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Old 12-31-2012, 04:04 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by P-J View Post
Hmmmm....

The Spa Panel GFCI breaker is indeed both a GFCI breaker AND an over current breaker rated @ 50A.
Not the $69 one at Home Depot


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Old 12-31-2012, 04:24 AM   #12
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Not the $69 one at Home Depot
This is incorrect. If you look at Midewest's PDF of their products on page 71, you'll see that both of the spa panels they make are rated for over current protection as well as GFCI.

http://www.theovine.com/Midwest_Cat_2011.pdf


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Old 12-31-2012, 04:45 AM   #13
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This is incorrect. If you look at Midewest's PDF of their products on page 71, you'll see that both of the spa panels they make are rated for over current protection as well as GFCI.

http://www.theovine.com/Midwest_Cat_2011.pdf
I do not believe that is the same model. Part numbers are close, but the "p" on the end makes a difference. Google both and you will see a big difference in price.
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:11 AM   #14
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I do not believe that is the same model. Part numbers are close, but the "p" on the end makes a difference. Google both and you will see a big difference in price.

Well, I checked mine that I got last year from HD and it does not have the 'p' on the end of the part number. I can't find any literature on the same number plus the 'p' either. I'm not sure why Midwest doesn't have it listed as such.

The prices are all over the place even for the same model from what I can tell. I'm not convinced that it doesn't provide over current protection because mine does according to their literature and it was only $50 last year.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:16 PM   #15
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Well, I checked mine that I got last year from HD and it does not have the 'p' on the end of the part number. I can't find any literature on the same number plus the 'p' either. I'm not sure why Midwest doesn't have it listed as such.

The prices are all over the place even for the same model from what I can tell. I'm not convinced that it doesn't provide over current protection because mine does according to their literature and it was only $50 last year.
Maybe yours does but I would be surprised. Most if not all spa panel's in that price range are not OCPD's. It really doesn't matter anyway if you've got overcurrent protection in your main panel.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:31 PM   #16
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I'll wager $1 that the "P" suffix merely denotes something about the packaging (e.g. retail vs. wholesale) or other minor detail, not a significant fundamental difference like GFI breaker vs. GFI only.

Had I a big dog in this fight I'd call Midwest and ask, but I don't so that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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Old 12-31-2012, 12:41 PM   #17
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Asking question...not looking for attacks. The cost of safety is priceless...but here is a question. A 30A 240V GFCI Breaker is roughly $120. A 50amp spa box is $69 at Home Depot.

If i were to run a 30A 2 pole breaker (Non-GFCI) in my Electrical panel, feeding a 10/3 line connected to a 50a GFCI Spa box. Would this in theory and safety, work?

My thought is would have the GFCI at "Wet" end and would have a 30amp feed from origin (electrical panel).
It's perfect (I agree with P-J, et al.).

I would recommend that you re-mark the GFCI box with 30A (and cover the 50A somehow). Who knows what nutty situation that will prevent in the future. You know, the older we get, the dumber mistakes we tend to make.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:48 PM   #18
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I'm having trouble following this. I have a 50A spa panel I bought at Home Depot a few months ago, for somewhere around $70. It has a black device in there that looks just like an over-current circuit breaker, is marked with a 50A current rating like a normal circuit breaker, has the toggle to turn it off and on, etc. TH, are you saying that, despite all appearances, this device doesn't protect against excessive current? It seems like there would be some significant danger there, having a device that looks like an overcurrent device when it actually isn't. I'd suspect there to be problems with UL rating and such, not to mention some significant liability exposure for the manufacturer.

You're right that it doesn't really matter in our application, but your suggestion just doesn't seem to pass the smell test. Do you have some reliable source (say, from the manufacturer) that indicates that these panels don't provide overcurrent protection?

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Old 12-31-2012, 12:53 PM   #19
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Not the $69 one at Home Depot
Apparently you do not own one & are just spouting theory.

Have it your way...
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:03 PM   #20
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I'm having trouble following this. I have a 50A spa panel I bought at Home Depot a few months ago, for somewhere around $70. It has a black device in there that looks just like an over-current circuit breaker, is marked with a 50A current rating like a normal circuit breaker, has the toggle to turn it off and on, etc. TH, are you saying that, despite all appearances, this device doesn't protect against excessive current? It seems like there would be some significant danger there, having a device that looks like an overcurrent device when it actually isn't. I'd suspect there to be problems with UL rating and such, not to mention some significant liability exposure for the manufacturer.

You're right that it doesn't really matter in our application, but your suggestion just doesn't seem to pass the smell test. Do you have some reliable source (say, from the manufacturer) that indicates that these panels don't provide overcurrent protection?
Let's be careful and differentiate between breaker protection and GFCI protection.

Breaker protection will only trip when the maximum current of the breaker is reached, i.e., 30A. Until that point, the breaker happily passes current. Just a fraction of this could kill you. Many, many people have been fried crispy with a perfectly good breaker still un-tripped.

GFCI is not really overcurrent protection. It senses when current has been lost (to ground presumably). Electrical circuits never lose current. It always returns back to the panel (and/or on neutral or the second line if 240VAC). So the GFCI watches all the current going out, and compares it to what is returning, and if they don't match within a few milliamps, the breaker trips. And, it trips really quickly, fast enough to save your life.

I think the guys above are saying that the box might only have the breaker protection, which doesn't offer anything above what they already have in the home's breaker box. I don't know the answer myself.


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