Hot tub GFI keeps tripping!!

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  #1  
Old 12-27-10, 10:22 AM
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Hot tub GFI keeps tripping!!

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I just bought a used hot tub, and i just had an electrician wire it up. It is a 220V hot tub, which he used 8-3 wire, a 50 amp breaker in the panel, and a 50 amp gfi in the disconnect out by the hot tub. I filled it up with water and as soon as i turned on the gfi breaker it tripped immediatley. After fiddling around with it for a little while, i turned it on and it stayed on for about 2 hrs and then tripped back out, and ever since whenever i turn on the gfi breaker is trips right away. I disconnected the neutral and two hots from the gfi and it still trips immediatly. I then wired the hot tub directly to the main panel, skipping the gfi, and it runs perfectly fine. What could be causing it to trip? Could it be that it is 8-3 wire on a 50 amp gfi? Im sure everything is wired correctly. I will include a picture of the disconnect just to be sure. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!!
 
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  #2  
Old 12-27-10, 10:26 AM
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Sorry, whenever i said i disconnected the neutral and the two hots from he gfi and it still tripped, i am talking about the neutral and the two hots that are going from he gfi to the hot tub. So i completely disconnected the hot tub and the gfi still tripped. Just wanted to make myself a little more clear!
 
  #3  
Old 12-27-10, 10:39 AM
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What's the purpose of the Flickr link in your first post?
 
  #4  
Old 12-27-10, 10:42 AM
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I know that 8/3 is too small for a 50amp breaker, but that would not be what it is causing it to trip.
 
  #5  
Old 12-27-10, 10:42 AM
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That shouldof been a link to a picture i imported of the gfi disconnect, does it not show up?
 
  #6  
Old 12-27-10, 10:50 AM
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Shows up for me....sometimes the links take a bit to be functional it seems. Depends on when you look at it somehow.

Sure doesn't look like any disconnect I ever saw for a hot tub though. Not that I've seen that many.
 
  #7  
Old 12-27-10, 10:55 AM
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Yeah the electrician said he hadnt seen any like that either, he said the two hots usually arent that close to eachother and they usually arent that close to the neutral bar. I bout that at home depot, it came as a kit with the 50 amp gfi breaker inside, it said it was for hot tubs...
 
  #8  
Old 12-27-10, 11:00 AM
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I still don't see the pic.
 
  #9  
Old 12-27-10, 11:08 AM
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Could be cause I have an account with Flickr?

Sjones...better to take the IMG info and add the pic using the insert image button in the toolbar.
 
  #10  
Old 12-27-10, 11:10 AM
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There, did that work?
 
  #11  
Old 12-27-10, 11:36 AM
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Post a link directly to the photo - I think your Flickr link works only for those who have an account

http://forum.doityourself.com/electr...your-post.html
 
  #12  
Old 12-27-10, 11:56 AM
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Call the electrician back. Hot tubs can be dangerous. While wiring them from scratch can be a job for an experienced DIYer, finding and fixing an accidental mistake by an electrician you paid to do the job shouldn't be your job.

To insert an image the file format must be an image format such as jpg, or png, or gif. Yours doesn't end in any of them. Once spent 20 minutes trying to figure out how to embed a Flickr photo but finally gave up.There are far easier sites to use.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 12-27-10 at 12:49 PM.
  #13  
Old 12-27-10, 12:01 PM
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1293475940.jpg picture by sjones1088 - Photobucket

 

Last edited by ray2047; 12-27-10 at 12:08 PM. Reason: To Embed Photo
  #14  
Old 12-27-10, 12:06 PM
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It is the gfi breaker that is tripping, not the one in my breaker panel. I already called the electrician back, he said he can come out and take a look at it but he has no idea of what it could be. He said he is sure everything is wired where it should be, and he explained where each wire should be and it is just like he said.
 
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Old 12-27-10, 12:12 PM
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OK, can see the pictures - trying to rub your car in our faces?

I'm with Ray - you paid someone for this, have them come back and get it right
 
  #16  
Old 12-27-10, 12:13 PM
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As stated earlier 8-3 wire is too small (unless the house breaker is 40a). In addition if this is outside bare grounds are noi allowed and it appears to have been wired with cable not intended for outside use.

he said he can come out and take a look at it but he has no idea of what it could be
If this is outside I can believe that.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 12-27-10 at 12:45 PM. Reason: To clarify cable size comment.
  #17  
Old 12-27-10, 12:18 PM
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The electrician told me to get that kind of wire, its nice to know that i spend $160 on wire, and now i need to replace it!! But would that be causing the gfci to trip?
 
  #18  
Old 12-27-10, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Sjones1088 View Post
The electrician told me to get that kind of wire, its nice to know that i spend $160 on wire, and now i need to replace it!! But would that be causing the gfci to trip?
Lets get the basics answered and we can go from there. Was the breaker at the main panel in the house a 40a breaker? Is the tub outside? If so was the wire buried? Was conduit used if buried? Please answer all of the above questions.Give us the make and model of the spa GFCI panel.
 
