suppling(220v)for Hot Tub


Old 03-06-01, 07:16 AM
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Hello, objective is to ask questions regaurding the proper gauge,length,3 0r 4 wire for a 220v, dedicated 50 amp breaker that has to travel approx 60 feet to a T rated 220 outside plug to supply power to my new up coming hot tub, which requires a 220 GFCI also and will need a grounding rod hammered into the ground.

(lets assume I know the proper materials to use as far as junction boxs,wire nuts,rigid conduit where any exposed wire will be, etc.)

My home is only 2yrs old.

let me start at the main panel which runs approx 7 ft over to a sub panel that houses all the house hold breakers which can be accessed from inside the garage.
I know for a fact that there are two(2)blank breaker slots that already have the wire for each, coiled up in the attic, left there for the purpose of expansion.

Can I even consider using both or one of these lines with a 50 amp breaker in the panel as a starting point for the 220v-50 amp supply to my Hot Tub? (if this is not recommended, then no use me asking more question about where to go from here,right?).

any feed back, much appreciated.
Thx,...Jeff O
Old 03-06-01, 05:39 PM
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Jeff, I'm going to try to help, but I don't know if it will help or not.

1st: a 50amp, 240v Hot tub circuit requires a cable with 4-wires, sized #6 copper.

2nd: Run this cable from a two-pole, 50amp breaker to a location within sight of the tub, but no closer than 5' away from the tub. Use conduit where protection is required. Rigid conduit is not always the best to use. Maybe electrical PVC, or some other type.

3rd: At this point, install an outdoor rated, 50amp, 240v GFCI spa disconnect, which you should be able to pick up at any electrical supply house.

4th: From this disconnect, run cable into the control box of the tub. You may elect to run 4 seperate wires in a flexable conduit here. use the correct size conduit, and correct fittings.

5th: Do not, for any reason, install a rod at the tub. If the metal parts of the tub, motor, heater etc.. need to be bonded, it will say so in the instruction booklet. Follow these rules. Look for lugs on the outside of the motor housing, on the side of the heater box, etc... (if the instructions call for a rod to be installed, I would like to ask you to mail me a copy of the instructions, please. Email me back and I will give you my mailing address.)

6th: I doubt if the "future" wires run from your panel are heavy enought to run this tub. You will have to run the new cable all the way into the box, which could be a real job.

7th: If you have any concerns with doing any of these items, it might be better to get a licensed electrician in to do it.

Good luck

Rick Miell

Old 03-06-01, 05:52 PM
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You must run either 6 ga copper or 4 ga aluminum to serve that hot tub. Nowhere in that circuit will you be allowed to run any smaller conductor as part of that hot tub circuit. This 6 ga copper or 4 ga aluminum must be in a design with a red,black,white,and green or bare conductors. 4 wire Romex 6 ga copper is the common wire used inside. 4 wire 6 ga copper SEU cable is usually used for outdoor installation. If outdoor you cable must be sunlight resistant if exposed to sunlight and approved for a wet location. You are required a disconnect within sight from [can see it but not over 50'] that hot tub. This disconnect must be at least 5' away from the hot tub. A 240 volt 50 amp GFI breaker must protect that hot tub branch circuit. You must have a general use receptacle 120 volt 15 amp rated GFI protected located more than 5' but not more than 10' from that hot tub.

The disconnect mounted in sight from the hot tub may be a non fused disconnect but must be weather proof if mounted outside.

All wiring for that hot tub must be weather proof rated.

No switches or recepatcles may be located within 5' of that hot tub.

The 220 volt 50 amp GFI breaker may be installed in the panel that supplies the power or in the disconnect if fused that is located in sight of the hot tub.

You might want to check some of the hot tub manufacturers supply a 220 volt GFI breaker in the hot tub as it is manufactured. This is fine then you may use a regular 50 amp rated 240 volt breaker in you panel considering the GFI is factory supplied if it is.

DO NOT DRIVE A GROUND ROD AT THAT HOT TUB. You are confusing the purpose of the "BONDING GRID" A bonding grid must use a # 8 copper wire that bonds all metals of that hot tub or metals associated with that hot tub including metal plumbing together to make all metals as one entity. No ground rod is allowed in this design.

The bonding grid souce is the metal of the hot tub itself make all metals as one by the bonding grid.

The bonding ground is the equipment ground found in your main panel that carries a faulted short back to the panel to signal the panel's breaker to kick off due to interuppting rating of the breaker for short circuits.

Bonding grid and bonding ground are two different animals. The bonding grid uses no ground rod as a grounding source. The bonding ground uses a grounding source such as a ground rod.

Digest this much then you can come back in on flexible cables, sealtite installations etc. in the fine art of this installation.

Hope this helps

Old 03-06-01, 09:36 PM
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Thank you very much , your help goes with the advice from some of the hot tub sellers too.
thanks again,....jeff O
Old 03-07-01, 12:48 PM
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Rick Sorry for the similar reply, I evidently was replying at the same time you were. Seems like we said about the same thing.

The following was emailed to me and I am forwarding the questions and replies to this post for others to be able to read.

Email received;

thank you for replying to my question dated 3/6/01 regaurding "wiring for(220v)hot tub".
> How about this,.....I totally forgot about a 240v 50 amp future welding receptacle box located in my garage that is allready wired directly into the main panel on a 2pole 50 amp breaker. The wire suppling the welding receptacle I know is at least 6 gauge if not 4 ga. It seems to me I could just join the proper gauge wire at that box, and correctly route it to all the proper componants to service my tub.( and yes I was alittle confused about the bonding grid issue,..but you cleared that up nicely ). Once the power supply is at the tub location, I would follow all the correct codes etc.
> Would you be able to provide any info on approx how much cost for about 60 ft of this 6 or 4 gauge wire that would be correctly routed up inside the attic the majority of the way? If so,..where would be some of the more inexpensive places to purchase this amount of wire?
> any feed back,...much appreciated.
> Thx again......Jeff

Reply sent;

Most likely your welder wire will only be a black,red,bare. Only three wires where your hot tub must be with a four wire cable. Black,red,white,bare.

The approximate cost of a 6/3wGrnd would be about 80 cents to $ 1.00 per foot. Electrical wholesale warehouses are usually the cheapest place to locate the best price available. Price the material at several wholesale houses and buy from the cheapest location.

Most commonly people will fish the 6/3wGrnd from the panel to the attic then to the soffit area then travel through the soffit area to the location you want the wire to come down then come down in conduit PVC or EMT to the disconnect if within the limits of withing sight from. Then a sealtite flexible conduit or a heavy usage rubber cord from that disconnect on the house wall to the hot tub as long as that sealtite or rubber cord is not more that 10' and the disconnect is at least 5' away from the hot tub.

Sometimes fishing down into the crawl is a better option from the panel to the disconnect at the hot tub. If so then go across the crawl area following a framing member or on a running board to the area of the disconnect. Then you can drill a hole through the band board of the crawl directly into the disconnect at the hot tub.

Good Luck



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