I have an in ground swimming pool. There is an outdoor sub panel with a 20amp GFCI breaker is connected to the pump. Today we had a bad rain storm...water coming down cats and dogs in every direction.

After the storm, I noticed my pool pump wasn't working. The breaker had tripped. I tried to turn it on, and it went off immediately.

So, I swapped out the breaker and the same thing happened....so it's not the breaker. Tomorrow, I am going to disconnect and wirenut the wires from the pump (disconnect the pump). If the breaker doesn't trip after that I will conclude there is a short in the wires running through the conduit...right?

Because it will be a pain to pull the wires and replace....which I am ok to run (temporarily, just to make sure it will work) the wires directly from the panel to the pump without putting them in the conduit right away. When I say "not right away" I mean long enough to make sure the breaker doesn't trip. If it doesn't trip then I would pull all the old wires and snake the new ones through.

I figured I would run this concept by the people here and get some feedback on this plan.


  • Well you might not have the problem I once had a snake got into the motor and was causing my GFCI to trip this was just skin not the critter, after cleaning things up it worked great... Probably not the same problem but something to think about.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 15, 2016 at 2:35
  • I hope not! But if it fixes my issue I'll take it. Part of me is hoping it just dries out and works in the morning without doing anything else. Jul 15, 2016 at 2:40
  • 1
    We always like the "just wait" and the problem is fixed may work here.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 15, 2016 at 2:43
  • 4
    Just a thought, but if you need to re-run wire, would it be possible to tie the new wire to the pump-side of the old wire, and pull the old wire out of the conduit from the not-pump-side, as opposed to pulling the old wire and then snaking the new one in separate steps? That would, in theory anyway, pull the old wire out at the same time as running the new one.
    – Gabe Evans
    Jul 15, 2016 at 3:49
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    @GabeEvans -- yeah, that's a fairly common trick AIUI (using the old wire to help you get the new wire in) Jul 15, 2016 at 11:42

4 Answers 4


So here is the end of the story. After a week of hot dry weather the breaker didn't trip anymore. On Friday morning I tired to turn it on and it stayed on. So wherever the moisture was......was gone. At this point not sure of this is a temporary fix or log term. I put some electrical tape around a few of the areas that should already be water tight. I guess I will find out if temp or perm fix next time we have a bad rain storm. Cancelled the warrantee repair because I am sure they will fix something this is t broken when they arrive. Thanks for all the help and advice.


Ok, the story continued. The next rain same thing happened. Pool guy came back and changed out the keypad on the pump. When removing it he said whoever installed it left off some of the gaskets and it was full of water (where water is not supposed to be). So he fixed that and so far all is good. Not sure why it took 3 years to have any issue, but glad it is now fixed!


Not the worst idea to drill a drain hole in the bottom of the keypad, if possible, and maybe stuff it with some kind of vinyl mesh or leave out a section of the gasket on the bottom. Rain seldom falls UP.

  • 2
    Yes, but condensation frequently "falls" up... @JACK The keypad is mentioned in one of the self-answers. Apparently some people think SE is a discussion forum... Jun 3, 2020 at 15:32

Was the replacement breaker also a GFI breaker? Sometimes if those GFI DEVICES even smell moisture they will trip. Change to a regular breaker without the GFI and go from there.

  • 1
    Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. The original breaker was probably GFI because it was required by code, as well as being a good idea. Jul 20, 2016 at 1:41
  • It was also gfi. That was only backup I had Jul 20, 2016 at 2:36

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