How do I connect my SAUNA HEATER

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  #1  
Old 07-30-14, 09:43 PM
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How do I connect my SAUNA HEATER

Background: I am not an electrician but did a lot myself last year: wiring new circuits for basic household stuff in our place including 1 phase doubled circuits.

Our next project is a sauna heater and I don't know how to hook it up. Here is the diagram:

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I've combined two 110v in the panel box with a big 40amp breaker and the big black wire goes into the 3 gang box in the sauna wall:

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Then we have the heater Front and Inside:

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There's this coil (don't have a clue what this is):

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And finally the control panel:

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I would like to figure out how to hook this up. A good instruction with the type of wires to use and how to connect to the coil would be great!

I've a few questions so you get an idea what I'm strugling with:

1) What does the 'striped' line for the L3 means in the diagram?
2) The L1 and L2 from the control panel seem clear but where do the H1 and H2 go to on the coil? I can choose between the 'gold' and 'silver' connections.
3) What type of connectors are that on the coil.
4) Where can I get that 1amp 240v inline fuse? Is that easy to install?
5) The L1 and L2 in the heater are clear again but what is that 'H.L.' thing in the heater? Is that the thing with the red wires? And what about that spiral thing? Is that the ground?
6) Where do I put the coil? Is suppose in the heater but I'm not sure.
7) I need to ground everything allright and I can see I need to use conduit. I assume everything between the heater and the gang box should be in conduit. But why is the line from the 'H.L.' to the control box not in conduit?

This should be enough to get the thread going, I hope!
 
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  #2  
Old 07-30-14, 10:05 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Lots of pics.... and lots going on. What is this..... a kit ? Normally these things are assembled. I notice the UL listing missing from the back.

Your unit is 120/240 vac single phase. Ignore the reference to L3.
Your unit requires 31.3amps at 240vac. The two pole breaker is good.
Your unit requires 8/3 w/ground NMB cable.
You have three wire in your picture.... just confirm it's #8 wire.

That coily looking thing is the safety thermostat/High Limit. That "coil" is the sensor bulb.
That black box thing is the contactor (relay) It uses 1/4" slide on crimp terminals.

I see mention of a light in the wiring diagram but don't see any connection for it on the control board. What light are they referring to.
 
  #3  
Old 07-30-14, 10:10 PM
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I've combined two 110v in the panel box with a big 40amp breaker and the big black wire goes into the 3 gang box in the sauna wall:
Your house does not have 110. It has 240 and from that using the neutral 120 is derived from one of the two legs of the 240. The breaker you installed is connected to the two legs of the 240 that supply your house.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 07-31-14 at 03:33 PM. Reason: Misread. Thought it was a Spa.
  #4  
Old 07-31-14, 09:08 AM
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Thanks PJmax, I really appreciate your help!

The heater is from Sauna Warehouse and is not a kit so I was surprised too to find this contactor unattached.

UL: There's the "Conforms to UL Std. 875" notice at the top left of the black notice.

The light could be hooked onto the control panel (aux button and there are two slide on crimps in the top left of the pic) but I've installed a light with a switch separately so we can skip the light in this picture if it wasn't for the neutral: where does my white wire go? I don't see an N besides the one next to the light in the diagram.

The wires in the box are AWG 10. That's on the edge of the 30amps I suppose. The red wires in the heater are AWG 12.
 
  #5  
Old 07-31-14, 02:51 PM
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Unfortunately..... regardless of what size wire they use inside the unit... you are required, by code, to supply it with #8 wiring. That is a point where there is no room for argument.

The neutral/white can be just capped off as it won't be needed.
 
  #6  
Old 07-31-14, 03:01 PM
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"The wires in the box are AWG 10." Are you talking about the incoming power supply to the gang box? You have to run #8 and a ground and not #10.
"The red wires in the heater are AWG 12." Do you mean the red wires for the heater limit? The heater is 7500 watts. 7500W/240Volts = 31.25. Can't use #12 for that. Has to be #8 for the heater.
You don't need a nuetral wire. if you were going to control a light from the module, then I would say bring in a nuetral with the power supply. They are using one of the hot legs and a nuetral to power a light. Since you are installing a seperate light, you don't need to bring in a nuetral.
Where is the gang box? INSIDE the sauna? The sauna will probably classify as a damp or wet location. You would need a different box. BTW- notice the green ground screw in the gang box? You do know that metal boxes have to be grounded- right?
Tell us about this light you're putting in. It will have to have a watertight lens and might need to be GFI protected. I'm unsure about that.
I have some info about the 1 amp fuse. Will write more later.
 

