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Wiring a 240V/50A Spa 30' from Outdoor Load Center -- $1000?!

Wiring a 240V/50A Spa 30' from Outdoor Load Center -- $1000?!

Old 02-24-13, 01:30 PM
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Wiring a 240V/50A Spa 30' from Outdoor Load Center -- $1000?!

Just moved from California with hot tub in tow (aptly named Dimension One Californian 60Hz/240V/50A). Out there, my tub was on a concrete pad underneath the breezeway ~6 feet from the attached garage. My landlord (wiring guy for a local phone company) placed a 240V disconnect with 50A GFCI breaker on the exterior and connected the tub from there. I trusted him because his day job was wiring and it was his property, so I didn't ask any questions when he charged me $125 for the materials used in the hookup and donated the labor.

Now in west Texas, I have the tub placed on an exterior slab approximately 30 feet from the outdoor main panel (Siemens W1630MB1150CU E 3R) with only 6 of 16 slots filled. There are no overhead lines in the area and an exterior 15A GFCI outlet already exists 10' from the tub. I called two different local electricians that were recommended by the staff at the county courthouse when I registered my vehicles. I told both I had done my research on locally adopted code [AHJ currently adopted: 2006 International Building/ Residential/ Mechanical/ Plumbing Code and 2011 National Electric Code] and would be digging the ~30 foot trench to 18" and backfilling once inspection was completed. The quotes? $999 and $980! By the time of the second quote, I already had the ditch dug based on confirmation from the first that the line would run straight down the exterior from the outdoor load center directly to the edge of the slab where the tub is already located.

These seem like gouging the new guy or evidence of a local cartel (especially since when I said I was doing the "manual" labor, both said they use "flat rate pricing" but couldn't tell me what those "flat rates" are). Both stated that since the main panel was in sight and within 50 feet (exact distance is 30 feet), no spa disconnect would be required or installed (which checks with NEC, but made me a little more curious about the prices--because they would only be using GFI breaker, wire, and conduit).

Thus, I researched the parts to see what material cost they might have...I found the Siemens QF250P 50A GFCI for $135 and 4 45' (more than enough) runs of 6 AWG THWN (red, black, green, white) for $125. Further, sch 40 1" PVC conduit for the run with fittings is $25 (no big bends to mess with difficult fishing, a true staight shot). Totals = $285. Therefore, I assumed a 50% markup on parts, which leaves around $500 for labor (just real electrical labor, no grunt work).

Am I missing something? Thanks for your input.
Old 02-24-13, 02:10 PM
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Their quotes may include the cost of the permit to do the work? You seem to have a good handle on what is needed to get it done, so why not do it yourself? If you get something wrong the inspector will tell you how to make it right.
Old 02-25-13, 07:19 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
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Lets see:
Parts: $285
Labor: $400
Fuel: $100
Permit: $75
Training: $1000
Insurance: $5000+ for 6 months
Bond: $5000+ for 6 months
Overhead (equipment etc.): $40,000+ per year

I think you get the point. You are not just paying for the time and material. There is more to it than that.

The price sounds about right for a new spa feed. However I do agree with Crispy, Why not pull your own permit and install it yourself?

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