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Tricky Wiring

 
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:29 AM   #1
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Tricky Wiring


Hey - got a question for you guys about some wiring at home. I talked with my electrician about it but still haven't resolved it. I have a whirlpool tub that the motor is plugged into a dedicated 20 amp circuit. At the panel, it is on a split 20 amp breaker (the other side is the east wall of my kitchen - a couple outlets and the fridge). I don't have power at the whirlpool outlet for some reason?

Background - and the key I think - it was originally wired professionally and worked fine, but then I switched some things around to wire up my hot tub. I put it on the split breaker at that point. The motor hasn't worked since it was put on the split breaker. The motor works when plugged into a different circuit in my bathroom.

I've tested the outlet and the lines at the outlet - no power. I've switched the two hot lines at the split breaker to make sure the breaker wasn't bad, still had power at the kitchen but nothing at the outlet for the whirlpool. I took the kitchen line off completely and tried to run the whirlpool outlet - still nothing. Any ideas? Appreciate any advice.

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Old 10-26-2012, 08:49 AM   #2
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Re: Tricky Wiring


What time would you like me to set your service-calls appointment for?

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Old 10-26-2012, 09:15 AM   #3
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Re: Tricky Wiring


haha
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:31 AM   #4
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Re: Tricky Wiring


I'm no electrician, but do you have a disconnect box for the hot tub? Is there a blown fuse in the disconnect box?
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:49 AM   #5
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Re: Tricky Wiring


Hot tub has its own disconnect box...and is wired correctly. Had the electrician check it out when I wired it up. On its own 50 amp breaker. Shouldn't have any bearing on the whirlpool dilemma other than I had to move some stuff around to put it in.
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:56 AM   #6
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Re: Tricky Wiring


OK, now it's a HOT TUB instead of a WHIRLPOOL.

Whirlpools can operate on 120v, and most of them do.

Hot tubs usually need 240v.


So.......... my guess is........ your hot tub is now on a tandem breaker. Given that 99.9999% of tandem breakers out there have BOTH circuits on the SAME bus, you don't have 240v between the two hots. You will have 120v to ground, but since they're on the same bus, there's no 240V to be had.

Change the hot tub to a proper 2-pole breaker.


That'll be $200...... check or credit card?
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:05 AM   #7
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Re: Tricky Wiring


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Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
OK, now it's a HOT TUB instead of a WHIRLPOOL.

Whirlpools can operate on 120v, and most of them do.

Hot tubs usually need 240v.

Change the hot tub to a proper 2-pole breaker.
It seems he has both a whirlpool tub and a hot tub.

Is he calling a tandem breaker a split? Is he calling a 2-pole breaker a split? Is he a danger to himself and his community?
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:11 AM   #8
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Re: Tricky Wiring


The bill is adding up...we're talking about two different things here I think. The wiring for the whirlpool bathtub (originally on a dedicated 20 amp breaker) was moved into a split 20 amp breaker to accommodate adding the the hot tub (which was put in on a tandem 50 amp breaker and required another space to be put in). The hot tub runs fine. The whirlpool bathtub (originally on a dedicated 20 amp breaker) is now on a split 20 amp breaker and doesn't work. Unless I'm not understanding what you're saying about the bus bar, I don't think the whirlpool bathtub on the split 20 amp breaker has anything to do with it. Can I knock $20 off for the miscommunication?
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:22 AM   #9
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Re: Tricky Wiring


Is the 'split' 20a breaker the same brand as the panel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milhaus View Post
...... Unless I'm not understanding what you're saying about the bus bar, I don't think the whirlpool bathtub on the split 20 amp breaker has anything to do with it.
Tandem breakers usually won't connect to two bus bars to give you 240v. The vast majority of them only attach to one bus bar, and only will provide 120v to each circuit. Hopefully you didn't hook up a multi-wire circuit to the tandem.


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Originally Posted by Milhaus View Post
Can I knock $20 off for the miscommunication?
Sure. I'll just add $60 for it.
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Last edited by 480sparky; 10-26-2012 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:47 AM   #10
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Re: Tricky Wiring


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I'm no electrician, but do you have a disconnect box for the hot tub? Is there a blown fuse in the disconnect box?
I don't know what I'm talkin' about. I was speed reading and missed the two different units and crossed problems. Don't listen to me!
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:01 AM   #11
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Re: Tricky Wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
Is the 'split' 20a breaker the same brand as the panel?
Yes.