Last edited by daddyjohn; 07-31-14 at 03:05 PM. Reason: spelling
  #7  
Old 07-31-14, 07:32 PM
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Thanks for your reactions guys but I'm a little shocked: we hired two licensed electricians last year. One worked 'below' the code and other 'above' the code. Both tried to scam us so I learned it myself from there. The licensed 'stickler' ran the #10 and the building inspector in this town approved it and signed off on it. But I believe you guys so we're at a loss here because we closed down the ceiling and walls already.
 
  #8  
Old 07-31-14, 08:00 PM
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You don't have to believe us, just believe the NEC. May I ask? This is a dry type sauna with rocks? You pour a little water on the rocks for moisture? IOW- it's not a steam sauna?
 
  #9  
Old 07-31-14, 08:28 PM
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Maybe when the electrician ran the wire he wasn't aware of the current consumption requirements of your unit.
 
  #10  
Old 07-31-14, 08:34 PM
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Thanks Daddyjohn for joining my project!

Your're correct: this is a dry type sauna with rocks, water pouring for a little moisture, not a steam sauna. As background: my wife and I recently opened a B&B in CT and we're adding a wellness area with this (Finnish) sauna and there is also a steamshower cabin and an infrared saune.

Jep, incoming power is #10. I've just looked at an alternative route to run the #8 and I have found a route.

Yes, the red wires are for the heater limit and they were already there (from factory) and they are #12. Looking at the diagram: the first needs to go to the control panel L1. The seconds needs to go to the L2 of the power source (through the inline fuse) and this one raises a question: is it correct to connect the #8 with the #12? There's just this inline fuse in between...

The gang box is OUTSIDE the sauna. It was the box that was delivered with the sauna kit.

I didn't mention anything about grounding because that is clear to me: heater, coil, contactor (relay), control panel, everything should be grounded and if I use BX the metal sheath can serve as the ground, right?

The light also came with the sauna kit and is approved for damp areas. The circuit has a GFI breaker in the panel box.

@PJmax: Heater was there. Manuals were there. It was his job to hookup the unit.
 
  #11  
Old 07-31-14, 08:50 PM
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I use BX the metal sheath can serve as the ground, right?
Wrong. You need a dedicated ground wire.
What BX are you referring to ? Did the sauna come with a BX whip ?

If you are running a new cable from the panel.... you can use 8-2 w/ground NM-B as you don't require a neutral. That bare wire needs to be connected to the splice box and then run to the unit.

You will need a fuse and fuseholder rated for 240vac. My best recommendation is try at an electrical supply house. If you'd like to order one online let us know and we can leave you a link.

Yes... it is correct to connect the #8 to the #12. You will need large wirenuts. It will be a little tough to make the splice but work carefully.
 
  #12  
Old 07-31-14, 09:26 PM
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Okay, I'll get some 8-2 w/gr NM-B!

Please supply the link to the fuse/fusholder, besides the Home Depot (didn't see 1amp inline fuses there) I don't know of a good electrical supply in my area (Washington CT)

I got the BX from the diagram:
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Looking at the whole diagram: I still don't see which parts should be bare or sheathed so first I'd like to know where I should place the contactor. In the heater or in the gang box? There's enough room in the heater, not so much in the box.
 
  #13  
Old 07-31-14, 10:22 PM
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The contactor should be in the sauna. You need to pick up either seal tite, which is a plastic coated flexible conduit or greenfield, which looks like BX but comes empty. You should be able to get three #8's in a 1/2" ...... 3/4" would make it easier if you have 3/4" knockouts on the junction box and the the sauna. You would pick up three pieces of #8 THHN. A red, a black and a green to connect your 8-2 NM-B in your junction box to your sauna.

If you type your location followed by electrical supply in google you'll get a whole list.
 
  #14  
Old 08-01-14, 12:26 AM
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I don't know how to post a link but I was going to suggest a Class CC single fuseblock [Bussman BC6031S]. Three types of fuses are available. LP-CC-1 which is a 1 amp, low peak, dual element time delay fuse, FNQ-R-1 which is a 1 amp, dual element time delay fuse, and KTK-R-1 which is a 1 amp, fast acting, dual element tme delay fuse. I found them at Galco Industrial Electronics, I'm sure there are others.
 
