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Old 06-30-2009, 10:07 PM   #1
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KStar KS-5 Pool Heater


Hi Gang, Just looking for someone to correct me if im wrong. I purchased a K-Star KS-5 5000 watt electric heater for my on ground pool. I will be using NMW AWG#10-3 wire on a GFI breaker. Now from the diagram it looks like i run the two Hot wires to the unit. red and black in my case. Normal to me and White is Neutral. But it looks like they want me to bond it to the input hose and the output hose. These are stanless colars i need to put in the return line on each side of the heater.

I gather this is to trip the GFI in case of a fault. Correct? I would have just bonded it to ground. but it the diagram has me second guessing. Ive attached it.

I babbled here but its been a long day.. Cheers.
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:21 AM   #2
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KStar KS-5 Pool Heater


Canada?

You certainly have an odd duck there with that heater. Those collars are current leakage collectors with grounding lugs and look like this.....below. You connect them to the heater housing with pvc fittings (as shown)to insulate them from the electrical components of the heater. Then you run a #10 copper grounding wire between the two collectors (unspliced) back to the service equipment where your dwellings main disconnect is located and bond it there with the service grounded conductor. Inside the heater controls compartment is another ground lug which you connect the egc of the branch circuit supply conductors.

These collectors have nothing to do with the operation of the gfci. They are supposed to collect leakage currents that are undetectable by the gfci (in the water) and safely give them a path around the gfci (I think) so that it doesn't nuisance trip. Rather an odd and concerning design IMO.

My observation is that you should have to bond this heater and collectors to the equipotential grid with all the other metal around the pool. I'm not seeing that in the drawing.

Can you link us to the instructions??

Just for reference for you and others here are some pictures of a used Kstar 5000 watt unit. The KS-5 has been discontinued and is now replaced by a K5 Heater.



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Old 07-01-2009, 05:53 PM   #3
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KStar KS-5 Pool Heater


Where is that white wire connected, Stubbie? It looks like it is just sitting there, connected to nothing?

You should only need a 2-wire 240 Volt circuit for such a heater to operate (not counting the ground, of course).
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:41 PM   #4
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KStar KS-5 Pool Heater


Thanks Guys, Here is the link http://www.psposeidon.com/pdf/manuels/kstarman.pdf

Now a Neutral to ground will trip the gfi. Common mistake among friends is when they add a sub panel (spa) the forget to remove the neutral bonding ground. this is why i ran a normal 40 amp breaker at the house main and then a 30amp GFCI in the pool house (shed) with the bonding strip removed. My pump runs 110v. and I have the ladder grounded.

Now have a look at the diagram for the heater. You can see my concern with the neutral going to the "current leakage collars" The water in the pool goes through it and will contact the ladder. so Im sure when i added the nutral to the collar it will trip the breaker.

IF I ground it as you have mentioned then the neutral goes un used. So in this state i would think the GFI would never trip if there was a problem. ?? am i wrong...

thanks again guys. Im heading up north for a week so Ill check in on the Black Berry, I have a k-10 to install and a solar heater then i will be home to hook this k5 up to my pool so the wife is happy...
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:39 AM   #5
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KStar KS-5 Pool Heater


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Originally Posted by TimN8er View Post
Thanks Guys, Here is the link http://www.psposeidon.com/pdf/manuels/kstarman.pdf

Now a Neutral to ground will trip the gfi. Common mistake among friends is when they add a sub panel (spa) the forget to remove the neutral bonding ground. this is why i ran a normal 40 amp breaker at the house main and then a 30amp GFCI in the pool house (shed) with the bonding strip removed. My pump runs 110v. and I have the ladder grounded.

Now have a look at the diagram for the heater. You can see my concern with the neutral going to the "current leakage collars" The water in the pool goes through it and will contact the ladder. so Im sure when i added the nutral to the collar it will trip the breaker.

IF I ground it as you have mentioned then the neutral goes un used. So in this state i would think the GFI would never trip if there was a problem. ?? am i wrong...

thanks again guys. Im heading up north for a week so Ill check in on the Black Berry, I have a k-10 to install and a solar heater then i will be home to hook this k5 up to my pool so the wife is happy...
You would not be connecting a neutral to the collectors. You would be bonding them with the grounded conductor (grounding the collectors) at the main disconnect (service equipment). If you bonded at the spa disconnect to the neutral (if they had ran one to the spa gfci) you would trip the gfci. As you can see the diagram shows the neutral not extended to the heater or the branch circuit disconnect for the spa (your gfci). This is what KBSparky is pointing out....why is a neutral showing up (IN MY DIAGRAM/IMAGE) at the heater controls unless your 120 volt pump controls are also housed there. The collectors, if my common sense hat is working, are to give any current generated by a failed heater element (leaking current into the water) a path back to the power source. This design appears to terminate the equipment ground, ran with the branch circuit conductors to the heater, at the spa disconnect/gfci. It shows no bonding back to the service equipment from there. It appears that a grounding electrode is used at the branch circuit disconnect (spa panel). This evidently is why the instructions say to not terminate the grounding wire from the current leakage collectors to the ground inside the heater controls compartment. Because there is no LOW IMPEDANCE path back to the source. I can only assume they are counting on any overcurrent faults to be handled by an earth ground at the branch circuit disconnect enclosure.

Why the equipment ground is not solidly bonded from the heater metal back to the main disconnect and grounded conductor I have no idea. I'm not seeing how the branch circuit disconnect can trip on a overcurrent fault without a bond to the grounded conductor at the main disconnect. An earth ground as the diagram shows is wishful thinking to get a breaker to trip.

Also they are showing a tap (splitterbox) maybe this is some generec diagram of a common wiring configuration.

It does look like the gfci may trip if current leaks to the water from a failed heating element because the collectors are bonded back to the grounded conductor at the service equipment (main disconnect)... so a complete circuit path exists back to the source. I believe the gfci will see this if it had a neutral connection coming from the main panel. I don't see that in the diagram. Maybe that branch double pole breaker is not a gfci in your diagram.

I'm very skeptical of this design to say the least.
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