Hot tub wiring

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  #1  
Old 10-23-07, 09:38 PM
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Hot tub wiring

Hello.

I am installing a "new" used hot tub.

The pump/heater unit has a "240 vlt 40 amp" sticker on it.

So I want to run power to it.

I know I need a new circuit breaker in my main panel, and I had a question if it should be the same 40 amp, or more like a 50 amp, as I have read differing opinions online.

Thanks!

Edward
 
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  #2  
Old 10-24-07, 05:13 AM
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The hot tub needs 40 amps at 240 volts. The breaker for the tub needs to be just that. Whether or not that breaker is in the main panel depends on how you want to set this up.

You need a convenience receptacle and you need a shutoff near the tub. What usually works better is to have a hot tub sub panel near the tub that will provide the shutoff and a second breaker for the 120 volt convenience receptacle. Then you just need to decide whether the feed to the sub panel is GFCI protected, or if you provide the GFCI protection at the sub panel.

There are plkenty of other rules regarding hot tubs as well. You will get it wrong if you don't know the rules. Run your entire plan by the inspector so that you will pass inspection and more importantly be safe.

Electricity can and does kill people.
 
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Old 10-24-07, 08:49 AM
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easy enough!

Thanks for the prompt reply!

Just so I have this straight, it appears from my research that my main panel, which is a FPE stab-lok type, does not make GFCI protection breakers... So now I'll need 2 breakers... The 240 volt 2 pole 40 amp on the main panel, and a second GFCI protection 240 volt 40 amp breaker in a sub-panel...

Well, that will be nice and safe! If a little redundant...

Thanks again!
 
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Old 10-24-07, 08:56 AM
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Also..

Another question in relation is that when I called my power company to check on 240 service since there is none currently in use in the house, they said yes, 240 V service, at 30 Amps...

Soo if I want to run a 240 volt 40 Amp hot tub, do I need a service upgrade from the power company??

thanks again!!
 
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Old 10-24-07, 09:43 AM
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I cannot believe that you only have 30 amp service. What is the size of your main breaker? 60 amp I can believe, 30 amp seems very low.

If you have 30 amp service, then you need a new service and main panel. If you have 60 amp service you MAY need a new panel. What other 240 loads do you have?

A new panel will mean you can get rid of the FPE panel, but it will also cost you quite a bit to do so.
 

Last edited by racraft; 10-24-07 at 10:56 AM.
  #6  
Old 10-24-07, 10:12 AM
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Just to add I have never seen a 120v/240v 30a service though not saying it isn't possible. Even many older 60a services were 120v only. How many wires from the pole to your box 2 or 3 wires. If thee are all three connected?
 
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Old 10-24-07, 10:36 AM
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waiting...

well, I have a phone call into the power company, and the "tech" is supposed to call me back....

The "240 volt 30 amp" info came from the generic person reached with a call to the power company, so maybe somehow my "account" information is different than my actual power supply available to the house information...

Oh, and on the stupid fire-hazard FPE Stab-lok main panel, there doesn't appear to be a main breaker. The largest breaker is a double 50 amp breaker, but it is labeled "Main for lights" but still, there should be at least 50 amps!

So now if it is the 240 v 30 amp to the house, is that then 120 v 60 amp?
 
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Old 10-24-07, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Just to add I have never seen a 120v/240v 30a service though not saying it isn't possible. Even many older 60a services were 120v only. How many wires from the pole to your box 2 or 3 wires. If thee are all three connected?
There are 3 wires into the top of the weather mast on the meter... and I think they are all connected, as I recall, 2 to the top of the bus bars in the main panel and one to the bottom (neutral?) bar...

And the power company says I have 240 volt. I'm just confused about the amps.

