Couple questions on wiring a hot tub.

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by bud16415, Apr 22, 2015.

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  1. Apr 22, 2015 #1

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    Required 240V / 50A. I’m adding a 50A breaker to my panel and the hot tub manufacture provides a disconnect GFCI with the tub that will be located about 8’ from the tub. The tub will sit on an elevated deck (wood) that abuts the house. No part of the wiring will be below grade.
    Coming from the panel I plan on running 6/3 NM-B with ground across the unfinished basement to the easiest point of exit close to where the GFCI will be over about 6’ and up about 4’. Coming out of the GFCI I will go down 4’ and across the bottom of the deck framing 10’ and up into electrical area inside the tub. I plan on doing all that with PVC conduit, sealed. I will have LBs at the 4 turns.

    The question I have is can I continue the 6/3 NM-B from inside into the conduit for the full run?

    Reading on line I get different opinions as to what is considered a wet zone and also how much oversize a conduit has to be to handle a cable that has an outer covering to handle heat dissipation. I have also read where it’s recommended to strip the sheath off when running thru conduit.
    I don’t see any possible way that water could get in doing it this way but my assumption of a wet zone and what is code could be miles apart.

    If I can’t do this and have to run single conductors thru conduit would I be better with a junction box just inside the basement or would you run the conduit all the way to the panel?
     
  2. Apr 22, 2015 #2

    CallMeVilla

    CallMeVilla

    CallMeVilla

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    I always run individual conductors for hot tubs, ever sheathed fpr the exact reason: heat. use 3/4" conduit which is appropriate for this circuit. Unless your conduit starts at the main box, you will keep the sheathing from the main to your j-box where the conduit does start.
     
  3. Apr 22, 2015 #3

    kok328

    kok328

    kok328

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    Run individual conductors using seal tight conduit.
     
  4. May 6, 2015 #4

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    The wiring went well. Yesterday afternoon the tub showed up. Pretty slick trailer that converts to a dolly with a set of wheels that connect to the front. Three of us pushed it up to the removable 8’ section of rail I made and sat the front of the trailer on the deck and shoved the 800 lb tub up about a 15 degree incline onto some pipes and rolled it into place. The two delivery guys were in and out in 45 minutes, leaving with saying good luck and taking half a pickup load of packing with them. The hardest part of the whole install was getting the service door off they put the owner’s manual behind the service panel that explains how to get the panel off. Crazy deal with 7 screws and a French cleat I discovered.
    Hooked up my 6 wires and put the hose in to fill it and waited a couple hours for it to fill and listened to the deck to see if I heard anything. All was good with the deck.
    Once it was full I said a blessing and turned on the main breaker and then the GFCI’s on the deck. Nothing tripped so far so good and then the pleasant hum of electrons followed by a few bubbles of trapped air and the display lighting up saying (52 Degrees F) Brrrr. Added some chemicals and played with the lights and jets for an hour until she said you know it might warm up quicker with the cover on and no jets. Dang I hate it when she is so smart. Watched TV for a couple hours and had to peak again and made it all the way up to 61F before bed. At least I knew it was heating. Went around touching wires to see if anything was warm and all were cold, so I went to bed wondering what temp it might be by morning. This morning it was 91 and I was never so tempted to blow off work. I think it should be a nice 101F when I get home.

    Next sunny day we get I will take a few more photos. I forgot to mention all the above was done in the rain.
    :D

    IMG_6178.jpg
     
  5. May 7, 2015 #5

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

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    Don't stay in there to long tonite.
     
  6. May 7, 2015 #6

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    I think I logged about 2 hours. Had to try it out when I got home in the sunshine and then another hour between 10:30 and 11:30 for some star gazing before bed.

    Few things I discovered I haven’t slept that well in 30 years, I haven’t woke up as refreshed in the same number of years, and this thing is going to be the biggest time waster invented except maybe TV. As long as I swap my TV time for the tub time I think I will be ok.

    100 degrees F seemed pretty perfect with a cool night breeze.
    :)
     
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  7. May 7, 2015 #7

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    Getting back to the wiring. Almost all hot tubes are wired the same way with the exception of the two brands made by Watkins the Hot Springs and Caldera lines. Our is a Caldera. Everyone uses a 50 amp GFCI disconnect box and runs that 50 amp feed to the tub. Watkins breaks the feed into a 30 and 20 amp GFCI and then you run #10’s and #12’s with a common and insulated ground to the tub. I kept hunting around for the logic behind this as I couldn’t find any and found out why they do it this way. They broke the heater out from the rest of the tub because heater failure is likely to happen at some point and when it does the tub still has power to warn you and also go into survival mode if this happens in the winter and will likely freeze. I don’t know all it does when this happens but I know it runs the pumps to make heat and having the water circulating will buy you a lot more time for a repair.

    There is room in the box for a couple 120V GFCI breakers also if you need some power out by your tub.

    They are also the only manufacture I had found that provides the panel with the tub. I just wish they provided a little better information up front so you would know what you needed in doing the pre-wiring.
     
  8. May 8, 2015 #8

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

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    I wonder if Bud will ever get out of the hot tub long enough to post on here again...? :confused:
     
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  9. May 8, 2015 #9

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    I’m working on finding an underwater laptop. Biggest problem is it seats six but whenever we get in she wants to sit in the seat next to me and drink wine with me. :eek:
     
  10. May 8, 2015 #10

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

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    Sure hope you didn't come here looking for sympathy...:p
     

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