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Old 10-28-2007, 03:08 PM   #16
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Need basic breaker info please


You're right to question the certainty of which breaker it is, because all I have to go off of there (except for eyeballin' it) is the word of the guy that told us the hot tub was in good working order. I'm off the Home Depot this afternoon to grab a 'nothing fancy' meter. And yes, I remember the diagram bit, which is not only a good idea but a necessity in this case, since the main power wire coming into the box appears too be brought in through the side of it and then split off and spliced and screwed to each appropriate terminal. There's the on/off on the front of the box, but no break in the wires (other than the splices/caps I mentioned) between the breaker and the the direct hook-up inside the box. I'll give all of this a go and keep you posted. Thanks, glad you're not giving up on me yet.

(And Andy, as far as 'honker' goes, I've never had any complaints about my nose, but I've also never been one to toot my own horn. It's more along the lines of Canadian Goose, I guess, 'cause when it asked for a user name I was reminded of my dad's old cb name. How's that for a boring explanation...)

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Old 10-28-2007, 03:32 PM   #17
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Quick add on - I just read the last couple posts and bringing in someone else might be where I end up, and I will be careful... thanks for the tips there. Can't find my camera, haven't unpacked it yet, but I can tell you that the wiring comes through the wall outside the house on the back side of the breaker box, run through painted pvc, and goes its separate ways from a box near the hot tub - both to the outlet and the hot tub. I've looked inside the covers of the boxes on the wall, and there's no switches.

And since we're on the subject, maybe this would be a better electric project for me to take on for starters... My outside light wouldn't come on last night, so I changed the bulb and it still wouldn't work, but I checked the new bulb in a different lamp and it was okay. I went back to the switch and flipped it on without the bulb and it sparked out and threw that breaker. Shouldn't I be able to kill the power, pull off that fixture, (and then test it with my new handy-dandy nothing fancy meter) and rewire it if necessary? Any tips there? I don't want to walk off the end of the porch.

You guys are really great, I feel like I should be baking you cookies for a thanks.
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Old 10-28-2007, 03:58 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duke2043 View Post
IF THERE IS NOT A DISCONNECTING MEANS OUT BY THE HOT TUB IT IS NOT UP TO CODE AND I WOULD HAVE A QUALIFIED ELECTRICIAN FIX PROBLEM WATER AND ELECTRICITY DO NOT MIX THE WAY IT SHOULD BE WIRED IS TO HAVE SPA/HOT TUB DISCONNECT WITHIN SITE OF THE TUB AND THAT IS WHERE THE GFI BREAKER SHOULD BE LOCATED.
Duke, the location of the GFI breaker is not required to be outside. It can be in the main panel.
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Old 10-28-2007, 04:10 PM   #19
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I was fixxin to ask for a code reference.

Edit to Add: Oops...Upon further review 680.12 applies but only if the house was built after the jurisdiction in which "The Honkster" adopted the '05 NEC.

Where in the country do you live Honker... and, more importantly, how old is the new digs???

Edit to the edit to add: Upon further review of the Honkster's posts I'm not convinced she doesn't have a disconnect at the tub... The GFCI can stay in the panel.

Last edited by Andy in ATL; 10-28-2007 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 10-28-2007, 04:57 PM   #20
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The required disconnect was not in question, the location of the GFI was.
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Old 10-28-2007, 05:10 PM   #21
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You're right as usual Speedy, I just tied my brain in half for nuthin.
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Old 10-28-2007, 05:11 PM   #22
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I, "the honkster", now find myself living in southern Missouri, (I miss Minnesota), and the pad was put up in '78, but the previous owner has put in his own additions and conversions over the last ten to fifteen years at different times.

Thanks, and keep it comin'...
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Old 10-28-2007, 05:15 PM   #23
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Hi Again Honker


Yes the light would be a much better place to learn. It would appear you have a hot wire with a bare portion shorted to metal/ground. You need to put the breaker in the off postion and the switch off also. Since you know which one tripped just put it all the way off or leave tripped. Remove the switch cover and make the switch accessible. I want you to test for voltage at the switch and verify no voltage on either switch screw. This is a good place to start not necessarily the only place. Do not touch any of those screws till you verify no voltage. I also want you to tell us what kind of tester you purchased so we know how to instruct its use. I would prefer you make it simple with a tester like this.......


