Wiring GFCI to light switch from pump disconnect

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Old 09-11-16, 12:22 PM
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Wiring GFCI to light switch from pump disconnect

I have a small building that I am running power to from a Well Pump disconnect and I am having an issue with the breaker tripping and I need some help.

My well pump is wired from the main breaker in my home with a 30amp breaker. My disconnect is this model: GE 30 Amp 120/240-Volt 240-Watt Fused AC Disconnect-TF30RCP - The Home Depot

The disconnect is wired as 240 to power my pump and 120 is feeding a GFCI. The GFCI has been working with no problems. My disconnect is attached to a small building and my building has been prewired by the previous owner with a GFCI, light switch, and light.

I used the attached diagram and it kept tripping the 30amp breaker. I am not sure what I am doing wrong.

The source wire is coming from the disconnect.

I have tried to back my way into the issue and I still cannot figure it out. I removed the 2nd GFCI in the building and it still tripped the breaker. I then removed the light switch and it still tripped the breaker. Lastly, I removed the light and it still tripped the breaker. The only way that it would not trip the breaker was to remove the wire going from the first GFCI to the 2nd GFCI. If my diagram is correct then maybe the wire is bad.

I also tied all of the ground wire together and the ground was not attached to each electrical box. I don't think that this matters, but I thought that I would mention it.
 
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Old 09-11-16, 12:48 PM
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Most likely what you are experiencing is nuisance tripping of a GFCI by the next GFCI. Wire in a regular receptacle on the second location from the LOAD side of the GFCI and see if that clears it up.
 
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Old 09-11-16, 01:02 PM
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My well pump is wired from the main breaker in my home with a 30amp breaker.
From your description you have an unsafe non code compliant installation that needs to immediately be corrected and then if you still have problems we can work on those.

Is that a two pole breaker at the house? If so you need a four wire feed to the pump house and 60 amp main lug breaker panel at the pump. The 120 circuits need to be on no more than a 20 amp breaker.

If that is a single pole breaker feeding only 120 volts it can not exceed 20 amps for general purpose 120 volt circuits. (Assuming #12 or larger wiring.)
 

Last edited by ray2047; 09-11-16 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 09-11-16, 01:15 PM
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The disconnect is wired as 240 to power my pump and 120 is feeding a GFCI.
Makes we wonder where the neutral is coming from.
 
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Old 09-11-16, 01:19 PM
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I interpreted it as two circuits, one 240 for the well and a 120 for the aux. Possibly wrong and if so, it would definitely be non code compliant. OP should clarify that for us.
 
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Old 09-11-16, 01:59 PM
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Yes, the breaker at the house is a two pole. I cannot read the writing on the disconnect so it is probably a 60amp if that what is required. My pump and 1 GFCI has been wired for 4 years this way without any issues, so I am comfortable saying that it is wired correctly.

I have attached some pics so you can get a better idea about what is going on.
 
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Old 09-11-16, 02:09 PM
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Where that disconnect is should be a small weatherproof breaker box with a 2P30A breaker for the pump and a 1P20A breaker for your GFI receptacle.

Right now your receptacle is being protected at 30 amps. That is not a good thing.
 
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Old 09-11-16, 02:30 PM
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I can understand why I would need a 20amp breaker for the GFi but why would I need a 30amp breaker for the pump since it is on a 30amp breaker at the house. I am certainly no expert, so that is why I am asking.
 
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Old 09-11-16, 04:23 PM
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The 30 amp breaker at the pump would serve primarily as a way to connect the pump to the subpanel and also a disconnect for the pump.

Note: You will need a ground rod at the subpanel. The neutral bar in the subpanel will be isolated and the ground bar bonded. Panels do not usually come with a ground bar so you will need to buy and install one.

Your title says GFCI to light switch but lights are not normally protected by GFCIs. The diagram you posted shows two GFCI receptacles each wired to the line side but common practice as mentioned by Chandler is to use a non GFCI receptacle for the second receptacle and wire it to the load side of a GFCI receptacle in the first position.
 
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