125A service enough?

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  #1  
Old 08-23-07, 02:47 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: usa
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125A service enough?

Hello all

Great forum here (just found/joined today).

I have some simple questions so I may be better prepared to discuss with the electrician when he comes out for an estimate.

We currently have 125A servise to the house, and would like to install a 60A hot tub. The first guy who came buy talked to my wife and blew off the idea. Suggested we up to a 200A service, which I'm sure is the best way to proceed, except that;

1) The city will not allow new service in the existing conduit to the house.
2) It would be a 80-100 foot trench in fairly challenging terrain to replace.
3) Overall, this solution would be pretty cost prohibitive for us ( I assume 5- 6K).

In addition, our current panel is full.

So here are my questions.

1) is it even an option so add that much draw to the sytem? Is there code that would prevent this? I have not done a profile of what we currently have/use, but I'm quite sure it's well below that (our typical summer electricity bill runs about 30 bucks).

2) can we remove big ticket items to make this more feasable? Getting a gas dryer and getting ride of that 30A draw is probably way cheaper than digging that trench.

3) If we can use the current service, is it an option to just put in a bigger panel to add room for the 60A, or replace breakers with minis for the same result?

4) Is it possible to put a lower amperage heating element in the tub (40A)? Less effecient, but might still work??

My apologies is these questions come across a bit uninformed - I'm more of a switch and outlet guy than a sub panel guy.

Thanks in advance to any/all who answer.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-23-07, 03:26 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,342
> We currently have 125A servise to the house, and would like to install
> a 60A hot tub.

Unless your existing 125A service was way over-sized, this requires a service upgrade. It is possible you have the capacity, for example the house may have originally had electric range and water heater which someone has converted to gas.

> is it even an option so add that much draw to the sytem? Is there code
> that would prevent this?

The calculation for service size defined by the code is the "demand load calculation". If you do a Google search, there are a few guides that could help you do it yourself. There are also a few how-to books at the hardware store that have the details of this calculation.

> can we remove big ticket items to make this more feasable?

That may be an option if you are close to the 125A limit with the load calculation.

> If we can use the current service, is it an option to just put in a bigger
> panel to add room for the 60A, or replace breakers with minis for the
> same result?

Either may be an option. A third option would be to add an adjacent subpanel with more spaces.

> Is it possible to put a lower amperage heating element in the tub (40A)?

Only if it's a manufacturer's option. You cannot modify the tub from manufacturer's spec. A smaller hot tub may be a reasonable option too.
 
  #3  
Old 08-27-07, 06:58 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 131
What you really need is a electrican to do a load calculation on the house to see if the existing service can handle the added load, not very hard to do, If you have a gas range I bet your fine, as far as the panel I would just add a sub-panel... not a real big deal...
 
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