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Thread: Wiring a Spa. Do I use #8 awg or 6/3 romex slimpull ?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member nail bender's Avatar
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    Default Wiring a Spa. Do I use #8 awg or 6/3 romex slimpull ?

    Hey guys any help you could offer this fearless D.I.Yer would greatly be appreciated.
    I'm getting ready to wire a Spa (hand me down)that will be installed in my back yard. The challenge is how to do it in the most cost efficient way and still be up to code. My service panel is located in the garage in front of the house and the Spa will be located in the backyard opposite corner appx. 95' thru the attic or appx. 120' around the exterior perimeter.
    GE service panel not sure of the amp rating (if it helps, it is 6yrs old)
    Circuit calls for a 50 amp 230 vac 2-pole brkr and a sub with a 20 and 30 amp gfci brkr.
    What are my options as far as wiring?
    And my panel only has 1 space for a 120v brkr but, there is a 30amp 240v breaker for the clothes dryer not being used since I am using gas. I prefer to keep it in the case I later sell.
    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    You can use standard wiring methods INSIDE the house, meaning NM cable is fine. Once you leave the structure you MUST be in conduit with individual conductors, and insulated ground is a must.

    Using NM in the house you MUST use #6 minimum.

    Mount the panel on the house if possible and run a 1" conduit to the tub.
    You can use a maximum of 6' of liquidtite flexible conduit at the tub.

    You DO NOT need a ground rod, no matter what anyone tells you.

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    DIY Junior Member nail bender's Avatar
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    Thanks for replying Speedy Petty.
    This next question will reveal my electrical skill level but never fret I follow good instructions. ..So what does "nm" exactly mean? lol. I thought that was your typical white insulation type romex.

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    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
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    NM stands for Non-Metallic, the reason some guys use the term NM instead of Romex is because Romex is a trademark of a type of NM, just a very popular type...


    Just like "Simpull" is a trademark of Southwire, a company that makes NM wire...

  5. #5
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Petey

    Letís look at this again,
    680.42 Outdoor Installations.
    A spa or hot tub installed outdoors shall comply with the provisions of Parts I and II of this article, except as permitted in 680.42(A) and 680.42(B), that would otherwise apply to pools installed outdoors.
    Now he said that he was going to install,
    Quote Originally Posted by nail bender View Post
    Circuit calls for a 50 amp 230 vac 2-pole brkr and a sub with a 20 and 30 amp gfci brkr.
    Huston we have a problem,
    680.25 Feeders.
    These provisions shall apply to any feeder on the supply side of panelboards supplying branch circuits for pool equipment covered in Part II of this article and on the load side of the service equipment or the source of a separately derived system.

    (A) Wiring Methods. Feeders shall be installed in rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, liquidtight, flexible nonmetallic conduit, or rigid nonmetallic conduit. Electrical metallic tubing shall be permitted where installed on or within a building, and electrical nonmetallic tubing shall be permitted where installed within a building.

    (B) Grounding. An equipment grounding conductor shall be installed with the feeder conductors between the grounding terminal of the pool equipment panelboard and the grounding terminal of the applicable service equipment or source of a separately derived system. For other than (1) existing feeders covered in 680.25(A), Exception, or (2) feeders to separate buildings that do not utilize an insulated equipment grounding conductor in accordance with 680.25(B)(2), this equipment grounding conductor shall be insulated.
    Once the tub is installed outside then the feeders between the two panels must be in a raceway and have an equipment grounding conductor that is insulated.

    As far as the ground rod,
    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    You DO NOT need a ground rod, no matter what anyone tells you.
    and this includes Speedy.

  6. #6
    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
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    A5. If the hot tub is located indoors, then NM cable can be use as the wiring method [680.43]. However, if the hot tub is located outdoors of a one-family dwelling, then NM cable can be for the indoor portion [680.42(C)]. Outdoors, the most practical wiring method will be rigid nonmetallic conduit and liquid-tight flexible conduit [680.42 and 680.42(A)].

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    DIY Junior Member nail bender's Avatar
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    OK what about installing a breaker for this when my service panel has only one slot left and a 240v brkr not being used?

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    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    IMO this is a grey area. That little "panel" is supplied by the spa people. Is it is "sub-panel" fed by a feeder, or is it fed by the spa circuit and split at this "disconnect" panel?

    I have done EVERY one of these as a spa circuit. I have NEVER had to run conduit to one of these panels. Maybe this is just my AHJ's interpretation?

    Sorry Mike, I personally feel 680.25 is a JOKE.

  9. #9
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris75 View Post
    A5. If the hot tub is located indoors, then NM cable can be use as the wiring method [680.43]. However, if the hot tub is located outdoors of a one-family dwelling, then NM cable can be for the indoor portion [680.42(C)]. Outdoors, the most practical wiring method will be rigid nonmetallic conduit and liquid-tight flexible conduit [680.42 and 680.42(A)].
    This goes to prove that even I can learn something new (after three years that this code has been out one would think that I had already seen this)

    Thanks Chris

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    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    This goes to prove that even I can learn something new (after three years that this code has been out one would think that I had already seen this)

    Thanks Chris
    Don't worry about it, I usually learn alot from you, glad I could give a little back...

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member nail bender's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for the info.
    Petey, here is an image of the diagram. I'll try and post maybe this will answer this question. Name:  Spa diagram image2.bmp
Views: 15393
Size:  62.5 KB
    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    IMO this is a grey area. That little "panel" is supplied by the spa people. Is it is "sub-panel" fed by a feeder, or is it fed by the spa circuit and split at this "disconnect" panel?

    I have done EVERY one of these as a spa circuit. I have NEVER had to run conduit to one of these panels. Maybe this is just my AHJ's interpretation?

    Sorry Mike, I personally feel 680.25 is a JOKE.
    So do I use 6/2 nm x2,run them together and use one of the insulated conductors as ground, ignoring the bare ground in the nm wire?
    Last edited by nail bender; 10-31-2007 at 08:38 PM. Reason: addition

  12. #12

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    6/3 (white=neutral)

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    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nail bender View Post
    So do I use 6/2 nm x2,run them together and use one of the insulated conductors as ground, ignoring the bare ground in the nm wire?
    NO!
    As Alectrician stated. You need 6/3. As it specifically shows in that schematic. You need two hots, neutral and ground from the main to the sub.

  14. #14
    DIY Junior Member nail bender's Avatar
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    Thanks Aelectric and Petey.
    I got confused there for a minute but, that (6/3) is what I was planning to use I just wanted to consult with you all first.
    Just went out this morning and bought 6/3 wg romex.
    Now about the limited amount of slots in my main panel.
    I am planning to replace the two inch 30amp 2 pole dryer breaker with a 1" and use a 1" 50 amp 2 pole brkr in the empty slot to feed the 6/3 conductors.
    Any objections with that?

  15. #15

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    I would twin up a couple of 15 amp lighting circuits and use full size breakers for the 240 volt loads. If any of the 15 amp circuits are RED, avoid using twins on them or get more detailed instruction here.

    Pics are helpful.

    Be careful dammit!!

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