Spa Service Wiring

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  #1  
Old 01-23-05, 11:24 AM
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Spa Service Wiring

The Electrician that wired my spa ran 3 #6 AWG wires (Red, Black and White) plus a #10 ground (Green) from a 220v 50 amp breaker at the main panel. Ath the disconnect, the white is capped with tape and the white that goes from the disconnect to the spa is also taped. At the spa the white is capped with a wire nut and the red and blak and green lines are connected in the spa control panel.

Is this normal for 220v?

Why is there no common? Do the black and red serve as the "common" for each other?

What is the White for?

Is this just an extra wire that could be used if something happened to the red or black wires?
 
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  #2  
Old 01-23-05, 11:52 AM
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On a 240 volt circuit there is no need for a common, or neutral. A neutral is only needed on a 240 colt circuit when there is something that runs on 120 volts, such as a light bulb or timer, or the tumbler motor for a washer.

The electrician ran the extra white wire in case you some day have a need for it. Yes, it could be used if either the black or red wire fails, but this is unlikely.
 
  #3  
Old 01-23-05, 11:58 AM
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Most people are more familiar with a clothes dryer circuit, which does use a neutral but only because the dryer drum runs on 120 volts.

Contrary to the prior post, code won't permit using that white as a hot, but you'll never need it because nothing is every going to "happen" to the black or red.

If you someday install a subpanel because you add some sort of 120-volt accessory to the spa, then you might be able to use the white wire as a neutral.
 
  #4  
Old 01-23-05, 05:30 PM
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Could I reasonably take 120v 30 amps from each of the hot leads for yard lighting and use the white as common to feed a small load center? IOW, could I run a red, black and white + ground to a new subpanel from the spa wiring? The red and black would be to the hot busses in the subpanel.

I would not anticipate an additional draw of more than 1000 watts at any time while the spa is in use.

The only other option that I can see that might be reasonable would be to use my shop sub panel to feed the yard circuits. The shop would almost never be in use at the same time as the yard lighting but it's more difficult to run the conduit and wiring.

I'm not really concerned about the yard lights that much since my total need would be only a single 15 am circuit. However, I anticipate that for party use I might have additional power needs.
 
  #5  
Old 01-23-05, 08:04 PM
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Lots more things can be done than can be done safely. There are a number of potential problems with your question. There are probably a dozen better ways to get yard lighting than to try to cobble something together. Why not just do it the straightforward way and add a new circuit to your main panel? Trying to get too innovative in home wiring is usually bad.
 
  #6  
Old 01-24-05, 07:46 AM
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Hi John,

The problem I have is that the main panel is on the opposite side of the house and I would have to run 80' of cable thru the crawl space, then somehow get thru the concrete stairs to feed the yard power. The ground is very rocky and running the condit would not be an easy job. The total run of cable would be about 120 ft to the sub panel. If I'm going to go to this much trouble, I want to make sure I have extra power availabel for any future needs. This part of my yard is going to be party central and I will want to have plenty of expansion capability.

Current plans are for about 1200 watts of rope lights plus electrical outlets for miscellaneous needs such as a DJ, small band, coffemaker, etc.

I guess I'll just have to go ahead and do it if there isn't any other option. Assuming that I want to a double 15 amp breaker and a double 20 amp breaker in the sub panel, what wire size would I need for the 120 ft run ( 2 hots, 1 common and 1 ground ) ?
 
  #7  
Old 01-24-05, 08:01 AM
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The size and number of breakers in the subpanel is immaterial. What you want to figure is the number of kilowatts needed, both in the short term and the long term (you don't want to do this more than once).

#14 will supply up to 3.6KW.
#12 will supply up to 4.8KW.
#10 will supply up to 7.2KW.
#6 will supply up to 14.4KW.

In my opinion, it's usually not worth all the trouble to run a subpanel for less than 14.4KW.
 
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