I pulled the wall switch for the whirlpool bath off of my bathroom
wall to replace it because it got cracked accidently.
While replacing it I noticed that the black and white wires were wired
as normal with the load going through the switch. But I noticed the
bare ground wires were not connected which I thought was weird so I
connected them together. When I turned the breaker on it immediately
reset so then I unconnected the grounds it worked fine again.
The circuit breaker in the basement is a 20 amp dedicated GFCI
breaker. Is there something about the whirlpool being connected to the
GFCI in the panel that needs the grounds not to be wired together in
the wall switch. Thanks for any help!
You have a shorted whirlpool motor (neutral shorted to the case). Looks
like it was shorted from day one as they could never connect the
grounds. It may not have bothered a non-GFCI breaker but should be
While that's possible, it can only be determined by finding where the load
cable from the switch is attaching to the tub equipment. It may be something
as simple as the ground conductor resting against a hot or neutral terminal
in the junction box. It certainly can't be determined (at the switch on the
wall), that it's a motor problem
If you can't determine what's causing the problem, the GFI breaker
will still work without the grounds connected as they only look at the
current in the hot and neutral. But it should still be determined
whats tripping the breaker.
The grounds need to be connected. There is a problem somewhere that is
causing the GFI circuit breaker to trip. Try disconnecting the spa motor
and then see if the breaker trips with the grounds connected in the switch
I usually install a GFI switch in the bathroom out of sight instead of a GFI
breaker in the circuit breaker panel.
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