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Old 10-17-2005, 06:08 PM   #1
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120V/240V Circuit


For the pro electricians:
I have a 1995 boathouse circuit on a newly replaced 20 amp 120V/240V GFCI breaker. The 240 is for the boatlift motor, and the black hot and red hot are split for 120V for a lighting circuit and a receptacle circuit. The lighting and receptacle circuits share the neutral and all share the ground. The new main feed wiring is 8/3 w/ground, and this setup worked fine in previous years.
Currently, the boatlift motor and the lighting circuit are not hooked up, but I have a new 12/2 wg outlet circuit that I just wired up with the black hot side, white neutral and ground. (The red hot is wire-nutted off temporarily.)
The breaker keeps tripping. All of the wiring is new except for about 100' of 1995 10/3 wg that is underground, and I have no reason to believe that the 10-year-old underground feed is damaged at all.
What do I need to do to correct it? Is the shared neutral the problem? It wasn't before. I had the red hot on the lighting circuit and the black hot on the receptacle circuit before, not that this matters. Thanks.
Mike


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Old 10-17-2005, 09:09 PM   #2
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120V/240V Circuit


I can safely guess that you have a ground and neutral touching somewhere. Check all your splices and boxes to see that they are not connected anywhere.

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Old 10-17-2005, 11:27 PM   #3
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120V/240V Circuit


Thank you. I'll check it all out again. Mike
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Old 11-05-2005, 06:54 AM   #4
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120V/240V Circuit


Speedy Petey,
I think that I have eliminated everything but the connections in the panel. I have a full GE 200 amp breaker panel with three busses for neutral and grounds. Neutrals and ground connections are mixed on all three.
If I separate this GFCI ground and the GFCI neutral to different busses, will that correct it?
TY,
Mike
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Old 11-13-2005, 09:50 AM   #5
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120V/240V Circuit


Ummmmm, yup!
Therein lies your problem. If you are using a GFI breaker the circuit neutral needs to go on the breaker, not the neutral buss.
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Old 11-18-2005, 12:24 AM   #6
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120V/240V Circuit


The circuit hots and neutral are on the GFCI breaker and the neutral tail from the breaker is wired into the buss, but the circuit ground is touching other grounds in the panel that are also wired into the buss with it, so I think that this is where the problem is.
I plan on replacing the circuit bare ground with an insulated wire from a wire nut connection to the ground buss, so that the GFCI neitral and ground are on separate busses. Hopefully, that will solve it.
I'll let you know. Thanks.
Mike
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Old 11-18-2005, 08:27 PM   #7
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120V/240V Circuit


Actually Mike the way you have it is right. The ground does go to the same bar as the neutral. It doesn't matter that the white from the GFCB is on that bar.
I misunderstood. I though the circuit neutral was on the bar. If the circuit neutral goes to the breaker it is OK.
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Old 11-18-2005, 09:22 PM   #8
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120V/240V Circuit


Mike, your initial post was in tiny font. I am writing this in the same size font, if I make a mistake, I wouldn't notice it.
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Old 11-18-2005, 11:07 PM   #9
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120V/240V Circuit


Well, that beings me to the only other thing that it could be then. I guess. I wired this GFCI breaker in exactly as I had wired the 1995 breaker in, which worked fine for years, so I couldn't quite understand the neutral/ground problem as-is.
I've replaced the wiring under the house (from the panel to where it goes underground at the outer part of my waterfront deck) and from the bulkhead (where it comes up out of the ground) under the pier, the dock, and at the boathouse.
The only wiring that I haven't replaced is the part that is underground, which I was hoping to avoid. Looks like that may be where the problem is after 10 years in the ground. Don't understand that, because I have an underground 12/2wg line to two yard lights that has been there since 1977 when I built this house, and I've never had any problems with that. (It isn't GFCI, though.)
I have a new receptacle at the bulkhead, so I think that I will run an above ground "test" wire to that from the deck, to bypass the underground part, to see if it solves the tripping problem. That should tell me for sure that my problem is in the underground wire or not, right?
TY, Mike

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