View Full Version : 220V wiring for a pool pump
Sep 24, 2007, 08:37 AM
I have to replaced my pool pump motor which was making so much noise (Hayward SuperPump 1 HP; 230V). I also noticed that the switch located between the breaker and the pump was not working quite right; I had to jiggle it to turn the pump ON. So I bought an equivalent dipole switch and replaced that too. It tripped the circuit breaker. The old dipole switch had the line connections at the side, while the new dipole switch had the line connections at the top. So I connected the line connections (from the breaker) at the top, load connections (to the pump) at the bottom, reset the breaker, and now I only have one live connection to the pump side. With the switch ON, I have only 115V at the black to green connection; 0 - 5 V with the other black to green connection; and 0 - 5 V with the 2 black wires. There are only 3 wires; no white wire.
It seemed that the pool timer was also acting funny; it never seemed to work, so the previous owner had it set to ON manually all the time 24/7. So I replaced that too making sure to get the same timer, an Intermatic T101, 120V SPST . There are 4 wires that feed into the timer: 2-black wires, a green wire and a white wire. I connected them to the new timer, same as the old timer. With the switch ON manually, I get 115V on either black to green connection, and 0 V on a black to black connection.
With the timer set to ON manually, and the dipole switch also ON, I still get one live connection. That is, I have 115V at the black to green connection; 0 - 5 V with the other black to green connection; and 0 - 5 V with the 2 black wires. If I shut OFF the timer manually, but leave the switch ON, there are no live connections to the pump at all. I checked the circuit breaker by pressing the yellow reset button, and it trips.
But I'm not sure? I'm expecting 115V on either black to green connection; and 220V on a black to black connection.
Is everything OK before I connect the new pool pump motor? I've set the selector on the motor to 220V.
Something's not right; but I'm not sure where to start; is it time to call an electrician?
Sep 24, 2007, 12:40 PM
First, was the pool pump you replace a 220V motor? I'm a little confused about how you described your wiring also. You say that you have a dipole switch in the power circuit (220V direct to pool pump), and that you have a timer on a separate circuit. Does the timer operate a magnetic starter, or is it controlling the switch?
You said that you only had 115V on one of the black wires on the load side, but do you have 115V to ground on both black wires on the line side (wires from panel to switch)?
My first thought is that the black wire not showing voltage to ground is disconnected from the breaker, either by design or equipment failure.
I recently replaced my own pool pump. I added a mag starter to the motor circuit, and used an Intermatic timer to control the coil of the starter. One thing I found when I put this together was that the previous owner had hooked the 220V for the motor to two separate single pole breakers, leaving me to believe that it was a 110V motor. Unfortunately that let the smoke out of the motor, leading to its replacement. I guess my point is this: when you rebuild a motor circuit, you should verify every part of that circuit, whether you installed it or not, because you never know what the last guy did.
And for God's sake, if you feel uncomfortable AT ALL, call a licensed electrician!:D
Sep 24, 2007, 05:32 PM
Thanks for your comments. Here's a short response to your question.
comment: First, was the pool pump you replace a 220V motor?
response: Yes, the motor I'm replacing is for 220V.
comment: I'm a little confused about how you described your wiring also. You say that you have a dipole switch in the power circuit (220V direct to pool pump), and that you have a timer on a separate circuit. Does the timer operate a magnetic starter, or is it controlling the switch?
response: Sorry for the confusion. No, the timer is not on a separate circuit. Yes it is a direct connection from the dipole switch to the pump motor. The pump motor appears to be controlled by the timer and a dipole switch; so its: Breaker --> timer --> switch --> pump motor. It looks like the 120V timer only controls one part of the current to the pump motor. This is the original electrical design of the pool pump when we bought the house.
comment: You said that you only had 115V on one of the black wires on the load side, but do you have 115V to ground on both black wires on the line side (wires from panel to switch)?
response: Yes, there is 115V on one of the black wires on the load side (from switch to the pump motor. On the line side, (wires from timer to switch), there is 115V on only one of the black wires. The other line has 0 volts.
comment: I recently replaced my own pool pump. I added a mag starter to the motor circuit, and used an Intermatic timer to control the coil of the starter. One thing I found when I put this together was that the previous owner had hooked the 220V for the motor to two separate single pole breakers, leaving me to believe that it was a 110V motor. Unfortunately that let the smoke out of the motor, leading to its replacement. I guess my point is this: when you rebuild a motor circuit, you should verify every part of that circuit, whether you installed it or not, because you never know what the last guy did.
response: and no, I don't have a Mag starter to the motor circuit.. .
comment: My first thought is that the black wire not showing voltage to ground is disconnected from the breaker, either by design or equipment failure.
response: I traced back the black wire with no voltage, and does not appear to be disconnected at the breaker. And if I test the circuit breaker by pressing the yellow button, the breaker trips, so it must be OK, is it? How else can I test if the breaker is damaged? I would greatly appreciate any suggestions
Sep 24, 2007, 09:23 PM
Okay, that clears quite a bit up.
The first thing I would do is check the voltage at the output of the breaker, making sure both legs (terminals that the wires connect to) have 115V. If you have voltage there, then go to the next device in the circuit, I believe you said it was the timer. Make sure both legs have voltage there from the breaker. If voltage is present, then move to the output of the timer, and so on and so forth.
