GFCI Upgrade on an Older Pool Installation


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Old 05-04-21, 10:15 AM
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GFCI Upgrade on an Older Pool Installation

Inground Pool built 1992. 1 1/2 HP pump located 20 from pool. Subpanel for pool equipment located next to pool pump. The current breaker is a 20 amp, 240 vac standard breaker. I noticed that the latest electrical code calls for a gfci breaker. Should I upgrade the breaker to a gfci type? We use our pool year round. If it gets me a bit more safety, I am all in. The pump gets 2 hots and a ground from the subpanel, no neutral. I read some posts that the gfcii does not buy you any safety in this case but......seems like it cannot hurt. The neutral and ground are tied together in the Main panel about 30 away from the subpanel.
 
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Old 05-04-21, 10:33 AM
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Although the code does not require a GFI breaker for your 240v pool pump.... you could still install one. The two pole GFI breaker has a neutral connection which means it would need to be installed in the source panel.
 
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Old 05-04-21, 11:15 AM
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This is what I have. The mains come into a panel with the meter. This panel has an attached panel with a 200 amp breaker. This breaker feeds a 50 amp breaker in this panel that feeds the pool subpanel. The 200 also feeds a remote 200 amp panel that has most of the house breakers located in it. There is nowhere to mount a gfci for the pool pump in the panel with the meter or 200 amp breaker. I assume from your comment that locating it in the pool subpanel that has isolated ground and neutral is not correct? The pool subpanel is about 20’ from the mains panel, where ground and neutral are bonded.
also: The pool subpanel has a bunch of breakers. Pool heater, pump, air pump for spa, Master Bath hwh, heat/fan for bath and a couple other odd things. It is not just pool stuff.
 

Last edited by n1ml; 05-04-21 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 05-04-21, 12:56 PM
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I assume from your comment that locating it in the pool subpanel that has isolated ground and neutral is not correct? The pool subpanel is about 20’ from the mains panel, where ground and neutral are bonded.
The pool sub panel should have an isolated ground and neutral.
The breaker can go there.

However you went on to say the neutral and ground are bonded. That is not correct.
 
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Old 05-04-21, 01:58 PM
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I was not clear in my explanation. The ground and neutral are bonded at the main panel. At the pool subpanel, the neutral and ground are isolated. I will put the new gfci in the subpanel. I guess I got confused since the pool pump is three wire, Two hots and a ground. I thought the gfci looked for imbalance of current with respect to the neutral wire but after doing some reading, it looks like it can also look at the two hot wires. My guess is that in my case the curly white wire coming out of the breaker is the make the electronics work.
 
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Old 05-04-21, 02:05 PM
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The curly white wire must go to neutral.
The GFI senses an imbalance between either hot wire and ground.
 
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Old 05-04-21, 02:44 PM
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Thank you for the help. My plan is set. First thing, order the new breaker.
 
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Old 05-08-21, 01:28 PM
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New 240 vac gfci breaker installed. Seems like a good upgrade.
Is there any advantage to upgrading the pool light circuit to gfci? The led light in the pool is fed from a 120 vac circuit to a 12 vac transformer.
 
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Old 05-08-21, 01:44 PM
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The pool light should definitely be protected by a GFI.... even with the isolation of the transformer.
 
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Old 05-09-21, 12:57 PM
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OK. Ordered the pool light GFI.
One more thing. We also have an air blower that supplies pressurized air into our hot tub to give some extra bubbles. The spa is part of the pool structure. It is not a separate unit. The 1 1/2 HP pool pump gets diverted from tOK. Ordered the pool light GFI.
One more thing. We also have an air blower that supplies pressurized air into our hot tub to give some extra bubbles. The spa is part of the pool structure. It is not a separate unit. The 1 1/2 HP pool pump gets diverted from the pool to the spa jets with manual valves. The air pump is a one pole 15 amp circuit. Is is mounted about 20’ from the pool about 4’ above ground level and connected to the spa air holes using a 2” pvc pipe. Do you have an opinion if I should change the breaker to a GFI?he pool to the spa jets with manual valves. The air pump is a one pole 15 amp circuit. Is is mounted about 20’ from OK. Ordered the pool light GFI.
One more thing. We also have an air blower that supplies pressurized air into our hot tub to give some extra bubbles. The spa is part of the pool structure. It is not a separate unit. The 1 1/2 HP pool pump gets diverted from the pool to the spa jets with manual valves. The air pump is a one pole 15 amp circuit. Is is mounted about 20’ from the pool about 4’ above ground level and connected to the spa air holes using a 2” pvc pipe. Do you have an opinion if I should change the breaker to a GFI? pool about 4’ above ground level and connected to the spa air holes using a 2” pvc pipe. Do you have an opinion if I should change the breaker to a GFI?QOK. Ordered the pool light GFI.
One more thing. We also have an air blower that supplies pressurized air into our hot tub to give some extra bubbles. The spa is part of the pool structure. It is not a separate unit. The 1 1/2 HP pool pump gets diverted from the pool to the spa jets with manual valves. The air pump is a one pole 15 amp circuit. Is is mounted about 20’ from the pool about 4’ above ground level and connected to the spa air holes using a 2” pvc pipe. Do you have an opinion if I should change the breaker to a GFI?
 

Last edited by n1ml; 05-09-21 at 01:09 PM. Reason: Blank page problem
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Old 05-09-21, 02:35 PM
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I see your blank page. Looks good. Very thoughtful design and layout.
 
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Old 05-10-21, 06:53 AM
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Ordered gfi for light. I tried to post a question about my spa air blower but had a problem. No text showed up, only a blank page that I could not delete. Our spa is part of the inground pool. Same pump using manual valves. The blower is 20’ from the pool and 4’ above ground. It is on a standard 15 amp breaker. Any opinion if I should put it on a GFIC?
 
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Old 05-10-21, 09:36 AM
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Not necessary if it's hardwired.
 
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Old 05-10-21, 09:45 AM
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Yes, it is hardwired. Guess I am all set with the upgrade. Thanks for the help.
 
 

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