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Old 06-24-2009, 07:20 PM   #1
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Breaker for hot tub


I need to confirm something here if I could. I have just installed a 50A GFI breaker for my hottub. I have put that disconnect just inside of my garage where the lead wire from the hot tub comes in the garage- basically a convenient spot. I then have the wire running back to the panel where I have another 50A breaker (non GFI just reg type) for the hottub in the panel itself.

As soon as I turn on the power from the main panel breaker, it kicks the GFI breaker. I need to have a breaker larger than 50A in the panel (eg: 60A)- right? I've checked the power from the panel and I'm getting 240V in the disconnect but as soon as I hit the power it kicks off. Thanks.
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:27 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleB View Post
I need to confirm something here if I could. I have just installed a 50A GFI breaker for my hottub. I have put that disconnect just inside of my garage where the lead wire from the hot tub comes in the garage- basically a convenient spot. I then have the wire running back to the panel where I have another 50A breaker (non GFI just reg type) for the hottub in the panel itself.

As soon as I turn on the power from the main panel breaker, it kicks the GFI breaker. I need to have a breaker larger than 50A in the panel (eg: 60A)- right? I've checked the power from the panel and I'm getting 240V in the disconnect but as soon as I hit the power it kicks off. Thanks.
My bet is you have the GFCI breaker installed wrong. Wires from the main panel (should be four, hot, hot, neutral, ground)) feed the spa panel. The tub wires (hot, hot, neutral) land on the GFCI breaker. Insulated ground lands on the ground bar. White pigtail from the GFCI breaker lands on the neutral bar.
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:27 PM   #3
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No, they can both be 50A. Most likely you have the GFCI installed wrong. Can you take a picture of it?
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:30 PM   #4
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Sounds like its wired wrong
2 breakers the same size will not kick the breaker off
A short will
Connecting the neutral wrong will
Is the disconnect accesible from the hot tub as required by code?
The ground to the hot tub must be an insulated ground - not bare

Is the 2nd GFCI breaker in a mini spa panel?
Neutral from main panel breaker goes to a neutral bus in the GFCI panel
Neutral from GFCI breaker goes to the same bus
Neutrals & grounds must be seperate
Neutral bus must be insulated from case & not grounded to the case

I think that may cover it




Last edited by Scuba_Dave; 06-24-2009 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:35 PM   #5
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IF it is wired correctly, then you may have something in that hot tub that has a ground fault. In my experience, 95% of the time, it is a bad heating element.

If you can switch off the heating element, (or even disconnect it temporarily) then try it again.

Someone else mentioned taking a pic of your connections. I'd like to see a snapshot of the control panel, with the cover open, if possible.

Then we can maybe nail this down better.
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:54 PM   #6
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Is this a new hot tub or a used hot tub
Can be more problems with a used one



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Old 06-24-2009, 08:02 PM   #7
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One more thing. You say a "wire" is running to and from the spa panel. Exactly what type of wire was used to hook this up?
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:24 PM   #8
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Breaker for hot tub


I didn't mention this early but I doubt it helps- also I think I have attached the picture correctly but I have never done that before so please bare with me on that.

During the last cleaning of the hot tub (so it was working) I decided to put in a GFI spa panel for good measure. The way I had it hooked up was: black (hot) from main panel hooked together, red (hot) from panel hooked together, white (neutral) from panel hooked together and grounds hooked together. All of these connections were made in a box and things worked great.

Fast forward approx 1-2 months (ya it took a long time to clean it) I put the spa panel in and thought (maybe I'm wrong) wired it up and tried it. I have the black (hot) from the main panel hooked to the lug on the LS of the spa panel, red (hot) from the main panel hooked to the lug on the RS of the spa panel, all the whites (neutrals) to include the white from the GFI itself hooked into the neutral bar, and grounds hooked to the ground bar. Lastly, if the picture is attached to the post- the grey wire on the LS of the spa panel is from the main panel and the black wire on the RS of the spa panel goes out to the tub itself. I hope this helps. Thank you.

PS- the wire is 8/3 or 6/3 direct burial from the panel- that's what I had around.
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:32 PM   #9
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Do you have the neutral wire from the hotub connected to the gfci breaker?
I could not tell from the pic.
I did a service call last week for the same thing.
Turned the power off and cleaned the tub. He begin to fill tub, and the breaker tripped.
I made it out a few days later, reset breaker and hasn't tripped yet.
I think he overflowed the filter and wet the control panel.
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:35 PM   #10
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Do you have the neutral wire from the hotub connected to the gfci breaker?
I could not tell from the pic.
I did a service call last week for the same thing.
Turned the power off and cleaned the tub. He begin to fill tub, and the breaker tripped.
I made it out a few days later, reset breaker and hasn't tripped yet.
I think he overflowed the filter and wet the control panel.
Doesn't look like it. I count three neutrals on the bar. I also see NM running out of the box. Also, doesn't the disconnect have to be within sight of the tub? Looks like a lot of things wrong with this install.

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Old 06-24-2009, 08:36 PM   #11
 
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The neutral from the tub needs to be taken off the bus bar & attached to the neutral terminal on the GFCI breaker.
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:41 PM   #12
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No I don't. The white (neutral) from the hot tub itself is wired to the bus bar on the top right of the spa panel. It is hard to see but there are three white wires on that bus bar. The white (neutral) from the main panel, the white (neutral) from the tub and lastly, the white wire from the GFI breaker itself on that bus bar. I thought they all went together (I know it's stupid but I threw out the directions si I can't double check). So, does the white from the tub go to the GFI?
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleB View Post
No I don't. The white (neutral) from the hot tub itself is wired to the bus bar on the top right of the spa panel. It is hard to see but there are three white wires on that bus bar. The white (neutral) from the main panel, the white (neutral) from the tub and lastly, the white wire from the GFI breaker itself on that bus bar. I thought they all went together (I know it's stupid but I threw out the directions si I can't double check). So, does the white from the tub go to the GFI?
Yes. Close to the white wire from the breaker is an opening for the white wire from the hot tub.
You may have to pull the breaker out to see it and wire it in.

Sometime the instructions are really needed!
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
all the whites (neutrals) to include the white from the GFI itself hooked into the neutral bar,
This is why your gfci is tripping the white from the spa should connect to the neutral terminal located on the gfci breaker as the others have already mentioned.

Do you have a cable running out to the spa or wires in flexible conduit? If the feeder was existing from the main panel to the new spa disconnect there is an exception that allows that..... but if the cable is a new installation then it may not pass your local codes as it may be required to have an insulated ground and in an approved raceway. You can't have a cable ran to the spa must be conduit.
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:57 PM   #15
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I knew I left a wire out



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