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Joined: May 2005
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G
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This same question of cutting the plug off came up at an IAEI Conference last year.

The issue was cutting the plug off a pump instead of installing the hard-wired version (which cost a bit more).

The Code Panel rep from UL went ballistic over that philosophy; when he calmed down he explained that even though the units looked absolutely identical from the outside, there were construction differences on the interior of the pump/motor. In the case of that particular pump/motor assembly, the materials of some of the internal seals keeping the motor dry were even different.

In addition, the tests used to UL List the plug-in and hard-wired units were different.

The real issue was that cutting off the plug and hardwiring was in violation of the UL Listing and Manufacturer's instructions.

That still finds its way back to being a violation of 110.3B, since it is being installed at variance with its Listing requirements and limitations.


Ghost307
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Joined: Oct 2002
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Z
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I see the same problem with irrigation controllers in golf courses and HOAs. The landscaper always blames the GFCI outlet or breaker, but it always ends up being leakage or other faults in the irrigation controller (often a tansformer that's heading south).

I think you are handling the problem well by demonstrating to the customer that more than one GFCI trips with the same device. It narrows the problem down to the device, and involves the customer in the troubleshooting process.

Fountain pumps are becoming an off-the-shelf product that are commonly available to your average Home Depot/Lowes shopper, so competitive pricing leads fountain installers and manufacturers to supply cheaper units. We're bound to see abundant failures.

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
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Ghost, it sounds as if the 'cut the plug' question would be a very good question for "UL Corner" in the IAEI magazine. I'd love to have an "official" statement on the subject.

Greg, the issue of "equipotential plane" does not come into the picture, because the "Pool And Spa" code (yes, there is one, separate from the NEC) does not apply itself to bodies of water less than 18" deep.

Even so, I'm a bit at a loss as to what such a 'plane' could possible accomplish. Construction is entirely non-conductive; absolutely nothing is 'grounded' (as the place has but two-prong receptacles), but all is on a GFCI. Even for the pumps, no metal is in contact with water - the impellers are magnetically driven.


Now ... for the 'sales pitch' .... laugh ... drop by the chat room! I'll be happy to share pics, and discuss my specific water garden. I'm there most every night, roughly 6PM-9PM, Pacific time.


BTW ... I wonder if electric eels trip GFCI's? laugh

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 783
L
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Quote
I wonder if electric eels trip GFCI's?


Great question for Mythbusters!

For Alan B: Mythbusters is an American TV show, put on by some movie special effects people, where they try to prove or disprove myths, urban legends, etc. Try www.discovery.com.

Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 811
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Originally Posted by LarryC
Quote
I wonder if electric eels trip GFCI's?


Great question for Mythbusters!

For Alan B: Mythbusters is an American TV show, put on by some movie special effects people, where they try to prove or disprove myths, urban legends, etc. Try www.discovery.com.


Quick! I need an electric eel and a very long extension cord! laugh

Ian A.


Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 806
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And if the electric eel doesn't trip the GFCI, be sure to repeat the experiment with a backwards-connected utility transformer (oh, with about a 12kV primary shoud do the trick) and have your test dummy "Buster" wired with an explosive charge that will go off if he gets more than 6ma of current. grin


Stupid should be painful.
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 811
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Originally Posted by mxslick
And if the electric eel doesn't trip the GFCI, be sure to repeat the experiment with a backwards-connected utility transformer (oh, with about a 12kV primary shoud do the trick) and have your test dummy "Buster" wired with an explosive charge that will go off if he gets more than 6ma of current. grin


Hey, there's a pole transformer and 7KV primary in my backyard...

I need a (working) video camera for when I play Mythbusters.

Ian A.

Last edited by Theelectrikid; 06/02/07 06:03 PM. Reason: changed icon

Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?
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