Bottom line, at some point, be it at the breaker or further down the line, you're going to find where you have power in but no power out. If that occurs in a device, then the device is bad. If it occurs between the devices, then the problem is wire related.
Take your time, be consistent and methodical. Troubleshooting electrical problems is relatively easy if you break things down systematically. People seem to run into trouble because they jump around when they try to understand a breakdown.
So, take your time and run your tests, I'm curious to hear what you come up with:D
Sep 25, 2007, 04:14 AM
Part of the problem maybe that the T101 timer is only 120 volts, and only has one switch. How exactly is this all wired?
The timer can only break one hot leg of the two needed for the motor.
And the timer needs a neutral.
If you manage to use this timer, the motor will always have a hot leg to it, unless the breaker is off.
Would be better to have a 240 volt timer with a built in double pole switch, in line from the breaker to the motor.
Sep 25, 2007, 08:38 AM
mrtnha10 did state that the timer had a white wire going to it, I assumed that was the neutral for the timer. I did NOT catch, however, that the timer was only breaking one leg to the motor. That would explain why the previous owner left the timer on all the time!
I relieved a guy on shift once who had installed THREE AC drives, letting the smoke out of each one. When I checked everything out, I found that he had kept wiring one of the phases to the ground terminal on the drive. It seemed when they upgraded the drive that they rearranged the terminals. It just goes to show that because something LOOKS like what you took out it doesn't necessarily mean that it IS what you took out... :D
Sep 25, 2007, 07:50 PM
Hello guys and gals,
Thanks so much for your suggestions. I think I have an idea of what's wrong, and it may just be the tip of the iceberg. I pulled the circuit breaker that monitors the pool pump circuit, and I found that one of the terminals that connects to the hot bar is damaged... its black and corroded... looks like severe arcing. The circuit breaker is a Square-D 30A , 10 kA 120/240V and is either a GFCI or AFCI with a yellow test button; Loew's, Home Depot, and Ace do not have it. The sales people don't even know what is is; luckily there was an electrician shopping that identified it correctly. That could be OK; I'll probably need a licensed electrician since the whole sub-panel may need to be replaced with a better, safer wiring design... I agree with tkrussel that the 120V timer may not be a good strategy to regulate only one leg of the 240V to the pump motor, even if the switch controls both.
Anyway, if anyone is still interested, I've included the circuit diagram. I've reduced the size to fit a web page. Black lines are hot; dashed black are dead; yellow is my neutral (white does not show) and, X is the site of damage and arcing. I think one of the wires to the booster pump may be live, but I did not check.
There's also something potentially dangerous... the Polaris booster pump has no ground wire... Yikes! Also, there is neutral wire running from one of the live breaker terminal to the neutral connector of the timer... is that OK?
What puzzles me is why the yellow TEST button on the breaker still functions; shouldn't that thing just not reset again? I guess it just checks one leg of the 220V line. Interestingly, there's a Square-D product recall on AFCI circuit breakers manufactured between March 1, 2004 and September 23, 2004, but mine isn't one of them... maybe it should?
I think my pool wiring needs a lot of work...
Thanks again, Martin
Sep 26, 2007, 07:01 AM
Don't know if I'm reading drawing correctly, but appears Polaris pump will not operate unless timer and both switches are on. If you have extra spaces in panel, install new breaker on good contacts(buss) or new one will fail. With power off, you can push in spring clip at top of timer, look at timer motor, and it will show voltage, you can buy a 220 motor to replace it, a neutral in timer will allow timer to work at 120 volts.
You would be better off with a 220 volt, 2 pole timer. Intermatic has an excellent site.
They also have a digital timer with battery backup, should power fail. It will maintain schedule.
Sep 27, 2007, 09:00 AM
Yes you are correct Stratmando: with this set-up the Polaris booster pump is ON only when the main pump is ON. This is a safety measure so the booster pump does not clean the pool without water flowing into the main pump.
I was more concerned that the booster pump has no ground wire to the main breaker, except through a lug nut to the ground (that is the dirt in the ground, the earth) Is that OK? I mean it run fine with this wiring design... but if it would cause problems then it has to be changed.
Another concern was if I change the timer circuit such that it feeds to a 220V timer as you suggested, then 2 black wires would connect from the GFCI-breaker to the Line terminals on the timer; and neutral from one of the GFCI-breaker terminals to neutral on the timer; and ground to ground. Then 2 black wires (from the timer) to the dipole switch-1. But what about the neutral wire to switch-1; should there be one? Which terminal should I use? Should I run a ground wire from the timer to the switch-1?
Also In this diagram, the ground wire from the pump motor connects directly to the ground terminal on the sub-panel; Should this ground wire connect to switch-1? Or it does not make a difference?
Sep 27, 2007, 10:26 AM
Just noticed the double pole switch, when first installed, tripped breaker, may have destroyed contacts in new switch. Should read 220/240 in, and 220/240 out. If you are reading 120 volt off each leg to ground, and zero off each leg, then one leg is making it and back feeding. Replace switch.
The green(ground) should be run with other conductors and attached to each, and all runs,
And attached to green screw, or lug.
If GFI trips, try disconnecting 1 clock wire for test. May need to separate clock motor from GFI protected circuit and keep isolated.