Spa Wiring Question

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Old 09-27-12, 05:59 AM
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Spa Wiring Question

I am replacing a old 17 year old spa. The wiring from the electrical panel is 6 - 3 NM-B with bare ground (uninsulated) which runs to a non fused disconnect on the deck. Both tubs are 50 amp so the wire size is ok but should I replace the wiring with one with an insulated ground wire?
 
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Old 09-27-12, 06:31 AM
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The wiring from the electrical panel is 6 - 3 NM-B with bare ground (uninsulated) which runs to a non fused disconnect on the deck.
As your aware neither the bare ground or NM if ran outside are code compliant. Does this cable exit the house at any point except to enter a junction box mounted on an exterior wall? If it goes no further it is okay. The spa must be GFCI protected.
 
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Old 09-27-12, 06:56 AM
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The wire is the type with the black sheathing and the ground wire is inside the black sheathing, it just doesn't have any insulation. It exits the house into a disconnect. From the disconnect it will go to a GFCI Spa panel inside 1" plastic conduit then to the spa in conduit. The wire from the disconnect to Spa panel and to the spa is also in the black sheathing but the ground wire is insulated. The red, black and white wires have about 7 strands and the ground looks like a #12 solid. So, can this type of wire be run outside in PVC conduit or do I need to run something like separate THHN conductors from the GFCI panel to the spa?
 
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Last edited by rsisaacs; 09-27-12 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 09-27-12, 06:14 PM
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From the disconnect it will go to a GFCI Spa panel inside 1" plastic conduit then to the spa in conduit. The wire from the disconnect to Spa panel and to the spa is also in the black sheathing but the ground wire is insulated
If that wire is also non-metallic sheathed cable (aka NM) it isn't allowed outside even in conduit.

do I need to run something like separate THHN conductors from the GFCI panel to the spa?
THHN cannot be used outside either. That being said, most THHN is dual rated also as THWN which is allowed outside in conduit. Check the labelling on the outside of the insulation on each wire to be sure you have THWN wire.
 
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Old 09-28-12, 03:59 AM
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Thanks for the info. I think the wire I was looking at was dual rated THHN/THWN.

So I guess I will use the existing 6-3 NM B and splice it to #6 THWN in a pvc junction box where it exits the wall.

Now how to do the best splicing. I have seen 3 ways to do that.


1. Wire nuts. I am not sure if I like that option for something like a hot tub.


2. Split bolt connectors. This is a secure method but I don't like to have to wrap a bunch of tape around them.


3. Insulated set screw butt connectors. This sounds like the best of the three options.


Does anyone know of another method? Some type of screw down terminal block inside a junction box would be nice. Would using a non-fused disconnect to do this be code compliant?
 

Last edited by rsisaacs; 09-28-12 at 05:37 AM.
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Old 09-28-12, 12:28 PM
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In this post you said
I guess I will use the existing 6-3 NM B and splice it to #6 THWN in a pvc junction box where it exits the wall.
but in an earlier post you said
It [the existing 6-3 NM B] exits the house into a disconnect. From the disconnect it will go to a GFCI Spa panel inside 1" plastic conduit then to the spa in conduit.
I'm confused. Why would you need to splice anything? All of the wire in the conduits should be individual THWN conductors, and they start by terminating to the load side of the disconnect.
 
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Old 09-28-12, 01:31 PM
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To expand on Nash's question is the disconnect not mounted on an exterior wall? Doesn't the cable in the house run to the disconnect?
 
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Old 09-28-12, 04:35 PM
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I probably didn't explain the project well enough. The current disconnect is old and corroded and I want to replace it. Plus it is not located where I need it for the tub relocation, but I want to use the same exit hole out of the house brick. So what I am going to do is remove the old disconnect where it exits the house with the NM B and use a junction box and splice some THWN to the NMB with some Burndy splices (nice but not cheap) and run it to the new Square D Spa GFCI box. Then more THWN to the Spa.

Thanks everyone for their input.
 
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Old 09-28-12, 07:03 PM
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Thanks, that's clearer now. I'm not familiar with Burndy splices you refer to. I am familiar with Ilsco clear taps, and I'm wondering if they might be less expensive. Whichever works for you.
 
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Old 10-01-12, 11:08 AM
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I have another question. I will be running the pvc conduit up through the wooden deck and through the bottom of the hot tub into the area where the control box is. The area is pretty cramped and it would be easier if I could run the THWN out of the top of the pvc and terminate it at the hole in the control box with a clamp down NM connector. Is this code compliant or do I need to run the conduit all of the way to the control panel?
 
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Old 10-01-12, 12:23 PM
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could [I] run the THWN out of the top of the pvc and terminate it at the hole in the control box with a clamp down NM connector.
THWN can not be run outside a raceway. Maybe transition to Sealtite.
 
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Old 10-01-12, 02:36 PM
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THWN can not be run outside a raceway. Maybe transition to Sealtite.
Thanks for the info. I will take a look at the sealtite.
 
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