Breaker requirements for swimming pool equipment

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lanel

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ga
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Electric Utility Electronics Specialist
The two issues that are really a safety factor would be the lack of GFCI protection and the 6/2wG indicating the equipment ground is being used as a neutral also. Either of these could present a fatal shock factor at a pool.
I talked to the builder and he is supposed to be changing the wire out to a larger gauge/ 4 wire and add a GFCI breaker to the pump.
 

Jraef

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San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
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Electrical Engineer
Issue I've seen with using GE breaker on the a panel designed for Eaton BR or SD HOM is the the GE will practically require hammering them onto the bus of the Eaton BR style panel. The contacting points just don't make a clean contact onto the thicker BR bus as a result. Also removal practically need a pry bar to remove. Also if the BR style panel is full width bus stabs, the rejection device will prevent the GE breaker from seating fully onto the bus. (Seen it.)
How it works with breaker and panel mfrs is that the PANEL must be tested in its listing process for using specific breakers, and breakers must be listed by testing them in specific panels. For the most part, panel mfrs have zero incentive to list their panels with anything other than their own breakers. Breaker mfrs however can game the system a bit by testing their breakers in competitor’s panels, under a program called “Classified” breakers. Eaton has Classified breakers for use in many different brands of panels, Siemens as one or two, but that’s about it, the other mfrs steer clear of that.

In this case HAYWARD, who made the panel, has apparently listed it for use with the BR, MP, QP or HOM breakers, so that’s what you can use. But since they did not SPECIFICALLY listed the GE breakers, they cannot be used. One of the reasons why you rarely see the GE THQ breakers included in multi-listings such as this is for the reasons Fred B mentioned. They appear to fit, but they actually were never made to and you have to force them on, which can lead to an improper connection to the bus. Lots of people do it and lots of hardware stores will tell you “they’re all the same” but it’s not true of GE THQ breakers and never has been.
 

roger

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Fl
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Retired Electrician
I talked to the builder and he is supposed to be changing the wire out to a larger gauge/ 4 wire and add a GFCI breaker to the pump.
The feeder will need to be in a conduit or it can be MC if it meets the requirement of 680.25(A)(6)
 

lanel

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Location
ga
Occupation
Electric Utility Electronics Specialist
The feeder will need to be in a conduit or it can be MC if it meets the requirement of 680.25(A)(6)

The cable they used was put in a one inch conduit. If I am correct, they will have to change out the conduit to 1-1/4" minimum in order to use (4) 3 awg conductors.

When this project was started and the permit was applied for, the builder had an electrician that he no longer has. I don't know but suspect that the affidavit he is using for this job, that requires the contractor to be licensed in the state of GA along with their license number, is using the electrician he no longer has. Because the guy wiring it is basically an unlicensed plumber, jack of all trades. I say that because if he was knowledgeable, he would have at least used the correct AWG.

I plan on contacting the building inspector tomorrow to see if an affidavit was filled out and who is listed on it. If no affidavit was filled out, then the county thinks I did the wiring in which case a license is not required since I own the property. It would also mean that I assume the liability for anything that goes wrong. There is nothing that has been done that I can't correct myself but I will press them to do it to code. When the grounds were done around the pool, the builders son in law ran the copper and connected to the ground rods, I know he's not an electrician so either the builder is using an invalid affidavit or he has someone signing off on it that never comes to inspect.

Thanks for the replies,...
 

Little Bill

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Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
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Semi-Retired Electrician
The cable they used was put in a one inch conduit. If I am correct, they will have to change out the conduit to 1-1/4" minimum in order to use (4) 3 awg conductors.

When this project was started and the permit was applied for, the builder had an electrician that he no longer has. I don't know but suspect that the affidavit he is using for this job, that requires the contractor to be licensed in the state of GA along with their license number, is using the electrician he no longer has. Because the guy wiring it is basically an unlicensed plumber, jack of all trades. I say that because if he was knowledgeable, he would have at least used the correct AWG.

I plan on contacting the building inspector tomorrow to see if an affidavit was filled out and who is listed on it. If no affidavit was filled out, then the county thinks I did the wiring in which case a license is not required since I own the property. It would also mean that I assume the liability for anything that goes wrong. There is nothing that has been done that I can't correct myself but I will press them to do it to code. When the grounds were done around the pool, the builders son in law ran the copper and connected to the ground rods, I know he's not an electrician so either the builder is using an invalid affidavit or he has someone signing off on it that never comes to inspect.