  #15  
Old 08-01-14, 08:51 AM
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I would place the fuseblock in the heater, right?

All exposed wires between the gang box and the sauna heater should be within the seal tite, right? The heater has a 'closed' box itself so I don't need to use the seal tite inside the heater? I'm asking because the diagram shows the 'Conduit/BX' between the heater and the contactor and the diagram does not show the 'Conduit/BX' on the wires that run from the heat limiter out of the heater to the gang box. I would say the drawing is incorrect...

I need to connect 4 wires to the contactor. Each connector has two 'tongues/mails'. Are there double crimp terminals or do I simply select one of the two? A specific color I should use (yellow)?

I suppose I should connect the L1 and L2 from the power supply to the gold connectors, and the ones coming from the heater to the silver connectors?
 
  #16  
Old 08-01-14, 12:19 PM
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I examined the power wire near the sauna heater and I was surprised to read this: AWG 8 CU 3 ??R WITH AWG 10 GROUND.

Yesterday I read the barely readable wire near the panel box and could just see AWG 10 so I assumed it was #10. Apparantly we've #8 here after all! But is it okay to have #10 for the ground?
 
  #17  
Old 08-01-14, 12:22 PM
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Yes, smaller ground is normal for higher amp runs.
 
  #18  
Old 08-01-14, 01:56 PM
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Look closely at the contactor. You should see 2 contact points. The contact points switch the power on and off to the heater. Can you see that each contact point has dark copper colored teminal lugs on each side? L1 goes to one contact point and L2 goes to the other contact point next to L1. Let's call that the top of the contactor. At the bottom of the contactor the wires from the heater will be placed. Can you see that opening and closing the contact points either sends 240 volts to the heater or stops the current flow? Now look at the contactor again. See the terminals on the side that go to the magnetic coil? H1 and H2 from the controller go there, one on each side. Energizing the magnetic coil causes the contact points to close sending the 240 volts to the heater. De-energizing the magnetic coil causes the contact poits to open stopping the 240 volts from going to the heater. Make sense?
 
  #19  
Old 08-01-14, 10:35 PM
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Okay, I see how it works with the contactor, thanks! I'm looking at the top/bottom copper connections: I see (metal) screws and copper 'tongues'. This is an option, I suppose? So I could screw the naked L1/L2 wires into these? So I won't need to make crimp terminals for these?
 
  #20  
Old 08-02-14, 10:16 AM
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Me- I would use crimp on connectors. BTW- I would also put the fuseblock in the gang box and not in the hot sauna.
 
  #21  
Old 08-02-14, 10:39 AM
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Everything goes in the heater. The only things in the box are the splices. You should run the two #8 wires directly to the screw terminals on one side of the contactor. The other two screw terminals go directly to the heater element. Have they included the heater element wiring...as it needs to be high heat wire.

In looking over this unit.... where does the controller go ? In a separate box or like on the face of the sauna ? If the control goes in that three gang box on the wall.... then your 8/3 is not supposed to be there.

I couldn't get anything useful from the mfg website.

I would also seriously consider using two fuses and fuseholders for the control circuit.
 
  #22  
Old 08-02-14, 11:25 AM
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No wires delivered with the unit so I'll get high heat wire.

The controller goes in the gang box on the wall. Why is this a problem?

If we can make it work with more fuses and it's safer/better I'm up for that.
 
  #23  
Old 08-02-14, 11:36 AM
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Well.... now you have your 8-3 cable there. You are going to add at least three more wires in some type of conduit back to sauna for power. Now you need to bring at least fours wires from the sauna back to that control head AND with all that in the box.... the control head needs to fit in too.

I was looking at that companies website again.... I don't know how they can get away with selling heating units in pieces like they do. A UL listing is on a complete heater.... not one you have to kluge together and buy additional parts for.
 
  #24  
Old 08-02-14, 12:18 PM
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We were surprises as well when we unpacked the heater, although we don't know the regulations for this of course.

I could add a 2 way box next to the 3 way and move the power 8/3 to the 2 way?
 
  #25  
Old 08-02-14, 01:16 PM
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Can you bring the power directly into the unit with no splice ?
 
  #26  
Old 08-02-14, 01:31 PM
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I thought about that as well but the 8/3 too short...

