Yet another SPA wiring question

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  #1  
Old 06-19-05, 01:05 PM
daddio
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Yet another SPA / Hot Tub wiring question (GFI Breaker)

I'm installing a hot tub/spa off my back deck. I'm coming off my main panel from a 40 AMP fuse, 220 V, and running the line outside. Outside I'm installing a panel and GFI 40 AMP breaker. (The outdoor panel will act as both a quick disconnect and offer GFI protection.) I'm a bit confused regarding the GFI grounding system and am hopeful someone can assist.

I have 3 wires, plus grounding (green) coming from the main panel to my outdoor sub panel. What do I do with the grounding wire (green copper) from the hot tub to the sub panel? If I ground it to the box, and in turn, hook up the ground fault wire from the GFI breaker, will I be causing problems? Should I isolate the ground wire (green copper) wire from the sub panel and tie it back to my main panel?

I really appreciate anyone's assistance with this.
 

Last edited by daddio; 06-19-05 at 01:57 PM. Reason: .
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  #2  
Old 06-19-05, 02:57 PM
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You need four wires from the main panel to the sub panel. At the sub panel the ground and neutral MUST be isolated.

Spas and pools have very specific electrical code requirements. This is not a first time electrical project. Please read up on the code for spas and pools before you go any further. Consider allowing a professional do the work. Make certain that it get inspected. Electricity can kill, especially when near water.
 
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Old 06-19-05, 03:06 PM
daddio
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Sorry, I'm a bit confused as to what is done with the four wires. I have two load wires, a neutral and the copper ground. (I have 10/3 wire coming from the main pannel to the sub-pannel.)

Is this not what is required?

My confusion is in regards to the neutral and ground wires. From my main pannel to my sub pannel, do I run the neutral and ground to the same bar?

Thanks again for your help!
 
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Old 06-19-05, 03:14 PM
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In the main panel the white and black go to the same bar. In the sub-panel they are kept isolated.

You CANNOT use 10/3 for this application. You MUST use #8 minimum.
Also, remember you cannot use NM or UF for the outside portion of the wiring. It must be in conduit with an insulated ground.
 
  #5  
Old 06-19-05, 03:21 PM
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Sorry, I misread your original post, and only read three conductor.

But as Speedy said, you cannot use 10g wire. It must be 8g minimum. You might consider larger, especially if the distance is not short.

The comment about NM and UF is one of the items that you need to know. Outside your house, you must have individual conductor wires in conduit. The ground wire must be insulated.

Also, the Spa motor must be bonded to anything metal nearby.

There are numerous other codes that are all very important.
 
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Old 06-19-05, 04:24 PM
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Speedy,

You said : "In the main panel the white and black go to the same bar"


I think you mean White and Green Wire go to the same bar in the main panel and isolated in the subpanel......thehehe...just checking on ya...don;t wnat to see speedy all crispy... ...

Just pickin on ya Speedy.....lol
 
  #7  
Old 06-19-05, 04:26 PM
daddio
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Excellent! Sorry, double checked and I am in fact running 8/3 wire and not 10/3 so I should be ok. The original location was only 7' from the panel so thought 10/3 would be sufficient. We've opted for a new location which is about 25' away so have gone to 8/3.

Outside I've run conduit to the hot tub and run outdoor (UF) 8/3 wire. I've hooked up to the tub per the manufacturer's instructions.

I'm still a bit confused regarding the wires from the main panel to the sub.

From the main panel I'll have black, red and white plus ground. The ground is run panel to panel. From my 40 amp fuse block, I have a Red & Black lead. The white wire connects to a separate bar. (I'm utilizing the old stove breaker as we now use Gas) Am I to wire black and white to the same side of the fuse block and red the opposite? At the sub-panel, I'd connect red & black, and connect the white to a separate bar?

Sorry for all the questions. I'm comfortable wiring most applications, but am unsure of how to correctly wire the GFI breaker.

Thanks again for your help!
 
  #8  
Old 06-19-05, 04:30 PM
daddio
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Originally Posted by ElectricalMan
Speedy,

You said : "In the main panel the white and black go to the same bar"


I think you mean White and Green Wire go to the same bar in the main panel and isolated in the subpanel......thehehe...just checking on ya...don;t wnat to see speedy all crispy... ...

Just pickin on ya Speedy.....lol
Ok, this makes more sense to me. Run Red and black from the fuse block. White and green tied together at the main panel to ground. At the sub panel, red, black and white to the GFI breaker, and green grounded to the panel. Correct?
 
  #9  
Old 06-19-05, 04:37 PM
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daddio,

Ok....first let me STOP you right their as I do not like the direction you are about to go into......the BLACK and RED are your feeds to this SPA....they should go to the 2 pole breaker in your Main Panel.......

Now in your MAIN panel your White and Green will BOTH go to the netural buss bar.......they need to both be on that...from something you were saying you seemed like you were about to put the white on the breaker with the black....dont..do that...lol.....just in case you are confused...lol

At the SUB panel you are going to bring the Black and Red to the LINE side of the sub-panel....the WHITE will go to the neutral bar in the sub-panel and you should have a grounding screw to bond the neutral bar to the box...DO NOT USE IT...THROW it away...do not screw it in.....not..not..not.......You now either have a either install (2) grounding lugs or a small grounding bar...hard to tell as I am not sure the model of sub-panel you have and I hope its a waterproof one at that...ok....

Now....the GFCI breaker in the small sub panel will have a white wire attached to it...take THAT wire to the netural bar....

Again....keep the Neutral Wire ( White ) seperate from the Green Ground Wire in the sub-panel.
 
  #10  
Old 06-19-05, 04:40 PM
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daddio,

Close...lol.........you posted :

"white to the GFI breaker, and green grounded to the panel. Correct?"