Also, the main panel has a hand written note that says "125 amps Max"
 
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Old 10-24-07, 10:43 AM
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also

Originally Posted by racraft View Post
[SIZE=2]I cannot believe that you only have 30 amp service. What is the size of your main breaker? 60 amp I can believe, 30 amp seems very low.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2][/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]If you have 30 amp service, then you need a new service and main panel. If you have 60 amp service you MAY need a new panel. What other 240 loads do you have?[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2][/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]A new panel will mean you can get rid of the FPE panel, but it will also cost you quite a bit to do so.[/SIZE]
Forgot to mention there are no other 240 loads... the stove and furnace, and water heater, and dryer, all are gas...

And as this is a rental, I don't think I will be doing a main panel replacement, although I probably should mention this to the landlord!
 
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Old 10-24-07, 10:58 AM
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If this is a rental you won;t be installing a sub panel or hot tub either.

You need a certified/licensed electrician to do ALL the electrical work.
 
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Old 10-24-07, 11:40 AM
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update

well, the power company tech wasn't too helpful, he bascially said, as I'm hearing again and again, get an electrician to tell us what you need and we'll give it to you...

But he suggested the 30 amp was my METER spec, and not the "loop" spec.
 
  #12  
Old 10-24-07, 03:12 PM
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I saw this thread this morning and had a bad feeling due to the very general nature of the questions so I did not reply. Now I know why I had this feeling.

This is a RENTAL.
DO NOT TOUCH the wiring in this house! You CANNOT legally do ANYTHING, even with permission from the landlord. If the landlord allows you do do anything he is a fool.

Get a qualified licensed electrician to do this work!!!!
 
  #13  
Old 10-26-07, 09:26 AM
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Yeah...

Petey,

Thanks for shutting down my thread with your negative comments about my stupidity.

I'm not sure how a specific question about the rating of a CB can be described as "general". As I'm sure you know, the Canadians use a 80% of capacity rule, and apparently, in the US, we don't, so, my specific question was about this issue.

It is unfortunate that you post based on assumptions rather than asking some probing questions that could lead to providing some helpful advice, such as make sure you use a contractor if you are renting... I'm sorry if I implied through my use of "I" rather than "we" than I would be hiring help, that I would be supervising in completing this installation.

FYI, I have spoken with several electrical contractors about this job. I noticed right away that they are not entirely trustworthy, and need some supervision, and I think it is my right and responsibility as a consumer to be informed and involved. Of the contractors I have called, whom I have chosen NOT to use, they have not been as informed or educated as I expected. Their interest of course is in getting paid, but because of course this is my hot tub, and my ass in the hot tub, I am much more concerned than they are, and have gotten myself all the information I could find about the installation.

Thanks again for providing your legal advice in the electrical forum.
 
  #14  
Old 10-26-07, 09:43 AM
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Madman,

ALL of your questions have been addressed and then some. Contact the property owner. It is his or her responsibility to hire someone and pay someone to do the job.

It would be very unwise of YOU to directly hire someone oir to directly pay someone (other than your landlord) for any portion of this job. You do not want your name on any contracts. Period.

If you hire someone or pay someone directly, even if that person is licensed then you put the same portion of your body that you plan to put in the hot tub on the line. While this may never come back to haunt you, it may some day.
 
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Old 10-26-07, 10:54 AM
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Madman, first off I have NO idea what you are talking about. No one shut this thread down...yet. I don't even have to power to.

My comments were directed at the fact that you do NOT own this property. The legal and liability ramifications of doing any electrical work in your situation are HUGE. So sorry if this offends you, it's simply a fact.


I am installing a "new" used hot tub.....
So now I'll need 2 breakers...
Soo if I want to run a 240 volt 40 Amp hot tub,.....
Again, so sorry if I "assumed" you were doing this yourself.



And just because you talked to a few incompetent contractors that means you will not be able to find a good one? You are using a VERY broad brush there sir.
 
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Old 11-04-07, 04:09 PM
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Still confused...

OK, I apologize for over-reacting, but it is frustrating when you come to a forum for electrical advice, and get some smarty-pants know-it-all respond in a way that makes you realize how uninformed/inexperienced you are, and then no one else wants to interact with the dumb guy anymore...

Anyway, I'll keep my emotions to myself, and just skip the off-topic comments!

