40amp Appliance - 50Amp breaker


Old 05-09-16, 11:40 AM
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40amp Appliance - 50Amp breaker

So i'm not doing the wiring on this, have an electrician friend doing it for me, but i called the manufacturer of the Hot Tub we inherited, and this is what they said, and it makes no sense to me to a certain degree......

Hot Tub is a 40amp, 240v system (Strong Spas Barcelona, running a Balboa vs300FL4 spa controller pack). The pack itself says 240v 40amp right on it.

The previous owner ran it with a 40amp breaker and GFCI, with no issues. The manufacturer said 40amp will do it, but they recommend 6gauge wiring and 50amp service. It will run properly, and allow for future upgrades. He said anything thats gonna trip the tub, will do so well above 50amps so its fine.

Does this make sense to everyone? 50amp service for a tub rated at 40amps
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Old 05-09-16, 12:29 PM
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The breaker size for the load should have already be considered when they specd a 40 amp circuit.

The only time the 80% come into play is for loads that are expected to run 3 hours or more continuously.
Old 05-09-16, 12:59 PM
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Sorry i'm not 100% sure if you mean the 80% rule applies here, so a 40amp load, requires a 50amp service............or if you're saying that the 40 amp load most likely already takes into account the 80% rule, meaning 50 is too much.

Should i just stick with the 50amps the manufacturer said is fine? The control pack says 16/32amps which i'm assuming is total draw, requiring a 40amp service at 80%. However if the manufacturer is telling me that a 50amp will be fine as well, and give room for future upgrades, is that actually true? I'm not hurting anything but upgrading from 40 to 50 amp? especially if they recommend 6 gauge wiring regardless
Old 05-09-16, 01:28 PM
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From everything i've read, the 40 vs 50amp concern is more for keeping the wiring from overheating. a 40amp breaker keeps an 8gauge wire from overheating if it tries to draw more. However if i'm running 6 gauge wiring, a 50amp breaker should have no problems with overheating of wiring, as the current draw will be much further below that.

Just seems a few people have had similar issues, and ran a 50amp breaker with 6 gauge wiring with no issues.

The way they put it, its not like the breaker is designed to keep components from damage, its to keep the wiring from damage.
Old 05-09-16, 01:36 PM
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My guess is they recommend the 50A circuit to allow for a future upgrade in spa size or addition of aftermarket accessories. The 50A size is more common for spa tubs than 40A so if you ever want to replace this one you'd have a better chance of being able to re-use the wiring. As spec'd a 32A load can be installed on a 40A circuit, so you would have been ok with that. I don't see a big problem going with the 50A circuit -- you could try it on a 40A breaker to see if it works without tripping. Not a huge deal either way.

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