Aluminum wire tripping GFI


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Old 11-22-13, 05:46 PM
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Aluminum wire tripping GFI

Does anyone know if they actually make a GFI for aluminum wire? My spa has a 2 pole 30 amp GFI, that every 2-3 months, has to be replaced due to it staying in the tripped mode. My guess is it is due to the #6 aluminum wire that was ran from the panel, (as opposed to copper) to the GFI.
Any thoughts?
Thanks
 
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Old 11-22-13, 05:52 PM
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Not sure, but 30 amps seems awfully small for a spa. Is it tripping on ground fault or tripping all the way off due to load? That #6 is tight in the GFCI, isn't it?
 
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Old 11-22-13, 06:23 PM
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No reason aluminum would trip the GFCI. Most likely the GFCI is doing its job if it is a ground fault causing the trip unless as suggested 30 amp is too low and it is an overload. Sometimes a spa can use a lower amp by not running the pump and heater at the same time. If your spa is set up that way maybe the setting has been changed so both run at the same time.
 
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Old 11-22-13, 06:41 PM
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Chandler/Ray you were both right. It's not 30, its a 50 amp, my bad.
It always trips at the GFI. I replaced it about 2 months ago with a new one, due to the permanent trip mode it was stuck in. This one is doing the same thing again, and at $70.00+ a pop, its gonna get expensive if I don't figure out why the GFI keeps failing. I reset it once tonight, and it instantly tripped. Tried again, and it stayed on?, (just like 2 months ago, until it finally failed permanently.)
 
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Old 11-22-13, 07:50 PM
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Have you tried disconnecting the load wires and resetting the breaker, then leaving it on for 24 hours to see if it will hold before reconnecting the load?
 
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Old 11-22-13, 08:29 PM
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This one is doing the same thing again
You may have gotten the cart before the horse. It doesn't sound like you tried to find the cause of the trip before you replaced the GFCI. Nash has given you the first step.
 
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Old 11-22-13, 09:27 PM
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The second step is to disconnect the heater as that is the usual cause of a GFI trip if the incoming wiring connections are correct.
 
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Old 11-23-13, 04:56 AM
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Third step is to have the heater evaluated separate from your circuitry. These are the steps, in order of importance. Let us know if you find it, and where it was. Thanks.
 
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Old 11-23-13, 07:42 AM
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I agree with the others, your getting ahead of yourself. A GFCI breaker will trip if it senses a 4-5mA imbalance of current leaking to ground. mA is milliamps. Not much current. A circuit breaker will not trip until the current goes over the rating of the breaker, in your case, 50 amps.

Something in your spa is leaking current to ground. You need to find what. It has nothing to do with the wire material.
 
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Old 11-23-13, 03:44 PM
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Thanks to all for the possible solutions. I just got off work (dark now), so will start at step 1 in the morning.
I have to wonder tho, why does it take 2 months before the GFI goes bad? Wouldn't leaking current be an instant thing? Almost seems like over time it gets weak, until failure. Just a thought...
 
 

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