permitted as a flexible connection between the pump motor and the disconnect switch. The 6' limitation applies only to spas and hot tubs specifically; although probably should apply to pools in spirit given the code language. Given that this is a temporary solution, I don't really find fault with it.

"Where necessary to employ flexible connections at or adjacent to the motor, liquidtight ... with approved fittings shall be permitted."

> but I think#12 was used

A #12 is the smallest ground wire size allowed for pool pump motors regardless of the actual draw; makes sense to install all of them at least #12. Also, the ground conductor must be green insulated -- bare is not allowed.

> I assume it is the bond wire.

You're correct about the bonding wire, however the bonding wire may be spliced with welding or with corrosion-resistant compression fittings which are listed for use with pool equi-potential bonding grids. The bonding wire must be #8 or larger solid copper.

> are NOT GFI protected. Seems like they should be.

GFCI protection is not mandatory for hard-wired pool pump motors unless the pump manufacturer requires GFCI in the install instructions. If the pump motors have a cord-and-plug with corresponding receptacle, then GFCI breakers must be added.
 
  #3  
Old 05-31-07, 01:49 PM
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Thanks. Looks like I am on right track. Glad to know that I can get connector for bond wire. I suppose they would have at home depot?

I will have to check exact amps of the two motors. I would like to possibly put on same circuit, Then separate in junction box to feed two double pole switches. Would this be OK? What would be the max rated amps for a 20amp circuit? I think I have this in book somewhere but with my house tore up the way it is for the addition I don't know if I could find it. I could go 30amp, but then would have to use #10 to the junction box. Would you have to use #10 from the splice that would feed each double pole switch and from switch to pumps, or could you keep the #12 from split point since at this point only carrying 8-9 amps in each of the splits.

May sound like dump question, but why is GFI not required for these hard wired pumps? When I read the box on the double pole GFI breaker, it said that they were required. But I am pretty sure I saw on forum a year or so ago the same info you gave me--that not necessarily required. Lets see --Electricity--check, water--check, GFI--no check? Just wanted to get understanding WHY not needed.

thanks
bill
 
  #4  
Old 05-31-07, 02:33 PM
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> connector for bond wire. I suppose they would have at home depot?

I think you will have better luck at an electrical supply house. They may have some sort of connector at HD, but you need one specifically rated for use with pool bonding. The supply house will get you exactly the correct part.

> combining pump circuits

It may be possible to combine the pump circuits. To know for sure, we'll need the information from the nameplates on the pump motors. If you have the make/model number it may be possible to look up the info online.

> why is GFI not required for these hard wired pumps?

Because there is little to no chance that the hardwired circuit will power anything except the motor for which it was designed. With a cord-and-plug setup, someone could unplug the pump to use a radio near the pool or something like that. The pump and motor itself has been tested extensively by the manufacturer and by UL to verify that it will operate safely without GFCI and all of the wiring is installed in sealed conduits.

> it said that they were required.

GFCI breakers are required in many pool/spa installs, but not all. The electrical code has an entire chapter covering just pools and spas. I'm sure you can imagine there are many technicalities unique to each installation. GFCI protection of the pump motors is certainly not prohibited. You may add the breakers if you feel safer doing so; $200 is relatively cheap peace of mind.

> --Electricity--check, water--check, GFI--no check?

There are many appliances that require both water and electricity but do not require GFCI protection: water heater, dishwasher, washing machine, garbage isposal, and so on. Like the pump motor each of these appliances is usually hardwired to preclude the use of the circuit by other devices; and, each is tested by the manufacturer to fail in a safe way.
 
  #5  
Old 05-31-07, 03:59 PM
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I never thought about my water heater not having GFI! excellant example explaining why. I guess you shouldn't mess around with the motors internals for the reasons you said! I didn't think about someone plugging something else into the pump circuit. I was just considering the pump.

The pumps have the specs stamped onto plate that is on them. But, when I permanently put in pumps/filter, I think I am going to replace them. They are old and I hate to do all the plumbing only to have them fail in year or two and have to redo it. I think the new pumps are actually less amp, looking at the specs for the one model I was considering. But have to check with manufacturer again to verify the HP that I need and get specs on them. second pump is for polaris cleaner. I think it is only 1/2 HP, with main pump being 1 HP.

I'll write back later with details.

