Hot Tub Grounding Issue

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Old 03-04-12, 06:37 AM
J
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Hot Tub Grounding Issue

I'm installing an outdoor hot tub, about 100 feet from the main service panel, and will be installed on the other side of the house (compared to the service panel and house grounding rod). It is a 3-wire, 240 V, 48 Amp Max load. I was planning on running four 6-gauge wires (green ground, red and black hots, and white neutral) to a 60-AMP GFCI spa disconnect (neutral needed for the GFCI), and then from the GFCI spa disconnect, run the red and black hots and ground to the hot tub (switching over from EMT to PVC or liquid-tight since it will run under ground for about 5 feet).

Anyway, the Village Inspector does not want it installed like this (even though this is what I've read in the NEC). He said that I can install a 60-AMP GFCI in the main breaker panel (I will then will not need to run a neutral out to the tub area), and then have a standard disconnect outside. But, instead of running a ground back to the main panel, he said I should install a new 8-foot grounding near the tub, and ground the tub to the new grounding rod. So, it would not be ground at the main service panel, but at the new grounding rod. I've heard that this is not good, since you want to have the ground go back to the GFCI source for proper protection.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 03-04-12, 08:27 AM
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Your inspector is seriously confused on the purpose of a ground rod. Ground rods are for high voltage events like lightning and are not used to establish a ground for a hot tub.

The grounding means for the hot tub is run with the circuit conductos as you described. The GFI protection can be at the main panel or in the local disconnect near the tub.

The NEC also requires a 120 volt convenience receptacle near the tub. You also may have bonding issues that need to be addressed. All the requirements are covered in Article 680 of the National Electrical Code.
 
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Old 03-04-12, 02:35 PM
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Could the ground rod at the hot tub be considered some form of equipotential grounding system like is used with an in-ground pool? I'm not familiar enough with pool codes to comment.

Regardless, I do know enough to say that the grounds do need to be bonded back to the main panel. Something doesn't seem quite right. You may need to do some NEC research and ask for feedback of those sections... in the nicest way possible
 
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Old 03-04-12, 05:42 PM
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An equipotential bond would only tie any metal parts and any rebar from the slab or a bond grid run under the soil together. It would not require a rod.
 
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Old 03-04-12, 07:58 PM
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Anyway, the Village Inspector does not want it installed like this (even though this is what I've read in the NEC). He said that I can install a 60-AMP GFCI in the main breaker panel (I will then will not need to run a neutral out to the tub area), and then have a standard disconnect outside. But, instead of running a ground back to the main panel, he said I should install a new 8-foot grounding near the tub, and ground the tub to the new grounding rod. So, it would not be ground at the main service panel, but at the new grounding rod. I've heard that this is not good, since you want to have the ground go back to the GFCI source for proper protection.
Im finding it hard to believe that an inspector told you this!!! Just my .01!!! [Too much liability]
 
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Old 03-04-12, 09:45 PM
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Im finding it hard to believe that an inspector told you this!!! Just my .01!!! [Too much liability]
I'm not! I have seen inspectors before who wanted to engineer a project, but knew very little about the NEC and wouldn't admit it.
 
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Old 03-05-12, 08:42 AM
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A shame if he or she is a tax paid inspector—seeing that a lawsuit could result. Wow!!!
 
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