dedicated circuit

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Old 08-13-01, 09:14 AM
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I want to install a hot tub which requires a 15 amp dedicated circuit. How can I tell if such a circuit is available? If one isn't available, how do I get one?
 
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Old 08-13-01, 09:59 AM
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Location: Fayetteville, NY, USA
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All a dedicated 15 amp circuit is is one receptacle wired to a circuit breaker with nothing else in the house connected to that circuit breaker. So you will need to run new wire from the panel all the way to the hot tub location. Installing a 15 amp circuit breaker is not difficult, but since you're sticking your hands in an electrical box you will need to be extremely careful and work very safely. And keep in mind that even with the main breaker off there are certain factors which could exist that would leave certain metalic parts live, so work as though they are. You will be fortunate if you have spare spaces in your panel. If not write back and we'll talk about tandem or 1/2 size breakers.

The NEC requires #14 wire for a 15 amp circuit, but I would recommend using #12. The difference in cost is very slight, but this will leave you with an amperage handling capability of 20 amps, and if you ever get a bigger unit that requires a 20 amp circuit, all you will have to change is the breaker, and install a 20-amp rated receptacle. Plus larger gauge wire saves energy as it has less resistance, as I was recently made aware of in another thread.

Also, for a hot tub I would install a GFCI receptacle, or alternately a GFCI circuit breaker. The GFCI receptacle is cheaper.

If you're not confident of your electrical abilities, get a couple estimates. I'd be surprised if installing a single circuit would cost much more than $100, if that, and it will be done to code. If you do this, tell your electrician you want #12 wire. The cost won't be much different. But if you don't specify it you will almost automatically get #14, since in order to make a profit and stay competitive most electricians will design to the minimum safety standards required by the NEC or local electrical code.

Hope that helps.

Juice
 
  #3  
Old 08-13-01, 01:20 PM
Wgoodrich
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Concerning the NEC a whirlpool tub is treated same as a normal tub with the exeption that the power to that whirlpool tub must be GFI protected if a GFI is not already incorporated into the tub controls themselves. Also any receptacle within 5' of that whirlpool tub must be GFI protected also.

Good Luck

Wg
 
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