wiring up a jacuzzi

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  #1  
Old 06-25-05, 04:05 PM
sttrebo
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wiring up a jacuzzi

i am in the middle of installing a jacuzzi bathtub. it requires 2 dedicated 20a lines, 1 for the pump and 1 for the heater. i have 100a service to the elect. panel in my garage, but it is full. my house was built with baseboard heaters (6 dedicated 20a lines). i was hoping to be able to use those lines for the project. upon inspection, i found out that the heaters used 2 hot lines (different phases i assume) but i can't find the common. is there a way to set these up as standard 120v lines?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-25-05, 04:55 PM
txdiyguy's Avatar
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I will assume that you are no longer using the baseboard heaters. The 240 volt supply to the heaters was most likely accompished with 12-2 w/ground. You will need to replace the double pole breaker with two single pole breakers (or possibly remove the tie bar on the double pole breaker, if they are the type that allow you to do so, thereby making one double pole into two single pole breakers). That will get you one 20 amp circuit. Do the same thing on another 20 amp double pole breaker for the other circuit needed. Then, you'll need to remove the white wire from one pole of each breaker and connect them to the neautral bar in your panel. Then, you'll have two 20 amp, 120 volt circuits to the baseboard heater locations. Then, somehow, you'll need to extend these two cables to the jacuzzi tub. Perhaps you could splice them in an accessible junction box. At the jacuzzi end, you'll need two GFCI recepticals.
 
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Old 06-25-05, 07:09 PM
sttrebo
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thanks for the info. i thought it was strange that there was no common line. but i guess the common is the same as the ground? anyway, the breakers are just tied together with a bar so i can disconnect the bar. i was going to use the same wire that's already there. when the heaters were removed, they left the wires in place. so i can just pull the wires back, terminate to a junction box and go.

thanks again.
 
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Old 06-26-05, 06:50 AM
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I think that you are making some unjustified assumptions.

1) In the line to the heaters, there simply is no common. This is not a case of the ground being used as a common; this is a case of the load not requiring a common, and thus not being run. If these cables are otherwise suitable (correct wire type, correct wire gage, going to the correct location, etc.) then you can reuse these cables for _single_ 120V circuits.

2) The double pole breakers that fed these circuits are _not_ two separate single pole breakers tied together at the handle. These are double pole breakers intended for 240V circuits with 'internal common trip'. Removing the handle tie will simply violate the listing without giving you any benefit. You can use these breakers to protect either a single 240V circuit _or_ two 120V circuits, but if you use them on 120V circuits then both will automatically trip at the same time.

3) There are many details to safe installations of spas. Have you read the appropriate code sections? If not, then I suggest that you go to the library and read these sections, and if you are unwilling to do so, I suggest that you hire a professional electrician for this job. The mixture of water and electricity is not a fun one to get wrong.

-Jon
 
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Old 06-26-05, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by sttrebo
thanks for the info. i thought it was strange that there was no common line. but i guess the common is the same as the ground? anyway, the breakers are just tied together with a bar so i can disconnect the bar. i was going to use the same wire that's already there. when the heaters were removed, they left the wires in place. so i can just pull the wires back, terminate to a junction box and go.

thanks again.
Ok.....as Winnie has said here....in the installation YOU are doing to assume the ground is also the common is wrong and potentially dangerous. I would not go the route of removing the tie bar on a breaker....I am sure the 6-7 bucks for a breaker wont hurt your bank account if you are installing a SPA which is not a low budget item in itself.

Also on the statement of a junction box...you are also aware that the junction box will have to remain in sight and maintain access to it as it can't simply be back in your wall so you can tap onto it to feed the spa....sure you can add a junction box but it must mount in the wall and have a coverplate on it unless you can pull it back enough to do the junction in lets say a unfinished basement or something...otherwise it must remain access worthy.

Now...txdiyguy is correct in you will need to GFCI these recepts you plan on adding and the rececps will nee access to them. If they will not have simple access then you will need to use a 20A GFCI breaker in the panel but either way you will need GFCI on these items.

Quoted from " winnie " 3) There are many details to safe installations of spas. Have you read the appropriate code sections? If not, then I suggest that you go to the library and read these sections, and if you are unwilling to do so, I suggest that you hire a professional electrician for this job. The mixture of water and electricity is not a fun one to get wrong.

So VERY true......I would suggest you viewing this

http://www.codecheck.com/pg29__electrical.html

It will give you a few CODE articles to review in regards to spas and so on in the article 680 of the NEC which has to do with SPA's and Pools.
 
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Old 06-26-05, 09:26 AM
sttrebo
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thanks, i'll go ahead and buy new breakers and GFI outlets today. i will also have a licensed electrician take a look, a neighbor of my parents is a retired electrician. i don't think he'll mind.

on statement #1, load not requiring a common. how does this work?
on statement #3, thanks for the code link. i've been researching it myself too. i think i'm in pretty good shape (per code).
 
  #7  
Old 06-26-05, 09:37 AM
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The electricity supplied to your home comes in on two 'hot' legs and a common. The two hot legs have 240V between them; and each is 120V to the common.

When you need a 120V circuit, you connect to one of the hot legs and the common. This requires 3 wires, 2 which are supposed to conduct current and the safety ground.

When you need a 240V circuit, you connect to both of the hot legs. This requires 3 wires, 2 which are supposed to conduct current and the safety ground.

Some appliances require both 120V and 240V, in which case you need a total of 4 wires, 1 connected to each of the supply terminals, and the safety ground.

If an appliance only needs 240V, then there is no reason to connect to the common terminal.

-Jon
 
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