This tester will show both 120 and 240 volts depending on which light illuminates. You will be able to use it on the hot tub also and it is a no brainer tester.
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Old 10-28-2007, 05:23 PM   #24
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Fix the tub and light using our wonderful advice. That is thanks enough. If you were my neighbor then it would definitely be cookies....I rewired my neighbors electric oven to gas for cheesecake.
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Old 10-28-2007, 06:12 PM   #25
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Well, the hot tub doesn't appear to be the problem, or at least not all of the problem. I disconnected the power to it (with my swell new tester, thanks for those tips) and the breaker still won't stay on, not even a hint of it wanting to stay on. I haven't disconnected the outlet yet to check it, should that be my next step or would you assume it's the breaker itself, given the info you got?

The outside light shouldn't be too tough, there was what looked like a mouse nest of grass all hidden and tucked up in there and one of the wires was hanging loose (it looked old). It looks like I just need to replace the part including the wires that the bulb screws into. That was the easy part, the hard part was taking a big wipe-out climbing down off the chair when I was done. It was a beauty. Darn, I could really use the hot tub...
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Old 10-28-2007, 06:24 PM   #26
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Don't kill yourself yet, Honker. Were you wearing your safety glasses????

Is this outlet you speak of attached to the same breaker??? I guess the question is, Are the wires coming to the hot tub from the breaker box COMPLETELY ISOLATED and detached from anything to do with the Hot tub or anything else?

I expect you've got the light figured out. But be careful!
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Old 10-28-2007, 07:16 PM   #27
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Thanks for the concern, Andy, but safety glasses aren't the piece of protective equipment I should have been wearing. At least not according to my back side...
Anywho, when he put in the hot tub he also wired an outlet to the same breaker so he could plug in his light string to set the mood out there. Sorry, I thought I mentioned that already. I'll patiently await further advice.

This is a lot of fun doing guy stuff! (Except for the wipe out, that is.) I'll be a pro in no time. Generally speaking, you'll only have to tell me something once. And cheesecake from your neighbor... hmmm... Is that what they call it now?? ;-}
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Old 10-28-2007, 07:32 PM   #28
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Honker, i'm blushing


The receptacle is going to have to go. It cannot stay. Whomper big code violation and safety issue. If after we fix the hot tub you want to get some "mood lighting" hooked up, then we will tackle that later. There is a possibility the fault is in the recp. anyway. Did I mention plumbers have it easier? Leaky pipe, water everywhere, fix the leak. So easy, even a caveman could do it.

Go for totally unhooking the hot tub , receptacle and anything else you can think of. Try the breaker. Divide and conquer.

You reckon he also plugged in his tape player out there and played Bon Jovi hits from the eighties??? Was he a PLAYA!!!

Sweet dreams Honkers... Wake up is 4:30 A.M. Beer distributer in ATL went out of business or relocated or some **** like that. GA power bought the building and I begin buildback tomorrow.
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Old 10-29-2007, 07:19 PM   #29
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Thanks so much for everyone's help so far. I just completely disconnected both the hot tub and the outlet that were leading into the breaker. There's nothing else hooked into it, but it still won't come on. Next step?

(And I think I did hear a faint Bon Jovi tune from yesteryear drifting around out there. You're a funny guy, Andy...)
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Old 10-29-2007, 07:29 PM   #30
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The next step may be beyond a DIY project. you must open the cover to the main panel and disconnect the wires from the breaker there.

Keep in mind, this is very important. even when the main breaker is off there is live 240 volt in that panel.

If you are in any way uncomfortable with this, DO NOT TRY IT.

Disconnect the wires from the breaker and see if it will reset then.

Again. Do not do this unless you are sure that what you are doing is safe.

Touching the wrong thing inside the panel, with your hands or even a tool could be a very bad thing.

As a professional electrician I reccomend you hire this part done.

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