Question about Spa Parts Plus GFCI, Circuit Breaker, 30 Amp

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GFI 'shorted' Residential 240V 1PH, GE 200A panel, GE 2 pole 50A Breaker, 6AWG Copper 65' to Midwest Spa GFI box. Wiring is correct, 2 hots, 1 neutral, 1 ground. Load is 15' (following brick wall contour) 6AWG Copper to inside Cal Spas Spa. Weather-sealed plastic junction box housed by spa skirt connects 6' whip with 6AWG Copper, connections in junction are twisted with #6 weather resistant wirenuts. Whip terminates at Balboa CS6200 control box. Hots, Neutral and Ground are all connected according to color at applicable points. The first time power was applied, the control panel for the spa lit the LED display. I pressed the TEST button on the GE 50A GFI in the Midwest panel, a brief (< 1 sec) hum, then a 'poof' with a 'spark' from the inside of the GFI. The spa still had power, the GFI TEST button did nothing (note: the GFI breaker bar did not trip). Went back to The Home Depot, purchased another Midwest Spa Panel. Swapped the new breaker into the existing box, same exact result. Phoned two other electricians for opinions, described configuration (as above), was told I have it right, so there are two possibilities: the Midwest GFI is wired backwards, (it's not) but that would only cause the GFI not to operate -or- a defective GFI breaker. My problem with that idea is the odds of two identical failures. Continuity testing between the Midwest neutral bar to both hots showed no connection. When the load neutral is connected to the neutral bar, there is continuity to the earth ground. So, my question is: What condition would cause the GFI circuit inside a GFI breaker to be destroyed the first time it is TESTed? I didn't find any similar concern on the 'Net, and this is getting expensive. Thank you for your insight!

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  • Jason May 11, 2010

    Just clarifying...the ground and neutral are not bonded together in the Midwest panel, nor in the spa pack itself, correct?

    You may also want to start at the source panel with a voltmeter and check each wire to make sure that what you *think* is wired correctly is actually wired correctly. Remember...things happen, especially if you are not the one that did the original install.



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Load neutral connects to the neutral binding screw on the GFI, do NOT connect the load neutral to the neutral bar.

Posted on Mar 05, 2009


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What size breaker needed for this water heater

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Qo260gfi not tripping

Question is not fully clear.

2-pole 240Volt gfci circuit breaker requires the white wire be connected to neutral busbar.

Easy solution for 240Volt spa that comes with gfci:
Replace spa gfci with regular non-gfci breaker.
Install 2-pole GFCI breaker in main panel, and connect wire to spa breaker.

Having 2 breakers is not a problem.
Having 2 GFCI on same circuit is a problem.

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I need to know if a double pole 30 breaker acts as a jumper from 1 hot bar to the other.

1) Copy following links:

2) Double-pole circuit breaker snaps down over both hot busbars.
Each busbar supplies 120Volts, and each busbar is out-of-phase with the other busbar. Together, the two 120volt out-of-phase wires have 240Volt potential.

3) Does the double-pole breaker act as a jumper?
Typically a 'jumper' wire bonds two electrical connections together so power flows between the things that are jumpered together.
If you 'jumper' one busbar to the other busbar in live 240V split phase panel, it will short out.

4) 240Volt circuit requires two hot wires. One hot from each busbar.
When the two hots are applied to two screws on a heating element, that action will complete circuit, and element will heat.
Instead of shorting out, the element has resistance in the form of a coil of wire that impedes the flow of current and converts the electric current into heat at the element.
This is same as filament inside light bulb.
If the element does not have resistance to impede current, then the two hot wires in the 240Volt circuit will short out and cause flash of overheating and burning that will burn out element. If element does not burn out immediately, and short continues, then the wire connected to circuit breaker begins to heat. When heat on wire exceeds circuit breaker rating, then the breaker trips off.
Circuit breakers are triggered by heat.
This is why wire size and breaker size must match.., to avoid overheated wire inside wall that will catch house on fire.

Dec 23, 2012 | Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

What's youI just wired in my J-300 Jacuzzi hot tub. The GFI trips every time I reset it. I took the GFI out of the equation and the tub runs fine, does not trip the breaker at the main breaker box

2. There is a short. You need to get multimeter and start checking each part for current running to ground wire.
3) Power is ON. Connect power without GFCI.
4) Tape tester leads to wood sticks to keep hands away from power.
5) Do not touch anything directly or you will become the ground rod.
6) Ground wire must be present, and bonded back to main panel box.
7) Do not sit or touch directly on cement or bare ground. Do not touch or lean into anything made of metal.
8) Body and parts must be on sheet of plywood, or similar non-conductive dry surface.
9) Test each part with spa, but also test electric line coming from main box.
10) GFCI will also trip with any fault detected on line. So the wire coming to spa may have the fault.
11) Add a new dedicated line from main box to spa.

