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How to wire a GFCI diagram, 3 & 4 wire set up

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How to wire a GFCI diagram, 3 & 4 wire set up

Postby jeffz » Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:34 pm

There seems to be quite a bit of confusion on how to wire a GFCI. Here is a diagram for 3 and 4 wire connections, I hope it will help.
Jeff

Servicing spas and hot-tubs can be DANGEROUS! If you do not know what you are doing, then please, do not attempt to use the information contained in this message, call a Spa Service Company to service your spa!
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Question on the Neutral

Postby kirkeric » Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:55 pm

This picture is exactly the same as the one that came with my new hot tub but the part that is confusing is this neutral. In appearance it looks as if the white neutral goes through bus and through both hots and goes back out to the the spa connection box.

Big Question: DOES the white neutral run through both the hot lines?

Thanks,

Eric
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Postby jeffz » Wed Oct 26, 2005 3:19 pm

Eric, Take a look at the bottom view in the right upper corner, it may help. The "pig tail" wire should be hard wired into the GFCI, it is the only permanent wire on the device. The Neutral does not connect to either red or black.
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Postby Danntonio » Fri Sep 01, 2006 2:27 am

Just to Clarify...

1) In the Diagram, the Main Panel neutral and ground are connected to the same Bus...

2) In my panel, I have seperate Neutral and Ground Bus terminals.....

Q) Do the Neutral and Ground have to be connected to the same bus in the main panel....Or should they be connected to their seperate Ground or Neutral Bus?

Thanks,,,,D
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Postby charger_1 » Sat Sep 02, 2006 11:47 am

in your main panel you should have both neutral and ground tied together, or if you have two separate buss bars, they should be either be bonded together, or to the cabinet. Assuming you are in the United States, that is. one way to check is to do a continuity check between the two. zero ohms would confirm.
Please be patient for replies

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Postby Hogroll » Sun Oct 15, 2006 10:28 am

In the diagram, it says that "the white neutral is not required" for 240V hookups. What if it is hooked up? Will it cause the GFI to trip?

My scenario: 60 Amp breaker at main, running 6/3 to a sub panel with 50 Amp GFI; in the sub, the white main feed is on neutral bar with pigtail from GFI.

My delima: I have 6/3 running from spa to sub-panel, where the ground and white are on the same bar inside spa electric panel. I have the white going to the pigtail on the GFI breaker.

See attached picture of sub-panel

My breaker keeps tripping.
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Postby charger_1 » Sun Oct 15, 2006 1:53 pm

That would be why your breaker is tripping... your neutral and ground can not be connected to each other at any time after the GFI breaker. You can try to isolate the ground and neutral in the spa panel. You can do that by removing the neutral lead from the ground bus in the spa panel and using a wirenut to bond the neutral to the neutral line comming from the GFI
Please be patient for replies

ATTENTION! USE THE ADVISE ON THIS FORUM WISELY! WE ARE NOT LIABLE FOR INJURIES, DEATH, DAMAGE, ETC. ARISING FROM THE USE OF THE INFORMATION IN THIS FORUM!

NOTE: I can't guarentee knowledge of all spas.
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Postby woody » Wed Jun 06, 2007 12:07 pm

I have a similar problem and my breaker trips immediately when I turn it on. I was hoping it was the neutral wire as I have them all connected to the neutral bar but my GFI breaker doesn't have an extra terminal for the neutral wire. I purchassed the square D spa box kit from menards. Any ideas??? Would it work with the GFI breaker, the neutral wire from the spa and the neutral wire from the box all went to the neutral bar?
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Re: How to wire a GFCI diagram, 3 & 4 wire set up

Postby KEVZ » Tue May 06, 2008 3:01 pm

I have a problem of the water shocking us. We determine that it is related to the ground and the neutral. We have temporarily run a ground wire from the spa to a grounding rod in the yard. I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem and know of a more permanent fix. I believe it is related to the fact that the neutral and ground are connected to the same bar in the main house breaker box. Our breaker box only has two bars and they are both connected to each other.
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Re: How to wire a GFCI diagram, 3 & 4 wire set up

Postby Smokes » Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:49 am

Hi my dad has just replaced his old hydro pool hot tub with a california model called a winer streamer; this uses a gfci. where as the old old had a hydroquip system than the 240 volt supply went into. The new tub came with a pieceof 8 guage eletrical cable do i need to up grade the old 14 gauge cable to this as it would be expensive to buy, due to high copper prices. Is it okay to add eletrical crimps on the end of the original supply cable and wire it in to the gfci?
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Re: How to wire a GFCI diagram, 3 & 4 wire set up

Postby NewEnglandSpaGuy » Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:22 pm

I would upgrade your wire first thing 14g is very thin to run a hot tub on. Yeah I think we all feel your pain on the high price of copper. However if you do a quick search on google for discount wire, I am sure you will find a better price then your local home depot or lowes prices.

