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Mike, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 1425
Experience:  Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
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I am trying to replace a swimming pool pump. The new one is

Customer Question

I am trying to replace a swimming pool pump. The new one is 2 speed (as was the first one installed) There are 3 wires in the conduit & they are all black. The instructions are for different colors of wire. How do I test for the ground and hot wires?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 2 years ago. name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question. My goal is to exceed your expectations on Just Answer!
1) What is the voltage rating on the pump? 120 volts or 240 volts or a combo 120/240 volts?
2) What type of circuit breaker controls the pump? A single pole or a double pole breaker?
3) Do you have an AC voltmeter available?
4) Is the conduit EMT or Rigid metal or PVC type?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
230 volts, single pole breaker, No I don't have a volt meter, the conduit is flexible
Expert:  Kevin replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the replies.
1) A 240 volt pump requires a double pole breaker and not a single pole breaker. Double pole breakers are 240 volts while single pole breakers are 120 volts.
2) The circuit also requires an equipment grounding conductor if not installed in EMT or Intermediate or Rigid metal conduit.
Since the circuit contains 3 black wires and the conduit is flexible (if greater than 6 feet in length), you already have a code violation since the circuit needs to have an equipment grounding conductor. The equipment grounding conductor can only be a metal conduit or a bare copper wire or a bare aluminum wire or a green insulated or a green insulated wire with a yellow tracer stripe. A Code violation exists if none of these are present.
Not sure what the 3rd black wire is providing?
3) Perhaps you can borrow an AC voltmeter from a friend or a neighbor? If not, AC voltmeters are sold at any Home Depot or Lowe's for less than $25. Let me know when you have a meter available and I can walk you thru on how to distinguish the wires.

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