[Electrical Wiring] Hot Tub in VA

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  #1  
Old 07-24-05, 08:17 PM
mxw128
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[Electrical Wiring] Hot Tub in VA

Hello All.... I'm installing a hot tub on my deck and have just mounted my load panel. I will be running 240 50A service to the panel using 6 gauge wire and then seperate 20A and 30A (GFCI) circuits using 10 gauge wire to the tub. In Va the subpanel has to be mounted between 5 and 50 feet from the tub and be in line of sight. I have a screened porch that opens onto the deck where the hot tub will be. I mounted the service panel inside the screened porch (approx 13 ft from the tub and in in line of sight.). I have two questions:

1. What is the reasoning for the line of sight requirement between the tub and subpanel? Is it so during service, or after repairs are made, you can visually verify that noone is messing with the tub when you restore power?? Or does it have something to do with people in the tub needing to be able to find the box??

2. (For those that are familiar with VA code...) I know you can't have an outlet withing 5 feet of the tub, but am I required to have one somewhere in the vicinity? I was paging through the NEC today at the bookstore and it seemd that I might need one, but I wasn't sure if it applied to pools only? If I do, what is the reasoning behind it? Is an outlet inside the screened porch sufficient, or will I need to put one somewhere else... (don't think I can find a place actually on the deck that is >5 ft from the tub....)

Thanks!
Mike
 
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  #2  
Old 07-25-05, 09:21 AM
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Mike,

Howdy...Just so happens I know a little about Virginia's requirements but keep in mind they are not really VA's requirements but more simply the NEC ( which is still 1999 in VA ) and the local AHJ's interpretation of the NEC in each different area.

Now I will slightly deal with each question as they are posted

You asked:

Q:
1. What is the reasoning for the line of sight requirement between the tub and subpanel? Is it so during service, or after repairs are made, you can visually verify that noone is messing with the tub when you restore power?? Or does it have something to do with people in the tub needing to be able to find the box??
OK....The Article is 680-12 and it basically is a service and safety issue in that when the spa is being serviced the risk of someone turning on the breaker is high when not in sight so this allows for direct monitoring of the disconnect to the system. Their are other safety issues and so on but mainly a risk and reward service issue on this requirement.

Q:
2. (For those that are familiar with VA code...) I know you can't have an outlet withing 5 feet of the tub, but am I required to have one somewhere in the vicinity? I was paging through the NEC today at the bookstore and it seemd that I might need one, but I wasn't sure if it applied to pools only? If I do, what is the reasoning behind it? Is an outlet inside the screened porch sufficient, or will I need to put one somewhere else... (don't think I can find a place actually on the deck that is >5 ft from the tub....)
Ok...Here is where many start debating because the code is broken down into ( 1999 NEC ) the simple article 680 which defines SPAS and Hot Tubs and Art 680-D which directly pertains to SPA's and Hot Tubs.

Now if you read 680-6(a) you begin to say ok a pool and spa....same thing but then you get led down 680-D which I think as an instructor I have to tell students 680 is 680-D as the additional requirements of Section D fall into the same area as the basic Art. 680. ...ok what does that mean....

Now I know for a fact in VA some inspectors have forgotten to break the logic of Indoor Spas versus Outdoor Spas and past the interpretation of Art 680-6(a)(2) because they say the SPA is not a pool only to envoke Art 680-41(a) which requires at least one 125-volt 15 - or 20 ampere receptacle on a general -purpose branch circuit shall be located a minimum of 5' from and not more than 10' from the inside wall of the spa or hot tub.

BUT that is INDOOR SPA's only......here is the deal.....

Also as stated in Art 680-41(a)(2) 125 volts located within 10' of the inside walls of a spa or hot tub shall be protected by a ground fault cricuit interrupter.....Notice what listing it is under...INDOOR..

In the end you are bound by all of Art 680 and the section D is additional requirements to the main requirements and are specific.

Long story short and others may disagree.....1.) No, if your SPA is outdoors and as long as you have a GFCI recept within 20' ( line of sight & GFCI ) you meet the code. If it is indoors you need to comply to Art 680-41(a)(2) additionally.

Now you state you do not have a place more than 5' from the SPA...hope you do for the Disconnect anyway...And be aware you can either feed the SPA with >6 or less Liquid Tight or run EMT or even the new 1" FNMC-B but regardless also know your bonding requirements as well.

Helps you any.......I have a tendency to be overly cryptic...lol...the CODE does it to me.

Just so you know also the 5" on regards to pools with intent to the receptacles are in regards to Art 680-6(a)(1) which are dealing with recepts use in the pumping and other loads dedicated to the sanitation and circulation of the system and not general use recepts......to clear that up on the last line of that section it says : "Other recepts on the property shall be located at least 10' from the inside wall of the pool or fountain....now someone says..it does not way pool........ART 680 applies to ALL...the Art 680-D is in addition........remember that to understanding SPAS and POOLS.


Man I hope that helped you any.......
 
  #3  
Old 07-25-05, 08:29 PM
mxw128
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Originally Posted by ElectricalMan
Mike,



Now you state you do not have a place more than 5' from the SPA...hope you do for the Disconnect anyway...And be aware you can either feed the SPA with >6 or less Liquid Tight or run EMT or even the new 1" FNMC-B but regardless also know your bonding requirements as well.

.......

This did help, thanks! I mounted my Disconnect inside the screend portion of my deck. Still has line of sight to the tub, and is approx 13 ft from the water surface. I called the county (Loudoun) and talked to one of the inspectors re: this location and he confirmed that as long as the enclosure remains a screened area, it would be acceptable.

Here's where I need clarification: when you say ">6 or less liquid Tight" What did you mean (Can I run more than 6ft?) ? I was planning on running RNC (sch 40) from the Disconnect under the deck (for appearance) then switch to Liquidtight(FNMC-B), but it would be about 20 ft or so of the liquidtight. If not I would run more RNC then switch to FNMC-B closer to the tub. (I'll be running 3 #10 (1 will be ground) and 2 #12 wires. But may substitute # 10s for the 2 #12s for simplicity) I'm planning on using 3/4" conduit.

Thoughts?

Thanks for the advice!!
 
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Old 08-09-05, 02:23 PM
mxw128
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Jobs done...except for inspection

OK, first of all thanks to all who replied to this post and others regarding pieces of this project, (especially ElectricalMan). Your help was greatly appreciated and really...well.. helpful!!

The hottub is in place, wired and running. I ended up running 1" conduit all the way from the disconnect to the service panel with #6 wire. (Electrical man, you were 100% correct, 1" was the bare min. when it comes to getting the job done. It was a PIA to pull those 4 #6 wires through. Wish I had used 1.25"!! ;-) ) I used 3/4" from the disconenct to the tub (smaller wires...) then to 3/4" liquidtight for the last 5 ft. (All my fill fractions and lengths for the conduit met the 05 NEC requirements).

I am going to arrange for the inspection and see how things work out....

Thanks again! This forum is a great place to get advice and answers! I'll certainly be asking more questions as I finish the basement!!

Mike
 
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Old 08-09-05, 02:39 PM
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MXW,

You are most certainly welcome......we aim to please here at the DIY forum
 
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