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Wiring a Hot Tub

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wiring a hot tubWe recently received a request to run a line for a new hot tub, and it sounded like a great blog article for this month.   One of the best times to soak in an outdoor hot tub is on a cool and crisp Fall evening, and those are coming soon – right around the corner!

Whether you want an indoor spa or an outdoor hot tub, they both need the same power supply for the heating mechanism.  If you are planning to get a spa or tub soon, here is what you need to know about wiring a hot tub.

Electrical Power

The normal power supply for a hot tub or spa is 220/240 volts and somewhere in the range of 30-60 amps.  There are smaller spas and tubs that operate on 110/120 volts, but this article is directed at 220/240 volt systems.  Your electrical service must be able to supply that load, but almost all houses built in the last 40 years will have at least a 100 amp service.  If you have an older home with a smaller service than 100 amps, you will need to upgrade it before installing a hot tub.

Safety Requirements

There are specific technical requirements to ensure hot tub installers and occupants remain safe. Although electricians should consult the NEC for complete code requirements, there may also be local codes that pertain specifically to hot tubs.  The following safety considerations should be incorporated into every installation.

  • Emergency shut off: A clearly labeled water-tight emergency switch must be easily accessible to users and located not less than 5 feet away in direct line of sight of the hot tub.  The typical disconnect switch is be a large red push button on a nearby wall or fence.
  • GFCI: Whenever water and electricity meet, there is danger of electrocution, so every hot tub needs a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI.)
  • Power Lines: Do not install a hot tub under any power lines.
  • Avoid Underground Wiring:  If possible, don’t run wiring under an outdoor hot tub.  If space constraints prevent wiring from being at least 5 feet away, underground wiring should be installed in rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit or a nonmetallic raceway system that is listed for direct burial. Then it must be buried. The minimum depth is 6 inches for metal raceways and 18 inches for nonmetallic raceways.
  • Don’t install low-voltage lighting within 10 feet of the hot tub, even if it is GFCI protected, which is required by code.

Get Professional Installation

The best advice we can give to a homeowner is do not do this yourself.   Unless you are a licensed electrician, you should not be wiring a hot tub with a 220/240 volt electrical circuit.  It can kill you if you make one wrong move. Please contact us for wiring a hot tub or spa in your home or apartment complex.  We’ll make sure the connections are safe, water-tight, and that the installation meets all code requirements. Frye Electric, Inc. is locally owned and operated and has been servicing Indiana for over 37 years.   Quality is value, and we value our customers and our reputation as a trusted and dependable electrical contractor in Indiana.  We are hopeful that you will give Frye Electric, Inc. the chance to earn your business.

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