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Old 11-06-2007, 02:48 PM   #61
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Need basic breaker info please


Lets whoa up here a minute...I'm confused. Is the breaker in the panel or isn't it. I though we had established that with the wires pulled off the breaker BUT THE BREAKER STILL IN THE PANEL the breaker still won't reset. When the breaker is REMOVED FROM THE PANEL and Honker is holding it in her delicate girl hands, it will reset. That is the basis of my advice thus far. I don't want to **** this up so I'm gonna reread the thread.

I know what I'd do if I was there, but that is what "kind of " sucks about DIY sites....

Edit to add... Post #35 and Post #53 tells me I think I'm right. Honker, #10AWG is the minumim for 30Amps, #8AWG is for 40A, #6AWG for 50Amps. This is key... Even if your tub literature calls for 50A and you only have #8 wire, then you have to use a forty Amp breaker.

If I was your neighbor you'd be soaking right now.


Last edited by Andy in ATL; 11-06-2007 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:53 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy in ATL View Post
.... I know what I'd do if I was there, but that is what "kind of " sucks about DIY sites....
Most of us who have been following this thread know what you would do, but I bet that wouldn't solve her electrical problems now would it?
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:58 PM   #63
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Now that right there is funny. No desserts till the problem is fixed, though, right HH? Thats how it is with girls the world around.
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:58 PM   #64
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Ok, I've read back through the posts to kinda get up to speed. There is nothing wrong with you having the gfci in your main panel but I just don't think it is the best design installation. I also notice you don't have a disconnect out by the tub. You need to have one. This also tells me that the hot tub is either very old or it was homeowner installed and codes were not followed. You also mention a plug in receptacle which is also required but it cannot be closer than 10 feet from the tub and it must be gfci protected.
So this is what I'm going to recommend. Redo the design to have the gfci in a spa panel disconnect out by the tub and a regular common trip double pole breaker in the main panel. This is going to cost you in the area of 200 bucks give or take. We are going to be able to keep the wire already used most likely.

I would like you to see if you can tell us what size wire you have in the conduit. It should have some writing on it stating thhn/thwn 8 awg or similar. Also look to see if you can find a electrical product nameplate with the amperage and voltage requirements for your tub...gotta be there somewhere. what I found online was 50 amps for the 240 volt EM 100 but yours is older so not sure.

This is what I would like to use for your outside disconnect.....

http://www.cesmco.com/spa.html

I like these for the fact they make the outside gfci maintenance outlet an easy add on with breaker protection at the spa panel and will free up the breaker that is presently supplying your outside outlet. The gfci for the tub is also located here. The wiring is very simple. They claim these prevent and nearly eliminate false tripping but that's product advertising IMO and not why I like them. My experience with these has been exceptional however... with rare callback.

So in any event if that isn't within your budget we can go with what you have but the cost either way by the time you get the disconnect and a new gfci breaker it isn't going to be much difference.

I am also not real sure yet if that gfci is bad. But I would just as soon redesign and forget that gfci as it would appear it is bad.

There are a few ways we can test it for sure if you want but you say it has a sloppy fit and that worries me some though a little looseness isn't abnormal with the cover off the panel.

Anyway got an idea what fits your fancy redesign or keep what you have?

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Old 11-06-2007, 04:04 PM   #65
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Hey there, Mr. Andy...

No need for confusion on your part, you are correct about everything you said. As far as the wire size, where do I find these magical numbers that will tell me what I need to know? I'm with you so far, so thanks for keeping up the help. And I have no doubt about everything being in working order (?!) if you were my neighbor. I figured that one out two or three pages back...
(Another note to self... HH is also a very funny guy)
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Old 11-06-2007, 04:12 PM   #66
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Okay, Stubbie-

I was responding to Andy when you chimed in, sorry about that. I'm at work so I'll check out the things you mentioned and get back with info when I can. (wire size, etc.)

You guys have been really great, and I know I've said that before, but I really do appreciate it. Cookies (that's actual chocolate chip cookies that I'm talking about, or another requested flavor) will be available to anyone close enough to come and get 'em when I get this thing finished.
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Old 11-06-2007, 04:20 PM   #67
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Andy

I believe it was in the panel... not sure if it was seated correctly as she says it was pretty wiggly. Not being there I just think it would be best to assume its bad and start new. We could run her around in circles trying to figure it out. If it was powered with the load wires disconnected and would not reset then it is likely it is bad for whatever reason.

