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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ran into this today: Recent new spa install using power from a Zinsco sub-panel. Cable from sub-panel to spa gfi breaker is 6 guage 3 with ground. Neutrals and grounds are not seperated in the Zinsco box. The neutral to the Spa Breaker runs from the buss in the Zinsco to the neutral bus on the spa panel. The gfi on the spa panel has the load neutral to the breaker and the breaker neutral to the bus. All of this is 6 gauge wire except the ground to the spa from the spa panel. This is 12 gauge. It is hooked to the neutral bus on the spa panel. My question is this: Is this spa gfi breaker actually able to "protect"? It tests out fine with the test button. Am I missing something? There is no complaint from the owner. I am doing another repair on the system when I ran into this. thanks for your input.
 

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All of this is 6 gauge wire except the ground to the spa from the spa panel.... It is hooked to the neutral bus on the spa panel. My question is this:
The GFI will function, but you have a code violation here.

Why did you run that subfeed cable to the little spa panel, then land the neutral and ground on the same bar? Won't effect the operation of the GFCI, but it's still wrong as can be.
 

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Marc is correct, you have a sub panel here, and the neutral and ground must be separated. If it's a metal enclosure, the neutral must be isolated, and the enclosure grounded.

The #12 ground is too small. A #12 can only ground a circuit up to 20 amps, no higher. A #10 can ground a circuit up to 60 amps, most hot tubs are fed by 50 amps, so that would be the minimum. The spa manufacturer might require even larger.

To test the GFI, use a solenoid-type wiggy, or rig up a test lamp with leads, and place it across either hot and the ground. The GFI should trip.
 

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Better still - to test the GFI - invest in a GFI tester. This will introduce the correct ground fault currents into your wiring network via the GFI and give you the trip current value AND the trip time. I know it's more expense but it gives you a good safeguard when the DA asks you in court if you really knew what you were doing. And if so. What were the results of your Test.

Frank
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for all your answers. I am going to test the breaker. The way I found this problem was by installing an x-10 switch for the swimming pool lights. I could not get them to function. So, I figured there must be a neutral miswired or loose somewhere in the system. Upon investigating I came across what I described. The x-10 has now become back burner focus. I am going to convince the owner of the property that he must bring this up to code for his own safety. (In writing of course) Thanks again.
dbone
 
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