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Old 12-23-2010, 02:11 PM   #16
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Pond pumps tripping GFCI


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Originally Posted by lendosky View Post
No fish but finding a non GFCI source is hard to come by because it's almost 150' from the closest source. A thermal overload is when the pumps just stop but the breaker is intact, correct?
Yes the pump will stop and after the winding cool down it will run again.

150 ft - long way to run, is that how far the 14/2 runs as well? If you are running that far away, the amps on those pumps while running will be higher due to a lower voltage (voltage drop under load), this will cause premature pump failure (field winding failure) because of excess heat.

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Old 12-23-2010, 02:27 PM   #17
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not running 14/2 that long. There is another main out in that area because the previous owner had an idea of building a large garage but just ran electrical there when the house was built and then built a small patio area with a fountain. I guess I could come off the board directly with 12/2 and 20 amp breaker and see what happens after a half hour or so.
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Old 12-23-2010, 02:32 PM   #18
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Pond pumps tripping GFCI


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not running 14/2 that long. There is another main out in that area because the previous owner had an idea of building a large garage but just ran electrical there when the house was built and then built a small patio area with a fountain. I guess I could come off the board directly with 12/2 and 20 amp breaker and see what happens after a half hour or so.
Yes but you have to promise that you won't leave it like that! GFCI's don't protect the wire or equipment they protect you or any other unsuspecting soul who may get close enough to be electocuted because of a bad conductor.
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Old 12-23-2010, 02:37 PM   #19
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Pond pumps tripping GFCI


Of course I wouldn't leave it like that. I understand that the circuit needs different wiring but I want to check if the pumps are causing the problem too. Why fix the electrical right away when I will still need one, or maybe two new pumps costing over $500?
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Old 12-23-2010, 02:41 PM   #20
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Pond pumps tripping GFCI


Not trying to be a SA, but after reviewing many situations and questions in this forum, I just think its prudent to ask.
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Old 12-23-2010, 03:02 PM   #21
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Not calling you a SA. You were right to ask. Thanks for all the help everyone. I will keep you posted on results when I get them. If there is any other troubleshooting advice, please give it to me.
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Old 12-23-2010, 03:22 PM   #22
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Pond pumps tripping GFCI


I don't see any problem with a 200w lighting load & a 12a pump load on wire rated to carry 1800w
And its possible the pumps do not run at 6a load
The breaker or the wire need to be replaced to meet code

If you can I'd disconnect each pump too see which one is causing the problem
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:16 PM   #23
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Pond pumps tripping GFCI


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I don't see any problem with a 200w lighting load & a 12a pump load on wire rated to carry 1800w
And its possible the pumps do not run at 6a load
The breaker or the wire need to be replaced to meet code

If you can I'd disconnect each pump too see which one is causing the problem
Sorry, but #14 wire is not rated at 1800w for a continuous load. The max continuous load (3 or more hours) for #14 is 1440w.

I am working on the assumption that the pumps are programmed to run for several hours, since they are used for a waterfall, which is why I am asserting that the #14 wire must be derated to its continuous load ampacity. Unless the timer is programmed is cycle the pumps so that they never operate more than 3 hours at a time, the pumps alone equal the permissible continuous rating of that circuit. Any additional load creates a violation.

Even if the pumps actually operate at under 6A, the NEC does not care. The ruling value will be, at minimum, the amps/wattage stamped on the device. The OP also stated that he has about 150' of line between the motors and the breaker, and not all of it is #14. There will be voltage drop associated with the length of line, which means the current draw will increase.

In this particular situation, at least one of the motors appears to be ground-faulting once it heats up, which could increase the current draw even further. With a 20A breaker, it's unlikely to trip before the wire melts.

I can't see an inspector signing off on this type of setup unless 12/2 is used with a 20A breaker. The other option would be to switch the breaker down to 15A breaker and use pumps with lower-rated power draws.
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:22 PM   #24
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You don't use start up power as running power
Lighting is not considered continuous

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