Electrical Surprise On GFCI Breaker For Pool Pump

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-03-14, 09:08 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 11
Electrical Surprise On GFCI Breaker For Pool Pump

After removing the main panel cover in preparation for a transfer switch install, I noticed something I dont like.

I have a 240V 20A GFCI breaker for a pool pump. Two red wires are obviously connected. There is a third spot for a neutral, but the neutral is not connected to the breaker, and is instead going to the neutral bar.

This doesn't seem correct at all. Is there a legitimate reason why I shouldn't connect the neutral to the breaker?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-03-14, 09:25 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Neutrals on GFCIs go to the screw denoted for it. The GFCI pigtail goes to the neutral buss. Make sure the hack that installed it didn't clip the pigtail off.
 
  #3  
Old 01-03-14, 09:38 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 12,284
Many cases a 240 volt piece of equipment would not need a neutral. Is the neutral not used at the receptacle? If not, it is not needed. The GFCI would still trip if there was an issue on the line wires.
 
  #4  
Old 01-03-14, 10:00 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,588
The pump may be straight 240 volts and not need a neutral. The neutral pigtail would still connect to the bus.
 
  #5  
Old 01-03-14, 10:27 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 11
I've done some more digging.

There appears to be a 120V non GFCI breaker (B-W-G) circuit going into the same conduit, which is attached to a GFI outlet outdoors by the pump..

The pool pump has two red wires coming from the 240V GFCI breaker, and no neutral. The pool pump ground is actually connected to the 120V outlet ground.

There is no pigtail on the GFCI breaker.

This looks less correct than before. I can't see how the GFCI breaker would function in this situation.
 
  #6  
Old 01-03-14, 10:32 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
You'll need to replace the GFCI breaker that Elmer Fudd installed and clipped the pigtail. Can you post pix of the panel and GFCI in question?
 
  #7  
Old 01-03-14, 10:44 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 11
Here is the picture

Attachment 23090

Ok, I stand corrected, the pigtail is actually coming out of the back. Maybe it isnt as bad as I thought. I still don't understand how the GFI breaker can function if the pool pump has no neutral and the ground is shared with a different circuit?

The black wire comes from a 120V non GFI breaker
The ground is shared between the 120 and 240
The neutral goes to the 120 V outlet
The two red wires come from the 240 GFI Breaker
 
Attached Images  

Last edited by johnssc1; 01-03-14 at 11:05 AM.
  #8  
Old 01-03-14, 01:32 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
240 volt applications don't need a neutral unless there is a clock or similar involved. 120 volt sine waves cross at 360 times a second or 60 cycles. 240 hot leads cross at the same interval without a neutral causing one lead to become "neutral" for that blink of an eye. Very interesting to see what happens on an oscilliscope
 
  #9  
Old 01-03-14, 01:36 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,588
A GFI will function correctly without any ground. Sharing the EGC is not an issue. However, sharing the conduit with non-GFI circuits is an issue.
 
  #10  
Old 01-03-14, 02:01 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Good call, Jim. Forgot that
 
  #11  
Old 01-03-14, 02:07 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,588
It is always a team effort. We all add something to the discussion and learn in the process.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes