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    cdnk5's Avatar
    cdnk5 Posts: 14, Reputation: 2
    New Member

    May 8, 2006, 10:35 PM
    GFI outlet vs GF breaker
    Is there a difference functionally between a GFI outlet and a GFI breaker? I am installing a jetted tub in the basement. The water pump has the two loose wires (+ground) and indicates the connection to be made in junction box and be protected by a GFI. A GFI for my type breaker is $300. I had an electricion advise I could just attach a plug at the breaker box end of the wire run and then plug this into a GFI receptical which would be connecteced to a non GFI breaker. Can this be done?

    The in line heater simple came with a plug already attached so I was just going to plug directly into a GFI receptacle. Why the difference in connection. One with plug attached the other with loose wires?
    tkrussell's Avatar
    tkrussell Posts: 9,659, Reputation: 725
    Uber Member

    May 9, 2006, 04:35 AM
    What is the voltage required by the pump and heater? I suspect that one is 120 volt, and the other is 240 volt.

    The 120 volt unit with the cord can plug into a GFI outlet.

    The 240 volt unit cannot plug into a GFI 240 volt outlet, and must be connected to a circuit breaker.

    You say the pump has wires, and the heater has a plug. Usually the heater draws much more current, and is usually 240 volts, and the pump is usually 120 volt. Sounds reversed.

    Please check to be sure which is which.

    Check the amp rating of the 240 volt circuit, and be sure to know which brand of panelboard you have, may be GE, Square D, Seimens, Murray, etc.

    Also, be sure to ask for the correct 2 pole 240 volt GFI breaker, if you do not need a neutral for the tub, then get a CB with out a neutral connection.

    Find an electrical supplier that handles that brand and ask for pricing to compare the price you already have, probably from Home Depot or Lowe's.

    There are many websites that electrical material and breakers can be purchased, give them a try.
    cdnk5's Avatar
    cdnk5 Posts: 14, Reputation: 2
    New Member

    May 9, 2006, 05:45 PM
    Thanks for the quick response.

    In-line heater is 1500W 120V 12A while the pump is 115V 7.5A. It's a very small heater (about the size of a can of Red Bull). These were the ratings right on the units themselves.

    Panel is a Commander using QBH type breakers. Tried all local big box who don't stock. Online price was in the hundreds. Local electrician the same. That's why I was hoping to be able to use the $15 GFI receptical instead if possible.

    tkrussell's Avatar
    tkrussell Posts: 9,659, Reputation: 725
    Uber Member

    May 9, 2006, 06:08 PM
    I see no reason to splice, in a box, the heater leads onto a piece of #12-3 SJ or SJO cord, no longer than six feet, and plug into a good quality GFI outlet. Try to keep this outlet under the tub if possible, in the utility area, and be sure it is kept dry, along with the pump outlet.

    It came with no cord as it is how it comes from the manufacturer of the heater.

    Cannot say I ever heard of the panel, some brands are regional. But sounds like your all set using the GFI outlets.

    And even thou a 15 amp circuit will work fine, I suggest a 20 amp circuit with 20 AMP GFI devices and all #12 wire.

    Check the manufactures instructions for grounding instructions. Probably mostly no metal, and just need to ground the heater and the pump frame.

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