Pool Pump Breaker Selection

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  #1  
Old 09-21-07, 02:52 PM
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Pool Pump Breaker Selection

My present pool pump breaker is a regular 20amp breaker.

I would like to make it GFCI.

A single pole GFCI 120v/240V breaker is $50 and a double pole GFCI 240V breaker is $150.

Is double pole recommend, worth the money, and if so why?
Better lightning protection?

If single pole is good then I assume just connect one line of the 240V direct to the pump and pass the other line through the breaker? Insulated ground and neutral connected as usual.

Thanks, Glenn
 
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  #2  
Old 09-21-07, 03:02 PM
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I'm not sure what you're asking. Use a single pole breaker for a 120V pump or a double pole breaker for a 240V pump; the breaker is selected to match the voltage requirements of the pump. They both provide the same level of shock protection to pump operators or swimmers.

Better lightning protection?
A GFCI device provides no lightning protection, and can actually be damaged by lightning (one of the many reasons to follow the monthly test schedule).

Insulated ground and neutral connected as usual.
No, the ground connects to the ground bus as usual; however the neutral (if 120V pump) connects to the neutral terminal on the GFCI breaker and the GFCI breaker's neutral pigtail connects to the neutral bus.
 
  #3  
Old 09-21-07, 04:04 PM
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A 240 volt load requires a 240 volt breaker. Period. If your pump is 240 volts, you need a 240 volt breaker.

Even if what you wanted to do would be legal, it would not work. A 120 volt volt GFCI would trip since it would see current on it;s hot connection but nothing on the neutral connection.
 
  #4  
Old 09-21-07, 04:29 PM
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Pools

This is existing I presume?
Is it a cord and plug now or off a breaker and time clock?


Cord and plug, is it on a GFCI receptacle?
If on a breaker and time clock, Replace the existing breaker with a GFCI (120- Single, 220 double).
This would be a straight change out, 120V you will need to find the correct neutral.

220 (240) most likely will not have a neutral. This case, the breaker neut. goes to the panel neutral bar, hots (2) TO THE BREAKER.

120V the ckt neutral to the brkr and the brkr neutral to the panel.


Pools are nothing to fool with. If you don't understand, BAIL out.

They (pools) can be as bad as a loaded gun in the hands of a toddler in a crowd (that doesn't know how to use one).
 
  #5  
Old 09-24-07, 09:38 AM
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To all responders,
Thanks for all the input and quick responses.

Yes, it is an existing pump and timer to a regular 20A breaker at the main panel.

I have a correction to make, after disassembly of the pump connections this weekend. You are correct, there are 2 wires for the 240V and one insulated ground, no neutral.

What is new is my Pool/Spa Sub Panel. Since the sub panel came with a 50A GFCI breaker for the heat pump I thought I should have the same level of safety for the pool pump breaker in the new sub panel.

The only GE 20A GFCI breaker at Lowes and Home Depot is one that says single pole for 120/240V. I can only find a double pole breaker GFCI on the internet.

I guess the real question is Can you use a single pole breaker for 240V as the package says or is it misleading?

The main panel will now have a 70Amp breaker with 6ga THHN T90c wire going to the sub panel 45ft away. Where the 50Amp GFCI is for the heat Pump and 20Amp GFCI for the Pool Pump.

ibpooks had asked me before to get the LRA for the heat pump to ensure the 6ga wire was ok. The LRA is 145A. minimum circuit ampacity 48A, Recommended supply 50A, Max over current protection 80A.
All breaker and subpanel terminations say 75C.

Thanks Again,
Glenn
 
  #6  
Old 09-24-07, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Glenn111 View Post
What is new is my Pool/Spa Sub Panel. Since the sub panel came with a 50A GFCI breaker for the heat pump I thought I should have the same level of safety for the pool pump breaker in the new sub panel.
By code, GFCI protection is optional for a hard-wired (not cord-and-plug) pool pump. I think it's a good idea, but you should know it is not a requirement.

The only GE 20A GFCI breaker at Lowes and Home Depot is one that says single pole for 120/240V. I can only find a double pole breaker GFCI on the internet.
Double pole GFCI breakers less than 50A are almost always a special order item. Check a local electrical supply house, chances are they have one in stock or can order in 1 day.

I guess the real question is Can you use a single pole breaker for 240V as the package says or is it misleading?
A single pole breaker can never supply 240V (in North America), so the package must be trying to say something else or it's actually a double pole breaker. It may be trying to indicate that it's a double pole breaker which can also be used as a single pole breaker. This should be obvious from the breaker size; a double pole breaker is twice as wide as a single.

ibpooks had asked me before to get the LRA for the heat pump to ensure the 6ga wire was ok. The LRA is 145A. minimum circuit ampacity 48A, Recommended supply 50A, Max over current protection 80A.
All breaker and subpanel terminations say 75C.
Sounds okay to me.
 
  #7  
Old 09-24-07, 10:39 AM
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Ben,

Thank you very much for all the help and advice.

FYI the GFCI breaker is a GE THQL1120GF and I Also found it on:
http://www.foxelectricsupply.com/con...=GEDTHQL1120GF

where it also says 120/240 single pole. It is packaged in a shrink wrap container so I can't see the contacts without cutting the package in the store.

That regular 20A Breaker is looking better and better since GFI is not required for my application!

Thanks, Glenn
 
  #8  
Old 09-24-07, 11:30 AM
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That breaker you linked is a single pole 120V breaker. It is described incorrectly by the supplier as "120/240".

Assuming your panel accepts THQL series breakers, the correct GFCI breaker for your pump is the GE THQL2120GFI. Note the difference in the model number which describes the number of poles.

http://www.foxelectricsupply.com/con...=GEDTHQL2120GF (I've never bought from this retailer, so don't take the link as a recommendation good or bad).
 
  #9  
Old 09-24-07, 12:22 PM
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Ben,

Thank you, Glenn
 
  #10  
Old 09-24-07, 02:43 PM
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Ben

Even though I seem to be having some shakey statements lately the breaker is not misrepresented. If the breaker is meant to be used on grounded systems whether two pole or single pole it will have this rating as a slash / rating ie 120/240. A double pole breaker that can be used on ungrounded systems will not be slash rated. NOT trying to be picky but just for your FYI.

Roger
 
  #11  
Old 09-24-07, 02:59 PM
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Yes, I suppose that could be true. I was reading it as this was a GFCI breaker which could supply a 120/240 load (hot, hot, neutral) as opposed to a straight two-pole GFCI with no neutral capability.

In either case, don't worry Glenn; what Roger and I were discussing doesn't affect your problem.
 
  #12  
Old 09-24-07, 03:00 PM
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Roger, the breaker IS mis-represented. Look at every other web site selling them (okay I didn't look at ALL of them, just several), and it is labeled as a 120 volt SINGLE pole breaker.

In this case, the seller used the wrong template for the web page for the breaker and did not proofread their pages.
 
  #13  
Old 09-24-07, 05:02 PM
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Ok you guys are probably going to end up right again. Part of the problem was I thought his pump was 240 volts and I inadvertently clicked on Bens link to the double pole gfci breaker. I see the one in question is a single pole gfci. So I believe you guys have me again. I thought Ben was saying that the 2 pole breaker should read 240 volts no slash rating.

Of course a single pole gfci cannot supply line to line loads, a single pole regular breaker can have the 120/240 rating... so kinda messed this up again.

You know what this proves?.... You guys are not drinking the same brand of beer that I am.

Note: Changing beer brands as I did recently will not help cure short circuits in your brain.

Sorry Ben...sometimes I tend to supply too much information when it isn't necesssary.

Roger
 
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