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Can I install a 20a gfi breaker in a 50a 240 gfi spa sub panel?

No. Don't ever do this. You have to install the correct amperage breaker ( magnetic contact ). This will burn your 20a gfi breaker quickly.

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Installed my second Fahrenheat FUH 724 7500W heater in another garage. Installed same as previous heater that works perfectly. used 10 Gage wire and 40A 240V breaker (2-20A). Wiring is correct. Heater...

Could be either. But, I suspect that wiring is getting hot enough to trip the breaker. Check all of your wiring to see if there is a hot spot or insulation melted.

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Is the lower element suppose to have two legs of 120 to it? Or do i need to move a wire up top to make it 240? as it is on top element.

You have water heater with two elements.
Two-element water heaters are 240Volts.

1) Lets talk about what makes a 240Volt circuit
See basic water heater circuit:

Open link, and illustration at top of page is your water heater circuit

Notice that two insulated wires come from the circuit breaker and go to the water heater.
These two wires are 120volt each. When these two 120Volt wires combine, they create 240Volts
These are called hot wires because they come from the hot busbars.
There is also a bare copper wire that comes from neutral busbar.
The bare copper wire is a safeguard, and is not necessary for the 240V circuit to work.

Inside each circuit breaker box is 1 neutral busbar, and 2 hot busbars.
Open image below, and it shows typical residential breaker box

In a residential home, each circuit takes two wires to complete the circuit.
For 120Volt circuit, you need 1 neutral wire and 1 hot wire to complete the circuit. These are usually a black and white wire. The bare copper wire is a safeguard.
For 240Volt circuit, you need 2 hot wires to complete the circuit, and each hot wire comes off a different busbar. These can be a black and white wire, and sometimes a black and red wire. The bare copper wire is a safeguard.

With a 240Volt water heater the two hot wires connect to the black and red wires located on top of water heater.

2) Let's talk about wiring inside a water heater.

Open image on link above, and it shows your 240volt water heater wiring.
The 2 hot wires from breaker box connect to the red and black wires on top of heater.
Inside each water heater, the wires are color-coded and will appear the same, or nearly the same, as shown on link above.
As long as your wiring appears like the image, and the hot wires from breaker box connect correctly, and the circuit breaker is working fine, then your water heater will work.

Add a comment any time.

3) More electric water heater links about water heaters, thermostats and tank wiring:


1 Answer

How do I wire an intermatic t-103 timer switch

The T-103 has a 120Volt clock motor

From there, the wiring can go two directions depending on your Load voltage (load is the fan, light or motor that timer turns on-off)

Here is a link that shows exact wiring:

When wiring the T-103, steps 1-2-3 are true for 120V or 240V installation:
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2) A black Hot wire is always connected to terminal 1 >> this hot wire can come from 120V or 240V breaker
3) Black wire going to Load (fan, light, motor) is always connected to terminal 2
The following step is true for 120V Load
4) if Load is 120V, then white wire from Load connects to terminal A
The following steps are true for 240V Load
5) Only the neutral wire connects to terminal A as described in (1
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1 Answer

I am replacting my T104 timer with a GE 15601. The posts on the T104 are marked 1 2 3 4. However on the 15601 they are marked L 1 X 2. How do these map to each other?

GE 15601 is a replacement module for Intermatic timers.
Intermatic timers can snap inside the old box without needing to replace the box, and GE has made a product that taps into that market.

But the GE manual is missing key facts like clock voltage and wiring.

The following information is correct ONLY if the GE timer is rated for 240Volts Why? The T-104 is a 240V timer. I have 10 different Intermatic timers on my office shelves right now, and wrote the T-104 page linked to above.

Below is picture of the back of GE timer taken from GE manual.


Please look at the image as a reverse image of your wiring poles.
T104 has poles A 1 2 3 4
Black wire on Intermatic Pole 1 is the Hot from Breaker
Black wire on Intermatic Pole 2 is the Black to Load
White wires on Intermatic Poles 3 and 4 are the White from breaker and White to Load. So on the GE timer, 2 white wires are on same pole.

On the GE timer, there is a brass connector between 2 of the Poles that connects those poles electrically, so no wire goes on one of the GE Poles

That's the wiring changeover.
Up-vote if the information helped you.

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I need to install a GFI breaker on a Baptistry.

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I would install them at the lowest level (closest to the components) in the system to reduce possibility of fire in the wiring between the components and the afci breaker.

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