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Old 07-31-2009, 08:39 AM   #1
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GFCI breaker


GFCI breaker
I bought a older home with an inground pool. The 3/4 pump housing was shot. The previous owners didn't winterize. I replaced the 3/4 with a 1hp 115/230amp hayward pump, Very easy to connect/works great. But the panel wiring for the pump is only 115v.

To save money on electrical bills I plan to convert from 115 to the 230v with a 20amp double pole breaker on the panel and of course upgrade the wiring too.

Question: since there's water around pump because of the pump housing water strainer, filter and backwash hose. Should I use a 20amp double pole GFCI breaker. Can't seem to find one. Or is it called something else.

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Old 07-31-2009, 12:20 PM   #2
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GFCI breaker
I bought a older home with an inground pool. The 3/4 pump housing was shot. The previous owners didn't winterize. I replaced the 3/4 with a 1hp 115/230amp hayward pump, Very easy to connect/works great. But the panel wiring for the pump is only 115v.

To save money on electrical bills I plan to convert from 115 to the 230v with a 20amp double pole breaker on the panel and of course upgrade the wiring too.

Question: since there's water around pump because of the pump housing water strainer, filter and backwash hose. Should I use a 20amp double pole GFCI breaker. Can't seem to find one. Or is it called something else.
The current NEC requires GFCI protection for pool pumps. Hard-wired pumps didn't used to require it, but now do. Personally, not using GFCI for any pool equipment gives me the willies. You can order 20A 2P GFCI breakers for most brands of panels, but they are very expensive. An alternative might be to use a commonly-available 50A GFCI breaker intended for a hottub installation, and follow it with a fused diconnect with 20A fuses.

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Old 07-31-2009, 12:29 PM   #3
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To save money on electrical bills I plan to convert from 115 to the 230v with a 20amp double pole breaker on the panel and of course upgrade the wiring too.
I hope you realize you will not save any money by converting the motor to 240v. Not unless the run to the motor is a couple of hundred feet long. Even then the savings will be negligible.
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:31 PM   #4
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After you're done, check for voltage between anything and everything. More than 0.5vac is a safety problem.
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:32 PM   #5
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An alternative might be to use a commonly-available 50A GFCI breaker intended for a hottub installation, and follow it with a fused diconnect with 20A fuses.
Are you serious???

A 2p20GFCB costs the same a a 2p50 and by the time you add another smaller breaker or fuses you are way behind the game.

ANY real electrical supply house will carry a 2p20GFCB for standard panels.
You need to go someplace other than a home center.
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:33 PM   #6
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After you're done, check for voltage between anything and everything. More than 0.5vac is a safety problem.
Can you elaborate on this a bit?

You know as well as anyone else that you will likely get more than .5v using a digital meter from phantom voltage.
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:46 PM   #7
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Are you serious???

A 2p20GFCB costs the same a a 2p50 and by the time you add another smaller breaker or fuses you are way behind the game.

ANY real electrical supply house will carry a 2p20GFCB for standard panels.
You need to go someplace other than a home center.
The 50A hottub breakers seem to run under $100 regardless of where you get them. Any 2P GFCI breaker with a different rating seems to run well over $100 no matter where you get it. Maybe you have exceptionally inexpensive supply houses in your area, or maybe you are over-paying for hottub breakers? I figured the 50A breakers are cheaper due to the economy of scale, since so many more of them are used than any other rating of 2P GFCI breaker.
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Old 07-31-2009, 01:01 PM   #8
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Can you elaborate on this a bit?

You know as well as anyone else that you will likely get more than .5v using a digital meter from phantom voltage.
Forgot: sorry.
Load the meter with a 7-1/2w incand lamp, with the cold filament resistance simulating a wet skin resistance of 200 to 400 Ω.

I'm looking for a voltage source that can deliver at least 5 mA.

From people in other posts who have survived higher voltages, most wet skin resistance may be >3kΩ so finding 500 mVac with this test may not be dangerous to everyone. But one poster who did fix his bonding problem was seeing ~0.1 vac after the fix.

I'm still waiting for my library to cough up that book by Soares on this subject.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 07-31-2009 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:08 PM   #9
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You need to go someplace other than a home center.
I was talking to an electrician friend of mine about the problem of finding parts, breakers, etc at Home Depot. He took me to an electrical supply house where his company buys his stuff. Wow! It was like suddenly being in the Emerald City!
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:38 PM   #10
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I was talking to an electrician friend of mine about the problem of finding parts, breakers, etc at Home Depot. He took me to an electrical supply house where his company buys his stuff. Wow! It was like suddenly being in the Emerald City!
I always chuckle when someone says:
"I can't find this <piece of electrical equipment> anywhere. I tried HD, Lowes, Menards, <enter big box store here>."


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