GFI Breaker

(Steven Most) #1

I have an electric hot tub heater that is of course wired to a GFI breaker. A recent situation has occurred where the breaker refuses to be “clicked” fully into the “on” position and the heater does not work.
If I have the heater turned off the breaker still refuses to go to the “on” position. Upon removing the breaker from the panel I can flip it to the “on” position.
I once had to replace the heater element and I have again purchased a new one, but rather than take the heater apart to put the new element in I’d like to know if it’s likely that the breaker has gone bad. It’s been in use about 10 years.
Would it trip due to a bad heater element even if the heater is off?
Is there a way to test a GFI breaker?
Thanks to anyone who can help with this. If you prefer I can be reached at mostovnik@hotmail.com

(Michael Larson, WI Lic. # 1672-106) #2

Carefully remove the wires from the breaker and see if it will stay on.

What you describe indicates a fault in the heater or wiring.

(Roy Lewis, CMI - North Florida Inspector) #3

please tell me you didn’t tell him to do that :slight_smile:

(Roy Lewis, CMI - North Florida Inspector) #4

please tell me you didn’t tell him to do that :-)meter the friggin thing.

(Michael Larson, WI Lic. # 1672-106) #5

Meter won’t tell you crap.

He wants to know if the GFI breaker will hold.

Take off the load and find out. Simple.

(Michael Larson, WI Lic. # 1672-106) #6

BTW-He already has demonstrated his ability to remove the breaker and change the heater.

(Paul W. Abernathy) #7

…lol…I will say that it is not a GFI Breaker, it is a GFCI Circuit Breaker and leave it at that.

(Michael Larson, WI Lic. # 1672-106) #8

Well that was helpful…NOT.:frowning:

(Paul W. Abernathy) #9

Hey…I aim to please my friend…:wink:

I try to steer away from DIY responses…plenty of other forums for that as I like to focus on my inspectors;)

(Michael Larson, WI Lic. # 1672-106) #10

Just giving you a hard time.:stuck_out_tongue:

Most DIYers should not take on this type of project and instead hire someone who knows what they are doing.

This one had previously changed out his heater so he has at least had some experience.:shock:

(Paul W. Abernathy) #11

I know…but I also know plenty of well qualified individuals who say to me all the time that they get shocked. I scratch my head going…and WHY?..I turn off power to anything I am working on, I use proper PPE and so on.

Guess I am not the norm…lol

(David A. Andersen, TN HI# 40) #12

I changed out my heater recently and the electrical part only took plugging in the wire to a control board.

Instead of recommending messing with the breaker, I guess we could suggest unplugging the heater (which would be much more complicated to figure out).

As for metering out a condition that is not a direct fault to ground, does anybody know the impedance of hot tub water with assorted chemicals applied?

(Stephen W. Stanczyk, WA License #221) #13

But Paul, the GFI Breaker worked perfectly. It broke. :mrgreen: