How to Wire a GFI Breaker for a Pool

Used mainly in kitchens, bathrooms and any other area that water is present along with electricity, ground fault interrupters (GFI) protect people from electrical shock.
GFI receptacles are common, but for additional protection, you can install a GFI breaker. A pool pump requires a GFI breaker for the safety and protection of swimmers. While you can do an installation yourself, you should consult a licensed electrician if you feel uncomfortable working with electricity.

Step 1

Turn off the main circuit breaker located at the top of the panel box.

Step 2

Loosen the screws on the panel cover and remove it, exposing the electrical wiring.

Step 3

Locate the wiring for the pool. The numbers and colors of the wire vary depending on the voltage of the circuit. A 110-volt circuit has three wires--black, white and bare copper. A 220-volt circuit has four wires--black, red, white and bare copper.

Step 4

Insert the GFI breaker in the panel box. Look at another breaker in your panel to model the installation in the same way.

Step 5

Wire the GFI breaker to the pool load wires. Strip one-fourth of an inch of insulation off the hot or black wire and slide it under the set screw at the back of the GFI breaker labeled "load." Tighten the set screw to hold the load wire securely. Strip one-fourth of an inch off of the remainder of the pool load wires and slide the white wire under the set screw on the GFI breaker labeled "white line neutral" or "neutral line." All the neutral wires connect to a common neutral bar, and the curly wire on the back of the GFI breaker will attach there also. Slip the pre-stripped curly white wire under a set screw on the neutral bar and tighten securely. Should you have an additional red load line, attach it under the second set screw on the breaker labeled "load line."

Step 6

Replace the cover panel and turn the main breaker back to the on position.

Things You Will Need

  • Screw driver
  • GFI breaker
  • Wire strippers

Tip

  • A double-pole breaker has two load screws in the back of the breaker. A single-pole breaker has one load screw in the back of the breaker.

Warning

  • When working with electricity, always turn off the power to the area to avoid shock.

About the Author

Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition.