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AssuredElectrical
AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience:  Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade
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I have a Siemens QF250 2 pole GFI breaker that 'trips' every

Customer Question

I have a Siemens QF250 2 pole GFI breaker that 'trips' every time I connect the groundwire to a ground. I disconnect all power and the ground the breaker stays set (on). I connect the two power leads from the equipment (pool heater) and it stays set. As soon as I connect the ground wire - which runs from the breaker to the pool heater case [which in turn is connected to a grounding pole] it trips. With no power going to anything (meaning it isn't hooked from the panel to anything on the heater -- as soon as I connect the ground -- click it is off.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.
Welcome. My name is ***** ***** would be glad to assist.
Please provide some clarification.
First , where is the GFCI breaker located? Main panel or a disconnect near pool heater?
How many and what wires run from the GFCI to the pool heater? Count and colors?
Let me know and we can continue,
Thanks
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Disconnect near pool hear. There are 3 wires running from breaker to the pool heater -- Black, Green, Red.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.
Ok, thanks.
With only the 3 wires to the pool heater from the GFCI in the disconnect, how are all the wires connected in the disconnect?
Is there are neutral bar in the disconnect separate from a ground bar?
Is there 4 wires form the main panel to the disconnect with the GFCI breaker?
Thanks
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The Red and Black wires are each connected to the Load Power on the breaker and the green is connected to the Load Neutral. Yes there is a neutral bar in the disconnect separate from the ground bar (there are two other GFI's) connect to the neutral bar. The white wire from the breaker is (or was - since I pulled the breaker out) to the neutral bar. There are 4 wires coming from the main panel -- one to the ground bar, one to the neutral bar, one to one side of the buss and the last to the other side.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I can attach pic of disconnect if that helps.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.
Ok, thanks. I believe I have the information needed.
The GFCI should have the red and black connected to the load terminals on the breaker, and the white pigtail wire from the GFCI breaker connected to the neutral bar.
Do NOT connect the green ground to the pool heater to the breaker, it connects to the ground bar only.
The heater doesnt use a neutral since it is 240 volts, so the neutral load terminal on the breaker is not used.
It will perfectly with only the pigtail wire connected tot he neutral bar.
Let me know anything else needed, that should get it going as the ground wire on the breaker is making it sense a short to ground.
Thanks
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Here is the disconnect. Seems odd -- the way I described it was the way it was wired last year. This year I went to start the heater the the circuit started to trip immediately. Any reason why it would start to fail now?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sounds like your saying take to green from the heater (which is tied to a ground rod) and run it to the ground bar in the box. Only have to the two power leads connected to the breaker and run the white wire (line neutral) to the neutral bar. The center (load neutral) would be empty. I am just confused since it worked wired like I described until this pool season -- no other changes/modifications were done to the box or the wiring near the pool.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.
"Sounds like your saying take to green from the heater (which is tied to a ground rod) and run it to the ground bar in the box.
Only have to the two power leads connected to the breaker and run the white wire (line neutral) to the neutral bar.
The center (load neutral) would be empty.
YES, that is absolutely correct.
I am just confused since it worked wired like I described until this pool season -- no other changes/modifications were done to the box or the wiring near the pool."
That I cannot answer. Only that a GFCI will only work with a neutral connected to the neutral terminal if the equipment uses 120/240 volts power.
If only 240 volts, no neutral is connected to the load terminal, only the pigtail is connected to the neutral bar to make it work properly.
It should never have worked if that is the way it has been connected.
And cannot explain why would not trip.
A green wire can only be used as a ground to a ground bar at the disconnect.
Grounds all must connect together, like the others I see on the ground bar in the disconnect.
I cannot see the neutral bar, but it looks like all neutrals connect there, since I do not see any connected to the ground bar. That is good.