steam shower, jacuzzi wiring advice needed

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  #1  
Old 10-13-07, 10:01 AM
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Question steam shower, jacuzzi wiring advice needed

Hello everyone.
Looking for advice on cost effective wiring of 2 steam shower/whirlpool units.

Friend of mine purchased(on eBay) 2 self contained shower/Jacuzzi units for his remodeling project.

These units have strange electrical ratings(made in China, installation manual is worthless ): 120V 5000watts each.

There are two individual cords coming out of this shower/tub: one is feeding the steam generator and the other is for motor/heater unit.
Electrical components installed in such way that reading ratings of the individual nameplates is impossible.

House panel is split bus FP stub-lok brand and is filled. So our only option is installing a subpanel.
We're planning to install 50amp subpanel and feed both units from there.

Now, the GFCI issue. GFCI breakers for FP panel is over $300 each(special order), so we're going to use regular 50a FP breaker at main panel and install 50a GFCI Homeline breaker\subpanel ($120 at Home Depot). For the brunch circuits from subpanel we're going to use 2 regular 2p 30a breakers to feed both shower units.

It seems to be the most cost effective way of wiring these units, we're just not sure is this is acceptable codewise.

Please advise. Any responses/help will be greatly appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-13-07, 11:06 AM
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5000 watts at 120 volts is over 40 amps. Is that per shower?

I think you need to get more specific info on the voltage/amperage of the individual parts of the unit in order for anyone to give you relyable answers.

10000 watts at 240 v is 41 amps. A two pole 50 amp beaker feeding a sub panel would be just enough, if you are sure that you will never add anything to that sub panel.

That said, a whole house load calculation should be done. I have to wonder if the electrical service to the home can actually handle the extra load. What size service feeds the entire home? How big is the house? What other loads are already there?

On an additional note, as a professional electrician, I would turn down a job adding anything to a Federal Pacific panel. They are known fire hazzards. I would reccomend replacing that panel first, before any other work was done. If the customer did not want to replace the panel, I would just walk away from the entire job.
 
  #3  
Old 10-13-07, 11:23 AM
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My advice is to cut your loss and resell or trash the units. In my opinion installing these would be foolish.
 
  #4  
Old 10-13-07, 11:59 AM
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Thanks for your replies.

My advice is to cut your loss and resell or trash the units. In my opinion installing these would be foolish.
--Not an option. They are already installed(tiled and everything else). It is one of those times when "buy and build first, ack for electrician later"

5000 watts at 120 volts is over 40 amps. Is that per shower?
-- Yes, that's per shower

What size service feeds the entire home?
--200amp, house built in 1950s thats why it has small(24 ckts) panel. and there is enough power as original electric double wall oven and trash compactor were eliminated.

As I said before can't read name plates(components mounted in such stupid way)

The only clue is heavy 12 AWG rubber cords for both steam generator and motor/heater units.

On an additional note, as a professional electrician, I would turn down a job adding anything to a Federal Pacific panel. They are known fire hazzards
.

-- These breakers are ok, trip right away(not red handle ones)
Thanks, Tony
 
  #5  
Old 10-13-07, 12:21 PM
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Two 120v 20 amp circuits does not equal 5000 watts.

This being said, there is no way for me to give you any sound advice as to the proper way to install these units.

Also, I have removed this therefore I can install that, is not one of the ways that the code addresses regarding load calculations. You may be comfortable using this assumption, but I have never been to the home, and have no idea what all is there. There is no way of knowing if the existing install was not overloaded.

I have not seen any info suggesting that the replacement breakers for FPE panels are anymore relyable than the originals. I havent time now to look it up again, but the last study on the subject that I read said that the replacements were being made using the same engineering specs as the originals.

Since you have a 200 amp service with few breakers, I suggest you price a new 200 amp 42 space panel. Even breakerd out the material may be almost as cheep as your sub panel and breakers under your design.
 
  #6  
Old 10-13-07, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by aicvv View Post
Thanks for your replies.



--Not an option. They are already installed(tiled and everything else). It is one of those times when "buy and build first, ack for electrician later"
What you mean to say is "not convient, and very expensive" Doing the job a better way is always an option.
 
  #7  
Old 10-13-07, 12:38 PM
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I reiterate that installing these with no information about them is foolish. When your friend's house burns down, you had better hope you have a good lawyer. I would run from this as fast as I could.

These have cords and plugs. What kind of plugs are installed? Are they original?

In the US the wiring inside a unit is allowed to be smaller than the wiring in the wall. This may means that the 12 gage wiring is allowed inside the unit. However, I doubt ehse have a UL or other similar testing laboratory rating, which is another reason to run from this.
 
  #8  
Old 10-13-07, 02:54 PM
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No, there is no plugs, just cords, all new

Changing panel is also problematic. Space is completely finished and cost including permit and grounding upgrade and moving meter outside(local power company requirement)will add to $1000-1500

I'll have to agree with you: I should run,but I cant. I'm returning a favor on this one.
I will hope that installing new Homeline breakers in subpanel will reduce the risks of using FPE service.

Thank you everyonefor taking your time to answer my questions, Tony
 
  #9  
Old 10-14-07, 10:33 AM
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I'm sure you will but do show your friend this thread so he can make the final decision.
 
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