Thanks for the replies,...
When you say "grounds around the pool", are you talking about the equipotential bonding for the pool?
 

lanel

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Location
ga
Occupation
Electric Utility Electronics Specialist
Bill, I misstated ground rod, it's the rebar in a shotcrete pool. I will have to look again but I think it's connected back to the ground bar in the control along with the lugs on a blower, booster pump, water pump, and heat pump. Is it supposed to tie to the ground from the house or be isolated? I don't trust these guys to know what they are doing.
 

Little Bill

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Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
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Semi-Retired Electrician
Bill, I misstated ground rod, it's the rebar in a shotcrete pool. I will have to look again but I think it's connected back to the ground bar in the control along with the lugs on a blower, booster pump, water pump, and heat pump. Is it supposed to tie to the ground from the house or be isolated? I don't trust these guys to know what they are doing.
It doesn't have to go to the system ground or to the panel feeding the pool equipment. It will, by default, connect to the system ground via the EGC of equipment that is bonded, such as the pool pump motor.
 

lanel

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Location
ga
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Electric Utility Electronics Specialist
It seems universal that a pump would require a gfci breaker but there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on a heat pump or salt cell.
My primary concern is avoiding a shock hazard. Is the code not clear on exactly when a gfci breaker is required? Our county inspector uses an affidavit system which leaves it up to the electrician. Hayward who makes the equipment refers it to local codes.

Seems like if it were a safety issue it would be clear in the code. Any comments? Thanks
 

suemarkp

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Kent, WA
Occupation
Retired Engineer
First, it depends on which version (year) of the NEC your area has adopted. Each year, more and more things need to be GFCI'd. In 2020, there is a requirement that outdoor dwelling outlets (not receptacles) be GFCI protected if 50A or less. So a pool heater at a dwelling is going to need to be GFCI'd. There is also a requirement in article 680 that all pool "motor" outlets be GFCI protected if 60A or less. This could also cover the heat pump if it is considered a motor.

If the salt cell is hard wired and inside a building, it may not need to be GFCI protected. If it has a receptacle outlet, it may need to be GFCI'd depending on the room (is it bare concrete floor) or its proximity to the edge of the pool. If its outside, it needs to be GFCI'd.

If you're under 2017 code, things aren't as bad.
 

lanel

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Location
ga
Occupation
Electric Utility Electronics Specialist
Mark, thank you for the reply. All the equipment is outside on a concrete deck. About 20 feet from the pool itself. Currently the only thing that has GFCI protection is the transformer used for the LED lighting. And that is through a GFCI receptacle. The builder is supposed to be sending a licensed electrician over next week to get it up to code. But I wanted some input prior as much of what was done will have to be torn out. Thanks,..
 

retirede

Senior Member
Location
Illinois
The salt cell itself should be powered by DC. It’s controller is what connects to line voltage and may or may not be required to be on a GFCI-protected circuit.
 

brantmacga

Señor Member
Location
Georgia
Occupation
Electrical Monke
Salt cell does not require gfci, but the power supply will have an external bonding lug to connect to your equipotential bonding grid.

Elec heat pump does not require gfci. Gas heater does require Gfci. 680.28.

The heat pump is not a “pool motor” load. It works exactly like an hvac heat pump, except transferring heat to water instead of air.


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suemarkp

Senior Member
Location
Kent, WA
Occupation
Retired Engineer
But isnt a pool heat pump fed by an outdoor "outlet". That pushes the gfci requirement (and same as the house air conditioner requirement) if this pool is at a dwelling.
 

brantmacga

Señor Member
Location
Georgia
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Electrical Monke
But isnt a pool heat pump fed by an outdoor "outlet". That pushes the gfci requirement (and same as the house air conditioner requirement) if this pool is at a dwelling.

Yeh that is right …. I didn’t think of that because every heat pump Pentair offers except for one has a max OCPD of 60A or more. I’ve never installed the smaller unit that has 50A OCPD, which is the threshold for gfci.


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suemarkp

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Location
Kent, WA
Occupation
Retired Engineer
Yes. I did a bunch of stuff before our state transitioned to the 2020 code, as my workshop with many 240V receptacles would have needed a lot of 2 pole GFCI's too under 2020. The pool heat pump at my previous house had a 50A breaker -- it was basically a 5 ton heat pump.

I hope with all these GFCI requirements that 2 pole GFCIs will drop in price (and AFCI and dual function AFCIs). It just seems crazy to me that overcurrent protection is costing $50 - $60 per pole now days in residential wiring.
 
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