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  1. #1
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    Default article 680 swimming pools

    An inground swimming pool with a spa ,light, filter motor , circulating motor and disinfectant light is served by a computer controlled sub panel with (3) 2 pole 20 amp circuit breakers and (2) 1 pole circuit breakers. None of these are GFCI circuit breakers. GFCI protection is from the main panel by way of a 50 amp 2 pole GFCI . Is this correct

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: article 680 swimming pools

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Dryden View Post
    An inground swimming pool with a spa ,light, filter motor , circulating motor and disinfectant light is served by a computer controlled sub panel with (3) 2 pole 20 amp circuit breakers and (2) 1 pole circuit breakers. None of these are GFCI circuit breakers. GFCI protection is from the main panel by way of a 50 amp 2 pole GFCI . Is this correct
    Define correct.

    It's not incorrect, and it is code complaint.


  3. #3
    Robert Meier's Avatar
    Robert Meier Guest

    Default Re: article 680 swimming pools

    IMO it's not code compliant. GFCI protection for pool lights and pumps are required to be installed in the branch circuit not the feeder.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: article 680 swimming pools

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    IMO it's not code compliant. GFCI protection for pool lights and pumps are required to be installed in the branch circuit not the feeder.
    Code language?

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

  5. #5
    Robert Meier's Avatar
    Robert Meier Guest

    Default Re: article 680 swimming pools

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    IMO it's not code compliant. GFCI protection for pool lights and pumps are required to be installed in the branch circuit not the feeder.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    Code language?
    Here's two sections:


    680.21(C) GFCI Protection. Outlets supplying pool pump mo-
    tors connected to single-phase, 120 volt through 240 volt
    branch circuits, rated 15 or 20 amperes, whether by recep-
    tacle or by direct connection, shall be provided with ground-
    fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.
    680.23(3) GFCI Protection, Relamping. A ground-fault circuit
    interrupter shall be installed in the branch circuit supplying
    luminaires operating at more than the low voltage contact
    limit such that there is no shock hazard during relamping.
    The installation of the ground-fault circuit interrupter shall
    be such that there is no shock hazard with any likely fault-
    condition combination that involves a person in a conductive
    path from any ungrounded part of the branch circuit or the
    luminaire to ground.



  6. #6
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    Default Re: article 680 swimming pools

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Here's two sections:
    Robert,

    Couple of questions for you: (I've added the bold, red highlighting)
    "680.21(C) GFCI Protection. Outlets supplying pool pump motors connected to single-phase, 120 volt through 240 volt branch circuits, rated 15 or 20 amperes, whether by receptacle or by direct connection, shall be provided with ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel."

    If the GFCI protection is installed to protect the feeders which supply the branch circuits ... are not the branch circuits protected with GFCI protection?

    That is what the above states, that the branch circuits "shall be provided with ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection" ... and they do ... with the GFCI protection on the feeders ... in fact ... *all* the branch circuits in that panel have GFCI protection - right?

    Does not the branch circuit have GFCI protection when the GFCI protection is installed on the feeders?
    "680.23(3) GFCI Protection, Relamping. A ground-fault circuit interrupter shall be installed in the branch circuit supplying luminaires operating at more than the low voltage contact limit such that there is no shock hazard during relamping. The installation of the ground-fault circuit interrupter shall be such that there is no shock hazard with any likely fault-condition combination that involves a person in a conductive path from any ungrounded part of the branch circuit or the luminaire to ground."

    Do not the branch circuits get their power from the feeders, and thus the branch circuit has a GFCI installed in it protecting it?

    The only potential disadvantage I can think of for installing the GFCI protection on the feeders instead of the branch circuit conductors (by the way, the code does not say on the branch circuit conductors ) is that *all* ground-fault leakages of everything connected to those feeders will add up and cause the GFCI device to trip sooner, possibly causing nuisance tripping when the 5 ma trip level is reach *overall* but not just from a single branch circuit.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
    Robert Meier's Avatar
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    Default Re: article 680 swimming pools

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Robert,

    Couple of questions for you: (I've added the bold, red highlighting)
    "680.21(C) GFCI Protection. Outlets supplying pool pump motors connected to single-phase, 120 volt through 240 volt branch circuits, rated 15 or 20 amperes, whether by receptacle or by direct connection, shall be provided with ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel."

