i have a 20 amp, 2 pole breaker pulling 9.7 amps per leg. Do i need a larger breaker?
It makes a buzzing sound when the compressor kicks on.
it only buzzes when compressor kicks on. is 9.7 amps to much per leg on the 20 amp, 2 pole breaker when the compressor is running?
i have ran #12 wire
Question answered by CE96
You don't add up the currents on the two legs, so 9.7 amps is fine on a 20A - 2 pole breaker and #12 is fine as well. If your breaker is buzzing, you have a loose connection - either internal to the breaker or external. However, you should always check the nameplate rating on the compressor to make sure that your circuit is properly sized for the load.
If you're not familiar with doing electrical work yourself, your first choice should always be to hire a licensed electrician. Most electricians' fees are lower than the replacement costs after a fire ;-)
Here are a few suggestions:
When doing any electrical work yourself, you should always turn off any power to parts that you may come into contact with. When removing the panel cover, you should turn off the main breaker, unless you know what you will find behind the cover. You would be surprised what can be behind panel covers: including loose wires that seem to always target eyes, live parts, to wasp nests, etc.
Important: In general, but especially if you have children - If you have to leave the panel area, even for a short break, DON'T LEAVE THE PANEL COVER OFF. Put the cover back on and put something over the hole where the breaker was. Once you turn the main breaker back on (which presumably you will do, before going out to the breaker store), you have a live buss bar. You need to cover this back up to prevent accidental contact, shock, burns, and/or electrocution.
Check to make sure that the wire connections are tight, at the breaker. Turn the breaker off, then use a screw driver to check that the connection is tight. Give the wires a slight tug, to make sure that they are firmly secured. (don't forget to turn the breaker back on again). Try the compressor to see if the buzzing has stopped.
In most cases, the buzzing indicates a faulty or worn contact inside the breaker. The buzzing is a small arc inside the breaker. Check to see if the breaker is getting warm or hot. At 9.7A on a 20A breaker, it should not be noticeably warm. If you notice the breaker getting warm, remove the breaker as described below. Check the sides of the breaker to see if they are warmer than the contact points, front, or top. Normally with a faulty breaker, the sides will be warmer than the other parts (since that is where the contacts are). If you determine that the breaker is faulty, don't put it back into service. Replace it before using your compressor again.
Depending on the type of breaker you have, the connection between the breaker and the main buss may be loose. You'll need to pull the breaker out to check this. If you haven't done so already, turn the main breaker off first. Most breakers will be push-in types. Put your finger on the breaker, in front of the handle (toward center of the panel). Try to wiggle the breaker sideways and back and forth. It should move only very slightly and it shouldn't pop out when you do this. Next, if the wiggle test was fine, and once you have the breaker out, check to see if there are any signs of arcing or burning. The breaker contacts and the main buss should both look clean with no discoloration or pitting.
To remove the breaker:
You should be able to pull the breaker out by lifting the end that is opposite from where your wires are connected (center of the panel). You may need to (gently) pry it up to get it to lift off the buss.
Some breakers may be bolt-on. These will have a screw (down the middle between the two rows of breakers). Remember, the power still needs to be off for this. Use a screw driver to loosen the screw and remove the breaker. While loosening the screw, be careful not to unscrew it from the breaker - causing it to fall (usually into parts of the panel where it will cause trouble). To help prevent this, slightly lift on the breaker, at the end where the screw is, while loosening the screw.
20A/120V GFCI blank for spa heater (12A), OK to use on a 15A/120V line?
We want to install a heater for our Jacuzzi spa and it requires a GFCI. The instructions say not to use the same 20A/120V GFCI line that the motor is already using, but that's the only 20A line running under the tub.
But there IS the back of an outlet from an adjacent room, that we were thinking we could tap into and connect to a GFCI blank (no outlets, just the GFCI test/reset button), then run the line out to the motor. (We'll expand the current outlet into a 2-gang box and then the GFCI reset will be there in that other room, no biggie.)
But the GFCI blank is rated for 20A.
The outlets in that line are rarely ever used, and certainly would never be used at the same time as the tub.
I'm guessing the reason we can't share the existing 20A line is that the motor is already using most of the 20A, and the heater needs 12A.
We're trying to avoid having to run a new 20A line!
Is it OK to use the higher rated (20A) GFCI breaker on a 15A line?
We're not neophytes with wiring. We rewired most of our house already!
15A, 20A, rewired/relocated/new wired many of our lights, did all the wiring for new additions, etc. My husband used to work do construction work in college, so he does pretty much everything himself. Regular runs, 2-way switches, 3-ways, the works.
He insisted a 20A GFCI would be fine on a 15A circuit, but I just wanted to check, get some other opinions.
We're DIY pros already.
This heater is the final step on our master bath remodel (completed gutted and rebuild from scratch). We didn't think about the heater ahead of time though, or else he would have run a new wire. Now, it's just a bit of a pain. Everything's newly tiled over and finished. (and since I do all the mudwork, there is no way I'm letting him cut more holes in the sheetrock, which he tends to do at the drop of a hat! unless there's just no other options.)
Question answered by Electrical Inspector
A 20 GFCI Circuit Breaker can NEVER be used to protect #14 AWG wiring, which is what is most often installed on a 15 Ampere circuit.
A GFCI "Dead-front" device is what you are describing, and that, as well as the supply conductors must be sized according to the Ampacity of the heater. The NEC [Article 680.9] requires electric pool heaters to be protected at not less than 125% of their nameplate load; Article 210.19 (A) (1) requires continuous loads to be supplied by conductors sized for the non-continuous load PLUS 125% of the continuous load. Article 210.20 has the same requirement for overcurrent protection. If this is a Spa or Hot Tub, the heater may run for more than 3 hours, making it a continuous load.
If you're thinking that you're off the hook because I was referencing Electric Pool Heaters, sorry; Article 680.40 (the first Article of 680 Part III) requires Spas and Hot Tubs to meet all requirements of 680 Parts I & II.
It seems that you need to hire a qualified Licensed Electrical Contractor; you are giving yourselves WAY too much credit. While he is out, have him check the wiring you installed yourselves elsewhere. You seem to have no clue regarding Code or Listing requirements.
Disconnecting devices for Spas are required to be "in sight from the spa" [NEC Article 680.12], not in the room next door.
Also, from your description, you do not have a “Spa”, or why would you be installing a heater? I believe what you are referring to is a “hydromassage tub”, meaning you can drain the water and refill the basin using the plumbing system of your house. Either way, you must follow the Manufacturer’s Installation Instructions; failure to do so is a violation of Article 110.3 (B) of the NEC.
Instead of avoiding the expense of running a 20 Amp circuit with the appropriate protective devices, why don’t you avoid killing yourselves and do it right? I refer you now to NEC Article 90.1 (A) & (C).
I do not mean to disparage your abilities, but, having to ask this question is a sign that you really are not qualified to undertake this task. PLEASE get your hands on a copy of the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70), and read the Articles I have mentioned. Read all of Articles 680, 250, 110, 210, 220 & all of the definitions in Article 100. Pay very close attention to Article 90.1 (A); that has not been changed in over 110 years. Please also realize that the NEC started out 4 pages long, today the 2005 Hand Book edition is over 1,300 pages long. Almost every change or addition was brought about because people or technology came up with new ways for electricity to kill, maim, and/or burn things down. It is not for armatures or hobbyists. Leave it to qualified professionals. I have seen the results of “Do-it-Yourselfers” end badly too many times.