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I'm adding a subpanel that will include service for a hot tub. The panel I have selected happens to be a Square D Homeline 125 amp 8-space 16-circuit PON. I'll be using a Square D Homeline 50 amp GFCI for service to the hot tub. My problem (if it is one), the 50 amp GFCI has a pigtail. I've not found a 50 amp GFCI without the pigtail and is instead plug-on-neutral.

Do all GFCI's have a pigtail?

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  • Is it a Square D "QO" panel or a Square D "Homeline" panel? It matters for breaker compatibility. This is, however, effectively a shopping question and is likely to be closed. I'd suggest that you skip the big-box stores and instead contact your local electrical supply houses, if it's available, they'll have it. Whether you'll be able to get your hands on one in a reasonable amount of time is another matter... (I was quoted a minimum 4 months to get a new panel!)
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 17, 2022 at 18:03
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    Additionally, there really isn't a problem to use the pig-tail on the breaker, Just screw it down (to the proper torque setting) on the neutral bus bar, just like you'd land any other neutral wire there.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 17, 2022 at 18:29

2 Answers 2

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Use a HOM250GFI, just make sure to land the pigtail before plugging the breaker on

The Homeline PoN panels still have neutral screws on their neutral bars, so there's no issue with installing a pigtail neutral Homeline breaker (such as the HOM250GFI you're looking at using for your hot tub) into a PoN Homeline panel. Just land the neutral pigtail on one of the neutral screws for that spot before you install the breaker into the panel; that way, the breaker won't interfere with access to the neutral screws.

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The panel I have selected happens to be a...

GFCI breakers are not back-fed

Normally, it's possible to take a main-lug subpanel and "give it a main breaker" by installing it in the corner, with a tie-down kit so it can't rock out, and bringing the supply wires onto its (normally output) terminals. This means "back-feeding" the breaker: Power is going "wrong way" through the breaker, and plain breakers don't care. But you can't do that with GFCI.

GFCI-protecting a whole subpanel happens one of two ways.

  • Use a "spa panel" which has a very special bus arrangement so the GFCI breaker is fed in the forward direction. That panel typically comes with the GFCI breaker included.

  • Place the GFCI breaker in the main panel, at the other end of the feeder cable.

However, if you place the GFCI breaker in the main panel, then you must use the correct model of GFCI breaker for that main panel. So a plug-on neutral will only work if that panel takes it. So for instance if it is a Murray panel, you'd use a Siemens QF250P. A bit of good news here: you may have the option of a 60A GFCI breaker since they're available for all panels except HOMeline. (Homeline is Square D's "cheap" line, and they limit it on purpose).

Breakers are not interchangeable across panel brands. Many people think they are - and they do physically fit. However the bus stabs are not the same shape, and they are likely to burn up the bus, making the 2 bus spaces unusable, and even start a fire. We see it all the time.

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  • Thanks for all the great info all
    – missin44
    Commented Mar 18, 2022 at 23:08

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