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Thread: whirlpool tub with accessories

  1. #1
    DIY Member M3's Avatar
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    Default whirlpool tub with accessories

    I'm installing a WP tub which I know does require a GFI for the pump assembly...which has been inspected and approved. But I forgot that this tub also has separate backrest heater and lights which have a separate plug. I'm wondering if I need to have a separate GFI for the other accessories, or can I run off one GFI. I'm believe that I need to run another one...

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Does the manufacturer's spec require multiple circuits? If not, you should be able to supply them from the same source.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Member M3's Avatar
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    In reviewing the directions again the manufacturer states; "The electrical system for baths with 1 heated backrest must be connected to an independent circuit protected by a 15 amp GFI. The turbine must be connected to its own circuit without any interrupters or switches. Check local wiring codes."

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    DIY Member M3's Avatar
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    Ok, now I'm even further confused... The manufacturer finally called me back pertaining to this and said: "only one 15 GFI circuit is needed for both the heater and turbine."

    Does anyone know what the actual code is? I have the 2005 NEC and it does not address tubs with "multiple needs", or I'm not finding it...

    Thanks

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    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    680.71 Protection.
    Hydromassage bathtubs and their associated electrical components shall be protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    It sounds like the manufacturer requires two independent circuits, since the turbine requires an independent circuit. Local codes usually say to follow the manufacturer's instructions, thus, I think you need two gfi circuits.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    It sounds like the manufacturer requires two independent circuits, since the turbine requires an independent circuit. Local codes usually say to follow the manufacturer's instructions, thus, I think you need two gfi circuits.

    Quote Originally Posted by M3 View Post
    Ok, now I'm even further confused... The manufacturer finally called me back pertaining to this and said: "only one 15 GFI circuit is needed for both the heater and turbine."
    Does anyone know what the actual code is? I have the 2005 NEC and it does not address tubs with "multiple needs", or I'm not finding it...

    Thanks
    680.71 Protection.
    Hydromassage bathtubs and their associated electrical components shall be protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter.

  8. #8

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    I've installed two of these. One recently and one in the past. Both of those units required seperate GFI protected circuits.

    Tom

    Last edited by Terry; 06-04-2008 at 08:42 AM.

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    DIY Member M3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    680.71 Protection.
    Hydromassage bathtubs and their associated electrical components shall be protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter.
    Thanks for all the input. I guess to be on the safe side I think I'd better call the local building inspector (MN) to see what he says. The code as JW quotes says "a ground fault circuit interupter.: Not separated; the NEC is NOT specific to multiple items.

    The manufacturer representative told me "one GFI circuit for both items" which is what I have. But everything I've read in forums in the past has illuded that multiple items on one GFI can cause false trips. That's why I wanted to ask.

    I'll let you know what I'm told.

  10. #10
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The inspector may refer to the manufacturers instructions...if they say two circuits in print, he'll want two circuits. What amount of power do the things each draw? If it is within the limits of the single circuit, he may overlook it. If something was going to trip the gfci, having them on separate circuits probably wouldn't make any difference.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M3 View Post
    But everything I've read in forums in the past has illuded that multiple items on one GFI can cause false trips.
    This is simply not true. At least in the sense that it will cause no more "false trips" than anything else.

  12. #12
    DIY Member M3's Avatar
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    The blower/heater draws 11 amps, and the separate light kit draws 0.1 amps. Nonetheless the inspector said: "if it has two plugs, it needs two separate GFI circuits." So, I'm pulling another set of wires and mounting to faceless GFI's outside the tub and connecting them to two standard outlets in the motor compartment.

    Thanks to everyone for all your input.

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