Honker

I really think you have done fine with this. I just think it is time to cut the losses so to speak and redo the design. We will start from scratch and test the wires for integrity and get this thing safe up to that hot tub and I have a plan to test the hot tub before you sink any money into a disconnect. If the hot tub is also bad then lets not waste your hard earned money.

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Last edited by Stubbie; 11-06-2007 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 11-06-2007, 05:07 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post
Andy

I believe it was in the panel... not sure if it was seated correctly as she says it was pretty wiggly. Not being there I just think it would be best to assume its bad and start new. We could run her around in circles trying to figure it out. If it was powered with the load wires disconnected and would not reset then it is likely it is bad for whatever reason.

Honker

I really think you have done fine with this. I just think it is time to cut the losses so to speak and redo the design. We will start from scratch and test the wires for integrity and get this thing safe up to that hot tub and I have a plan to test the hot tub before you sink any money into a disconnect. If the hot tub is also bad then lets not waste your hard earned money.

Stubbie
I will agree with stubbie with this one i think it time to regroup and tackle this again in diffrent angle with this sisuation.

i did overlook that part about outdoor disconnect switch i did backtracked and retranslated the langunge and switched back to engish again to make sure i am reading it right.

really IMO there are few ways to dealt with this but we will take one step at time to make it right for you.

Honker if you want to know the wire size you have to look at one of the cables it will useally marked like this " 8-3 WG NM or ROMAX " or other it will have combation of number and letters some case hard to see you may have to use the flashlight to see the imprints on it.

hope it will help with new info.

Merci, Marc
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Old 11-06-2007, 05:22 PM   #69
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Hi Marc

Post #9....she says that a reset or a high limit heater reset is not working and is obviously in disrepair. The tub appears to be older and possibly not working is a concern. The previous owner told her to just turn on the breaker but it is bad or a fault exists. Anyway at this point I don't trust the branch circuit or the hot tub or the breaker or the installation... only way i can look at it at this time.

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Old 11-06-2007, 05:57 PM   #70
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Merci , Stubbie i did miss that one i guess i need new reading glasses lol.

anyway i belive the older hottubs have one time thermal limit switch on the heater IIRC .,, once they tripped i dont expect them to reset at all and i am pretty much sure the heater unit is well on the way to " boneyard " i think that what the whole curpit with this and if this heater is inline type like 5.5 KW size it should be a common type like this http://www.spacomponents.com/hot_tub_heater.jpg

this photo is not the excat the same but it will give you the genral idea what to be expect to see it but there are tons of other kind of spa heaters too.

Merci, Marc
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Old 11-06-2007, 06:19 PM   #71
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Why would a bad heater cause the breaker to go bad....not saying it couldn't, but still. Honker, reread post six where I said Stubbie was WAY smarter than me.

What sucks is we can't see this equipment to see if it is a total homeowner hack job, or a compliant installation (when it was installed) with simply a bad GFCI breaker.

Perhaps a whole new disconnect is in order, I just don't know. From what the Honkster describes, she has a bad DP 40A GFCI. But as I stated earlier, which came first?, the bad breaker, or some as yet unidentified fault.

Honker, do you feel like Ohming out some wires??

If I was there I'd slap the wires under the AC breaker first unhooked from tub, then hooked to the tub....but I'm just a crazy electrician who long ago gave myself permission to do whatever it takes. I would never advise anyone on this site to do that.

I still have faith, Honk, do you????
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Old 11-06-2007, 06:33 PM   #72
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Andy :

yeah i know i was kinda aiming to the heater[s] that one of few common curpits but i was reading the whole thing again [ have to translated to french so i can get the whole picture again ]

now that did raise few question but really IMO the best way to trouble shooting this mess is ohm it.

there are some case i heard but myself i think i did see it once the control panel transformer can go bad and trip the GFCI as well.

the other possiblty is pump motor is going bad too so there is quite few ways to screen it out. but we will do this one step at the time to rule it out from starting at the soruce and work it way out.


