||08-18-2012 11:43 PM
Hot Tub GFCI Test Button Not Tripping Breaker
I installed a GFCI 50 amp Sub-Panel box and a hot tub last spring. Everything worked fine until i shut it down for the hotter months of this summer. I filled the hot tub up today and flipped the breaker on. I didnt hear the pump turn on so i hit the test button. There was a POP and a spark in the sub-panel. Scared the crap out of me. I only saw the spark out of the corner of my eye. But I thought that was a little abnormal but didnt think anything of it. I flipped the breaker on again and nothing from the tub again. I noticed that the control panel was lit up on the hot tub and the underwater light was working so i had power. After hours of troubleshooting i got out the multimeter and checked power and the hot tub end of the circuit. Black had power, red did not. So i checked at the breaker screws, same outcome. Then checked at the sub-panel input and had same outcome. So i looked at the main panel and realized i had pulled out the red wire that went to the sub-panel the other day (by accident) when i was removing a 240v 40 amp 8-3 wire that had the ends electrical taped, in my wall. (Not my work.) So i shut off power to the box and screwed it back in and flipped everything back on and heard the hot tub pump fire right up and has been running fine for an hr now. But i pushed the test button just for S&G (or to actually test it) but the breaker stays on. The button doesnt click either. It doesnt feel right when i press it. kinda feels jammed. Cant really say if it was like that before or not. Not too familiar with how the button felt or how one should feel when pressed... How can i safely test this breaker without the button working? Or should i break down and buy a new $100 breaker? Could the breaker interuption still function even if the button isnt working? I understand the test button sends power to the ground in order to test thie interuption is functioning but it almost feels like the button wont depress enough to allow this. If this is a major safety issue $100 is nothing to prevent me or one of my kids from being electrocuted. Any input on this is appreciated.