hot tub plug

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  #1  
Old 10-30-07, 06:46 AM
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hot tub plug

Quick question. My buddy just bought a hot tub and put it out on his back porch. The people he bought the tub from said that it can be plugged into a regular 15 amp or 20 amp line with a gfi receptacle. He was told it does not have to be on a seperate circuit. He asked me to help him throw in a gfi since the plug outside is not GFI protected. Now my question to the pros is, does this sound correct that the line can share other stuff and only needs a GFI plug? I am not too familiar with hot tubs or how much power they use. as always thanks for the feedback
 
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  #2  
Old 10-30-07, 07:07 AM
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I cannot envision a hot tub that runs off 120 volts and manages to keep water flowing and hot. This must be some type of portable hot tub.

Surely the amount of current needed dictates that a dedicated circuit is needed for this. If the circuit your friend wants to use has any load on it (other than perhaps a very small load), it will not function on this circuit.

My advice to your friend is to to consult the owner's manual for this hot tub and then to consult an electrician to find out exactly what is needed.

My advice to you is to (at most) help your friend find an electrician Involving yourself in electrical work at someone else's residence is setting yourself up for trouble.
 
  #3  
Old 10-30-07, 07:16 AM
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I see 120V hot tubs all the time.
Some of them are pretty big too.
They take a long time to heat up, so most people keep them running continuously.
All that I've seen (or installed) were on a dedicated 20A circuit.

You need to determine what the amperage rating for the hot tub is.
Look on the tub, or find the paper work and post back.

steve
 
  #4  
Old 10-30-07, 11:16 AM
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How did you or he determine that the receptacle in question is not already GFCI protected? You may be incorrect about that, since most outdoor receptacles installed in the last 30 years are. Note that you cannot tell by looking at it. You need to test it.

But if not, it's pretty easy to install a GFCI receptacle. Complete directions come with the receptacle. Be sure to read all the fine print.

Be sure to find out everything else that is on the same circuit. It's possible (probable even) that the rest of this circuit is spread out all over the house, so your search needs to be thorough. Once you find out, be sure not to use any of that other stuff when your hot tub is running. And, as indicated earlier, allow a long time for the tub to come up to temperature. In cold temperatures, it will be essential to keep it very weill covered, or the tub will not be able to maintain the temperature.
 
  #5  
Old 10-30-07, 11:38 AM
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There are a number of hot tubs that give you the _option_ of either using a 50A, 240V circuit _or_ using a 20A, 120V circuit.

They do this by having a 120V pump/blower system, and a 240V heater. For 120V operation, the heater is connected to only 120V, and will function, but will only draw half the current and produce 1/4 the heat. In some cases, when operated at 120V, you can run the pump/blower or the heating element, but not both.

-Jon
 
  #6  
Old 10-31-07, 06:48 AM
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I kinda of thought it should be on its own dedicated circuit to not cause problems of blowing the circuit. I guess my main concern is, is a GFI receptacle enough or does the breaker have to GFI as well? I only say this because I remember a friend about 15 yrs ago had a hot tub that had a tub that was plugged into a plug that had a GFI breaker...Again many years ago.
 
  #7  
Old 10-31-07, 07:15 AM
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GFCI protection is GFCI protection. It makes no difference where the protection comes from.

Receptacles at the point of use are easier to reset than breakers, which are located at the panel, which may be in the basement or garage or ...?

GFCI receptacles are less expensive than GFCI breakers.

GFCI receptacles are 120 volts. GFCI breakers are available in 120 or 240 volts.


It is not recommended to install two forms of GFCI protection. (This would be a GFCI breaker and a GFCI receptacle, or a GFCI receptacle providing protection for a second GFCI receptacle, for instance.) In the event of a fault, one or both will trip. Unless you are familiar with the circuit, it may not be obvious there is fault or where the problem is.
 
  #8  
Old 10-31-07, 08:00 AM
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A GFI receptacle is OK.

A few things to consider......

If the Hot-tub requires a 20A circuit, be sure to get a 20A GFI receptacle (not a 15A).

If the branch supply circuit leaves the inside of your house....such as the receptacle is mounted on a pole in the yard.....The grounding wire in the cable has to be individually insulated....NM or type UF cable (or any cable with a bare ground wire) can't (legally) be used for the circuit from the house to the receptacle.
NM (or other type of approved cable) can be used from the breaker to a J-Box on the outside wall, and from there changed over to a (wet location) cable with a insulated grounding conductor.
The outer covering of NM or UF cable doesn't count as insulation for the ground wire.

If the receptacle (box) is mounted directly on the side of the house, then NM (or any other approved wiring method) is OK if run straight thru the wall of the house and into the GFI receptacle.

You will need a exterior box and "In use" (bubble) cover for the receptacle to keep rain out when the plug is inserted.

The GFI receptacle has to be located (at least) 5' from the inside wall of the hot-tub (measured horizontally).

Just my opinion
I won't be held liable or responsible for the use, mis-use or the accuracy of this information.
Use it at your own risk.
It's your responsibility to do any electrical work safely and to any applicable law.
My first disclaimer for today

hope this helps.
steve
 
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