wiring a hot tub


Old 09-17-07, 04:10 PM
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wiring a hot tub

Going to help my friend wire a hot tub. Its 220 and 50 amps. I know I need to install a GFCI. My question is: Should I use a regular 50 amp breaker from the main box to get power out near the hot tub....then......from there go into a GFCI Breaker / service disconect.....and from there go to the hot tub. This would mean that i would have three wires (ground, hot, neutral) coming from the main box. These would go to the GFCI circuit. From the GFCI circuit to the hot tub there would be four wires right? B/C of the two neautrals involved with a GFCI?
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Old 09-17-07, 05:05 PM
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You can't get 240 from 1 hot wire. You need two hots (black/red) a neutral (white) and a ground (green/bare).

I'm no electrician, but hot tubs have specific codes that need to be met. I suggest you do some good reading.
Old 09-17-07, 05:12 PM
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Would this be a 120/240V hot tub? Most are.

Need the paper work.

In general: Run a 4 wire set up from the main panel to the hot tub panel. Regular 50A 2 pole at main panel and you can buy a hot tub disconnect panel that includes the GFCI breaker.

This is not however the end. There are many code/safety issues that are associated with this type of install.

Do some research and we can answer from there.
Old 09-17-07, 05:17 PM
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Yeh, you might want to do a little research before you jump right into this little project, But heres what I basically do on a hot tub wiring job, i'll run a feeder from the panel to a hot tub disconnect outside 5' away from the hot tub, this disconnect will contain my gfi protection, then I like to install conduit from my hottub disconnect into the bottom of the unit, makes a nice clean install...

You'll have to read the hot tubs instructions on what size wire you'll be pulling, some are 50amp some are 60amp... and the required voltage...
Old 09-17-07, 08:04 PM
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Thanks all........I agree....I need more perspectives.....I have done some home wiring before...just not a hot tub. I do beleive I need at least 6 guage if not 8 guage wire for this project. Its a 50 amp service. Just didn't know if I needed a GFIC right at the main panel feed....or if I could get away with putting the GFIC near the hot tub.......kind of sounds stupid that i don't know......I realize this...but I'm not an electrician.....I assume you only need it in one spot. And I did famiarize myself with some of the code involving a hot tub....like.....the disoncnct should be at least five feet away and the tub should not be under an electrical service to the house......etc. etc....learn learn....ask....ask.
Old 09-17-07, 08:49 PM
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You only need one GFCI. I suggest a spa disconnect. This is essentially a sub panel for the spa. It will take a GFCI breaker for the spa, and you can install a 15 or 20 amp breaker for the convenience receptacle you need.

The disconnect (and in fact the spa) must be fed with four wires that include an insulated ground.
Old 09-18-07, 08:57 PM
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Whats your time worth?

#[email protected]@##$And I did famiarize myself with some of the code involving a hot tub....like.....the disoncnct should be at least five feet away and the tub should not be under an electrical service to the house......etc. etc....learn learn....ask....ask.#[email protected]@!!

A whole heck of alot more than just "CODE". If you mess up..... You are singin' the blues!!!! And friends aren't there to enjoy them!!!!!!

Honestly, Before your done checking and asking. An ELECTRICIAN will have it done!!! And you will be "HAPPY".

@#Going to help my friend @@#

Noble but.......... I Need not say more.
Old 09-20-07, 04:28 AM
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Took me a little bit...but I finaly realized what all those symbols were in front of and in back of you message (@#%[email protected]). Just use the standard quote symbol next time ("). My bad for asking about how to wire a hot tub myself.....I guess I must of thought I was on a Do It Yourself Forum or something.
Old 09-20-07, 07:34 AM
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Taken to the letter of the law, in most places a HOMEOWNER is allowed to do their own wiring as long as all rules and regulations are followed. This doesn't mean the guy down the block who may know a bit more gets to go help. The statements you made and questions you asked leave no doubt you are not qualified to install your own hot tub, let alone supply advice for a friend.

You are dealing with an application where a mistake can cause severe injury or loss of life. Professionals carry liability insurance to deal with this situation if there is a problem. You don't, and it's highly unlikely any insurance you do have would cover you if something happened because it is ILLEGAL to do wiring for or help others unless you have a license.

Entirely too many people bite their tongue when a post like this comes along. lectriclee knows this as well and is just way too subtle in trying to suggest you shouldn't be doing this. The "yourself" part of this isn't the least bit ambiguous
Old 09-20-07, 08:02 AM
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"help your friend" can mean any number of things. Drilling a hole for him to put his wire through and helping him pull the wire is one thing. Advising him on what he needs is a gray area. Actually making connections is quite another.

In most parts of the country you doing any electrical work on your friend's house is illegal if you do not have a license or are not approved (whatever that means) to do work where you live.

Hot tubs are not easy to install. I can almost guarantee that you will not get it correct unless you have done them before or unless you are extremely familiar with the code. Do something wrong, and someone could die. You don't have insurance to cover that, and you could end up in jail if it's your fault.

I think that the bulk of what lectriclee was saying is that the whole job would be done much faster and almost certainly safer if you had an electrician come in and do it. Your time, he is implying, is worth something.

While I don't entirely agree with what he is saying, he does have a point. An electrician can certainly do the job faster because he or she does not have to learn what the code is. He or she will also bring what is needed to the scene, and won't have to make extra trips to the store to get items or return the unused ones when the job is done.

Where I disagree, however, is in the learning experience. I always feel better I learn how to do something and can look at the completed job and say I did it myself. I also have more money to do what I want with, so paying myself might be worth it.

As an example, I no longer change my own oil in my cars. I got tired of the hassles (buy the oil and filter, sometimes make a mess and have to clean it up, store and dispose of the old oil, etc.). For me it's worth a few more dollars to have someone else do it. But run a new circuit for my computer (to put my laser printer on its own circuit), I can easily do this. It's fun, I saved money, and I even showed my son how it's done.

My point is this: Be very careful what you do at your friend's house. Consider very carefully whether you even want to do this. Make sure that he does the work and that you assist him only. Have the whole thing inspected when you are done BEFORE you use it).
Old 09-20-07, 08:18 AM
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For what it's worth there are some other DIY forums out there that at one time or another made part of their site policy that the moderators would not allow any advice to DIY posters on the installation of pools and hot tubs and closed those threads.
And made comment to that on the forum header. I'm not so sure that isn't a darn good idea.

I wish these people would start off asking what do I need to read and do if I were to think about putting in a pool or hot tub (spa) myself?

My reply would be this link and go to a spa center many have some great free literature for the installation of spa's. "You might have to put up with salesmen for a bit."


and get a permit which is mandatory from your codes department and schedule the necessary inspections.

Then come back here and get any questions about what you don't understand answered.

Also there are several, maybe the majority, of juristictions that will not let the homeowner do this type of work.... a licensed and insured contractor/electrician must do the wiring portion of the install. Some even require the homeowner to take a competency test before he wires anything.

Oh and also if you put it in yourself and it is a new spa purchased from a spa center or lowes, hd etc... the fine print may very well say you no longer have warranty.


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