Need help with pool and shed circuit

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  #1  
Old 04-14-15, 06:48 AM
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Need help with pool and shed circuit

Hi,

I'm new to the forum and noob in electricity. I just bought a new home (in Quťbec, Canada) that has a pool with an electric heater. My mother language is not English so please excuse my mistakes.

Iíll describe how things are setted up before asking my questions. Please note that I havenít touched anything yet so if itís against the CEC (or NEC), itís not my doing.

So thereís a 30A breaker in the main panel (in house) wired with 12g to a spa panel that has a 30A GFCI breaker. The panel is a CH30SPA from Eaton. The breaker inside is supposed to be a CH230GF if I read correctly.

That secondary panel is next to pool pump and heater, at a safe distance. Somehow (havenít yet figured the wiring), next to that panel, thereís a 15/20A GFCI receptacle that bring power to the pool pump and heater. (Dunno why they used a GFCI receptacle as the breaker itself is GFCI protectedÖ Any ideas?)

Then, from the panel back into the ground, thereís a 12ga wire going to the shed, in another 15A receptacle.

Iíve checked if the receptacle in the shed is wired to the GFCI receptacle next to the panel and it is not. Tripping that receptacle doesnít cut power in the shed. So if Iím right, thereís 2 options :

1. They wire the GFCI receptacle the wrong way (inverted load and line) and that would explain why the shed still has power when it is tripped (not sure if itís possible)
2. The shed receptacle is somehow connected directly to the secondary panel, like the GFCI receptacle near the pump and heater.

So here are my questions :

- Does the setup I described look safe and respectful of the Code?
- If I understand correctly, the receptacle in the shed is a 15A connected to a 30A breaker. Isnít it unsafe? What if my table saw has an electrical problem and draw more juice. Will the breaker trip before something hazardous happen?
- Can I splice (not sure of that word, letís say divide) the wire going in the shed with pigtails in order to add lighting, a switch and another receptacle in the shed?
- If so, do I have to use 12g wires or can I use 14g white wire?
- If thereís any, what would the risk level be if I go ahead and splice the wire and add lighing, receptacles, etc?

Your help will be very appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 04-14-15, 07:24 AM
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It does not sound like it meets code in a number of important ways. First is that 12ga wire has a maximum rating of 20A, yet your panel seems to be set up for 30A. Second is that all pool and hot tub wiring is supposed to have a dedicated, green insulated ground wire, and a solid copper bonding wire, which I didn't see a mention of in your description. Finally, the pool and spa wiring should be dedicated to that purpose -- extra receptacles or lights are not allowed on the same circuits as the heater and pump(s). Additional circuit may be run off the same panel if that panel has spare capacity. I'm not sure from the description if that is your setup or not. You are also correct that the 15A receptacle should not be protected by a 30A breaker.

Could you attach pictures of the insides of each panel and a general layout of the area? Sometimes a picture says much more than a description.
 
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Old 04-14-15, 07:32 AM
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Old 04-14-15, 08:24 AM
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I'll post pictures tonight since i'm not at home. Thanks
 
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Old 04-14-15, 09:08 AM
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Meanwhile, apart from not complying to the code, what is the danger level of a 15A receptacle on a 30A breaker? It's been like this for 3 years before I bought the house.

I can confirm the secondary panel has 2 available slots for a 15A breaker.
 
  #6  
Old 04-14-15, 12:44 PM
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A breaker that is too large will allow the wires to overheat to a dangerous level in the event of an overload. Hot (temperature) wires can catch fire, melt insulation and cause connections to fail.
 
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