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Thread: irrigation pump in lake

  1. #1
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    irrigation pump in lake

    I ran power to a d/c outside of a home for a landscape company to get power th an irrigation pump they were putting in lake. 240 volt pump in the water so i installed a 2 pole gfi breaker but the pump has no neutral and they keep tripping the gfi breaker, will the breaker work without a neutral to it or do i even need the gfi breaker for sealed pump motor??

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstofleth View Post
    I ran power to a d/c outside of a home for a landscape company to get power th an irrigation pump they were putting in lake. 240 volt pump in the water so i installed a 2 pole gfi breaker but the pump has no neutral and they keep tripping the gfi breaker, will the breaker work without a neutral to it ??
    as long as you have the line neutral (pigtail) connected, the lack of a load neutral would make no difference
    Quote Originally Posted by jstofleth View Post
    or do i even need the gfi breaker for sealed pump motor??
    by Code, I don't think you do. The fact that the GFCI trips does make one suspicious of the pump however. You said "they". IMHO, multiple motors would probably have enough leakage to trip a GFCI.
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  3. #3
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    Be careful with that. If you are not familar with the GFCI breaker then get help. You are tinkering with something that could be life threatening there.
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  4. #4
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    Jul 2007
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    If it's a submersible pump, I would look at how they spliced the wires at the pump. Improper type of splices their will allow water into the connection giving a path for fault current. As Augie47 said, I do not believe it needs to be on ground fault, though I would check the splices, as stray voltage can electrocute someone if their is a swimming dock on the lake.

  5. #5
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    code or no code, neutral or no neutral. As said if you landed the pigtail from the breaker onto the neutral bar then there should be no problem. I would first look into the splice also. That said with it being a lake I would do nothing but a gfci. You stand the chance even if it doesn't have a dock of some one wading into the water. I installed the equipment for a 5hp 240v 1ph floating fountain in a pond, the controller that came with the unit had a factory installed gfci breaker for the pump and a gfci breaker for the lights.A few months later I was called back because the pump kept triping, unhooked pump and breaker would hold fine. They called the fountain installers back and they found a muskrat had chewed into the cable.
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  6. #6
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    they would be the installers,, thanks,, never had to install a gfi without a neutral before

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstofleth View Post
    they would be the installers,, thanks,, never had to install a gfi without a neutral before
    All the GFI looks for is current returning on the same conductors it goes out on, if the current takes an alternate path, such as earth or conduit or the like, it trips. If the utilization equipment does not use a neutral, then no current would be on the neutral, so it would not be needed.
    It has been debated long and hard on this forum whether the neutral from the line side of the breaker needs to be terminated or not. I would assume the electronics inside would need this to operate, but as far as the ground fault function,it would not be required as it only looks for an unbalanced condition between the conductors.

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