How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Mike G. Your Own Question

Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 5644
Experience:  Proven Professional 45 years Experience
29848548
Type Your Electrical Question Here...
Mike G. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have an outside electric circuit on a pool pump. Water got

Customer Question

I have an outside electric circuit on a pool pump. Water got into the conduit and now the GFI trips under load even though the water has been drained from the circuit. The circuit does not trip under no load. Any suggestions on what to check?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I'm Mike and I'll be glad to assist you. Disconnect the motor and try the GFCI again. You may have to dry out the motor as well.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The GFI trips under any load (although I haven't tried a very low load like a 10 watt lamp). I tried the heat gun and a rotary tool and it tripped under each load. It does not trip without a load.

Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Where are you appling the load? At the breaker or on the circuit at the pump.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I am plugging the load into a new receptacle installed at the end of the circuit (at the pump location in a shed). I read 118 volts across the receptacle and also from the hot lead to ground. I read no voltage from the receptacle neutral to ground. The circuit worked fine before water got into the conduit but I changed the receptacle in order to raise it off the pump shed floor. The source of water was not in the pump shed, it was rain infiltration in the pull box near the house. The only other access I have to the wires is an intermediate pull box about half way from the house to the pump shed. I read the same voltages there.

Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Let me suggest that you temp a receptacle at the panel on the GFCI. Now put a load that tripped it when you had it in the shed. If it hold, the breaker is good and there is a fault in the circuit. If it trips then the breaker has failed and needs to be replaced.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I'll try it. If there is a fault in the circuit, will it eventually dry out or will I need to pull new wire?

Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
What did you use for wire in the conduit?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hard to remember, it was 20 years ago. Up to the first pull box where the water infiltrated it appears to be regular 3 conductor #12 wire (it has a white outer sheath). From that connection I pulled individual #12 wires because of the long run (it was easier to pull individual wires). None of it is gray covered outdoor cable.

Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
If ou used a NM cable, that is more than likely what faulted. If can only be indoors. Any wiring outside is considered a wet location and the circuit should be either a THHW or THW in conduit or a UF cable.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I'm 99% certain it's THHW or THW. The fact that it worked fine for 20 years until the rain infiltration is somewhat revealing. If it's THHW or THW should I give it more drying time before biting the bullet and pulling all new wire?

Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Do the test that I suggested and let me know how it went. You said the cable had a white sheath, and that makes me think it was NM cable. If it was only means you were lucky for 20 years. If it is NM, replace it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I will try the test. What I don't understand is why it only trips under load. If there is a fault in the circuit, wouldn't it trip without a load?


How do I get ahold of you after I try the test? It might be tomorrow.


 

Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Just return to the last post, as you have been. The question remains open.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Ok - I'll let you know. Thanks for your help.

Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
You're welcome.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Mike - the problem is solved. Actually it's not solved yet but I know where the circuit fault is. Prompted by your suggested test, instead of hooking up a load at the GFI circuit breaker, I tried the load at the intermediate junction/ pull box that I mentioned earlier about 3/4 of the way between the house and the pump shed. The GFI held so the fault was between this box and the shed. I ran a new temporary feed from this box to the shed and the circuit is running.

Although the original problem was water infiltration into a junction/pull box at the house, the new fault was not caused by the water. I assume that when I raised the receptacle I nicked two or three wires when I hand cut the 3/4 inch conduit to add the new riser. I was carefully, but not careful enough. So now I'll pull new wire through this 25 foot run for the permanent fix.

I still don't understand why it held until a load was applied. Do you have an explanation for that? By the way, I am satisfied with your help.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
I can't say for sure why it held, except that it was Murfey's Law. Glad it's resolved.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Satisfied
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Please hit one of the rating selections to close the question. Thanks.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
< Last | Next >
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Mike

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1425
    Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mikepettinato/2009-9-4_41145_DSC005132.jpg Mike's Avatar

    Mike

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1425
    Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/WI/WireitUp/2012-6-17_18212_Photo00006.64x64.jpg Jason's Avatar

    Jason

    Service Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    3278
    Over 15 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MI/MikeG2010/2012-6-7_192640_IMG01612.64x64.jpg Mike G.'s Avatar

    Mike G.

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    5318
    Proven Professional 45 years Experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AS/AssuredElectrical/2011-9-13_221243_me.64x64.gif AssuredElectrical's Avatar

    AssuredElectrical

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2149
    Contractor-40 Years in the ElectricalTrade
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/electrifier/2008-12-16_200429_headbob1.jpg electrifier's Avatar

    electrifier

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1454
    Electrical contractor and electrical inspector for over 24 years with phone and networking expertise
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/rich03dungo/2010-3-17_101556_tshirt2.jpg Rich's Avatar

    Rich

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1115
    Over 35 years residential, commercial, industrial wiring, install, troubleshoot, service, maintain
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UR/urelectrician/2012-9-28_223652_JustAnswerPic.64x64.jpg Kevin's Avatar

    Kevin

    Licensed Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    993
    27 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 5 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector
 
 
 
Chat Now With An Electrician
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
5600 Satisfied Customers
Proven Professional 45 years Experience