Imagine a hypothetical situation where you have a load center for a Spa,
wherein it contains a 2-pole 30 amp GFCI breaker (for heater) and a 20 amp
2-pole GFCI breaker. The 2-20 amp can be tripped (from a short circuit)
independently of the other, no trip bar connecting them, but when you hit
the GFCI trip button they both trip. This breaker operates the 110v loads
like the blower/light/ozanator etc. I've seen where, on some installations,
instead of having individual GFCI breakers, The 60 amp main is GFCI. In
this case since there is no 220v neutral load from the heater, should I use
the neutral load from the 110v stuff to hook to the 30 amp 220v GFCI. To be
on the safe side I drove a new ground rod to compliment the cold water
ground and bonded it back to my service panel. I know there was life and
hot tubs before GFCI, I just want to get the opinion of someone who knows.
No offense Todd H. (my smart-ass young poster) but this is not you. I
appreciate the Yellow pages advise but it wasn't really helpful
Personally I would want the whole thing to shut down not just individual
circuits. ( not a code requirement )
The last spa I worked on had a landing area for the incomming feeders and we
protected the whole thing at the panel with a gfci.
Every time I have seen multipule gfci's used it was either problematic or
coordination was impossible. (not speaking about adjustable breakers, just
I ran a #6 bond wire even though not required. Call me paranoid.
no trip bar connecting them, but when you hit
Why would you want to do this? GFCI's measure imbalances in a circuit. Why
would you want to combine circuits? See above
What is the age of the home? Did your panel have an ground installed
already? (probably if cica ~1968 and newer) Were there 2 bare copper wires
in the panel? For an supplemental ground to be effective it needs to be
installed out of the sphere of grounding. example, ground rod 8 feet long so
the second ground rod would be installed a mininum of 8 feet way. If
installed closer then the new ground rod is not as effective as it could be.
I assume you used the same size wire as the water bond for you service.
My suggestion is to protect the panel with a GFCI and use regular breakers
for the other loads. AND seek local professional help. Hypothetically you
have a situation brewing here.
I agree. I'm not trying to cut corners, just dealing with primary panel
breaker space and cost of new 60 amp GFCI.
'66. One cold water ground. More than 8 feet away. I think Bud and RBM
answered my question. I'm at least going to buy a new 30 amp 2-pole GFCI
and probably a new 60 and replace other two at load center. Another reason
I want to go with a new 30 amp is this spa (used) came with this
Thanks for your input.
I don't mean to sound like a smart ass but your description doesn't sound
accurate. Like I said previously, you DON'T drive ground rods to protect a
tub or the related equipment. You also don't connect the neutral from a GFCI
breaker to something it is not protecting. If it is a straight 240 volt
heater, it doesn't use a neutral so you don't have one to connect. It does
however sound like you may have a defective GFCI breaker
You aren't !
On the ground rod thing. This is an older house, And without measuring
Impeadence to ground from my current service Gound connection to cold water
connection, I just added a ground rod, bonded it to service panel. The spa
is also bonded to this ground in the service panel.
on the breaker. I guess I could go buy another breaker but I would like
too test this one . I think what you might be saying is that if the breaker
was functioning correctly it should trip (GFCI trip button) without having
anything landed on the neutral lug of the breaker. The 30 I have would not
trip with or without the breaker supplied neutral was landed on neutral bus.
I just assumed that is why it didn't work.
Your grounds are ultimately tied back to the same location, your service
panel. You don't want to create any additional paths from the tub. It will
be grounded fine by the ground wire in your feeder. That breaker should trip
with or without a neutral connected to the load. I think it's defective. If
you bought it at HD it has a much higher chance of being defective in my
I assume this is a 220V 30A load with no neutral and no neutrals should
be connected to this breaker.
This is a 220V 20A breaker connected to 110V line-to-neutral loads with
the neutrals connected to the load side of the breaker?
"Both" meaning both poles of the 20A breaker trip, or both the 20A and
the 30A breaker trip. Both breakers should not trip. If the neutrals are
connected to the 30A breaker any 110V load will trip both breakers.
The 110V neutral loads connect to the neutral connection on the load
side of the 20A breaker. The neutral wire on the line side of the
breaker must be connected to the neutral bar.
As someone else noted, it would probably be better to make th 60A feed
to the subpanel a GFCI breaker.
If think the breakers aren't tripping correctly on ground fault you
could kludge a temporary 110V outlet to each hot-pole with the neutral
to the load side neutral for that breaker and use a commonly available
GFCI tester in the 110V kludged outlet.
Ground rod sounds reasonable. If I remember right there should be a bond
wire run with the hots from the tub probably back to the service panel.
The kludged outlet also requires a ground for a GFCI tester to work.
Note there are a number of requirements for a hot tub (US-NEC). Without
looking it up, what comes to mind is:
no outlets within 5'
special requirements for lights within 5' and over that area
exposed metal within 5' that could be energized to be bonded
disconnect within-sight-of but over 5' away (for maintenance
- subpanel would work)
GFCI outlet between 5 and 10' away
if outside no wires overhead (may extend to side)
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