Need some input on wiring a 220 Spa. GFCI

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Old 09-25-08, 04:15 PM
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Need some input on wiring a 220 Spa. GFCI

I have been searching the web for a couple of days now and I have not really seen a definitive answer to my question, it seems to be a mixed opinion, maybe someone here can help.

A little background; I just recently bought a home that already had the conduit and wiring in place for a 220V spa on the back. The spa did not exist but 3, 6 gauge wires that run to the house panel on a dedicated 50AMP breaker, are in place. I just purchased a 2004 model Sundance Marin spa, this spa runs on pure 220V, it has a 3 wire hookup, ground – hot – hot. The lights, pump and all parts of this spa require only 220V, so no neutral feed is necessary at the spa itself … now comes my question(s)


It’s apparent to me that the former spa was just hooked up directly, no GFCI box. I want a GFCI and a service disconnect in place obviously, so I purchased this model GFCI from Lowes

Now since I only have 3 wires coming from the conduit, my spa only requires the 3 leads also.. but it appears to me that the GFCI is asking for a neural feed from the main breaker box. Is that neutral feed required for the GFCI to function correctly or to pass code?

I have read that that neutral feed is only needed if your spa runs 110 & 220V, I have read that the neutral feed is required for the GFCI to trip and function correctly, and I have read that I don’t need it at all. I am completely confused and I really don’t want to spend a full day or more running an entire Neutral run to my GFCI unless I absolutely have to.

Attached are pic’s of the spa manual wiring DIO and here is a link to the GFCI instructions



What confuses me even more is that the ground feed and the neutral feed both appear to come from the exact same place, so why need both?

Thanks for any input you can shed on this situation,

-Robert
 
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Old 09-25-08, 05:37 PM
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The GFCI breaker do required a netural to get this GFCI breaker to function otherwise it will not function without the netural.

However.,, what you have on the wire now Black , Red , Green ? if that the case you will have to bring the netrual to the spa panel and from there if the case your spa is strictaly 240 volt no netrual at all.

After the spa breaker you can run with out netrual if the spa control box do not have netural marking at all.

What type of wire you have in the conduit ? If it is THHN/THWN type with PVC or EMT conduit { inside } it is pretty easy to fish in new wire { #6 White some big box store can mesure and cut for ya otherwise #6 black but get white tape to remarked }

IF you have something like cable like NM or SE or SER cable.

The inside part is ok but once it get outside then you must switch the bare conductor { wire } to inslulated green conductor. This is very spefic code requirement so don't skim on this one.


Let us know what you have there then we can go from there.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 09-25-08, 09:09 PM
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The conduit now is very tight with thre 6 guage wires in it.

The neutral and Ground wires come from the same place on the main house breaker box, so I guess it's matter of where I attach it to the GFCI unt that dictates if the current "non-hot" wire is ground or neutral, no?

Also, correct me if I am wrong .. but I can go smaller on a ground wire pull then 6 gauge, right? I thought code was 8 or 10 on a ground up to 60 amp. So if I use the existing 6 gauge for a my neutral, I should be able to pull a 8 or 10 for the ground, right?

Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 09-25-08, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by robtpek View Post
The conduit now is very tight with thre 6 guage wires in it.
What size conduit you have in there ?

It should be inch or larger conduit size


Originally Posted by robtpek View Post
The neutral and Ground wires come from the same place on the main house breaker box, so I guess it's matter of where I attach it to the GFCI unt that dictates if the current "non-hot" wire is ground or neutral, no?

Also, correct me if I am wrong .. but I can go smaller on a ground wire pull then 6 gauge, right? I thought code was 8 or 10 on a ground up to 60 amp. So if I use the existing 6 gauge for a my neutral, I should be able to pull a 8 or 10 for the ground, right?
For the ground conductor size the non spa useage you can use #10 for grounding conductor size that good up to 60 amp OCPD { overcurrent protection device }

At the spa subpanel or disconnect switch the code is very specific on the grounding size it must be full size all the way thru { #6 wire } and also any conductor going outdoor the grounding conductor must be inslualted no bare ground conductor at all { again this is mention very clear in the NEC }

If you have more question just holler we will help ya

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 09-26-08, 12:51 AM
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This will help picture the manuals drawing for a 240 volt spa with gfci spa disconnect remote from house panel. A neutral is not needed load side of the gfci panel but is needed from the house panel to the gfci disconnect in order for the gfci to function properly.

Your equipment ground is sized to table 250.122 and can be #10 copper insulated equipment ground. All feeder and branch circuit for the spa must be copper as per manufacturer instructions. Be sure the spa is a 50 amp model.

It is correct to have the neutral and ground on the same bar in the house main panel...this is where they bond with the homes electrical system neutral so fault (if any) and neutral current can get to the transformer.

 

Last edited by Bruto; 09-26-08 at 01:06 AM.
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Old 09-26-08, 10:14 AM
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Robert, another option is to return the GFCI disconnect that you bought and instead buy a 2-pole GFCI breaker for your main panel. This will allow you to hookup the neutral pigtail from the breaker directly to the neutral bus without having to pull a new wire. The 2-pole 50A GFCI will probably be $100-150, but probably worth saving the hassle and wire cost of pulling a neutral. You can then use your existing #6 hots and ground out to the tub with no neutral.

At the spa, you can then just use a simple non-fused 50A air conditioner disconnect for the required service disconnect.

What colors are your existing wires? If they are all black, the inspector will usually allow you to re-mark a black wire with green tape to identify ground; but if he's a stickler he will require you to put a green wire in there. This would be a pretty simple job to use one of the existing #6 wires to pull through a #10 green; sell the unused length of #6 for scrap and you might even come out ahead! :-)
 
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Old 09-26-08, 05:44 PM
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The conduit is a 1".

I bit the bullet and did the work today, I still need to wire everything up the but the hard part is done. I pulled a green #10 through the attic (I'm far to big of a guy for those small attic spaces )


I appreciate the input everyone and the advice, I should have all the wiring completed by Sunday sometime.
 
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Old 09-26-08, 08:01 PM
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One more quick question ...

The original person that ran the 3 #6 wires did not label them, and they are all black. I assume hot is hot right? As long as I determine my hot from my neutral, the black and red in the diagram does not matter, correct?


Thanks again.
 
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Old 09-26-08, 08:14 PM
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One more quick question ...

The original person that ran the 3 #6 wires did not label them, and they are all black. I assume hot is hot right? As long as I determine my hot from my neutral, the black and red in the diagram does not matter, correct?
That is correct. Differentiate by using colored tape or marker. White for neutral and use red for one of the hots leave the other black. Code wise the neutral wire should have been white insulation along its entire length ....just for your information. Over size 6 awg and it could have been black and then reidentified as neutral with white at each end.
 
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