  #19  
Old 12-27-10, 12:51 PM
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The breaker on the inside panel is also a 50 amp breaker. The hot tub is outside, right up against the basement wall. The wire goes through he basement wall, directly into the back of the disconnect, which is about 5 feet from the hot tub. From there, the wire is in conduit going directly into the hot tub. Below is a link to the gfci panel that i have

GE 50 amp 240-Volt 240-Watt Non-Fuse Metallic Spa Panel Disconnect with GFI - UG412RMW250P at The Home Depot
 
  #20  
Old 12-27-10, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Sjones1088 View Post
The breaker on the inside panel is also a 50 amp breaker. The hot tub is outside, right up against the basement wall. The wire goes through he basement wall, directly into the back of the disconnect
Then the cable is probably OK. Let the pros weigh in on that. However to use that cable size if it is #8 the breaker in the house needs to be downsized to 40a. Depending on the Spa power requirements that may or may not work.
which is about 5 feet from the hot tub. From there, the wire is in conduit going directly into the hot tub.
If it really is individual THWN wires in the conduit that is ok. If it is cable no.

The pros will be along after work and I believe we have a clear enough picture they can help.

I then wired the hot tub directly to the main panel, skipping the gfi, and it runs perfectly fine.
You said it is used. A failing motor or heater may trip a GFCI but not a regular breaker.
 
  #21  
Old 12-27-10, 02:47 PM
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OK you have an unfused disconnect with GFCI protection.. In other words it is not a breaker and the GFCI is what is tripping. Your problem is current leakage somewhere. You may have an equipment problem rather than a wiring problem.
 
  #22  
Old 12-27-10, 03:32 PM
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I wouldnt think that it would be an something with the hot tub, because like i said, whenever i disconnected the hot tub completely from the gfci it still tripped when i turned the power on to it
 
  #23  
Old 12-27-10, 05:35 PM
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It looks like the GFCI breaker is wired correctly, so it should not trip with the tub conductors disconnected. At this point I would suspect a faulty GFCI breaker. Take it back to the supplier and swap it for a good one. Sometimes they are bad right out of the box.

The #8 cable may still be too small depending on the electrical requirements of the tub though. I would not have run it with less than #6, but if manufacturer's load is spec'd lower it could be okay.
 
  #24  
Old 12-27-10, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Sjones1088 View Post
Yeah the electrician said he hadnt seen any like that either, he said the two hots usually arent that close to eachother and they usually arent that close to the neutral bar. I bout that at home depot, it came as a kit with the 50 amp gfi breaker inside, it said it was for hot tubs...
What is the brand name on the disconnect kit and also, what brand is the GFI breaker? IF the problem is the disconnect or the breaker that you furnished, be prepared to pay for the electrician's return trip. The hot tub disconnects I have seen at both Lowes and Home Depot in the past are from Midwest and come with GE 50 amp GFI breakers. That same Midwest disconnect is also available through supply houses.
 
  #25  
Old 12-27-10, 07:26 PM
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Yes the disconnect is from midwest with a GE 50 amp breaker. And i have already gotten a new breaker and swapped it out and it did the exact same thing! I even got the exact same GE 50 amp gfi breaker.
 
  #26  
Old 12-28-10, 01:47 AM
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Did that electrician try a quick test to rule out the breaker issue by disconnect the red and black conductor( to the spa ) and turn on the breaker ?

If that tripped then you have wiring issue between the main panel and spa panel but if stay on then you will have to do little more trouble shooting most common curpits I useally see

Motour connections or current leakage from motour winding to the frame.

Electrique water heater when the element go bad it will show up.

Not very often but it do show up is the transfomer.

so that one of few items and I really recomed that the Electrician to help you on this matter there is not much room for error or guessing game.

The last time I have deal with it I just grab my megger and find it pretty quick. { it was a motour going bad }

I hope that the Electrician did replace that short peice from spa panel to the hot tub with proper conductor the NM cable in flexiable conduit is NOT allowed per NEC code especaially with hot tubs..

Merci.
Marc
 
  #27  
Old 12-28-10, 06:39 PM
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In post #2 he stated that the tub was completely disconnected from the GFI breaker and the GFI breaker continued to trip.

POST # 2 -
Sorry, whenever i said i disconnected the neutral and the two hots from he gfi and it still tripped, i am talking about the neutral and the two hots that are going from he gfi to the hot tub. So i completely disconnected the hot tub and the gfi still tripped. Just wanted to make myself a little more clear!
I am suspicious of the neutral bar in the disconnect panel. Are you sure it is isolated from the panel box? Try disconnecting the neutral conductors from the neutral bar and check the bar with a meter for continuity to the panel box. I am also suspicious of the lugs on the GFI breaker (can't see them clearly from picture). Inspect them carefully to make sure the conductors are in the correct lugs. If these check out ok, start looking at the circuit from the main panel to the disconnect panel. It's rare to find bad romex, but it does happen. You'll eventually find the problem and I'm sure it will be something simple. Meanwhile, what Marc mentioned is right, you shouldn't have NM cable in conduit from disconnect to the hot tub, but that is not the problem with the GFI tripping.
 
  #28  
Old 12-29-10, 12:35 AM
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Joe.,

I am thinking the same thing as well with netual busbar I know majtory of them are isolated but not always the case.

I did see that you did change the GFCI breaker as well and still trip so you will have to check the wiring carefully.

Ask that electrician if he have megger tester to verify the insluating is good. That what I will do in first place to rule it out.

Merci.
Marc
 
  #29  
Old 12-29-10, 12:30 PM
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I was told that on those types of boxes that the neutral had to be isolated, otherwise you would get this sort of thing. Not to confuse things further...but the panel in the house...is it the main panel or a panel being feed by another panel (sub feed). My bet is a neutral problem.
 
  #30  
Old 12-30-10, 08:35 AM
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The panel in the house is the main panel, not a subpanel. The electrician is coming back out tomorrow to see if he can figure it out, so hopefully we can get this thing resolved!
 
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