Oh yeh, on same note, my in-pool lights (wet niches?) also do not have GFI breakers, but MAY run through a GFI outlet. Will have to check the wiring diagram I made several years ago when I repaired something. I didn't make any "changes", just replaced some switches and put box extender and external switch plates-original had you lift tab and then move switch. I put in waterproof switch covers. I left the wiring the same. They do have a junction box located above ground about 12" high and 7' or so away from pool. Is there a splice in there? I assume that keeps any water leakage from getting back to main junction box where the switches are located? If I wanted to move these "junction boxes" it would be a real pain putting in new wire cause would have to go from light to new location unbroken- correct. So unless I am lucky and there isn't a splice in the junction(in which case I could "steal" some wire from the feed side of the box and then run new feed), I would have to disassemble the light to attach the new wire. I do not want to disassemble light!

Bill
 
  #6  
Old 06-01-07, 11:14 AM
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> I think it is only 1/2 HP, with main pump being 1 HP.

Those pumps are probably just fine together on a 20A 240V circuit. Can't say for sure without the exact specs, but together they should be well within the circuit capacity. However, if either pump manufacturer specifies a dedicated circuit in the installation instructions, then so it must be. I would recommend upsizing to #10 conductors to reduce the voltage drop.

> in-pool lights (wet niches?) also do not have GFI breakers

I don't know this one off the top of my head, but I think the GFCI requirement for wet-niche lamps depends on whether there is a shock hazard when the bulbs are replaced.

> They do have a junction box located above ground about 12" high
> and 7' or so away from pool. Is there a splice in there?

> new wire cause would have to go from light to new location
> unbroken- correct.

The only wire to worry about splicing is the ground wire; the hot and neutral may be spliced in any junction box using wirenuts.

These should be "pool rated" brass or plastic junction boxes which have grounding terminals molded inside the box. If the circuit supplies more than one light, then the ground wire may be spliced inside the box provided that you use the grounding terminals instead of plain wirenuts. As with all pool installs, the ground must be #12 copper or larger and insulated green.
 
  #7  
Old 06-02-07, 12:50 AM
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got pump info. I was a little off. no mention on plates about dedicated circuit. One reason I wanted to combine them was that I wanted save spaces on circuit breaker box cause am putting on addition and may need some more

main pump
2HP
230V
A 8.9
SFA 9.8

booster pump
1HP
208-230V
SFA 7.8-7.4

what is SFA? I figure something amps? the first pump listed both but the second only listed SFA. so could these be combined on 20A circuit or is it too close to 20A? since this is dedicated circuit and nothing else could be powered on it, I didn't know if you had to have reserve amp available?

checked and looks like my pool light circuit goes from circuit breaker to switch then to a GFI outlet then to lights. Sound like OK?

good to know that only have to worry about splicing ground, but since I wanted to try to move junction box away from pool, probably not going to be able to do easily, unless they make a junction box where I could splice the hot/neutral using wire nuts, has gounding terminals for the ground, and can be buried! Anything like that? I doubt it. also, you mention about using grounding terminals if supplies more than one light. so green goes from switch to junction near first light, at which point you could terminate on grounding terminal. then do you attach another green to another grounding terminal in that junction box and run it to the second light? at this point the circuit is only supplying one light so can you attach to grounding terminal in the junction box at second light??

and I think I saw that these junctions at light that I have currently need TWO metal poles that go into ground, not just ONE? I am correct on that? I don't know if my my junction boxes meets that. first has pvc coming in from switch, pvc going out (some wires in here need to go to first light AND some to second junction so not sure where these wires are separated? do they all run to first light in same conduit and the first light supply gets "dropped off" and the rest then run in conduit from first light to second junction box?is there a T fitting in the PVC conduit underground?) , and only one steel rod going into ground. the second has pvc coming from first junction, pvc going to second light. and one steel rod. box boxes appear to be brass. Is this up to code?

Bill
 
  #8  
Old 06-04-07, 09:41 AM
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> I wanted save spaces on circuit breaker box cause am putting on
> addition and may need some more

You can see if your panel supports "quad" style breakers. A quad breaker is (2) two-pole breakers which fits into the space of a single two-pole breaker.

> pump info

Sorry to say, but the pumps need separate 20A circuits. Combined, they need more power than a 20A circuit can provide; however the booster pump motor is too small to put on a circuit larger than 20A. Therefore, they cannot be combined on either a 20A or 30A circuit and must remain separate.

> what is SFA?

Service factor amps. It is calculated at 105% or 110% torque load instead of Full Load Amps (FLA) which is calculated at 100% load.

> I didn't know if you had to have reserve amp available?

