Electrician Talk banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wife's family is having an issue with their hot tub where the breaker is getting ridiculously hot. To the point that it smells like burning plastic. Sometimes it trips, other times it does not. Breaker was replaced at Christmas.

200A Sylvania Panel.
Tub is coming off a 50A breaker to a 50A Eaton GFCI disco. 6/3 copper from panel to disco - 6/3 copper all the way to the tub in PVC.

Tub rated at 42A. Nameplate states to use 6/3 copper.

Checked all connections. Don't have a megger with me.

Can't run the tub because it was **** down and winterized in January because of the breaker overhearing issue. Rural property means no fire service!

Any more troubleshooting ideas? Attached a picture of the previous spot the breaker occupied.
 

Attachments

·
animal lover /rat bastard
Joined
·
13,547 Posts
well, if it was the hot tub seems like the outdoor disco would've tripped ? I'd amprobe the branch side and the feeder side, but definitely meg the feeder for starters. get a megger, eh ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
It worked fine for an entire year before they started having issues. They don't use it in the summer so I'll bring back a meter and check into it further, eh.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,212 Posts
Is it possible to locate the breaker away from the other high load breakers. Allowing a little rm for the heat to dissipate. I had trouble with services in kiln yards when putting three or more breakers beside each other , the one in the middle was always nuisance tripping . Space them apart and problem went away. Items used for hrs always heat up the breaker some what.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,118 Posts
Do they turn the hot tub off when not in use, then heat the entire thing before using? The biggest load in a hot tub is the electric heater 5-800 gallons going from cold to 104 degrees is a long time heating.
 

·
Electron Pathway Engineer
Joined
·
3,105 Posts
Ah good old Sylvania. As HMA said, that opposing 100A breaker my be the culprit. Have your boss set up for a panel change as the buss looks to be shot (your profile says you're an apprentice) the permit will also have a great resell feature in the future if they decide to move.

But certainly meg the lines for sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I appreciate the info.

They keep the tub running in the winter months only, always circulating and keeping the heat up.

The 100A breaker next to it used to power a sub panel in the shop. Its not even in use anymore because the feeder is burnt to a crisp.

I mentioned a panel upgrade might be in the future. Its a rural property they bought with lots of hodge podge half ass electrical.
 

·
Light Bender
plumber
Joined
·
6,680 Posts
Change the panel.
I used to do a lot of service for community housing in my area and all their units have those old panels. Was changing out burnt breakers weekly.
A double pole breaker for that old panel is aprox $100. Cutler Hammer makes them now
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,259 Posts
Those panels are garbage. Replace it then drive over it with your truck. They often have a crap bus connection which results in what you're seeing. Tons of places in Ontario that I used to see which were built in the 80s and very early 90s had those, or the similar ones like Commander or CEB. They all used the same breakers. You'd think a bolt-on connection would be good but not in those case.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,221 Posts
I still have a CEB panel in my house.. Every year or so I snug the breaker screws, they seem to loosen ever so slightly on their own.

Gotta replace the panel one day, but can't decide if I want to spend the cash to upgrade to 200A or leave it at 100A. I have underground service which goes straight across my front yard.
 

·
:-)
Joined
·
3,670 Posts
100 amp is fine eh?

New resi areas where I come from have 3 houses (100 amp service each) sitting on 125 amp fuses in the street transformer.

You almost have to get a court order to have EPCOR give you more than a 100 amp service.

They have done studies you see and all those three house setps on 125 amp fuses that seem to work no problem.
 

·
Moderator
Estwing magic
Joined
·
26,397 Posts
I still have a CEB panel in my house.. Every year or so I snug the breaker screws, they seem to loosen ever so slightly on their own.

Gotta replace the panel one day, but can't decide if I want to spend the cash to upgrade to 200A or leave it at 100A. I have underground service which goes straight across my front yard.
Stupid question but have you checked your service conductor size? Did a job last year where we thought we were going to have to trench through rocks and trees and across a driveway. Turned out the existing conductors were good enough to bump it up to 150A and that's all we needed (the guy added crazy amounts of floor warming during his reno). Added a small panel to be used as a main, fed the floor warming to that, and then treated the existing panel as a sub.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,221 Posts
100 amp is fine eh?
100A is plenty, but electric cars throw a wrench in the demand calculation. Easy to get 200A here, just costs a lot.

Turned out the existing conductors were good enough to bump it up to 150A and that's all we needed (the guy added crazy amounts of floor warming during his reno).
Good point, I should look today.. would be nice to get more power in the panel, but not have to upgrade the line.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Appreciate all the help. This board is a great resource.

Looks like they are going to switch out the panel and combine a couple of old sub panels into the new one basically cleaning everything up. Then run a new feed to the shop w/ disco and keep the existing hot tub feed w/ disco.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Wife's family is having an issue with their hot tub where the breaker is getting ridiculously hot. To the point that it smells like burning plastic. Sometimes it trips, other times it does not. Breaker was replaced at Christmas.

200A Sylvania Panel.
Tub is coming off a 50A breaker to a 50A Eaton GFCI disco. 6/3 copper from panel to disco - 6/3 copper all the way to the tub in PVC.

Tub rated at 42A. Nameplate states to use 6/3 copper.

Checked all connections. Don't have a megger with me.

Can't run the tub because it was **** down and winterized in January because of the breaker overhearing issue. Rural property means no fire service!

Any more troubleshooting ideas? Attached a picture of the previous spot the breaker occupied.

Hi, since you have a 6/3 cu cable capable to carry 60 Amps, why not use a 60 Amp breaker. Your GFCI 50 Amp Tub breaker will protect the tub. Your 60 Amp breaker will protect the cable from panel to the GFCI. Make sure your new breaker is compatible with the Sylvania panel. Cutler Hammer does carry replacement breakers for Sylvania. tomvar
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,989 Posts
IIRC someone told me that panel was discontinued because of the buss and used for electric baseboard heating something about losing the CSA approval.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top