You need to take the WHITE wire in the 4 wire from the main panel to the neutral buss in the sub-panel....just do not bond it to the BOX....now in the box itself you either have (2) Grounding Lugs or need to get them so you can take the grounds to that.....so it is technically seperated from the Neutral white at the sub-panel.....
 
  #11  
Old 06-19-05, 04:46 PM
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daddio,

Please be aware we are not talking about small voltage here...this can KILL you if you are not careful. As RAC said....you may want to call a professonal to assist you but if you MUST venture down this path..just please be VERY careful and respect the voltage you are playing with.

I would suggest AFTER you do it..if you do it....you come back and post STEP by STEP what you did...and I echo RAC in that I would have it inspected to be safe....inspectors are here to help in that it is their job to keep it safe and they will tell you if it is not and heck costs probably less than 20 bucks to get an inspection on a Spa.
 
  #12  
Old 06-19-05, 05:01 PM
daddio
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Once again, thank you to everyone for your help.

Here is what I'm doing;

Main Panel
Black from 1 pole of Fuse block
Red from other pole of Fuse Block
Green (copper) & White to Neutral Bar

Sub Panel
Black & Red to line sides of panel.
White to Neutral Bar (not to be grounded to box)
Green grounded to box.

I'm using a Siemens box which is rated for outdoor use.

The GFI Breaker will plug in box and I'll connect the white tail to the neutral bar.

From the SPA, the Red, Black & White will connect to the GFI Breaker, and the green ground will ground to the box.

Prior to use, I will have it inspected, but was hoping I can get it right before the inspection.
 
  #13  
Old 06-19-05, 05:07 PM
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daddio,

Ok...now you sound like you are on the right track...JUST keep another thing in mind........the GROUND should be equal to the size of the largest conductor.....so do not size it down....if you are using # 8 for the Feeds...use # 8 for the ground.....

Also if you have any metal parts near the spa...like a ladder or something ( winthin 5' ) you will need to bond it also to the ground....but in most cases with a spa it is not a issue.....might be in a commercial situation because they are afraid someone will fall in and need a rail...chances are you dont have that issue to worry about.

Again...be careful please..........sounds like you are on the right track now but again always work with caution.

Also...one last thing you stated :

"Outside I've run conduit to the hot tub and run outdoor (UF) 8/3 wire. I've hooked up to the tub per the manufacturer's instructions."

Are you saying you sleeved the UF inside the conduit running to the spa from the sub-panel......how far away from the sub-panel is the SPA....???
 
  #14  
Old 06-19-05, 05:17 PM
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Once again,

Remove and discard the UF or NM cable. You MUST use individual conductors for this, in conduit. NM and UF are not allowed. NM can never be used outside, and UF does not have an insulated ground.

The only place you could use NM or UF is the short run before the wire leaves the house. You could use NM (or UF) from the main panel to a junction box at the house wall where the conduit starts, but once outside the house you MUST use individual conductors.
 
  #15  
Old 06-19-05, 06:08 PM
daddio
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Thanks again. I was running UF conductor through the conduit to the spa. (Its about a 10' length)

Why can't you run UF conductor through a conduit? (If this section needs be changed I'll get it done before the sun drops)
 
  #16  
Old 06-19-05, 06:17 PM
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There is much debate on whether UF can be run in conduit for a regular circuit. Some say yes, others say no.

However, the NEC is extremely clear. Outdoor pools and spas MUST be fed with wiring that has an insulated ground wire at least for the portion of the wiring that is outside.

Use dual rated THHN/THWN inside the conduit. Green, white and one or two other colors.
 
  #17  
Old 06-19-05, 07:48 PM
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Whoa! Can we all say "Proof read" ??
Thanks guys for the correction.
I was at my sister's house with $#%[email protected] dial-up and was only on and off the boards a couple of times. I guessI should stick to only coming here from home.
 
  #18  
Old 06-20-05, 05:43 AM
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nawww....you are awesome Speedy...I just could not resist for a playful tease...lol....heck you can pay me back...I am sure I will post a DOOZY a time or two....just be easy on me when I do it...lol

You are a asset to the boards.......you feel free to log on and help from any computer my friend....
 
  #19  
Old 06-20-05, 05:58 AM
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Daddio,

It is a debate that really probably will be changed in future codes...lol..beause to be honest with you I think short runs of NM or UF in conduit could be a fight saying it is for protection and so on.....However, I do not write the NEC and I am not on the panel...lol

It is common for electricians to run NM or UF in 6' of less flex to supply outside AC units and so on.....just much easier than trying to pull individual lines to units......trust me I do alot of them and would not want to use individual wires on them....just easier to sleeve NM inside it....anyway...

In your case....the argument could be the UF does have a insulated ground because of the UF nature and the sealed individual wire portions....but in all I think RAC is correct the NEC is specific on UF and NM in conduit ( except for protection ) is better to use standard conduit or flex conduit like FNMC-B Direct Bury Flex......we are going alot of spas in this now days since the code allows it now....easier than standard PVC or EMT conduit...lol

Anyway.....In my opinion you should change over to the flex above ( 1' ) and pull 4 lines to the SPA in the flex or conduit if you choose...but I am sure the tight issues of the spa connection area will make traditional conduit a bit hard for you which is why you used UF as well....trust me I know...lol...that is why we started using the FNMC-B....and no it does not have the same 6' rule as flex can sometimes have....

Just a tip.....make the GROUND in the entire system the same size as the largest HOT wire.......
 
  #20  
Old 06-20-05, 08:02 AM
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Excellent Diagram

Check this diagram out for the hook up you are talking about:

http://www.barefootspas.com/pdf/Wiri...ramSiemens.pdf
 
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