Tandem breakers usually won't connect to two bus bars to give you 240v. The vast majority of them only attach to one bus bar, and only will provide 120v to each circuit. Hopefully you didn't hook up a multi-wire circuit to the tandem.

Understood. Hot tub is wired correctly as far as I understand it. Square D panel - installed in 2009 won't allow for a tandem 50 amp breaker to be a multi wire circuit, correct? Still doesn't help the whirlpool bathtub outlet situation (which applying the same theory - shouldn't have anything to do with the bus bar since they both have their own neutrals) so unless the wire is damaged in the wall - I can't figure out why there is no power to that outlet.



Sure. I'll just add $60 for it.
Dam electricians are expensive.
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:31 PM   #12
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Re: Tricky Wiring


Did you see if the GFI outlet was tripped?

If that's not the issue then I agree with 480sparky that the twin breaker is not giving you 240v because it's on the same leg/busbar.

Are you sure you have an electrician doing this work? A real one would solve this issue quickly.
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:52 PM   #13
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Re: Tricky Wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by Milhaus View Post
but then I switched some things around to wire up my hot tub.
I hope there were no shared neutrals involved when you did this "switching around".

You could have a potentially overloaded neutral if it wasn't done correctly.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:15 PM   #14
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Re: Tricky Wiring


Thanks for the caution...I understand. I think my terminology may be confusing things. When I say split 20 amp breaker - I'm meaning a single pole breaker with two 20 amp circuits on it - what I think you're calling a tandem? The whirlpool bathtub is on this breaker on one side and the kitchen wall on the other. Each have their own neutral and ground.
The hot tub is on a completely different breaker - a double pole 50 amp taking up two spaces in the panel. From what I understand, a double pole breaker is designed and intended to be installed so it hits both bus bars, giving the safeguard from the multi wire circuit? Is that accurate? THe panel is a SqD Homeline installed in 09 by my electrician. I may be misunderstanding what you guys are saying - but why would I want the 20 amp single pole 'tandem' breaker to carry 240V? Each side should be at 120V, right? Why in the hell would they make it so the potential is there for an overload otherwise?
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:32 PM   #15
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Re: Tricky Wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by Milhaus View Post
Thanks for the caution...I understand. I think my terminology may be confusing things. When I say split 20 amp breaker - I'm meaning a single pole breaker with two 20 amp circuits on it - what I think you're calling a tandem?
A tandem breaker allows to separate circuits to be installed in the space of one normal breaker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milhaus View Post
The whirlpool bathtub is on this breaker on one side and the kitchen wall on the other. Each have their own neutral and ground.
The hot tub is on a completely different breaker - a double pole 50 amp taking up two spaces in the panel. From what I understand, a double pole breaker is designed and intended to be installed so it hits both bus bars, giving the safeguard from the multi wire circuit? Is that accurate? THe panel is a SqD Homeline installed in 09 by my electrician. I may be misunderstanding what you guys are saying - but why would I want the 20 amp single pole 'tandem' breaker to carry 240V? Each side should be at 120V, right?
No. The vast majority of tandem breakers only attach to one bus. You need a breaker that attaches to two buses to get 240v. I know of only two brands capable of this, and one is not that common.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milhaus View Post
Why in the hell would they make it so the potential is there for an overload otherwise?
You can't idiot-proof wiring. The proof is in the NEC. I just keeps getting bigger every 3 years in futile attempt to do just that.
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Last edited by 480sparky; 10-26-2012 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:38 PM   #16
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Re: Tricky Wiring


Tandems have been taken overboard in my neck. I have seen some very busy 100amp services..
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:39 PM   #17
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Re: Tricky Wiring


Oops i misread that you are actually doing the work...

Why not let an electrician do the electric work?
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:40 PM   #18
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Re: Tricky Wiring


Do you know how much those guys charge?
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:45 PM   #19
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Do you know how much those guys charge?
Yes how dare they! I can go into home depot and the friendly guy will tell me everything i need to know it's not hard
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:47 PM   #20
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Re: Tricky Wiring


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Yes how dare they! I can go into home depot and the friendly guy will tell me everything i need to know it's not hard
: laughing:

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