Code Question

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Old 09-18-07, 01:00 AM
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Code Question

The hot tub thread brought up an old question I had. Being a commercial electrician, I haven't installed too many hot tubs, so my experience on the topic is limited. I helped a friend hook up a hot tub a couple of years ago and decided to refresh my code memory. When I came upon article 680.41 (Emergency Switch for Spas and Hot Tubs) I noticed that the very last sentence said that the code was not required for single-family dwellings. I've always heard that code applied to all dwellings. It turned out that the friend's panel was full (small panel with a lot of small circuits) and I had to remove a couple of breakers to make room for a double pole breaker. I had to install the hot tub disconnect (sub panel) next to the panel to refeed the 2 circuits I pulled. He didn't have a lot of money, so I did this as the cheapest solution. This means there's no emergency disconnect outside by the hot tub. I did however leave the feed spliced in the GFCI box so another disconnect could be added if needed. I asked some of the guys at work about it that following Monday and they said it was no legal. It seems clearly stated that the code does not apply to single-family dwellings. Am I missing something? Is this a recent code change? Did these guys not know better?

If it turns out that I was wrong, I'll go back and install another disconnect. I'm not too worried about it otherwise, because it can easily be disconnected at the hot tub. All of the power comes out of the control box via a harness. In an emergency, all you'd have to do is pull the harness. Plus it's GFCI protected at the breaker....
 
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Old 09-18-07, 01:54 AM
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P.S. - not that it makes much difference... I just wanted to clarify that the GFCI box that the hot tub feed is spliced in is the outlet that services the hot tub. I used an oversized box and blanked the rest off in case you're wondering about boxfill...
 
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Old 09-18-07, 04:27 AM
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You're confusing the required "emergency shutoff" with the required "service disconnect". They are two very different things.

Here is the Handbook commentary on the "emergency shutoff". See the very last sentence:

The provisions of 680.41 require a local disconnecting device for spas and hot tubs that is capable of being used in an emergency. This requirement was added to address entrapment hazards associated with spas and hot tubs. The definitive publication on this issue, Guideline for Entrapment Hazards: Making Pools and Spas Safer (Pub. No. 363), is available from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207, or on-line at www.cpsc.gov.
The emergency shutoff switch must be installed within sight of and at least 5 ft from the spa or hot tub and must be clearly labeled ``Emergency Shutoff.'' See Exhibit 680.17 for an illustration of the switch location. The shutoff switch can be either a line-operated device or a remote-control circuit that causes the pump circuit to open. This requirement does not apply to one-family dwellings.
 
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Old 09-18-07, 10:37 AM
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So the service disconnect is not considered the same as an emergency disconnect? I don't mean to sound dense, but I don't get the difference. So you're saying that there still needs to be a service disconnect within sight, or can that be located by the panel? I didn't see anything about service disconnects in art. 680. I know that motors need a disconnecting means, but that may include a plug, right? If there's a harness that can be unplugged to cut the power to the motor, I'd think that'd be good. Sorry for my naievety on the subject. Like I said, I rarely work with hot tubs being in the commercial field.
 
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Old 09-18-07, 10:51 AM
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Brew I still think you need to make some corrections to the original installation. Hot tubs/spas must comply with 680 parts 1 and 2. NEC 680.12 requires a spa maintenance disconnect located within sight of the spa but not closer than 5 feet of the inside wall. That outlet must be gfci protected if not done at some other location. All wires including the ground must be insulated after that disconnect and in conduit. There is an exception for cord and plug 120 volt spas. The wiring harness will not qualify as the required maintenance disconnect. If all the wiring to the maintenance disconnect is indoors you my use any chapter 3 method such as uf or nm-b.

NEC 680.43(A)(1) requires a gfci protected 15 or 20 amp receptacle located between 5 and 10 feet of the hot tub or spa.

Roger
 
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Old 09-18-07, 11:00 AM
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Here is a good illustrated article from Mike Holt, might want to look it over. I see your point about emergency verses maintenance, the difference is the type of disconnect and a public spa must have it labeled "emergency disconnect". Other than that I suppose there ain't much difference in the requirements.

http://www.mikeholt.com/files/PDF/Pooldownload.pdf

roger
 
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Old 09-18-07, 01:21 PM
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Thanks Roger,

I'm not arguing against putting a disconnect in. I'm just trying to find out why it was required. I missed the maintenance disconnect code. I looked at the emergency disconnect part. As for the harness as a disconnect, I was referring specificly to the motor for the water pump. I was considering it a disconnect for the motor if indeed the whole hot tub did not require a disconnect. Thanks for clearing that up for me. Like I said, I left a splice in the GFCI recp. box just in case this was the case, so it'll be an easy fix.
 
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