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Old 02-12-2010, 02:29 AM   #1
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I am 95% done with my E-Brewery. I tested the system and everything works great except for one thing that concerns me. When I hit the test button on the GFCI it does not trip the breaker. Here is what I have.

40A breaker in my main panel running 6/2 (2-120V hots and ground) wire going to a range/dryer plug. I then ran 8/2 wire and 3 prong range plug to a spa disconnect. Connected two hots to the line lugs in disconnect, and ground to ground bar. Then ran the two load wires out of the breaker and ground to ground bar. There is no neutral as this is only 240V. I ran the neutral pigtail from breaker to the neutral bar but their is nothing attached to it.

I have been hearing different answers to this. Some say you need the neutral for the test button to work properly, others say it should test properly without a neutral attached. I just want to make sure it is working properly.

p.s. thanks to everyone who has posted some great info on this site, it has helped me a lot with this project.

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Old 02-12-2010, 03:17 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by enid View Post
I am 95% done with my E-Brewery. I tested the system and everything works great except for one thing that concerns me. When I hit the test button on the GFCI it does not trip the breaker. Here is what I have.

40A breaker in my main panel running 6/2 (2-120V hots and ground) wire going to a range/dryer plug. I then ran 8/2 wire and 3 prong range plug to a spa disconnect. Connected two hots to the line lugs in disconnect, and ground to ground bar. Then ran the two load wires out of the breaker and ground to ground bar. There is no neutral as this is only 240V. I ran the neutral pigtail from breaker to the neutral bar but their is nothing attached to it.

I have been hearing different answers to this. Some say you need the neutral for the test button to work properly, others say it should test properly without a neutral attached. I just want to make sure it is working properly.

p.s. thanks to everyone who has posted some great info on this site, it has helped me a lot with this project.
the 120v GFCI's i just installed in my basement less then a week ago need to have power to them to trip. they do nothing if you take them out of the box and start playing with the buttons. older GFCI's i have and see on my jobs will click and reset without power.
seriously consider running 4 prong plugs. that is NEC , or maybe just CT code. either way it is for your safety.
other than your neutral (white) wires, and your 1 (120v) or 2 (240v) hot leads (black and/or red) , you should have a seperate ground wire, (either green sheathing or bare copper) that wire will go from the green stud on your GFCI, and should connect to every metal box your power is running through. that ground wire needs a seperate path all the way back to earth ground at your panel. every metallic thing that your wires travel through needs to be bonded to that green/bare copper wire. (i'm sure you know that, but that might help someone in a search later on)

EDIT:, it appears you do need the 4th wire for that box. look at the link below and read the top box

here's a pic


remember, better to be safe then sorry, it only takes 1/4 of 1 Amp to KILL you. ( that goes through my head every time i hear a transformer buzzing over my head, or i smack my hard hat on a power line. )
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Old 02-12-2010, 05:17 AM   #3
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you need a neutral for it to work properly, you have no gfci protection as wired. just swap your ground for neutral. both ground and neutral should be bonded at the main service panel.

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Old 02-12-2010, 11:00 AM   #4
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You can't just swap the ground for the neutral!!! To do this correctly you need a piece of 8-4. By not having a ground your playing with the ability of the circuit breaker to trip out on a short circut to ground!

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Old 02-12-2010, 03:32 PM   #5
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So what I am understanding is I need a white neutral to go into my spa disconnect and connect to the neutral bus, but I do not need it going out on the load side?

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Old 02-12-2010, 05:38 PM   #6
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your right, i made a bad assumption that some one would not use a bare cu for neutral. but on 220v 3 wire outlets there is no ground. two hots and a neutral. the neutral acts as the the ground.

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Old 02-12-2010, 06:55 PM   #7
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You need a seperate ground in addition to the neutral

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Old 02-12-2010, 07:10 PM   #8
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your right, i made a bad assumption that some one would not use a bare cu for neutral. but on 220v 3 wire outlets there is no ground. two hots and a neutral. the neutral acts as the the ground.
That makes sense. I assume in my main panel (will check) all neutrals and ground tie into same bar.

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You need a seperate ground in addition to the neutral
So either way I will have to run new wire with 4 wires (2-hot, neutral, & ground) to my original range outlet, change outlet to 4 prong, change plug on existing range to 4 prong (only use 3), and change plug & wire from outlet to my disconnect.

Correct?
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:31 PM   #9
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That makes sense. I assume in my main panel (will check) all neutrals and ground tie into same bar.



So either way I will have to run new wire with 4 wires (2-hot, neutral, & ground) to my original range outlet, change outlet to 4 prong, change plug on existing range to 4 prong (only use 3), and change plug & wire from outlet to my disconnect.

Correct?
that is the correct and safe way to do it
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:24 AM   #10
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that is the correct and safe way to do it
I understand this is the way to do it.

But trying to understand why it should be done this way, I want to ask another question. If I run a new 4 wire line to disconnect, what is the difference connecting the ground to neutral in disconnect (which they say not to do outside main panel)?

When running new 4 wire line I will have a white neutral and a green ground bonded in the same bus in main panel and two 120v hots to disconnect.

What is the difference if ground / neutral is connected in main panel or in sub panel to a dedicated service?

After thinking about it, is it because the ground could potentially carry current from sub panel back to main panel?
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