What type of wiring


Old 03-15-05, 10:39 PM
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What type of wiring

I am putting a Jacuzzi tub in my master bath. It requires two dedicated 15 amp GFI outlets . . . one for the motor, and one for the heater. I also requires the motor to be bonded.

The Master is on the second floor, with the electrical panel in the garage, which is on the basement level (our house is on the side of a hill). I am pretty sure I can run wire from the garage, through the basement ceiling into the crawlspace at the other end of the hourse. From the crawlspace, I can fish the wire up the plumbing wall into the master bath. (All sheetrock is off in master allowing easy access.) The total distance for this job will be about 125 feet from panel to Jacuzzi tub.

My first question is this distance too far for electrical to run?

To save costs, I want to run all the wiring myself, then hire an electrician to connect the two 15 amp breakers in the garage and install two GFI outlets in masterbath . . . along with completing the bonding.

So my second question is what type of wiring do I run so when the electrician arrives, he can complete the connections without any problems? Once the wiring is fished into the master bath, we will sheetrock and marble. The walls will be closed up long before the tub is in, so I need to know the proper wiring to use now.

Finally, my third question relates to the bonding. The specs for the spa calls for #8 (or 8ga . . not sure at this moment) wire to bond the motor. Do I run another wire specifically for this?


PS: One electrician said he would probably run 3 12ga wires, with each GFI sharing the neutral. He would tell me no more, and told me not to worry about the bonding, that he would take care of it when he finishes the job.
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Old 03-15-05, 11:17 PM
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Jacuzzi tubs are nice after a hard days work. If your house is less than three floors high you can use romex cable if local codes allows it. Just run (2) 12-2 cables and (1) bare copper 8. If your GFI outlets are only going to be accessed from a hatch from the outside of the house using a ladder, I usually install standard outlets and spend the extra money for GFI breakers. Remember you should push the test button on your GFI monthly to ensure that I trips on a groung fault. Even though the breakers may be 15 amps the wire size step up will help prolong the life of the motor.
Old 03-16-05, 04:49 AM
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At that distance I would probably use 10-3 wire. I say 10-3 wire because I most certainly would use a multi wire circuit. I also say 10 gauger wire because I would be concerned with voltage drop, and I would look towards the future when I might want a 20 amp circuit. Don't worry about the bonding right now. The bonding is for the tub (and any other metal in the area). The bond is between the motor and the metal. The bond wire does not run to the main panel. I would use two GFCI receptacles at the point of use.

Be advised that an electrician may not be willing to install a wire that he or she did not run. If he makes the connection in the panel then he or she is responsible for the entire circuit. Make your intentions known ahead of time.
Old 03-16-05, 08:21 AM
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If I use 10-3, then the black would be one circuit with it's own breaker, the red would be the second circuit with it's own breaker, and I would pigtail and share the neutral at the outlets . . . is this correct?

If so, do I need to isolate each circuit on "opposite sides of the service" at the panel . . . I've seen this mentioned on other posts? If so, how do I do this?

I will run 10-3 and I know how to wire the outlets . . . maybe I can find some coaching on the opposite service issue.

Thanks for your help and for any additional info you can give.
Old 03-16-05, 08:32 AM
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It's not a good idea to use two seperate breakers. Plus, I believe code requires that each leg of a multiwire circuit have the breaker handles connected with a bar. DP breakers already do this.

The opposite sides of the service is most easily achieved by using a standard double pole "240" breaker like the kind an electric range or cloths dryer would use. The black and red wires are connected to the two hot poles on the breaker and the white and ground wires are connected to the appropriate buses in the panel.
Old 03-16-05, 09:14 AM
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You can use two 120 volt breakers or you can use a single 240 volt breaker. There is no requirement that the handles be tied together or that you must use a 240 volt breaker unless you use a common device on the circuit.

It is better to use a 240 volt breaker. This guarantees that you get the proper opposite legs of your incoming service. If you do use two separate breakers, you MUST make certain that you get both halves of the incoming service. This means that, when measured with a voltmeter, you will see 240 volts between the the two hot wires. If you get 0 volts between the two hot wires then you have made a mistake and don;t have opposite legs of the incoming service.

At your receptacle location, either place both GFCI receptacles in the same box, or use two separate boxes. Make all connections on the line terminals of the GFCI receptacles. The red hot wire, the white neutral and the ground connect to one GFCI. The black hot wire, the white neutral and the ground connect to the other GFCI.
Old 03-16-05, 01:21 PM
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To augment what Racraft said, breakers that are next to one another are on opposite "legs" of the panel. That is why a 2-pole breaker gives you 240 volts. I think that is what you mean when you say "opposite sides" of the panel.

Old 03-16-05, 08:13 PM
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Thanks all for your help. I have successfully ran 10-3 wire down two floors . . . now I just need to get it over to the garage.

One final question . . . is a 240 volt breaker different from a 2-pole 20 amp breaker? (I could not find a 2-pole 15 amp breaker)
Old 03-17-05, 04:21 AM
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I am using the term 240 volt breaker so as to differentiate from a tandem breaker. A 240 volt breaker should be twice the width of a 120 volt breaker. They are available, however you might have to go to an electrical supply house, and not a home store.

It is imperative that the breaker be a 240 volt breaker. You must have 240 volts when you measure between the two hot wires, or you will have an unsafe situation.

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