Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
You’re not sure why a pool pump is triggering its circuit breaker. This article will fully explain how to diagnose and repair a malfunctioning pool pump that frequently trips its circuit breaker.
The current rating of the pump circuit must be greater than the breaker’s rating for pool pump circuit breakers to trip. The most frequent causes of a Pool Pump Circuit Breaker trip include an overloaded motor, an underestimated pump breaker, damaged motor windings or other earthing problems, moisture in the motor or wiring, and defective motor windings.
Continue reading to learn how to prevent this and the more specific and typical reasons why a pool pump could trip its breaker.
Possible Causes of Pool Pump Breaker Trips
Just a warning: dealing with electrical and pool pumps can be hazardous. Any work recommended here should be performed by a licensed electrician.
The Top Reasons Why Your Pool Pump Trips to The Breaker are Listed Below
Moisture in the Motor
You keep the motor of your pool pump out of the water. It is still possible for your pool pump to trip the breaker after rain. It may cause a short circuit and trip the pump motor’s breaker if the moisture passes through the pump motor coil.
To solve this issue, remove the motor’s exterior cover and use a fan or a heat gun to hasten the drying process. Additionally, protecting your pool pump will help avoid this recurring issue.
Dust and Debris Getting Inside the Motor
Any activity that makes the pool pump motor work harder increases the risk of overheating, which will trip the breaker. That will happen if too much dust or debris accumulates inside the motor.
Your pool pump can quickly accumulate a lot of dust, especially if you live somewhere windy. When the pump’s housing becomes clogged, the engine is forced to work harder. The pump motor uses more electricity while it is working harder.
Eventually, a pump working too hard will draw more current than the breaker can handle, which will cause the breaker to trip. You might have encountered a similar problem when using too many appliances at once.
First, turn the pump off at the breaker to resolve this problem. Next, use a brush and vacuum to check that all the air vents on the motor housing are debris-free. So that it doesn’t get into the motor, remove all dirt, dust, and debris from the area surrounding the pump.
The motor housing can be opened up and vacuumed with a brush to remove any dust if the dust is extremely bad.
Faulty Motor Starting Capacitor
Pump motors have a capacitor built-in that enables a smooth start. They malfunction occasionally, and when they do, the pool pump may use a lot of power to try to start it.
The circuit breaker will trip if that occurs. When the pump starts up and hums for a minute before tripping the breaker, this is a classic symptom that the pump capacitor is dead.
But before you change the capacitor, you might want to look for clogs in the pump basket and impeller. Similar sounds will be produced if either of these two components is obstructed or your pump isn’t priming.
Examine the pump basket for debris with the pump turned off. Additionally, try to reach the impeller by inserting a screwdriver into the hole. Make that it is spinning quickly and that there is no debris present.
If dirt or anything else doesn’t obstruct the pump, it could be time to switch out the capacitor. You can use your pump’s handbook to find it; it is typically hidden under a metallic hood at the motor’s back. The back motor cover may also cover it.
You should drain the capacitor before performing any disconnections. Why? Capacitors have a lot of charges that can seriously electrocute you. To discharge the capacitor, contact its two terminals with the handle of a Phillips screwdriver. It might be wise to leave it to a certified electrician if unsure.
Look at the physical condition of the pump capacitor to determine if it has degraded. It is most likely defective if the top is bloated, bears burn scars, or has burst.
You can also gauge the resistance or capacitance, which should gradually grow until infinity. However, you must unplug the capacitor, discharge it, then switch the multimeter to the ohms setting. Leads should be connected to the capacitor’s terminals. You must replace it if you measure zero ohms.
Your pool pump’s wiring matures alongside it. This could cause your pool pump breaker to trip. There’s a chance that the wire’s insulation won’t be able to handle the current, which could lead to power leaking between wires and a short.
To fix the issue with your pool pump’s electrical wiring, I strongly advise contacting a licensed electrician experienced in this type of troubleshooting. Spending a little money is preferable to causing more harm to your appliance or electrical system.
Underrated Power Circuit or Breaker to the Pump
The filter pump’s power requirements are likely greater than what the wiring and circuit breakers are rated to handle. If so, it can result in the fuse blowing or the circuit breaker tripping.
This may occur if a larger pump than the original one was used to replace the pump. Alternately, it’s likely that the actual wire and breaker were improperly fitted and are too small to power the motor.
You can examine the circuit breaker’s amperage (current) rating on your own. Check the lettering on the breaker for the pump at the power board. The current rating should be something like 20A or 20 amps when looking for it. The majority of pool pumps require a 20–30-amp circuit Breaker
Loose Terminal Connection
Circuit breakers could trip due to a loose connection. After installation, tighten all the connection terminals for your pool pump. Furthermore, never draw a loose terminal connection while it is powered on. Before making any changes to your unit, always be sure it is powered off.
A clogged pump will operate harder and consume more electricity, which causes overheating. When it occurs, there is a possibility that it will trip the breaker.
When the pool basket is clogged with too much debris, water cannot reach the impeller, and the pump becomes clogged.
When there is a lot of wind, the pool will accumulate a lot of leaves and other small debris that will pass through the skimmer and into the pump housing. Over time, the dirt and debris build-up and choke the pump.
In that case, the motor would work hard to move the water past the debris, which will cause it to overheat due to the high current draw. The breaker or auto-shut engine will eventually detect the difference and trip.
It should be simple to solve this problem. Start by turning off the pump breaker. Remove the pump filter by removing the pump basket cover. It must be dust-free and spotless. You must clean it if it is filled.
Remove the cartridge from a filter pump if you’re using one, and examine it for clogging. Alternatively, backwash your sand filter.
This article should assist you in resolving the circuit breaker tripping issue and troubleshooting your pool pump. The electricity must be turned off at the breaker whenever you complete any of these tasks.
Ensure that the pool pump is clean and unblocked, and adequately maintained. Before beginning any electricity-related diagnostic procedures, we advise visiting a qualified electrician.
For more details on pool pump breaker and their purchase, contact us at ICRFQ. We manufacture the best electrical components in China.
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