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Old 09-23-2013, 08:13 PM   #1
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Default (P-J schematic) Tripped the breaker right out of the gate

I am using P-J's Single Element 30A BIAB (click for drawing).

So the moment of truth.. finally got all the wiring and GCFI breaker installed, ok'd by a licensed electrician... I plugged it in and punched the PID switch. And I heard the breaker trip.

Same result on the pump switch.

Element switch didn't even light up.

I immediately thought I had wired up the NC on the e-stop. Nope. Multimeter proved that.


So, I'm in the process of troubleshooting. Unfortunately, I'm working in the Auber Instruments project box, which is making it very, very difficult because of the tight squeeze.

I'm assuming that something is grounded that's not supposed to be, which is why the breaker is tripping so quickly. The kettle isn't even plugged in, so I know it's not that.


I'll accept any and all advice. :-)


Cheers!

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Old 09-23-2013, 08:27 PM   #2
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Update:

Found that the connection to the coil had become dislodged. I reconnected it and now the element switch is tripping the breaker like the others are.

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Old 09-23-2013, 08:33 PM   #3
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First thing I would think is to check the GCFI and make sure it is good...after that go to town with a continuity tester and see where you crossed the line.

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Old 09-23-2013, 08:55 PM   #4
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A few ideas:

If the e-stop switch was wired incorrectly it would immediately trip the gfi upon plug-in and you would not be able to reset the gfci breaker

Are both hots AND the neutral connected to the GFCI breaker in the panel?

Is this a full four wire 240/120 circuit all the way back to the main panel or has the neutral been conjured out of a ground conductor?

You can try pulling the fuses out to isolate portions of the circuit.

The simplest sub-circuit is for the pump. If pressing the pump switch, with no pump connected, trips the gfci, the only current draw is to the LED. This would point to the neutral current not being monitored by the gfci which would lead to it tripping.

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Old 09-23-2013, 09:14 PM   #5
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The same thing happened to me. In the spa panel I had the neutral bonded to the neutral bus instead of the neutral in the breaker. The breaker uses that to determine if there is leakage. With no neutral connected it cannot detect current so it trips. Might be you have the same issue.

*Edit* - Props to P-J. When I posted pictures he picked it up right away. Thanks P-J!!

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Old 09-23-2013, 09:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bensiff View Post
First thing I would think is to check the GCFI and make sure it is good...after that go to town with a continuity tester and see where you crossed the line.
And we have a winner! Kinda...

I have no idea how to test a GCFI, well, beyond hitting the "Push to Test" button. So I called up my electrician. I didn't get him, I got his dad.. also an electrician (is there such thing as "master electrician"? If so, that's him..)

So he came over, took one look in the panel and said "that f*cking idiot..."

The neutral had been screwed directly to the neutral bus. So, a quick wire swap and we're in business.. so far.



Thanks all for your input!
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stlbeer View Post
The same thing happened to me. In the spa panel I had the neutral bonded to the neutral bus instead of the neutral in the breaker. The breaker uses that to determine if there is leakage. With no neutral connected it cannot detect current so it trips. Might be you have the same issue.
You nailed it. Thanks!
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:45 PM   #8
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Your electrician's dad's statement is correct.

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Old 09-23-2013, 09:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
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You nailed it. Thanks!
What did he win?

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Old 09-23-2013, 09:53 PM   #10
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Yeah, that is pretty bad for an electrician to screw up. Sounds like the GFCI did its job though so at least you aren't replacing components.

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