GFCI tripping - possible blown motor?


Old 12-19-11, 09:08 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: usa
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GFCI tripping - possible blown motor?

Here's where I'm at;

Woke up this AM to a tripped GFCI. Would not reset - tripped again right away. I disconnect the heater from the spapack (generic Spa Depot replacement unit). With it disconnected, I could dial the heat knob on the spapack back and forth and hear a "click" as I dialed past the anbient temperature.
I removed the pump and plugged it back into the spapack, now with no load on the pump, and it would run fine (only ran it for 20 seconds or so as I did not want to run the pump dry too long). Reinstalled with the pump attached, and it would run for a little bit, then trip. Once ran as long as 3-5 minutes, with very low water flow, then tripped. Could not do any adjustments to improve the flow (for comparison, proper flow after a refill would happen after 30 seconds). But it did run.

I'm assuming that since the GFCI did not trip with the motor unplugged, and the fact I did get it to run for several minutes (albeit poorly) Its not the GFCI or service. I'm leaning to ruling out the heating element as it did not trip when it was the only load attached (motor unplugged). The low flow when it did run confuses me, however. The pump, on visual inspection, looks fine. Not sure what to do here. I would love to rule out heating element, GFCI, Etc. before I throw down for a new pump.

Any suggestions where to look before I start randomly buying expensive components?

Thanks in advance - Chris
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Old 12-21-11, 07:08 AM
chandler's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Chris, basically you have a "ground fault". That's what the GFCI is there for. My take would be the thermostat. If it arcs too much before it makes solid contact, it could fool the GFCI and trip it out. The least expensive way to go would be the thermostat. Does not sound as if the motor is the culprit at present since it ran without immediately tripping.
Old 12-21-11, 08:39 AM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 201
It's probably the heater element. The element isn't "energized" until water is being pumped through the system.

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