NEED HELP! Wiring for outdoor hot tub!! PLEASE!!

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Old 03-18-09, 07:55 PM
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NEED HELP! Wiring for outdoor hot tub!! PLEASE!!

So here is the situation. We are purchasing a 750 series Beachcomber hot tub and are trying to figure out what needs to be done with the electrical in order to get our house hot tub ready!
Our existing panel inside our house only has one spot left, so from what we are told we would need to purchase a Sub panel that will need a 50 AMP 2 poll Narrow breaker in it. Does that sound correct and does it get put inside our house underneath the existing panel?

Also wondering on the 6/3 wire, which one do we need to purchase?? We have heard from a couple different electricians that there are many different types/kinds. We have two seperate locations outside that we are planning on putting the tub(which is just going to be for 2 years or so until we can build a deck). One option is right beside our house entrance, which would mean we would run the wire under the house in our crawl space to the outside. The other option we would have to dig a trench from the house out to the tub about 8 meters or so away. We are hoping the wire will not be too expensive and were told that if we dig a trench 18" underground and surround it with PVC we can use a 'lower grade' 6/3 wire?

Also wondering, if the hot tub wire has to run approx 20 meters from the inside panel will that affect the power of the hot tub?

I called an electrician in town and he quoted me $1500.00 to install the tub....doesn't that seem like an outrageous price?????

Sorry its so long....but I really do need help!!
 
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Old 03-18-09, 09:42 PM
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Is the tub going to be inside or out?
so from what we are told we would need to purchase a Sub panel that will need a 50 AMP 2 poll Narrow breaker in it. Does that sound correct
No. if you add a sub panel then there would be no reason to use a "slim" breaker. I think the suggestion was a 2 pole "slim" breaker in the existing panel instead of adding a sub panel. Whether you could even use a slim breaker in your existing panel would depend on make and model. However you will still probably need a sub panel or "spa kit" at the tub. This will depend on the manufacturers instructions.
 
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Old 03-18-09, 10:03 PM
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First, a note that my advice is based on US code. Canadian code is usually identical or at least very similar, but hot tubs are heavily regulated so there could be some differences which you will need to reconcile with someone who knows the local codes.

Originally Posted by hugoandheather View Post
we would need to purchase a Sub panel that will need a 50 AMP 2 poll Narrow breaker in it. Does that sound correct and does it get put inside our house underneath the existing panel?
If your panel is a model that accepts tandem breakers, I would recommend that you replace two of your existing single-pole breakers with a tandem breakers. This will provide two free slots for the 50A double-pole hot tub breaker.

Also wondering on the 6/3 wire, which one do we need to purchase??
Type NM or UF 6/3 cable is only allowed through the interior portion of the dwelling. If the wire is running outside the dwelling (which it sounds like yours is), you will need to use a wiring method which employs an insulated ground conductor. The common way of doing this is to use PVC conduit with #6 or #8 (black,red,white,green) THWN conductors pulled in.

were told that if we dig a trench 18" underground and surround it with PVC we can use a 'lower grade' 6/3 wire?
At least in US code, you cannot use #6/3 cable underground for a hot tub.

Also wondering, if the hot tub wire has to run approx 20 meters from the inside panel will that affect the power of the hot tub?
That distance should not be a problem.

I called an electrician in town and he quoted me $1500.00 to install the tub....doesn't that seem like an outrageous price?????
It may be a little high, but it does not seem outrageous -- depends on how much panel work needs to be done at your main. As I said, the hot tubs are very highly regulated installations, so a lot of materials and labor go in to doing a safe and legal installation. Unfortunately the tub vendors usually gloss over that part leading to sticker shock when the electrician gives his quote.

As always, getting a few estimates is good practice.

Some other things that you didn't mention, but are important to the install are: the line-of-sight disconnect panel, the general-purpose receptacle nearby, the GFCI device, and bonding.
 
