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1 - Converting to GFCI Circuit Breakers - 2-pole GFCI breaker or 1-pole GFCI breaker - 3-wire system or 4-wire system

 

GFCI breakers are designed for people's safety, to prevent electrical shocks when people may indirectly come in contact with electrical equipment that is not properly grounded, wet or defective. It does so by interrupting the current to the circuit (tripping) as soon as it detects a possibly dangerous condition.

For pools and spa applications, the GFCI circuit breaker must be a "personnel" Ground Fault Interrupter (5mA, Class A), not an "equipment" Ground Fault Interrupter. This will trip with a lower "fault" current of 5mA instead of 30mA or 100mA.

Installing a new GFCI circuit breaker is quite intuitive, as the wires coming from the "load" (for example from a River pool or SPA 120/240 Vac load application), need to be connected directly to the circuit breaker "load" terminals. 
Please read carefully the GFCI breaker manufacturer's instructions to identify which of these load terminals (screws) is for the white neutral wire. The following diagrams show the white wire terminal positioned at the center, but some circuit breakers may be different. In some cases this terminal is marked by a white dot, or by "load neutral". 

If there is no white wire coming from the load, then you are dealing with a 3-wire system, possibly for a 240 Vac load application (See Diagram 2).

The white "pigtail" wire from the circuit breaker must always be connected to the neutral bar in the breaker panel, where the white wires from other circuit breakers are connected:

New GFCI 2-POLE breaker installation diagrams:

DIAGRAM 1:  4-wire system GFCI connection

DIAGRAM 2:  3-wire system GFCI connection

The diagrams for the 1-pole GFCI circuit breakers would be the same as diagrams 1 and 2, but without the red wire.

 

A possible confusion arises when you are going to replace an existing breaker with a four wire system connection. This is because with the existing breaker the white and green wires go directly to their bars, inside the circuit breaker box:

 

DIAGRAM 3: Regular circuit breaker 4-wire system connection

Thus, when replacing a regular circuit breaker with a GFCI circuit breaker in a 4-wire system connection, you need to convert from DIAGRAM 3 to DIAGRAM 1. This involves disconnecting the white wire coming from the Pool or SPA (connected to the Line Neutral Bar) and connecting it directly to the new GFCI circuit breaker.

What difference does it make?
If you do not move the white wire, the GFCI circuit breaker will likely trip immediately, as the GFCI breaker may see a small difference in conductivity or resistance between its empty screw (where the white wire should be) and the Line Neutral Bar (where the "pigtail" wire is eventually connected).

However, if you have a 3-wire system connection, then there is no white wire to disconnect or move! This may be a further cause of confusion.

Of course, in both cases, you need to make sure that the "pigtail" wire from the GFCI breaker is connected to the Line Neutral Bar.

No more confusion, right?

 

The following are some GFCI circuit breaker sample images from three major brands.
Because of the many brands, types and models for each manufacturer, your new circuit breaker may not look exactly as illustrated.

 

SIEMENS:

1-pole GFCI breaker:                        2-pole GFCI breaker:

 

GENERAL ELECTRIC (GE):

1-pole GFCI breaker:         2-pole GFCI breaker:

 

SQUARE D:

1-pole GFCI breaker:                      2-pole GFCI breaker: 

 

 

 

2 - Universal changeover switch - Rotary "combo" switch -
"Combined" switch - Rotary control combination switch

A 12- contact Universal Changeover Switch is useful when you want to power two separate 3-phase motors from a single, limited source of 3-phase power.

One of the ways to transform single phase to three-phase is by using an electronic "inverter", such as the one provided with the RIVER pool, which allows you to run electric motors up to 10HP.

By using a changeover switch, you can direct your three-phase power to more than one motor. The simplest changeover switch can switch between two motors, with an intermediate OFF position:

     

Wiring diagram

WARNING: Make sure you use a switch rated for a higher voltage
than the voltage in use and rated for a higher current than the total
load of the equipment attached to each output wire.

This diagram is for a 3-pole switch.
A 2-pole switch has only 8 contacts: 1 to 8.


Physical switch connections:
(for each of the 3 poles)

  S = screw number

Electrical connection diagram
for each of the 3 poles:
must have an external jumper