    If the GFCI protection is installed to protect the feeders which supply the branch circuits ... are not the branch circuits protected with GFCI protection?

    That is what the above states, that the branch circuits "shall be provided with ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection" ... and they do ... with the GFCI protection on the feeders ... in fact ... *all* the branch circuits in that panel have GFCI protection - right?

    Does not the branch circuit have GFCI protection when the GFCI protection is installed on the feeders?
    "680.23(3) GFCI Protection, Relamping. A ground-fault circuit interrupter shall be installed in the branch circuit supplying luminaires operating at more than the low voltage contact limit such that there is no shock hazard during relamping. The installation of the ground-fault circuit interrupter shall be such that there is no shock hazard with any likely fault-condition combination that involves a person in a conductive path from any ungrounded part of the branch circuit or the luminaire to ground."

    Do not the branch circuits get their power from the feeders, and thus the branch circuit has a GFCI installed in it protecting it?

    The only potential disadvantage I can think of for installing the GFCI protection on the feeders instead of the branch circuit conductors (by the way, the code does not say on the branch circuit conductors ) is that *all* ground-fault leakages of everything connected to those feeders will add up and cause the GFCI device to trip sooner, possibly causing nuisance tripping when the 5 ma trip level is reach *overall* but not just from a single branch circuit.

    I agree with what you're saying. The argument about being in the branch circuit only is rather weak but I've heard some inspectors enforce it that way. Feeder GFCI protection would still accomplish the safety aspect of the requirement although it's a poor design choice for the reasons that you've mentioned.


  8. #8
    cuba_pete's Avatar
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    Default Re: article 680 swimming pools

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Robert,

    Couple of questions for you: (I've added the bold, red highlighting)
    "680.21(C) GFCI Protection. Outlets supplying pool pump motors connected to single-phase, 120 volt through 240 volt branch circuits, rated 15 or 20 amperes, whether by receptacle or by direct connection, shall be provided with ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel."

    If the GFCI protection is installed to protect the feeders which supply the branch circuits ... are not the branch circuits protected with GFCI protection?

    That is what the above states, that the branch circuits "shall be provided with ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection" ... and they do ... with the GFCI protection on the feeders ... in fact ... *all* the branch circuits in that panel have GFCI protection - right?

    Does not the branch circuit have GFCI protection when the GFCI protection is installed on the feeders?
    "680.23(3) GFCI Protection, Relamping. A ground-fault circuit interrupter shall be installed in the branch circuit supplying luminaires operating at more than the low voltage contact limit such that there is no shock hazard during relamping. The installation of the ground-fault circuit interrupter shall be such that there is no shock hazard with any likely fault-condition combination that involves a person in a conductive path from any ungrounded part of the branch circuit or the luminaire to ground."

    Do not the branch circuits get their power from the feeders, and thus the branch circuit has a GFCI installed in it protecting it?

    The only potential disadvantage I can think of for installing the GFCI protection on the feeders instead of the branch circuit conductors (by the way, the code does not say on the branch circuit conductors ) is that *all* ground-fault leakages of everything connected to those feeders will add up and cause the GFCI device to trip sooner, possibly causing nuisance tripping when the 5 ma trip level is reach *overall* but not just from a single branch circuit.
    Ahhh...the dreaded "shall".


  9. #9
    Lou Romano's Avatar
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    Default Re: article 680 swimming pools

    I can tell you a good reason or two not to do it that way!

    1) If any one piece of equipment has a ground fault the main trips and nothing works!
    2) If the main is changed to a non GFCI breaker all the GFCI protection is gone. This is very likely to happen if the main trips continuously due to a ground fault. Whereas if they were individually GFCI protected they would know which piece of equipment was causing the problem and be more likely to fix the problem rather than change the breaker.
    3) If the GFCI protection is lost by the main going bad but not tripping, again all the branch circuits lose their protection, whereas if each circuit had a GFCI protection that would not be the case.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: article 680 swimming pools

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Romano View Post
    I can tell you a good reason or two not to do it that way!

