GFCI Breaker

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by cameron, May 2, 2007.

  1. cameron

    cameron New Member

    Messages:
    16
    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. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots Sprinkler Guy

    Messages:
    798
    Location:
    Metro NYC
    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. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,432
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    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. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots Sprinkler Guy

    Messages:
    798
    Location:
    Metro NYC
    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. cameron

    cameron New Member

    Messages:
    16
    How do I to check it for shorts what should I read whats good and whats bad
  6. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,432
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    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. Raucina

    Raucina Previous member

    Messages:
    515
    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. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    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. Raucina

    Raucina Previous member

    Messages:
    515
    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. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    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. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,432
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    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. Raucina

    Raucina Previous member

    Messages:
    515
    Ask them if it is reccomended or a preferred installation.
  13. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    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. rshackleford

    rshackleford New Member

    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Eastern Montana (The Bakken)
    you really probably need a megger for this one. (not sure if my spelling is right)
  15. rshackleford

    rshackleford New Member

    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Eastern Montana (The Bakken)
    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.
  16. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    In other words, you hope that when there is a ground fault the fault current will travel through the ground wire and the GFCI to account for the difference in current in the hot conductors, and thereby prevent the ground fault from tripping the GFCI.

    Three things to consider.

    1. If it works, it defeats the function of the GFCI.
    2. In many wells the casing doesn't go all the way to the aquifer and some of the fault current may find its way to ground via the aquifer.
    3. It is not unusual for there to be a few volts between the neutral as measured at the panel, and the EARTH some distance away. Such a potential could cause more than 10 mA of current in the ground wire and cause the GFCI to trip EVEN IF THERE IS NO GROUND FAULT IN THE MOTOR.

    The last condition could be causing the breaker to trip EVEN IF you have a good motor.

    You might check for the last condition by removing the ground wire from the GFCI and checking for voltage (even a few millivolts) between the ground wire and the neutral bar where the white wire from the GFCI is connected. Check it with the motor power on and with the motor power off.
  17. Raucina

    Raucina Previous member

    Messages:
    515
    As I said earlier, When you can buy an adjustable GFCI , which you cannot, then we can have this discussion. Until that time forget it.

    How many people got killed by their well pumps last year?
  18. kd

    kd New Member

    Messages:
    207
    The green wire from the pump should go to the ground terminal. Do not connect it to the circuit breaker. That is for a white wire only. I think it is a good idea to use a GFCI on this pump since a problem could shock a swimmer in the pond or someone cleaning the intake screen-- and cause them to drown. There are numerous cases where a 120 volt radio has fallen into a swimming pool and killed everyone in the pool. (non-GFCI outlet) This has also happened in rivers where someone is pumping "free" water. An older washing machine motor/pump will often "leak electricity" and trip a GFCI, that is why a GFCI is not required for a washing machine receptacle. ...Death is nature's way of telling you to hire an electrician.
  19. cameron

    cameron New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Gfci

    I hooked the GFCI up with the pump ground going to the ground bar in the panel and red to load and black to load lug and coiled white to neutral bar, which left the load neutral on breaker unused the breaker worked and did not trip. The test button works and also when I pull one load wire loose either red or black it trips immediatly. Is wiring the breaker this way with neutral lug on breaker open giving me protection i am looking for, more so than a normal breaker.
  20. Raucina

    Raucina Previous member

    Messages:
    515
    Seems to me that if you stay "in the circuit" you dont die. I.e. the guys that ran to the metal pool ladder to rush from the pool completed the ground through themselves. [?] I suspect the guy floating survived.

    I know well the procedure for surviving a dozer or excavator that pulled a electric line down on itself ; either stay seated and pray for help to shut off the lines, pray that the fuses blow somewhere down the line, or take the biggest leap of your life out the door, land preferably on two feet as far away as you can and shuffle away. while within the "hot" dozer, and not moving around, you are pretty safe. I have not pulled any wires down, but have connected to a few high tension wires through an excavator momentarily and lived to observe some nice sparks.... thought it was a lightening storm first time. And that was a bit more than 120 volts!

    If I am wrong about the pool, tell me how exactly that type of electrocution works. Water is a very poor conductor...
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