Have an inground pool. Have a well with a submersible pump. Both are wired
to two 20amp breakers so that they can be turned off close to the pool -
All was fine until ~ 1 month ago. Now, when the circuit for the well pump
is turn ON, and you take a dip in the pool, you will get a electrical
tingling sensation. Turn the breaker OFF and there is no charge.
Could there be a break in the insulation of the underground romex between
the pump and the breaker which caused the entire ground to "charge" and
therefore "charge" the pool water?
It's OK as long as the breaker is tuned off - but to me, it looks like I
will be digging an 18" trnech the 20 feet or so to the well with a new line.
Probably need to do redo both motors correctly. GFCI breakers are required
by the electrical code in certain conditions.
Who ever wired your pool or the well pump in romex certainly did you a lot
of favors during installation.
Thanks - I was just looking for confirmation of my suspicions.
The new breakers are actually GFCI - the romex to the pool is a new run as
is the power from the house panel. The line to the well pump probably
shoudl have been replaced when we did the pool - hindsight.
The previous homeowners was an idiot - they put the pool in and ran the
power to the pump 1/2 inch undergraound along a sidewalk and patched it into
teh 20 amp service breaker for the downstairs heatpump - just plugged it in.
I had the whole thing re-routed (I don't mess with electricity) and done
properly. Just missed replacing the run out to the well pump.
When you turn the GFCI breaker off you don't feel the tingle? Then it
cannot be leaking current to ground, or the GFCI would trip. (You do test
your GFCIs don't you...)
Even before you said that I questioned your story. Lets say there is a nick
in the insulation. Why would current flow through the ground, through the
pool, through you, and then back into the ground; when simply going to
ground (avoiding the pool and you) is so much more direct? "Charging the
entire ground" would trip the breaker, even if the GFCI was defective.
I don't know what your problem is (and you should have called an electrician
long ago!) but it is not a nick in the well pump circuit, unless that wire
goes through the pool.
it would take a massive ground fault to electrify the whole pool. A
large groumnd fault should trip a GFI.
Something is strange.
But if you feel a shock int he water, it is VERY DANGEROUS.
Get someoine who knows what they are doing to look at it.
is it really all that dangerous? A little tingling never killed nobody.
Plus you are surrounded by water which the electricity will happily
pass through just as fast as your body. of course if you happen to swin
up to and touch the source of the leak, then you will have a problem.
I'm actually having a hard time thinking of a scenario that would
significantly energize the pool without triping the GFCI or the breaker.
I suppose we should ask if the pool is actually grounded?
Well, I guess we would never find out if they guy that got killed felt
just "a litle tingling" or not, cuz he's dead.
Here's an easy one; supply line. He said that both GFCI breakers were
near the pool. If the previous owner is as stupid as it seems, the
incoming line that supplies power to the two breakers is probably not
GFCI at the main panel. A nick in this line would energize the pool if
it were close enough, or if the soil types were such that the path
through ground water or pipes to the pool then to ground was best.
As the OP is already sure the previous owners were nuts.
Don't discount anything.
First,.... GFI breaker or outlets should NEVER be used with motors.
(well pumps and swimming pool filters both use them)
They don't work well.
The starting currents in motors can fry the electronics in a GFI
And a GFI should NEVER be used to fix a "no ground" problem.
And NO gfi is foolproof, they can go bad, and often do and the test button
won't always show a problem
I've seen the same idiots who fixed fuses that kept blowing by shoving
Move into breakers and fill the handles with crazy glue to keep them from
Make sure all the motors & pump bodies are properly grounded.
swap breakers with known good units.
And don't forget to check any "pool lights" as well
And don't swim in the pool if it tingles, or at least leave a note for your
next of kin to let us know what the final outcome was.
If the startup current from a motor fried a GFCI, then the
human who installed that GFCI was defective. In Europe, some
GFCIs are installed for everything in the building - not just
selected circuits. Why then do those GFCIs not fry.
Furthermore, if a motor trips a GFCI on startup, then the
motor has an internal defect; leakage currents that are too
high and that get worse when the motor is started.
At first glance (based only upon limited information
currently posted), the pool has two major failures. First is
massive leakage from the pump into the pool. Second, GFCIs
are not working properly either due to erroneous installation
or due to internal failure. Both primary and second protection
systems have failed.
Bean counter type management convinced themselves that a
little leaking around O'rings also was not a problem. After
all, the proof was in Space Shuttles that did not explode.
However people who deal in reality knew that O'ring leakage
was a problem so serious that space shuttle flights should
have been terminated.
We are suppose to learn basic concepts of life from the
news. However someone even here posted:
This could only be posted by one who never learned even basic
lessons of life from the murder of seven Challenger
astronauts. This is a post typical of someone whose intent in
life is to kill others.
The levees did not break during Betsy and Camile. Therefore
the levees would not break with Katrina. At what point do we
look to humans and say, "There lies the real source of all
problems". A president told us that no one expected the
levees to be breached. At what point do we recognize problems
are due to human failure - from things such as denial.
Same applied to electric tingling in the pool. It is
considered a precursor to human death. Get it fix yesterday.
If this post is too complex, then read Amun's response as
quoted below. Don't be in denial like some presidents and
Thiokol managers that we know. Learn, if from no where else,
from why people were killed. Denial is akin to criminally
negligent homicide - or why accidents are routinely and
directly traceable to human failure. Described are symptoms
of a failure of both the primary and backup protection
systems. Tingling in a pool is that dangerous that every
poster here should have said so.
Meanwhile, I have serious reservations about how the pool
was safety grounded. Grounding may be so in violation of code
as to require (worse case) pool removal. Based upon how the
pool was electrically connected, then a serious evaluation of
pool safety grounding is immediately necessary - and maybe an
investigation so that charges be filed against the person who
installed electrical wiring. The symptoms as described here
are that serious.
No one has died yet. Therefore the system is safe. This is
what everyone is suppose to have learned from the murder of
seven Challenger astronauts.
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