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Hot Tub GFCI, 2nd failure in a few months

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  • Hot Tub GFCI, 2nd failure in a few months

    I bought the Westward, 50 amp GFCI outdoor enclosure from Home Depot, . This is the second breaker that has gone bad in last few months. It contains a GE breaker. When I replaced the first breaker, I opened it and the control board was corroded and rusted. I'm guessing this is what caused the breaker to not reset. Yesterday, I noticed that the same thing is happening again. Apparently, the breaker has at least a 12 month warranty. I need to file a claim to try to get it replaced. I guess my question is why would the first one last almost 4 years and the second only a few months? What could be causing the failures? They are designed for exterior use, there is no other corrosion or rust inside of the box.

    Any ideas?

  • #2
    how did you seal the opening at the top? how about the 2 rear mounting screw slots?

    phoebe it is


    • #3
      Could be condensation forming somehow but it almost sounds like a bad breaker. Might try a Square D just to try out a different brand. It does not sound like your terminations are a problem but the breaker itself.

      Warm air hitting a cold surface equals condensation although I've never heard of it on a breaker. As Rick mentioned I'd recheck the penetrations to make sure moisture is not working itself in to the enclosure.


      • #4
        The other thing that i thought of is the electrical conduit running from the spa back up to the gfci enclosure. the conduit can act as a raceway for damp air and potentially chemical / chlorine gas from the spa. Do you store anything in the above ground spa enclosure. who knows if there is a draft coming from the conduit with chemicals or moisture.

        phoebe it is


        • #5
          I experienced a similar failure with my hot tub ozonator. I thought it just dies after x-number of run hours.
          I bought a replacement unit.

          With nothing to loose I opened up the old one and BEHOLD! The fuse on the circuit board was all corroded.
          I cleaned the contacts and installed a new fuse ..I now have a spare.

          I tell you this as moisture from the steam/moisture etc. will mess up all electrical stuff.

          If your GFCI is mounted under the hot tub inside I bet it's as others have told you
          moisture killed it.
          My GFCI unit is mounted on a wall about 3-4 feet from the actual hot tub.
          I used water tight conduit and connectors. The water tight box inside the hot tub uses a
          grommet weather proof cable connector. Then it attaches to the heater and control box...

          Cactus Man


          • #6
            ok, sorry for the delay. The top of the enclosure is sealed with exterior grade silicone. I did not however seal the mounting slots, good to know. There is nothing stored in the above ground enclosure. It is very possible that the moisture could be coming from the conduit into the bottom of the enclosure.

            My enclosure is mounted to a deck post, 5 feet away from the hot tub. It is 30" above the deck.

            I'm going to get another breaker, seal all openings to the enclosure and open the existing faulty breaker to see if I can clean the contacts and replace a fuse.

            Thanks guys, all things I never thought of. Much appreciated.


            • Mightyservant
              Mightyservant commented
              Editing a comment
              I'd try to get some natural light on it, maybe shrubbery that was once small has shaded the area around the box or you added shade etc. Maybe some heat tape in the colder months?

              I've started to add a spot of NOox grease (and only this type)to everything that threaded in any electrical panels, sure makes pulling breakers or turning threaded fasteners much easier and predictable.especially on bus bars.