The diagram above is pritty simple, I suggest to anyone who can not make sence of it to contact a professional to do it for you cause you can cause major harm to your home, tub, and yourself if you do not know what to do.

I know how everyone does not want to spend money if they dont have to but its well worth it when it comes to electricity in your home and you.


To the guy using a grounding rod, OMFG!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? you need to go through your whole wiring system and check everything, cause the grounding rod is not fixing the problum but only putting a small bandaid over a deep cut! that is a very dangerous situation you have there and I would not use the tub untill you fix the problum, is this a NEW issue? or has it always been there? I would check your wiring from breakers to GFCI to Tub control box. EVERYTHING. and look for anything obvious, If you can not find the problum hire a pro to come in and search it out cause you are just sending the current to the ground outside of your tub and your could possibly get electrocuted stepping out of your tub and touching the ground..
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Re: How to wire a GFCI diagram, 3 & 4 wire set up

Postby kbnorth » Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:54 pm

I am reconnecting a spa after moving to a different house. I originally wired the spa to the gfci panel I removed from the old house. The breaker "popped" and was ruined. I purchased a new Square D panel/breaker unit. I wire the new unit exactly as your diagram shows but I was getting very strange voltage readings. "Upstream" of the breaker I had normal readings but "downstream" of the breaker I read 220 volts between one pole and the common but between the other pole and the common I read 20 volts. Across the two poles I read 240 volts. Have you ever seen this before? Where did I go wrong?
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Re: How to wire a GFCI diagram, 3 & 4 wire set up

Postby Goofball » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:20 am

kbnorth wrote:I am reconnecting a spa after moving to a different house. I originally wired the spa to the gfci panel I removed from the old house. The breaker "popped" and was ruined. I purchased a new Square D panel/breaker unit. I wire the new unit exactly as your diagram shows but I was getting very strange voltage readings. "Upstream" of the breaker I had normal readings but "downstream" of the breaker I read 220 volts between one pole and the common but between the other pole and the common I read 20 volts. Across the two poles I read 240 volts. Have you ever seen this before? Where did I go wrong?


With a voltmeter at the house breaker panel, the GFCI panel and the tub you should get:

BLACK to RED: ~230V
BLACK or RED to WHITE: ~115V
BLACK or RED to GROUND: ~115V

You should never get 230V to common (WHITE). You have something wired wrong or possibly a short somewhere in your Square D sub panel. Make sure that you didn't accidentally swap or double up a wire in bottom of the breaker. There are 3 positions as noted in the top right of the diagram in the first post of this thread.

If you aren't able to quickly find and repair the problem with simple diagnostics and double checking your previous work stop what you are doing and hire a qualified electrician to sort it out. It isn't worth burning your house down or electrocuting yourself to death to save a few $.
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Re: How to wire a GFCI diagram, 3 & 4 wire set up

Postby kbnorth » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:15 pm

Goofball wrote:
With a voltmeter at the house breaker panel, the GFCI panel and the tub you should get:

BLACK to RED: ~230V
BLACK or RED to WHITE: ~115V
BLACK or RED to GROUND: ~115V

You should never get 230V to common (WHITE). You have something wired wrong or possibly a short somewhere in your Square D sub panel. Make sure that you didn't accidentally swap or double up a wire in bottom of the breaker. There are 3 positions as noted in the top right of the diagram in the first post of this thread.

If you aren't able to quickly find and repair the problem with simple diagnostics and double checking your previous work stop what you are doing and hire a qualified electrician to sort it out. It isn't worth burning your house down or electrocuting yourself to death to save a few $.


I agree. I like my house. All of the readings I took were at the GFCI breaker. Here is the really weird part. I get these readings only when the spa is connected. When the spa is not connected the readings are normal. Does that change the approach any?
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Re: How to wire a GFCI diagram, 3 & 4 wire set up

Postby Cworthy » Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:59 am

Hi, folks!

The old tub I plan to install has a heater which indicates 48 amps on the label. The pump indicates 50 amps. Can both of these run through the same GFCI or will I need two?

Also, is it good to run 6/3 through conduit, or should it be 3 separate wires?


Many thanks, and have a great weekend!
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Re: How to wire a GFCI diagram, 3 & 4 wire set up

Postby paddy coldtub » Tue May 05, 2009 2:06 pm

hi all-
im hoping to find a genius among you-
i bought a beachcomber hot tub direct from canada -problem im having is its a 4 wire 240v(2x 110 hot wires) and here in ireland its 3 wire 230 v 50hz - iv asked a couple of electricians but there not 100% sure and so obviously dont want to take a chance on it for safety reasons-
is there anything we can do
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Re: How to wire a GFCI diagram, 3 & 4 wire set up

Postby spaman1 » Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:51 pm

jeffz wrote:There seems to be quite a bit of confusion on how to wire a GFCI. Here is a diagram for 3 and 4 wire connections, I hope it will help.




I know this is an old post so, I hope you are still here... I just installed my hot tub & wired it exactly like your diagram.. It seems no matter how I wire it, the test button on the GFI won't trip. I was given the 50 a GFI & it looks new... Could it be bad ?? It is a seimens brand.. Any way to test it with volt meter to know if it's bad ??

Thanks
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Re: How to wire a GFCI diagram, 3 & 4 wire set up

Postby spaman1 » Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:02 pm

Peteyboy wrote:The GFI should trip if you have the panel wired correctly. Hot to Hot 2 legs and Neutral to neutral. If this is correct you have a bad breaker.
Some breakers only trip halfway when you push the test button.




Thanks.. that's what I'am thinking bad breaker.. It is wired just like the diagram at the start of this thread... Looks like I'am going to buy a new breaker... As a new spa owner.... I'am glad I found this forum
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Re: How to wire a GFCI diagram, 3 & 4 wire set up

Postby spaman1 » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:10 pm

update.....Replaced breaker..... GFI now works
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Re: How to wire a GFCI diagram, 3 & 4 wire set up

Postby stevesjacuzzi » Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:33 pm

Where the terminals go inside the circuit breaker, the terminals are corroded, can this cause my breaker to keep tripping? I had my jacuzzi running great for an hour then the gfci outside popped and everytime i reset it it popps instantly. The gfci seen alot of rain and snow before i mounted it and like i said the terminals are very corroded. thanks
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Re: How to wire a GFCI diagram, 3 & 4 wire set up

Postby mcsinco » Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:56 pm

Yes, it is very possible because of the corrosion the GFCI may trip. Few ways you understand why: first the GFCI works like a scale. Making sure any current flowing through the line (hot wire) comes back through the neutral wire. In the case of a 240V GFCI, the current moving through one line goes back the other line and vs. only remaining "the unbalanced" current goes back on the neutral in this case.

The GFCI if very sensitive and will trip immediately if there might any power leakage (current not coming back equal to what having though.) imagine a lady washing the dishes and while her hand are wet, the counter top being wet, the sink is wet... she reaches to the toaster to plug it in or use it; she did not pay attention that the toaster cord is wet. She plugs in the toaster. Then power (current) will travel through the wires. Electrons travel through the least resistive path. In this case the wet surface and body of the poor lady. If the outlet was not a GFCI protected then toaster will work using the lady’s body as a conductor!! However, should the outlet be a GFCI protected, as soon as there is a power leak; the GFCI will shut off the power before any one is hurt.

* Corrosion may have the current travel though paths other than what the GFCI measures, causing the GFCI to think that there is power leak.
* Also the corrosion may cause the wires to be thinner than their original size. And as they say “the chain is as strong as the weakest link. In other words, the true size of the wire is as the size of the corroted area if it is smaller. Heat buildup would occur, which in return trips the breaker.
* If the GFCI had water get inside of it then most likely it is gone bad.


Belal Aljaradat
MCS Electrical
http://www.mcselectricalinc.com
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Re: How to wire a GFCI diagram, 3 & 4 wire set up

Postby WayneB » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:17 am

Wiring is not the place to skimp,modify or if not trained -to play with. Deffinitely worth the price to have experienced personell check out any issue's with your spas.Your pleasure with your spas will be better without the worries of a fire,shock or even death-resulting in charges and lawsuits.
Factory Trained Technician.
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Re: How to wire a GFCI diagram, 3 & 4 wire set up

Postby Kjeil » Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:28 pm

Hi, thanks for the diagram it has been a big help, I have just one question.

I have a used hot tub and the box it came with does not seem to have any way to connect the ground wires. Everything else matches the diagram except it only has one bus for the neutral wires. From reading other posts I understand that all grounds need to be connected and they also need to be connected to the box if it is metal (which it is) so I don't think a simple wire nut will be a good idea.

So am I missing something or did they maybe just not wire it correctly to begin with? Would it be better to just go get a new box that matches?
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Re: How to wire a GFCI diagram, 3 & 4 wire set up

Postby 7808 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:54 am

my double pole 50a gfi breaker does not have any other nuetral connected to it other then the curly pigtail, that an issue? i dont belive so but i have exsisting controller problems im trying to take care of. mine is wired like this:

http://img171.imageshack.us/i/spawiring.png/

Image

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