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I am in the process of changing my hottub over to wood heat. I have eliminated all controls and am running the pump directly from the panel on a double 15 amp breaker (240 volts). I have my existing spa pack 50 amp GFCI breaker. Can I still use it, or do I need a lower amperage breaker?

The 2 15 amp breakers are in the main panel. I am using 12 gauge wire from the panel to the pump. However, I have to add a GFCI before the pump.

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Yes, you can use this.

GFCI breakers combine two different functions into one device. The circuit breaker function of the device is rated for 50 amps. However, because your 15 amp breaker is upstream from the GFCI, your circuit is protected at 15 amps, and will trip at 15 amps if there is a fault either before or after your GFCI.

The GFCI function on the GFCI breaker is not related to the 50 amp rating. This will trip if there is a ground fault after the GFCI breaker.

As long as you size your main breaker correctly, you can use this GFCI breaker at the local disconnect for the spa.

See this article for more details on wiring a spa: SpaDepot: Wiring a Hot Tub

  • Thank you so much Ben. That is what I was hoping to hear. – Dave Oct 16 '14 at 13:07
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Without knowing the wiring gauge, it is not recommended to use a larger breaker. The breaker should be sized to the wire gauge and circuit load. You do not want to overload your wiring and risk damage (melted insulation, or even possibly a fire).

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    With a smaller breaker ahead in the circuit this is not a problem. The larger breaker simply will serve as a means of disconnect. – Speedy Petey Oct 14 '14 at 19:01
  • @Dave never stated whether or not the pair of 15 amp breakers would be in series with the 50 amp GFI breaker, or if the 50 amp GFI breaker would replace the pair of 30 amp breakers. Therefore, my answer is valid with the information at hand. – rjbergen Oct 14 '14 at 19:11
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    I'm not sure what you mean by "in series", or how that would even work. It is clear however from his post, and the topic title, that the 15A breaker is at the head of the circuit. – Speedy Petey Oct 15 '14 at 11:35

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