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What is a GFCI?

GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter and is an electrical device that disconnects a circuit when it detects that the current is not balanced as when a person touches a live wire and the current passes through the body to the ground. A high enough voltage can result in a lethal shock. A GFCI is designed to disconnect very fast to prevent such danger. They are essential safety features for hot tubs and spas or any appliance that is around liquid. Many times there will be a GFCI electrical plug in most modern bathrooms and kitchens. Experts on JustAnswer have answered a huge number of queries on GFCI problems and troubleshooting. Some of the most common issues are given below.

Why does the GFCI keep tripping on a Jacuzzi spa and how to fix it?

There seems to be a short circuit in the system. The best way to locate the problem is by a step by step approach. The most common reason for GFCI tripping is a short in the heater. Disconnect the wires to the heater housing, reset the GFCI and turn the unit on. If the breaker does not trip, the problem is with the heater which may need replacing. If the problem persists, unplug the ozone unit and repeat the process. Once again, if the tripping stops, the problem is with the ozone unit. If it is still there, disconnect the power supply to the spa and reset the GFCI. If the tripping continues, the GFCI may be defective. The final check is to disconnect everything from the circuit board and rest the GFCI. If it still trips, then the circuit board itself may be the problem and may need replacement.

What could cause a continuous clicking sound on a Cal Spa with no heat and non-working pumps when it is turned on?

Case Details: There are two GFCIs on the same line; one at the box, the other in the house.

First of all, you should not have 2 GFCIs on the same line as they will cancel each other out. Keep the GFCI closest to the spa and replace the one in the house with standard 50-amp circuit breaker. Now check to see if the plugs for the pumps are connected to the circuit board. Check to see if all the wires on the board are tightly connected. Check the fuses on the board and replace any that may have blown. If the problem persists, it is likely that there is a problem with the spa. A GFCI problem is unlikely.

What could cause a Sovereign Hot Spring hot tub to turn off every few minutes?

It appears that the GFCI is tripping. The first thing you need to do is check if anything else is running on the same line and GFCI as the spa which could cause an overload and make the GFCI trip. If so, get the wiring modified as the spa should have a dedicated line and circuit breaker. If this is not the problem, then find the control pack located under the skirt of the hot tub. Unplug one item at a time, reset the GFCI and turn on the unit. When the system stays on with one item disconnected, that should be the cause of your problem and you will need to get it checked. If even with everything unplugged the tripping continues, the cause could be that the GFCI cord has gone bad which will need to be replaced. Make sure that the replacement cord is of the same rating as the old one.

What could cause the GFCI to trip once a week on a 10-year-old hot tub?

Since the tripping happens only once a week, it is unlikely that you have a GFCI problem. With a 10-year-old unit, the cause could be the heater unit which does tend to give problems after being exposed to water for a long time. The heater could be leaking a small amount of current into the ground which will cause the GFCI to trip as it is designed to do. You can check this by disconnecting both sides of the heating unit, turning on the electricity and using a meter to check the ohms on the ground wire. If there is any reading, that indicates a leak which may be the cause of the GFCI tripping. Get the heating unit check and replace it if necessary. 

GFCIs are important safety devices, especially for spas and hot tubs. GFCI protection is important in preventing shocks or damage to appliances that need to be on a GFCI circuit. Problems of electricity tripping may be due to GFCI problems or because of a malfunction in the appliance. Because of the safety issues involved it is advisable to get the help of experts to deal with GFCI troubleshooting and resolving problems.

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