Merci, Marc

[ if i did see the hot tub set up i will work backward and find the curpit fast ]
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Old 11-06-2007, 06:44 PM   #73
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I hear ya... My goal throughout this journey was to isolate the problem. I'm 95% sure this is a breaker problem. I left myself a 5% out last week sometime. I'm all for getting new equipment, and if she was my TV Anchorwoman (strikingly beautiful) in a large MidWest market neighbor, then thats what she would have gotten. All she has described is a breaker problem. I have to discount Post #9 . The damn reset button AIN'T NEVER EVER NEVER gonna reset if there is no power on the tub!!!
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Old 11-06-2007, 06:50 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy in ATL View Post
I hear ya... My goal throughout this journey was to isolate the problem. The damn reset button AIN'T NEVER EVER NEVER gonna reset if there is no power on the tub!!!

OUI Andy :

you got it right let see how the honker will do from here let see if she can follow our directions down to the dot.

Merci, Marc
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:37 PM   #75
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Again I can't see the thing so if you want to take a chance with a hot tub and water....this tub is over 10 years old as the units I researched went back to 1998 and she says the one I posted is not like hers. So I'm just a little freakin concerned .. any spa pack tub I've ever seen that old was ready for an entire spa pack change out. Post #9 should not be ignored the high limit should not be tripped (if it is) because there is no power on the spa.

Quote:
The damn reset button AIN'T NEVER EVER NEVER gonna reset if There is no power on the tub!!!
Never use the word Never.....

Andy... it's a thermal temperatue switch it is either one time use as Marc said or resettable on water cool down power has nothing to do with it. If it is working the thermostat would have killed power to the circuit way before high limit. The circuit should be dead when you reset unless the water has cooled enough to have the t-stat call for heat. Then you basically complete the circuit to the heater contactor by resetting. But something caused the trip out. My problem with post #9 is the red button is loose and wiggly like it is tripped....why is it tripped?

I agree that if the gfci is bad and the branch circuit is ok you can restore power to the tub and yes this is an isolate and solve problem. My concern is she may have a spa pack problem and they aint cheap. So it is more complicated than it appears IMO.

For everyones Use

The below wiring diagram is for a 1991 Brett Aqualine EM100 with thermal reset on high limit

http://www.alliedinnovations.com/pdf/W1006a.PDF

And the spa high limit temperature switch..please note the application section.....there are many types

http://spapartsnet.com/Electric-Heat...1_482_0_1.html

Basic Flow Chart

http://spasupport.com/diagrams/diagram1.html

Quote:
If I was there I'd slap the wires under the AC breaker first unhooked from tub, then hooked to the tub....but I'm just a crazy electrician who long ago gave myself permission to do whatever it takes
What else would you need to tell her before she does that? Not knocking your advice Andy but slow down a tad....

If this was a homeowner install then there are a few pages of things that need to be covered before she puts herself into that tub. Replacing the gfci is a very small part of this whole problem.

At any rate I've given my opinion. I spent a few days researching this and that was part of the reason I didn't reply till yesterday. It is not in my opinion as simple as a gfci breaker replacement and I'm not replying with this stuff to impress anyone and get her in that tub so I can have a big smile on my face. The more I read this the whole deal needs to be looked at by a spa professional and or a electrician with spa experience. So I'm going to leave it at that... the age of this spa and other issues I can foresee make it impossible in my opinion to keep her safe with any long distance fix.

And yes the branch circuit needs to be restored then get to the spa problems.

My point is on the branch circuit if she buys a new gfci thats 100 bucks then a disconnect (which she needs) 30 bucks... 130 bucks plus hardware.

Spa disconnect or a spa panel outside and regular double pole at the main about 170 bucks or so then add some of the stuff like hardware and conduit fittings so probably around 200 bucks. Might also need some wire to get from disconnect to spa pack most likely you will.

This is before she finds out if she has a spa problem to boot and I've got a gut feeling she does.

I also think the line should have been drawn when she had to get in the main panel. Doesn't matter Woman or Man you need to have been in one before under supervision and know exactly what goes on with your particular panel. It is not a place to be if you have never been in one before. No offense to Honker intended she seems pretty handy but handy doesn't get it inside a main panel IMO.

Stubbie

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Last edited by Stubbie; 11-07-2007 at 12:30 PM.
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