If I add the 2 gang box I could:
run the power from the 2 gang with two #8s to the unit's box?
run one #8 to the control box L2 in the 3 gang box?
run three #8s to the unit from the control box?
 

Last edited by PJmax; 08-02-14 at 01:41 PM. Reason: changed way to gang
  #27  
Old 08-02-14, 01:48 PM
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A two gang can be a little tough to splice in. You need to bring two #8's and one #10 from the two gang splice box to the sauna.

Since we're doing this together I'll tell you what to get. You need two 1A fuseholders. You will need a 1/2" piece of greenfield from the three gang box to the sauna. In that piece of 1/2" conduit will be five #14 gauge wires. Two reds, two blacks and one green. Since these wires are fused at 1A they are considered control lines. They can actually be smaller than #14 but we do need 240v wiring.

Making sense now ?
 
  #28  
Old 08-02-14, 03:29 PM
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I have another 3 way box lying here as well.

And I have a piece of 3/4" greenfield (from a cooktop) that is long enough. I could clear that and we can either put the power or the control lines in that one. I'll get the other 1/2" as well.
I have red (and white) #14 600v stranded wire. I'll get black and green.

Anything you recommend for the fuseholders?

I see the picture evolving now, thanks, it's just the connection of the H1 and H2 to the contactor that is not clear.
 
  #29  
Old 08-02-14, 09:06 PM
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No problem..... we'll get there.

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  #30  
Old 08-02-14, 09:24 PM
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Cool ;-)

If the 'safety stat' equals the Heat Limiter I see that you not only added a fuse (as you proposed) but also moved the one in the Mercuri diagram from the H.L. line to another line, correct?
 
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Old 08-02-14, 09:35 PM
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Yes...heat limiter. Good catch on the location in the circuit.

It actually doesn't matter where in the contactor loop the HL is but if you put it in the L1 line like the mfg shows.... if the unit should overheat..... the display and the contactor will go out.

Where I have it now... the contactor would be off but the display would still show heating.

Corrected circuit....

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  #32  
Old 08-03-14, 12:19 PM
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Great, so if one of the fuses dies the display will go out (so we know to check the fuses).
 
  #33  
Old 08-13-14, 10:57 AM
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as it needs to be high heat wire.
Do I also need to get heat wire for the #8 or just for the #14 running to the control unit?
 
  #34  
Old 08-13-14, 11:08 AM
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I screw the #8s into the side(s).

Do I need to get high heat crimp connectors for the #14 control wires?

I see two connectors for each wire where I can put the crimp on. Do I need to use both or are there special 'double' crimp connectors.?

Same for the metal H1/H2 wires:

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I suppose I pick one in my situation. There are probably two on each connector so you could connect more control wires in another application...
 
  #35  
Old 08-13-14, 10:03 PM
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Those are dual terminals so you can connect two quick disconnect fittings.

The only place you need high heat wire is from the load side of the contactor to the heating element. The ends of the heating element is where the issue is.

The #8's will go right into the screw terminals.
 
  #36  
Old 08-13-14, 10:41 PM
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Can I use standard nuts to splice the #8 high heat wires with the heating element? Or do I need special nuts?

I'm still unsure with the dual terminals: do I need two quick disconnect fittings or just one?
 
  #37  
Old 08-13-14, 11:05 PM
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Just stick the wires in the provided lugs on the heating element.

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There are dual lugs on almost every contactor connection. You will only need to use ONE terminal. Consider the other one a spare.
 
  #38  
Old 08-14-14, 08:51 AM
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No no, I'm okay on the #8 wires, those connections were clear from the start.

It's the #14 connections on the connector that need crimp on: there are two tongues, forkes, males whatever you call them. Do I need a special crimp on that has two females or do I pick one male and attach one female? A or B?

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The copper one looks different but it's the same question: a special crimp on or a basic one...


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  #39  
Old 08-14-14, 09:47 PM
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I suppose I pick one in my situation. There are probably two on each connector so you could connect more control wires in another application...
You had it right here.


And I responded.... Those are dual terminals so you can connect two quick disconnect fittings.

Therefore..... you will use only single blue female crimp terminals for all your connections.

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  #40  
Old 08-14-14, 10:01 PM
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Excellent! Now I have the whole picture complete and I can go shopping.

For my own clarity I've modified your illustration a little:

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Thanks for your help so far!
 
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