Continuous motors may only use 80% of the dedicated circuit capacity. With a 20A circuit, you may have no more than 16A of motor FLA. In this case, you have 8.9A + 7.4A = 16.3A; and 9.8A + 7.4A = 17.2A in the heavily loaded case.

> to a GFI outlet then to lights. Sound like OK?

Yes.

> has gounding terminals for the ground, and can be buried!

There are brass pool junction boxes which can be installed flush into the pool deck concrete, but it doesn't sound like you're re-pouring any of that. The junction box cannot be buried. I don't think you'll be able to move the j-boxes without also rewiring the wet niches.

> then do you attach another green to another grounding terminal
> in that junction box and run it to the second light?

Yes.

> at this point the circuit is only supplying one light so can you attach to
> grounding terminal in the junction box at second light??

In my opinion, yes you could. If you have a picky inspector he may complain about it, but the code says "if the branch circuit supplies more than one...". It doesn't say "if this junction box supplies more than one...".

> do they all run to first light in same conduit and the first light
> supply gets "dropped off"

It's possible.

> Is this up to code?

Sounds okay as-is.
 
  #9  
Old 06-12-07, 10:51 AM
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**Sorry to say, but the pumps need separate 20A circuits. Combined, they need more power than a 20A circuit can provide; however the booster pump motor is too small to put on a circuit larger than 20A. Therefore, they cannot be combined on either a 20A or 30A circuit and must remain separate.

the pumps are currently on separate 15A circuits? Is this OK? The larger is 9.8SFA so should be fine I would think. a twist is that the smaller 1HP motor is a booster pump. It should never be turned on unless the other pump is already on. If you turn it on and the other pump is not already on, it is not getting any water and you could burn it up. I had thought about wiring so that it can't be turned on unless other one is already on. could I run from 30A breaker to a 30A double pole switch. have the other side of switch go to pigtails so that it can go to first pump and also connect power to a second 30A double pole switch. from there to second pump. therefore, when first switch is on it turns on first pump and supplies power to the switch for second pump-- the second switch only gets power when first is already on. this would all be done in the box as the switches are right next to each other in double gang box. would this be OK?

**There are brass pool junction boxes which can be installed flush into the pool deck concrete, but it doesn't sound like you're re-pouring any of that. The junction box cannot be buried. I don't think you'll be able to move the j-boxes without also rewiring the wet niches.

I think I would pour 2 - 1ft x 1ft slabs if I could mount the junction boxes within. "The currently stick up right next to the slab and look terrible and are in the way. I guess I need to check at electrical supply house for this type of box?

thanks
bill
 
  #10  
Old 06-12-07, 12:09 PM
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> the pumps are currently on separate 15A circuits? Is this OK?

Yes.

> could I run from 30A breaker to a 30A double pole switch....

There is one option I overlooked in my post last week. You may put both pumps on a shared 30A circuit if you provide separate short-circuit protection at 15A or 20A for the booster pump. One way of accomplishing this is to install a fused disconnect with 15A or 20A fuses for the booster pump. E.g.

30A DP breaker to #10 THWN black, black, green underground to pump location. Feed in to double pole single throw (DPST) 30A switch. Split feed out of switch; branch to main pump, branch to second 30A DPST switch for booster pump. Feed out from booster switch to fused disconnect with 15A time-delay fuses. Feed out from disconnect box to boost pump. All wiring should be #10 THWN. Be prepared to explain to the inspector that the short-circuit protection for the booster pump is provided by the fused disconnect.

This is similar to what you have described, except for the addition of the fused disconnect for the booster pump. The booster pump is too small to be on a 30A circuit without the additional protection provided by the 15A fuses.

> junction boxes

I don't have any experience with boxes embedded flush in the concrete, so I'll have to defer to someone who's done that. I've seen them, but never installed one.
 
  #11  
Old 06-15-07, 06:48 PM
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I went to home depot to get some supplies and they have two types of liquid tite pipe. one is solid plastic with plastic fittings. The other is the type I currently have. It is plastic-like on outside with metal on inside and metal connectors. It makes solid metal connection from pump body to the electrical box(I actually tested before with continuity tester with green wire not yet connected) . Can I use either? I know the pump gets connected to the bond wire from pool shell. so the bond is then connected to the box via the green wire as well as the metal in this liquid tite pipe.

Bill
 
  #12  
Old 06-15-07, 10:02 PM
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Either metallic or non-metallic liquid tight conduit is acceptable.
 
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