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AssuredElectrical
AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3050
Experience:  Contractor-40 Years in the ElectricalTrade
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my hot tub does not appear to get current. the gfi sub panel

Resolved Question:

my hot tub does not appear to get current. the gfi sub panel breaker has been replaced, but the test button does not snap the breaker to off. the hot tub panel does not light up. how can I tell/test to see if it is the main panel breaker or the hot tub unit?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 12 months ago.

AssuredElectrical :

Welcome. My name is XXXXX XXXXX would be glad to assist.

AssuredElectrical :

The test button on a GFCI breaker should trip the breaker. Verify that the breakers "pigtail white wire is connected to the neutral buss bar and that the breaker is "Set to on" and stays on. If so, if it does not trip when pushing the button, the breaker is bad

AssuredElectrical :

If the breaker will not "set on", then the test will not do anything.


 

Customer:

it's a brand new out of the sealed package breaker. the breaker I replaced acted the same way. the problem is probably the main panel breaker or the hot tub. how can I test

AssuredElectrical :

The GFCI is not in the Spa disconnect, is that correct?


 

AssuredElectrical :

The GFCI is at another panel and powers the spa disconnect at the spa location?

Customer:

I don't know what that means. the gfi is part of the sub panel breaker. the breaker does stay on.

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, you have a way to turn off the spa at the spa location?

Customer:

yes and that is the gfi breaker I replaced

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, that is a disconnect

AssuredElectrical :

so, when you turn on the breaker at the spa disconnect, you can press the button on the GFCI and it will not trip?

Customer:

correct and the original breaker did the same thing so i'm guessing it was good

AssuredElectrical :

Do you know where the breaker is, that feeds the power to that spa GFCI?

Customer:

yes in the house main panel

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, do you know which breaker it is?

Customer:

yes

Customer:

2 pole 50 a

AssuredElectrical :

ok, turn off the GFCI at the Spa, go to the house panel and turn off the 50 amp until you hear it click and set off.

AssuredElectrical :

The try to snap it back on

AssuredElectrical :

make sure it stays in the On position, you should feel it set when on

Customer:

it stays in the on position, but when I push it back to on it makes the breaker across from it movet the

AssuredElectrical :

cannot see the rest of the post? When you turn on the breaker at the main panel it does what?


 

Customer:

the breaker that moved is still working

AssuredElectrical :

you are saying turning on a breaker moves another one?

Customer:

when I pushed the breaker and felt the snap, the breaker across from it moved but is still working

AssuredElectrical :

ok

AssuredElectrical :

now try to turn on the GFCI at the Spa

Customer:

ok done

Customer:

no lights on the spa

AssuredElectrical :

did it hold on? can you trip it with the button now?

Customer:

not with the test button

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, it is not getting power isnce the GFCI is new. It takes power for the GFCI to perform a test on the line and trip the breaker.

AssuredElectrical :

I am concerned that a breaker actually moved in the main panel, no breaker should even wiggle in the panel

Customer:

it's not fully in the off position, but it isn't in the snapped in on position

AssuredElectrical :

that is trpped

AssuredElectrical :

which one, the GFCI?

Customer:

i'm concerned too because the other breaker is not seated. I clicked it off

AssuredElectrical :

is the GFCI the one that is halfway position?

Customer:

I paid an electrician 3K to set this up and give me 240 for the tub. all of the breakers wiggle

Customer:

yes the gfi is the one in the halfway position

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, it is tripped then

AssuredElectrical :

sounds like something in the Spa is tripping the breaker

AssuredElectrical :

Take the 2 hot wires off the breaker, leave the white neutral connected

AssuredElectrical :

then try to turn it on

Customer:

on the spa gfi? there are 3 hot black wires.

AssuredElectrical :

the spa should not have 3 black wires, one should be white

Customer:

it's a 2 pole 50 a

AssuredElectrical :

yes, 2 hot wires should be colored and one white

AssuredElectrical :

the white wire connects to the silver screw near where the pigtail white wire is

AssuredElectrical :

Full Size Image

Customer:

3 are black

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, that is incorrect wiring. The white wire must be white to distinguish it from power

Customer:

i'll need a few minutes to take apart

AssuredElectrical :

how do you know you have the correct wire on the silver screw on the breaker?

AssuredElectrical :

not knowing the correct wire for white could damage the spa

Customer:

I hooked all the wires to the new breaker the same way they were originally attached

Customer:

there is only 1 white wire

AssuredElectrical :

I understand, there should be 1 white that is made into the breaker, then another one that goes to the spa

Customer:

this is a ge type thql gcfi breaker 2 black and the permanent white on the bottom and 1 black on the top

AssuredElectrical :

Yes, all GFCI are made the same way. What I am saying, is one of the wires that go to the spa panel is REQUIRED to be white by code.

AssuredElectrical :

That insures proper wiring, otherwise it could be wired wrong and burn up the spa electronics


 

Customer:

all three wires going to the spa are black, the spa worked for 3 years

AssuredElectrical :

Ok

Customer:

it had a leak and sat for 2 years and we are now working to get it repaired

AssuredElectrical :

disconnect all 3 wires and see if the breaker will go to the full "on" position

AssuredElectrical :

leave the white pigtail connected

Customer:

yes it goes to the full on position and holds

AssuredElectrical :

ok

AssuredElectrical :

there is something inside the spa that has gone bad and causing it to trip

AssuredElectrical :

usually it is a heater, but if you have water damage, it may be the transformer

Customer:

I turned the house 2 pole 50 off before I did this, should I turn it back on and check

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, yes, have to start over from the begining if it was off, I had asked it for it to be turned on

AssuredElectrical :

I think it is on if the GFCI trips when the wires are connected

Customer:

ok the main is on, the spa breaker is holding on and the gfi button works

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, the spa has a problem internally. If water leaked, it may have taken out the main board or transformer

Customer:

the 3 black wires are disconnected

Customer:

so you think the problem is the spa because power is getting to the sub panel breaker and tripping it

AssuredElectrical :

the breaker only trips when it is connected to the wires going to the spa

AssuredElectrical :

so, that says the breaker has power and the GFCI is good

AssuredElectrical :

the GFCI is doing what it was designed for, trip when there is an internal issue to protect from electrical shocks

Customer:

ok

AssuredElectrical :

I would look over all the internal parts for any water damage or signs of corrosion


 

Customer:

I'll let the spa guy figure out what is bad, ok thanks

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, I can understand, hopefully something simple was damaged

Customer:

thanks for your help, i'll hit submit for the rating

AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3050
Experience: Contractor-40 Years in the ElectricalTrade
AssuredElectrical and other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you

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