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Old 03-18-09, 10:18 PM
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As far for spa regulations in Cananda I allready got ahold of one guy and I will wait for his reply to me or answer it here direct.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 03-18-09, 10:18 PM
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Ok, well I am still insanely confused. I am not in the least informed about electrical or any of the terms that you guys are using.

A can answer one question that you had in regards to my questions:

1. The hot tub will be outside.

Now here are more questions that I have due to your responses!! Please go easy on me, I am a woman who's husbands work away from home WAY to often so I am left to figure a lot of this stuff out on my own!!!

1. How will I know if my model will accept tandom breakers?
2. What is the line-of-sight disconnect panel? Is that not the 50-amp GFI breaker that comes with the hot tub that gets put 10 feet away from the tub?
3. What is a general purpose receptacle?
4. And what is the bonding?

you will need to use a wiring method which employs an insulated ground conductor. The common way of doing this is to use PVC conduit with #6 or #8 (black,red,white,green) THWN conductors pulled in.
Im guessing this is not the standard 6/3 wire? How much does this cost?
 
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Old 03-18-09, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by hugoandheather View Post
Ok, well I am still insanely confused. I am not in the least informed about electrical or any of the terms that you guys are using.

A can answer one question that you had in regards to my questions:

1. The hot tub will be outside.
That fine as long you got good level spot there.

1. How will I know if my model will accept tandom breakers?
Look at the breaker cover and get the model number off from the door.

2. What is the line-of-sight disconnect panel? Is that not the 50-amp GFI breaker that comes with the hot tub that gets put 10 feet away from the tub?
It depending on the local inspector want which type of disconnect switch all it depending on the numbers of circuits running to this spa.
3. What is a general purpose receptacle?
A standard Weatherproof receptale { check with your local codes for spefic distance X amout of feet or meters from the spa edge.

4. And what is the bonding?
EGC is your bonding conductor either bare or green conductor is used for bonding and grounding follow the manufacter for specfic location for bonding useally they will ask for #8 bare conductor specfied in some locations { it will show or highlighted in installment manual }

you will need to use a wiring method which employs an insulated ground conductor. The common way of doing this is to use PVC conduit with #6 or #8 (black,red,white,green) THWN conductors pulled in.
Im guessing this is not the standard 6/3 wire? How much does this cost?

One of my Cananda freind told me that the teck cable is allowed to use in spa useage { that is only major diffrence between the USA and Canada codes. } othewise everything is almost parallel with NEC codes.

For the cost of 6/3 Teck cable I am not sure what they charge by foot or meter.

But before you get too far make sure you get proper permits for this and have the inspector give you a punch list if they willing to give to ya.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 03-18-09, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by hugoandheather View Post
How will I know if my model will accept tandom breakers?
Usually it's printed on the panel label or encoded in the model number. If the panel is 30 spaces / 40 circuits for example you can use up to 10 tandem breakers.

What is the line-of-sight disconnect panel? Is that not the 50-amp GFI breaker that comes with the hot tub that gets put 10 feet away from the tub?
Yes, that panel can qualify as a disconnect.

What is a general purpose receptacle?
Most codes require a standard outlet within a certain number of feet from the tub for servicing and maintenance purposes. The range of 10'-25' is common. They usually allow you to count an existing receptacle if you already have on on your house/deck within the appropriate distance.

And what is the bonding?
Bonding is the connection of all metal parts in and around the tub with a solid copper wire to reduce shock hazard. Most tubs come pre-bonded for all of the internal components, but if you are putting the tub on or near a metal surface or a steel-reinforced concrete slab, additional bonding wires may be required.

you will need to use a wiring method which employs an insulated ground conductor. The common way of doing this is to use PVC conduit with #6 or #8 (black,red,white,green) THWN conductors pulled in.
Im guessing this is not the standard 6/3 wire? How much does this cost?
No it is not 6/3 cable; 6/3 has a black, red, white and bare wires. In the US code, the bare wire is not allowed for a hot tub circuit; however Marc has said in the post above that it may be okay in Canada.
 
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