SPA GFCI Troubleshooting

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  #1  
Old 05-27-15, 07:45 AM
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SPA GFCI Troubleshooting

Hello,

New here but I'm having an issue with my spa. Hoping someone here can help to determine if my issue is electrical or spa related.

Spa model - Weslo Daybreak 515
50amp double pole at main panel
50amp GFCI Breaker at sub panel near spa

The wiring is done as follows:
4 wire system (red,black,white,unsheathed)
Red and Black from house are wired into the bus, unsheathed from house is in ground bar, neutral from house is connected via wire nut to the white "pig tail" from the breaker.

Red Black and White from Spa are wired into the GFCI terminials with the ground headed to the ground bar.

The Issue:

Outdoor GFCI trips instantly. I disconnected the pump, light, control buttons, and unscrewed the heater from the circuit board - Still trips instantly.

I disconnected the black white and red wires from the circuit board and the breaker held - no trip.

I had a Spa guy come out here and try to rip me off but one curious thing he told me is that the 50 amp double pole at the main panel was running on one leg - not putting any voltage out of the left side (bottom side when connected to the panel) I think he lied to me but I don't have a volt meter to verify. I figured an issue like that would trip at the main breaker.

What I need to know:
1. If the main panel breaker was running on one leg, would it allow power to pass through the breaker outside and reach all the way to the tub?
2. Is it possible for the GFCI to trip as a result of the 120v components of the tub kicking on?
3. Is my issue the spa circuit board? (no visible damage)

My home warranty company told me to find my own vendor to take a look but it seems no local places will service this model. Up to me to get it living again.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
 
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  #2  
Old 05-27-15, 05:37 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I'm not familiar with that brand and I didn't find much support for it. Can you give me any more info like a complete model number ? Do you have a schematic or wiring diagram for it.

A meter will probably be needed for service. Even a 20 dollar model would work.
Is it possible to shoot a nice BIG picture of the control board ?
It would have to be posted at a pic hosting site or sent directly to me and I'd host it. The board accepts pictures but not large to help.

Most spa's are similar in design and I don't have wiring diagrams for a lot of them but if I can see it clearly.... I can fix it or help you.
 
  #3  
Old 05-27-15, 06:52 PM
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You said the ground is unsheathed. I hope that does not mean bare. The grounding conductor in a feeder needs to be insulated.
 
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Old 05-28-15, 07:29 AM
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Ground wires are always unsheathed/bare. Every piece of electical equipment I've worked with has had a bare ground wire.

Now to get to the issue at hand, any thoughts?
 
  #5  
Old 05-28-15, 07:36 AM
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There is basically no support for this brand of spa. I think it is rather outdated/off brand.

Anyway, I can try to get you pictures but before I do - can you enlighten me as to whether or not a double pole breaker would even work on one leg? As I mentioned, I'm getting power with no trips all the way to the tub but as soon as I connect the circuit board to the hot wires, it trips.

If the breaker in the basement is putting out power out of only one leg, will the system even allow that power to reach the hot tub through the gfci outdoors? And if so, why does the outdoor breaker trip when I connect the circuit board?

I think my problem is the circuit board as I've disconnected component parts and still get a trip. But if it could be as simple as a bad basement breaker, I'd rather spend a few bucks to replace the breaker instead of buying a new circuit board.
 
  #6  
Old 05-28-15, 06:53 PM
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Most spa's use 120v OR 240v power not both. You are connecting 120v/240v to your spa.

Most spa's I work on are 240v with no white neutral connection.

Yours may be convertible from 120v to 240v or the other way around and don't need the neutral when in the 240v mode.

With out a volt meter I won't go into testing details.
 
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Old 06-01-15, 09:18 AM
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Ground wires are always unsheathed/bare. Every piece of electical equipment I've worked with has had a bare ground wire.
No, they aren't. Only in residential work where NM cable is used will you find a bare ground. You obviously don't have a great deal of experience. What PCboss was referring to is a code requirement.
 
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Old 06-01-15, 10:04 AM
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Thanks CJ.

Bare grounding conductors are not an issue for most equipment. You will find that grounds in conduit are insulated. Pools and spas have different requirements that include insulated grounds. It would really make no sense to continue with wiring that was not correct and code compliant.
 

Last edited by pcboss; 06-01-15 at 02:51 PM.
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