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Thread: GFCI Breaker

  1. #1

    Default GFCI Breaker

    I am running a 1/2 hp submersible 2 wire pump in pond to irragate lawn, trying to use a 20 amp GFCI 220v panel breaker. I have been using 20 amp regular breaker but wanted to use the GFCI but it trips every time I switch it on. I put red to black to load and third wire green I think to neutral on breaker and coiled neutral wire from breaker to neutral bar in panel. With no wires hooked to breaker it doesn't trip so i assume breaker is good. Any thing I can check to see if it will work. Is it connected correctly from what info I gave you.

  2. #2
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    Do you know that you are in compliance with your local/state codes? Some of them absolutely prohibit the placement of a submersible pump in a pond.

  3. #3
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    There are subs in ponds all over the country. The GFCI is the same as they use on a swimming pool pump. If the breaker is wired correctly, then you may have a Ground Fault. Good thing you got a GFCI, since that is what it looks for. You need an ohm meter to check for a short to the pump.

  4. #4
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valveman
    There are subs in ponds all over the country.
    But not all of them are legal. Some states will not permit their use. Their water. Their laws. I assume it's the possibility of electrocution that's behind the prohibitions.

  5. #5

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    How do I to check it for shorts what should I read whats good and whats bad

  6. #6
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    With the most sensitive setting on your ohm meter, there should be no continuity between either of the two motor wires and a ground.

  7. #7

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    Your breaker very likely is good, but its not designed for a submerged motor. Its designed to keep the kids alive when they stick a screwdriver in the socket with one foot in the bathtub. Even then the kid gets a 50% chance of no shock if he got the neutral side.

    Swimming pool motors are not submersible and the leads do not run through water. Gfci's are of variable quality and some are very sensitive to any leakage. Zero to ground is rare, and Franklin allows 10 megohms to ground. Motors will run with much more and not pop a standard breaker.

    You might get a new submersible pump with new wire to run on a gfci but it will not be reliable, unless someone starts making a gfci with adjustable sensitivity. I do not see anything in the codes requiring gfci breakers on well pumps. If you are worried about swimmers getting zapped forget it, unless they pick up the pump with power to the casing and step ashore while its running. Put it on the smallest amp normal breaker you can that does not trip on start up.

  8. #8
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    You said "I put red to black to load and third wire green I think to neutral on breaker and coiled neutral wire from breaker to neutral bar in panel."

    I'm not sure what ret to black to load means. And the green wire is not the neutral it's the ground. Electricians help me out here!

    There are submersible pumps in lakes, streams and ponds all over the place. Then there are submersible fountains using all kinds of different submersible pumps in lakes and ponds all over the country with GFCI's on them form the factory. I sell two diffenent brands of them myself.

    bob...

  9. #9

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    The key is "from the factory". They are probably tuned to that motor. When Franklin starts designing and selling GFCI's [?] then they will work too.

  10. #10
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    If your referring to leakage from a splice or from the submersible pump cable, I have had meggers on my splices and no leakage shows up. Maybe if someone used the wrong wire or does a bad splice, knicks a wire then the GFCI would certainly trip. A brand new Franklin motor with new cable should read 2 Megohm or better. That's pretty leak free.

    bob...

  11. #11
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    I emailed Franklin.

    Can I use a GFCI with a 1/2 HP two wire 230V motor?


    here is what they said.


    Cary,
    Yes there should not be a problem.
    Thanks,

    Ken Martin

    Water Systems Service Engineer

    Headquarters



    Tel. 800-348-2420

    Fax 260-827-5102

    e-mail kmartin@fele.com


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    From: Cary Austin [mailto:caustin@cyclestopvalves.com]
    Posted At: Thursday, May 03, 2007 12:54 PM
    Posted To: Hotline@fele.com
    Conversation: Technical Contact Form
    Subject: Technical Contact Form


    Confirmation: Data Submitted to Franklin Electric





    Below is what you submitted to Franklin Electric at 12:54:15 PM on 5/3/2007.

    Hp
    1/2

    Voltage
    230

    2wire
    yes

  12. #12

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    Ask them if it is reccomended or a preferred installation.

  13. #13
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    There are two kinds of 240 Volt GFCI breakers.

    One has a "load neutral" connection. The other does not have a "load neutral" connection.

    If the breaker doesn't have a "load neutral" connection, it is for use with a load that doesn't have a neutral. The "ground fault" protection is based on the difference in current between the two ungrounded (hot) conductors.

    If it has a "load neutral" connection, then the neutral (white wire) from the breaker is connected to the neutral bar of the panel and the neutral from the load is connected to the "load neutral" connection on the load.

    If the motor is a 240 volt motor, it probably has no neutral wire.

    The ground (green) wire should be connected to the ground terminal in the panel; not to the "load neutral" connection on the GFCI breaker.

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member rshackleford's Avatar
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    you really probably need a megger for this one. (not sure if my spelling is right)
    rshackleford

  15. #15
    DIY Senior Member rshackleford's Avatar
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    found this in the FE Manual:

    When an installation has abnormally corrosive water
    AND the drop pipe or casing is plastic, Franklin Electric
    recommends the use of a GFCI with a 10 mA set-point.
    In this case, the motor ground wire should be routed
    through the current-sensing device along with the motor
    power leads. Wired this way, the GFCI will trip only when
    a ground fault has occurred AND the motor ground wire
    is no longer functional.
    rshackleford

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