    1) If any one piece of equipment has a ground fault the main trips and nothing works!
    2) If the main is changed to a non GFCI breaker all the GFCI protection is gone. This is very likely to happen if the main trips continuously due to a ground fault. Whereas if they were individually GFCI protected they would know which piece of equipment was causing the problem and be more likely to fix the problem rather than change the breaker.
    3) If the GFCI protection is lost by the main going bad but not tripping, again all the branch circuits lose their protection, whereas if each circuit had a GFCI protection that would not be the case.
    So, the code now needs to make allowances for something people MIGHT do to bypass safety devices?

    What, pray tell, keeps someone from getting just as dead from the failure of and/or bypassing of ANY GFCI in a panel as opposed to a panel protected by a GFCI that fails and/or is bypassed?

    Should we now insist that cords on any kitchen appliance be limited to two feet and require all receptacles to be more than two feet from a sink in case someone changes out a GFCI receptacle to a non GFCI? Then do we outlaw extension cords to keep stuff away from the sink? Maybe limit cord length and require hard wiring? Induction coils in the counters and appliances so if not sitting on the counter there's no power?

    Hey, I've been in houses where someone installed a receptacle in the bathtub enclosure and mounted a cabinet with a sealed top and glass front so they could watch TV. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO FIX STUPID no matter what you do.

    Frankly, I'm a lot more concerned about the condition of the required grounding and bonding than where the GFCI is located.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: article 680 swimming pools

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Dryden View Post
    An inground swimming pool with a spa ,light, filter motor , circulating motor and disinfectant light is served by a computer controlled sub panel with (3) 2 pole 20 amp circuit breakers and (2) 1 pole circuit breakers. None of these are GFCI circuit breakers. GFCI protection is from the main panel by way of a 50 amp 2 pole GFCI . Is this correct
    I don't recall your having dated the installation.

    Note you indicated a "computer controlled sub panel". Suggestive of logic circuits and/or timers - and that of a common integrated (either self-contained or packaged) listed integrated assembly or equipment. IOW, Listed OEM assembly componants, including multi-function control panel, and/or motor control & sanitation equipment control panel, etc.

    This is common for Listed packaged assemblies (field assembled or not) and for Listed self-contained equipment. See 680.44 and check your definitions at 680.2 and review the next following subsections. See also 680.25 & 680.42.

    The supplying Branch Circuit (MWBC though it may be) is greater than 20 amps and equal-to or less than 50 amps, it may well be permitted to be protected at the service equipment. I don't recall if you indicated if the service euqipment panel was indoors or outdoors, or if any portion of the supplying, protected, branch circuit was indoors.

    I also don't recall your indicating the lights' (other than sanitizing) by voltage)... as they well may be (and likely btw) as being via transformer supply, and not "line voltage" lighting and may be otherwise protected via packaged assembly etc. or not require protection via design.

    Although Robert didn't indicate, he was quoting from the 2011 NEC (He also misidentified one of his citations, that being what he referred to as 680.23(3) is actually 680.23(C)(3)...which is a very specific subsection which likely does not apply - read through and apply to your particular equipment(s) and installation.


    As long as the GFCI is 4-wire config (3wire+gnd, or H-H-N-G, 120/240V application with the Line netural directly from the breaker to line and not jumped via the panel neutral buss; and not 3-wire or 2-wire+gnd, H-H-G, straight 240V config - no breaker neutral terminal) its likely a non-issue. Same as an on-board self-contained spa (equipment) panel that's the way its supposed to be.

    Computer-or logic board controled* of integrated assembly or packaged equipment panel would not be an NEC "sub panel" - the circuit supplying would be a a MWBC (dedicated outlet or not dedicated) and not necessarily a feeder.

    Whether proper bonding and equipotential are correct throughout and uncompromised is another story.

    * Logic boards, "computers", "IC"s are not line voltage, and oftentimes not even AC..Protection comes before relays, limits, caps, pwer supplies, etc.

    Bottom line, not enough information to say one way or the other, however, as described, one can not say there is anything not right with what you have described.

    Prior editions of the NEC read differently, and are likewise based on different language and requirements, and definitions earlier chapters of the NEC as well.

    You can review various editions of the unammended NEC on-line, and for free at the NFPA.org website (publisher) simply by registering. Check your local codes and ammendments with your AHJ.

    HTH.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 05-26-2012 at 11:29 AM.

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