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Old 09-17-2011, 02:25 PM   #1
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Default Troubleshooting help

I just finished my control panel build and I'm ready to crank the thing on but when I turn the key, I trip my GFCI in my breaker panel. The panel is modeled off of Kal's with the exception that I'm feeding 60A/240V into the panel and my main relay. I have 30A fuses protecting the two heater relays downstream. When I say feeding the panel, I mean I have a 4/4 AWG cable hard wired to the main relay with a plug on the other end.

In my trouble shooting, I've removed circuits from the main relay one at a time with the same result of tripping the GFCI. I then replaced the 240v feed with a 120v feed just to ensure the relay wasn't damaged. I plugged this 120v feed into a GFCI and it did not trip. Everything in the panel worked as I expected. So I now believe that the problem is in my 240 feed cable or how it's connected. I've searched the cable for any damage to the insulation but have found nothing.

I'm using a tap connector to connect my 4 AWG neutral to the neutral bus but I don't see this being an issue. I'm not overly familiar with 240v wiring but I'm at a loss for what the issue may be. Is it possible that I have a leakage on the 120V but not enough to trip the GFI outlet and that its amplified when I try the 240V cable? Any suggestions that might help me narrow this down?

Thanks for the help!

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Old 09-17-2011, 03:19 PM   #2
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Do you have an ohm meter? If so, measure the resistance between the neutral and the grounding conductors (at the plug) with the system unplugged and the power key turned on. Your reading should show that there is no connection. If you do show resistance, find out where the 2 lines cross within your setup. If not, the problem gets a little harder to find.

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Old 09-17-2011, 07:37 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response PJ. I checked resistance between my ground and neutral on the plug with the key on and had an open circuit. Any other ideas?

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Old 09-17-2011, 08:15 PM   #4
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Did you wire the neutral on the panel drop through the GFI or to the neutral buss in the panel, if not through the GFI then it will trip every time you try a 120V circuit. Refer to the GFI breaker wiring diagram for 3 wire installations, if load not balanced on hot leads the GFI breaker trips unless neutral is routed through GFI breaker.

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Old 09-17-2011, 08:22 PM   #5
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Can you do the same test set up and then manually pick the power contactors that would power up when you turn the key? (It would be as though it was being powered.)

You just need to look for a compromise between the neutral and ground within the panel. The next step would be to look for any form of a short from any of the hot connections to neutral or ground.

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Old 09-17-2011, 08:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladue View Post
Did you wire the neutral on the panel drop through the GFI or to the neutral buss in the panel, if not through the GFI then it will trip every time you try a 120V circuit. Refer to the GFI breaker wiring diagram for 3 wire installations, if load not balanced on hot leads the GFI breaker trips unless neutral is routed through GFI breaker.
That is an excellent point as any load would trip the GFCI if it is not setup right.
The breaker neutral input is a pigtail wire.
The breaker neutral output comes from a terminal on the breaker and must be the one going to your load..
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:55 PM   #7
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The GFCI breaker was professionally installed and I didn't pay enough attention. Here's a link to a photo of the panel wiring. The 4AWG coming in from the bottom feeds the outlet that I'm plugging into. GFCI is on the left side of the panel.

https://picasaweb.google.com/mattmat...eat=directlink

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Old 09-17-2011, 09:30 PM   #8
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Looks like the neutral was wired to the panel neutral instead of through the GFI, it will trip every time you try to use 120V to neutral devices. Here is the install bulletin for reference http://static.schneider-electric.us/...840-473-01.pdf, at the lower edge where the white wire leaves the breaker is the connection point for the neutral wire. I would ask the guilty party to come back and fix this for free as it was wired incorrectly, and probably not inspected as that would have been an obvious problem for GFI installation.

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Old 09-17-2011, 09:40 PM   #9
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That's it right there.

The image is a little small to really view so I used the zoom feature to see the setup.

The 240V black and red wires are coming from the GFCI breaker. - That's good.
The green wire ground is coming from the grounding bus on the lower right. That's good.

Now, the neutral to your brew rig is coming from the neutral bus on the right side of the mains panel. That is the problem. There should be another spot on the left side of the GFCI breaker where the load neutral wire must be attached. Just move the white wire to that breaker terminal screw.

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Old 09-17-2011, 09:47 PM   #10
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I never would have figured that out. I'll move that wire and see if that helps things.

Thanks guys...

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