Temporary Test hookup on hot tub

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  #1  
Old 07-20-13, 01:23 PM
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Temporary Test hookup on hot tub

I need a temporary hookup to see if a hottube is working. It is a 115 V with 1500 water heater and 1 HP pump which are designed not to work at the same time It has a 120 volt, 60hz, 20 amp and 1200 watt plug (ground on top and two perpendicular hot/neutral wires(with left prong 90 opposite of standard 100 volt plug). I think the plug is a NEMA 5-20 Plug and is not usable in any of my house recepticles. Can I disconnect the male plug from the hot tube and hook it up to a standard 110 volt plug and plug it into a standard house 110 receptacle on a 20 amp house circuit.

If not is there good way to do this without rewiring the house.

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Last edited by ray2047; 07-20-13 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 07-20-13, 02:15 PM
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There are really no standard 110 volt house plugs because your house has 120 volts. Some of your 120 volt receptacles are probably on 20 amp breakers. Garages usually have 20 amp circuits. You would need to change the receptacle to a 5-20. Any other loads on the circuit should be turned off during testing. If no receptacles on 20 amp breakers are close enough you would need to make an adapter extension cord to run from the closest receptacle protected by a 20 amp breaker. The cord would have to be 12 gage minimum.
 
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Old 07-20-13, 03:03 PM
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sorry perhaps a better word is common or typically found in most residence applications (i.e., one ground with a hot and common blade parellel to each other). Not being an electrician I will ask another dumb question, for a one time application why does the 5/20 plug have to be used if a 12 gauge cord on a 20 amp circuit with no other draw on the circuit is being used.
 
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Old 07-20-13, 03:52 PM
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The tub should be on an individual branch circuit due to the amount of power it draws. Turning off everything would mimic this for testing.
 
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Old 07-20-13, 04:19 PM
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The 5-20 plug is rated for 20 amps. The 5-15 is not. A 20 amp 120 circuit in the U.S. (Canada varies) may by code use 5-15 receptacles if there are two or more places to plugin and since 120 appliances with a 5-20 plug are rare normally only 5-15 are used. However it is code compliant to use 5-20s and since 5-15 are 20 amp pass through it is code compliant on a 20 amp circuit to mix 5-20 with 5-15 which is what you will be doing for the test.
 
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Old 07-20-13, 04:24 PM
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perhaps a better word is common or typically found in most residence applications (i.e., one ground with a hot and common blade parellel to each other).
That is a 15 amp receptacle. A 20 amp receptacle will have a T-shaped slot for the neutral connection, allowing as appliance with a NEMA 2-20 plug to be connected to it.

Check the size of the circuits near the tub, or near where you can put it for testing. If you find one that is a 20 amp circuit with a 15 amp receptacle, you can replace that receptacle with a 20 amp one and plug right in.

Can I disconnect the male plug from the hot tub...
That would void the UL listing for the tub. Better to install a receptacle you can use on a known 20A circuit.

If you can find a receptacle to replace that is GFCI protected, like one that's outside, that would be a very good one to use.
 
  #7  
Old 07-24-13, 07:49 AM
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"Temporary" always scares me when it comes to hot tubs


I own a hot tub repair company. I run into this scenario a lot lately.

I can understand the need to ensure the tub works before spending any money or effort on permanent wiring or repairs but, all too often, I see the temporary wiring still in use six months or a year later. I've seen 20 Amp tubs connected to two or three #12 and #14 extension cords with no GFCI anywhere in the circuit.

Speaking of GFCI: You should test the tub with the GFCI plug on the cord or be sure you're plugging it into a GFCI protected outlet. The tub will require a GFCI when it is permanently wired.

Testing it with a GFCI in the circuit is the only way you'll know if you have a ground-fault in the tub. A regular breaker may not detect a small amount of current leaking to ground.

Another common problem: All the outlets outside your house are probably on the same breaker. Your tub needs to be on a dedicated circuit due to the amperage it draws and to ensure dedicated GFCI protection.

If there are other outlets on the same circuit, you could find yourself troubleshooting the hot tub because somebody plugged a weed whacker into an outlet on the other side of the house.

After you're done 'temporarily wiring the tub for testing', turn it off, unplug it and don't use it until it is properly and permanently wired.

Even if you Do It Yourself, you might look into getting a permit and inspection. Most jurisdictions require permits for hot tubs. Since you connect it to electricity, fill it and sit in the water up to your neck...you might want to get this project right on the first try.
 
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