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#28879 - 09/02/03 08:45 PM Spa GFCI

A customer called in to report that the GFCI breaker to the heater on the spa I wired wouldn't reset. They first called the spa dealer where the spa & disconnect were purchased. They said to have the electrician call when he got there. When I got there I disconnected the load wires and the breaker still would not reset. I then disconnected the neutral pigtail (has no load neutral,L2L), still, it wouldn't reset. I removed it from the buss, now it resets. I figure bad breaker. Meanwhile the customer brings the phone out with the spa dealer on the line. He says, did you put the line neutral onto the buss in the hole between the two GFCI pigtails(there are 2-2 pole GFCI's). I said no, I put the line N on top of the buss and the two pigtails under it (each in a separate hole of course). He says, that's the problem, move the pigtails around on the buss so the line neutral is in the middle of the other two. I said I don't think that's it, I think it's a bad breaker.
Well I move the neutrals around like he says and of course it accomplishes nothing but I had to do it to satisfy the customer.
So then it becomes the dealer's problem. They send a guy out the next day who comes to the conclusion it's a bad breaker. (duh).
Then he tells the customer the breaker was possibly ruined because I didn't put the neutrals in the right order on the buss!
Has anyone ever heard of this? I know I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer so correct me if I'm wrong, but to me this is absurd!

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#28880 - 09/03/03 10:59 AM Re: Spa GFCI
jbfan Offline

Registered: 02/21/03
Posts: 75
Loc: Newnan, GA
Brian: I have installed a couple of spas and have never heard of this. I always landed the pigtail where it was most convenient. I think the spa place is trying to pass the buck and have you pay for the breaker!
"Yes I am a Pirate, 200 years to late" Jimmy Buffett

#28881 - 09/03/03 12:23 PM Re: Spa GFCI
ThinkGood Offline

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 1084
Loc: Milwaukee, WI

Do you recall the brand name and model number? Surely there would be some sort of caution note somewhere in the installation literature to advise against miswiring the neutrals. If not, then *pong* it's the dealer's turn.

#28882 - 09/03/03 06:30 PM Re: Spa GFCI
Bill Addiss Offline

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA

I don't profess to have all the answers either, but the Dealer's idea that it makes a difference where the wire goes on the buss sounds a bit far-fetched to me.

(Maybe this should go in the Sci-Fi thread?)

Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?


#28883 - 09/03/03 06:42 PM Re: Spa GFCI

The spa is a Caldera Geneva and it comes with a subpanel, a Siemens I think. The GFCI breakers were already installed in the sub so all I installed was the line neutral to the buss and the load neutral to the 50 amp GFCI. The other GFCI breaker is a 20A 2 pole for the heater with no load neutral attached.
The instructions said nothing about which hole on the buss to put the line neutral, there are 5 holes. The instructions did however, indicate to keep L1 & L2 identified on both circuits by using different color wire and gave explicit instructions as to which terminals to land L1 & L2 of each circuit on at the spa terminal block, which made no sense either but I did it anyway just to CMA.
My feeling is the breaker got wet and that's why it wouldn't reset.

#28884 - 09/03/03 07:20 PM Re: Spa GFCI
Electric Eagle Offline

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
I've had a bad GFCI breaker before. The one I got was too sensative. Run the spa for more than 30 minutes and it would trip. After checking for problems and finding none, I replaced it and never had another problem.

I know that doesn't help you, but sometimes breakers go bad. If it's an off the rack breaker, you can probably take to a home center for an exchange. Your supply house might even help you out. Either place is going to send it back to Siemens.


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