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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    5

    Question 120 volt power sometimes

    I installed a 120v receptacle in my pool area off a dedicated GFI breaker.

    When I plug in a 2 prong drop light it turns on.

    When I plug in a 3 prong submersible pump to pump off my pool cover - nothing. It is not tripping the breaker. I plug in the pump in my garage - OK.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    690

    Default Re: 120 volt power sometimes

    Rg when you plug the pump into a garage receptacle it is probably in a horizontal position. When used on the pool cover it's probably vertical.

    I suspect the pump has a built-in float switch which is cutting off electricity because it thinks the pump is dry.

    Good Luck from Wilsonville, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, http://thesemi-retiredelectrician.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: 120 volt power sometimes

    Thanks, Maurice.

    I think I'll try a couple of other three prong appliances on this receptacle to see what happens.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: 120 volt power sometimes

    OK

    This gets more wierd.

    Following Maurice's suggestion I tried the pump at both the pool and garage receptacles, by holding the pump vertical and horizontal. No change. It obviously does not have a "float switch".

    Then I thought I probably have a "load" issue. I checked the pump and it draws 12 amps. I found a circular saw that draws 12.8 amps and plugged it into the pool receptacle. Worked fine!

    I'm still at a loss.

    Any advice would help.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Brown county, Ohio
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: 120 volt power sometimes

    Just courious about this. Do you have one of those $4 plug testers that have the three lights on it? It tells you if all the connections are ok. I would like to see you plug one of those in there and see what happens. Thanks. Be safe and good luck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,773

    Default Re: 120 volt power sometimes

    Most motors have a small amount of ground leakage, my guess is that your submersible pump exceeds that allowed by the GFCI.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Brown county, Ohio
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: 120 volt power sometimes

    Also does your gfci trip when you hit the test button, basiclly where i am going with this is polarity. I believe it is possiable with your pump obviously being a motor if there is a problem with your hot and neutral reversed. Good luck and be safe greg

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,773

    Default Re: 120 volt power sometimes

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgeking View Post
    Also does your gfci trip when you hit the test button, basiclly where i am going with this is polarity. I believe it is possiable with your pump obviously being a motor if there is a problem with your hot and neutral reversed. Good luck and be safe greg
    You'll have to explain this. Ground is not used in the GFCI circuit, so if reverse polarity causes the problem it would also happen with a 2 pronged plug as well. The sensing is between the two AC leads so there is no real polarity involved.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Brown county, Ohio
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: 120 volt power sometimes

    Well with a 2 prong outlet like a light it doesnt matter what is hot and what is neutral it will work. So it would not matter the hot and neutral and would work in a reversed polarity receptacle. Just the socket would be hot and not the base. I was think as far as the motor is concerned i was thinking of rotation. You are right though with it being a single phase motor on a 120 v circuit. I am used to 3 phase and rotation and phaseing. So it may not affect it

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: 120 volt power sometimes

    The pump has moisture in it, probably in the float switch.
    "Lead by Example"

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