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Thread: Whirlpool Wiring

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member pitteach's Avatar
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    Default Whirlpool Wiring

    I am preparing to wire a whirlpool tub (no heater, 1/2 hp) and I have a couple of questions:

    1. The instructions call for a dedicated 12/2 feed which is what I will do. Can I use regular romex under the tub or should I use an exterior type in case of wetness?

    2. GFI: Should I use a receptacle to plug in under the tub, or use the GFI at the panel, or both? I suppose I prefer to use the breaker so I can hard wire and seal everything under the tub.

    I also plan on wiring the tub to a wall switch so the kiddies can't mess with the jets during a bubble bath.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Regular romex should be fine...just like anything else, that is supposed to be a dry area. The wet stuff is required if it is expected to get wet.

    I think you'll be happier if the gfci is in the panel since it would not be a major pain to get to if it ever did trip. Plus, you are supposed to check it on a periodic basis which would never happen if it was burried beneath the tub.

    Just make sure that the switch you select is rated for the 20A supply, and it should be fine. Most wall switches are only rated for a 15A load, so you may have to go to an electrical supply...depends on where you are looking.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post

    Just make sure that the switch you select is rated for the 20A supply, and it should be fine. Most wall switches are only rated for a 15A load, so you may have to go to an electrical supply...depends on where you are looking.
    Why would he need a 20 amp switch? I highly doubt that motor draws more than 10 amps,
    Last edited by Chris75; 04-14-2008 at 03:20 PM.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Shouldn't the switch handle the full load of the single item it is connected to? A 20A circuit, a 20A switch? I'm just guessing here, but wouldn't that be the same as putting 14g wire to extend a 20A circuit?
    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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    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Shouldn't the switch handle the full load of the single item it is connected to?
    Yes...
    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post


    A 20A circuit, a 20A switch? I'm just guessing here, but wouldn't that be the same as putting 14g wire to extend a 20A circuit?
    No, switches are installed by load only. wire size, breaker size have nothing to do with it.

  6. #6
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pitteach View Post
    I am preparing to wire a whirlpool tub (no heater, 1/2 hp) and I have a couple of questions:

    1. The instructions call for a dedicated 12/2 feed which is what I will do. Can I use regular romex under the tub or should I use an exterior type in case of wetness?
    Yes Nonmetallic cable can be used.

    Quote Originally Posted by pitteach View Post
    2. GFI: Should I use a receptacle to plug in under the tub, or use the GFI at the panel, or both? I suppose I prefer to use the breaker so I can hard wire and seal everything under the tub.
    either or would work but you can't cut the cord and hard wire the tub.

    Quote Originally Posted by pitteach View Post
    I also plan on wiring the tub to a wall switch so the kiddies can't mess with the jets during a bubble bath.

    Thanks.
    This will be fine and a 15 amp switch will be just fine should you decide to use one.

    You could not spoil the child and use the rod instead of the switch.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default gfci

    I would mount a GFCI outlet in the spa's vicinity and then run from its load terminal to the concealed outlet. That puts the reset within reach if it trips, and makes it more likely to be tested, rather than if it were inside the panel where no one ever goes unless to reset a breaker.

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    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    I would mount a GFCI outlet in the spa's vicinity and then run from its load terminal to the concealed outlet. That puts the reset within reach if it trips, and makes it more likely to be tested, rather than if it were inside the panel where no one ever goes unless to reset a breaker.
    This is a state amendment in Connecticut, you cannot place a GFCI inside the tub area. They feel you wont test the GFI every month if its buried behind a panel. You can install a GFI breaker, which is what I always do anyway. You dont want to be changing out a gfi receptacle under a tub after the fact...

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