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Old 02-20-2013, 01:17 AM   #1
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Is my electrician trying to KILL ME?


I'll try to make this as short as possible. Bought a house with a hottub that was hooked up and working fine without GFCI breakers (inspector did not catch it) I installed recommended 30 and 20 amp 220 2 pole GFCI breakers in the panel which happens to be right next to the hot tub. 20amp keeps tripping instantly when I turn it on. It appears to be wired correctly a white and black load and a uninsulated neutral (12/2??) from heater side of tub.Call a electrician. I get home about the time he's finishing up. Says he fixed it and its working fine now. said something about the neutrals and grounds weren't hooked up right. Pay him and thank him. I pulled the panel cover back off to see what he did differently. He apparently unhooked the neutral from the GFCI comming from the tub and loosely wrapped it around another ground wire in the box. I can not see how the GFCI will detect a fault like that.

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Old 02-20-2013, 01:24 AM   #2
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Is my electrician trying to KILL ME?


Here a picture of what he did..
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:57 AM   #3
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Is my electrician trying to KILL ME?


Hot tubs require two hots a neutral and a ground for two pole 240v power. A GFCI will not work properly the way your tub is wired.

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Old 02-20-2013, 02:29 AM   #4
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Is my electrician trying to KILL ME?


I didn't know we could use the bare for neutral these days; need 12/3.

Also, is it the GFI or the AFCI breaker which requires the neutral to terminate on the breaker?
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:32 AM   #5
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The heater is 240 volts the breaker should have one black and one white connected to it from the load. The uninsulated wire is the equipment ground not the neutral. There is no neutral for 240 volt heaters. There should be a white pigtail neutral that comes off the 20 amp gfci that will then connect to the neutral bar in the panel. The ground (bare) should connect to the same bar where the white pigtail connects if the panel pictured is your main panel that contains the main breaker to disconnect your service.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:07 AM   #6
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Using the photo does it make any difference in general by having 240 breakers on the bottom instead at the top? Such has lights flicker when a load is applied?
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:26 AM   #7
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Using the photo does it make any difference in general by having 240 breakers on the bottom instead at the top? Such has lights flicker when a load is applied?
No. How about cleaning the sawdust out of the bottom of the panel.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:46 AM   #8
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Using the photo does it make any difference in general by having 240 breakers on the bottom instead at the top? Such has lights flicker when a load is applied?
Absolutely not. What does them being 240V have to do with it?
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:48 AM   #9
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I'll try to make this as short as possible. Bought a house with a hottub that was hooked up and working fine without GFCI breakers (inspector did not catch it) I installed recommended 30 and 20 amp 220 2 pole GFCI breakers in the panel which happens to be right next to the hot tub. 20amp keeps tripping instantly when I turn it on. It appears to be wired correctly a white and black load and a uninsulated neutral (12/2??) from heater side of tub.Call a electrician. I get home about the time he's finishing up. Says he fixed it and its working fine now. said something about the neutrals and grounds weren't hooked up right. Pay him and thank him. I pulled the panel cover back off to see what he did differently. He apparently unhooked the neutral from the GFCI comming from the tub and loosely wrapped it around another ground wire in the box. I can not see how the GFCI will detect a fault like that.
Sorry. I am not commenting until I see a batter picture of the panel, or a MUCH better and clerer description of exactly what wires are connected where.

You say he wrapped the neutral loosely around a ground??? You obviously meant ground, not neutral.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:50 AM   #10
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Hot tubs require two hots a neutral and a ground for two pole 240v power.
Some, even most, do require a neutral, making them a 120/240V circuit, but not all.

The tub in question (Hot Springs I believe) requires two two-pole circuits. One is typically 240V and the other 120/240V, as Stubbie stated earlier.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:52 AM   #11
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I'd be interested in seeing the wiring at the tub. Is the tub installed inside or outside? Since there were no GFI breakers installed in the panel, I'd be curious to see this whole install as it screams "NO PERMIT".
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:05 AM   #12
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We all need more information before simply throwing solutions out there. For example, my hot tub does NOT have a neutral from the panel. The heater is straight 240 VAC [no neutral required] and the control voltage is changed from AC to DC in the tub controller. So before we decide anything....

We need the age and make of the tub, and it's wiring diagram would be sweet too. If the OP has or can find a link to his unit or will scan a drawing, so much the better.

GFCI's sense the imbalance of current between conductors. They are quite sensitive because, well, they save your life. There is a distinct possibility, armed with only the information we have, that you indeed have an imbalance or current leakage to ground. The panel photo doesn't really show what the electrician did.

May as well shoot an apple off someone's head in the dark. I reserve solution until I have more information and/or better photos.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:15 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
I'd be interested in seeing the wiring at the tub. Is the tub installed inside or outside? Since there were no GFI breakers installed in the panel, I'd be curious to see this whole install as it screams "NO PERMIT".
I do agree, but most of these tubs that I see have the GFI's at the disconnect/sub-panel location. In fact, they come with the tub, GE usually.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:46 AM   #14
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Thanks for the replys. I will scan and post the wiring diagram tonight. Tub is 2005?? Caldera. No sub panel tub is in the garage for now. Next to the panel
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:18 AM   #15
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Is my electrician trying to KILL ME?


This is the diagram that was in the manual. No sub panel was installed the GFCIs are in the main breaker box since its very close to where the tub is located. Looking at this there is no neutral going to the 20 amp breaker???? At this point I'm guessing the unsheilded wire I had hooked to the GFCI was a ground for the tub.??


MAIN QUESTION: Will the GFCI still function properly without a neutral wire hooked to it?


I will deal with saw dust good point.
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Last edited by RED7218; 02-20-2013 at 10:28 AM.
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