So, again, back to the proper size of a Circuit breaker for an application, I mentioned the Canadian information I came across online. And now, reading the US NEC, I come across the following:

680.9 Electric Water Heater. The ampacity of branch-circuit conductors and overcurrent protective devices for pool or outdoor spa and hot tub water heaters cannot be less than 125 percent of the total nameplate rating.

So that again, leads me to ask... What is the proper circuit breaker for a published nameplate rating???

As I read the above, my 40 amp nameplate rated hot tub heater will require a 50 amp circuit breaker... No???

(40 x 1.25 = 50)

Just to make sure my contractor installs the correct breaker!
 
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Old 11-04-07, 05:07 PM
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Sorry buddy if you see me as a "smarty-pants know-it-all", but I DO know what I am talking about when it comes to my profession.

I guess it would be like me going to an accountant message board and asking "How do I do my taxes?". They'd laugh me off the board.
 
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Old 11-04-07, 07:11 PM
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There's more to this hot tub than just a heater, right? It also has a pump, and maybe a light?

If you take the make and model number of the unit, you should be able to get installation instructions from either the web or from the manufacturer.
 
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Old 11-05-07, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
Sorry buddy if you see me as a "smarty-pants know-it-all", but I DO know what I am talking about when it comes to my profession.

I guess it would be like me going to an accountant message board and asking "How do I do my taxes?". They'd laugh me off the board.
Speedy,

Sorry, I was jokingly trying to give you a compliment...

Sometimes hard to do online...

I was saying you are knowledgeable, I am not, and I apologized for getting worked up about your legal advice to my electrical question...

Sometimes when I know something, and I come to a board about that topic, I try to help those that come here with their questions... And sometimes I laugh at them, but I always try to help, OR, just keep it to myself...

ANYWAY! 40 or 50 amps??
 
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Old 11-05-07, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by John Nelson View Post
There's more to this hot tub than just a heater, right? It also has a pump, and maybe a light?

If you take the make and model number of the unit, you should be able to get installation instructions from either the web or from the manufacturer.
Yup, a 5.5Kw heater and a 2 HP pump I have in my "simple" system.

Manufactuer (Hydra-quip) emailed me briefly that 50 amps breaker was a "standard" installation for my 40 amp system...

I'm just wondering what is the more SAFER thing to do? And what is the more CORRECT thing to do?

Thanks!
 
  #21  
Old 11-05-07, 03:50 PM
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The safest and most correct thing to do is to follow the manufacturer's instructions. They know more about their unit than anybody.
 
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Old 11-05-07, 06:14 PM
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Madman, the I also humbly apologize for misreading your post.


Yes, do follow what the mfg recommends. If they say use a 50 then you can't go wrong doing so.
 
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Old 11-06-07, 01:15 AM
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over and out

Thank you, thank you one and all!!

Follow the Manufactures instructions wins the day...

No one wants to tackle a theoretical discussion about proper breaker application???

And speedy, I'll just apologize one more time for my overreactions and miscommunications...
 
  #24  
Old 11-06-07, 01:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Madman View Post
Thanks for the prompt reply!

Just so I have this straight, it appears from my research that my main panel, which is a FPE stab-lok type, does not make GFCI protection breakers... So now I'll need 2 breakers... The 240 volt 2 pole 40 amp on the main panel, and a second GFCI protection 240 volt 40 amp breaker in a sub-panel...

Well, that will be nice and safe! If a little redundant...

Thanks again!

I hate to be rude in here are you in USA or Cananda ??

If you are in USA there is big issue with the FPE stablocks just ask any electrician you will really ruffle their feathers they will tell you the same thing what i will say replace that breaker box.

senice you are a rental you should get ahold of the mangner or landlord to deal with this.

if you have any doubt with this just goggle search " FPE breaker box " or " stablock breaker box " it will really wake you up with this.

[ myself and few other in here is electricians so we know what the side effect of the FPE done with it ]

Merci , Marc
 
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