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Thread: Hot tub question

  1. #1
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Default Hot tub question

    This is posted for, and with permission of, member mat159:

    I am wiring for a 220v hot tub in my back yard which will then also feed an above ground pool. I was told that I could use this dedicated line after the GFCI to run both.

    The distance I have to go is great, approx 80-90ft from the breaker box (60ft indoor 20-30ft outside). For the Hot Tub I need to use 4 wires plus a ground.

    My tub, Thermospa is calling for 220v, 50 amp breaker, 4 line (2 hot, neutral & ground)

    I am having trouble finding this wire. Plus it seems this amount of wire is very expensive for this length. Can I double up two sets of 6-2 wires to make the set or can I purchase the #6 hot leads, #8 neutral and #12 ground each separately and run as one?

    I am not going to do the box or unit wiring but I do want to run the lines to save $$. Your wisdom is appreciated.

    Thanks & Best regards,

    Matt

  2. #2
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Matt,

    ALL of the outside portion of the wiring for a hot tub of pool equipment MUST be in conduit, along with an insulated ground.

    To do what you want you'll need a sub-panel. You CANNOT feed a 50A hot tub and a 20A pool pump from the same circuit.

    You will need at minimum a 60A feeder to the sub-panel. I would recommend #4cu and a 90A breaker though. Pools can have a lot of peripheral equipment.
    From there you can run the circuit to the tub and pool equipment.

    The run would consist of three #4cu THWN (one marked white) and one #8THWN green.
    To the tub you will likely be required to run #6cu. Most manufacturers require this.

  3. #3
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    I forgot to add. You CANNOT double up on the lines (parallel conductors) of this size.

    I would STRONGLY suggest you have your electrician come out before you do anything. See what he suggests. You may wind up running something different that what he wants and you'll waste money re-doing it.

  4. #4

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    And might want to sit down before they tell you the cost of wire these days!

  5. #5

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    Petey-Thank you for bringing my question to the board.

    So here it is...
    Like I said earlier, i have to go nearly 50-60' indoors then another 30-40' outdoor. I can run the wire through the house then goto conduit once I go outdoors with it.

    Like BB said, the cost of wire this length & gauge is going to be a car payment. I need to know exactly what type of wire I need then I can shop it online (**** etc).

    With this being said is there anyway to guess-ti-mate what I will need?

    I know with computer wiring, similar to Romex, some cords are merely 3 or 4 color-coded wires with an outer shell wrapping. With the computer wiring, you can take & run each of the needed wires and run them single (but together) as if they were wrapped without the outer covering of a cord.

    Given the length I need to go I was thinking it would be much cheaper to buy 100' of #4, along with 100' of ground #?) Would this be a feasible idea or should I not even bother and just close my eyes when paying??

    Petey, I think you're already with me on this, based upon how I read this statement, "The run would consist of three #4cu THWN (one marked white) and one #8THWN green."
    If I am wrong, please let me know. (I don’t recognize your acronyms, THWN & #cu, please explain)

  6. #6

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    Well here's the thing...I only have the Hot Tub now and the pool is to be installed in '09. I havent purchased the pump & filter for the pool yet so I dont know what the specs will be. I can only assume it will be 220 even though it could be 110.

    Food for thought; the pool pump & filter will be on a timer going off once or twice a day. This means I can have the pool off anytime i use the hot tub which will lessen the electric pull.

  7. #7
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    We'll let speedy or bobnh tell us about the code issues of what you propose. I suspect that your personal "assurance" that you won't run the pump and the hot tub at the same time is not sufficient basis for installing smaller guage wire and smaller breakers.

    As far as the cost, I am always suspicious of the online sites such as you propose. In the case of wire, there is a LOT of stolen stuff out there. Some goes the the recyclers, but some ends up on you-know-where. The price of copper is what it is. If you can find somebody on line that just got overstocked with something he can't use, well these are the deals that people look for on line. Shipping will add to the cost. But check it all out, anyway.

  8. #8
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    #4, #8, #6, etc are all conductor sizes. THHN or THWN are conductor types.

    Dual rated THHN/THWN is the most common conductor by far.

    What I meant was that a larger feeder to this new sub-panel would be advised. There is no way for you to tell when the heat will kick on with your tub, so going bigger might be a good idea.

    I would say a 60A feeder would be the smallest you should possibly go.
    This would require #6 cable or THWN conductors in conduit.
    The bump up in size to #4 would not kill you money wise.

  9. #9
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Not meaning to sound rude but it seems to me that if someone can afford a hot tub and pool they can afford an electrician to install them.

    This is not like changing out a switch or receptacle and needs to be done correctly or someone could die

  10. #10
    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Not meaning to sound rude but it seems to me that if someone can afford a hot tub and pool they can afford an electrician to install them.

    This is not like changing out a switch or receptacle and needs to be done correctly or someone could die
    I was thinking the same thing... Must be tough to be so poor.

  11. #11
    DIY Hillbilly Southern Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Not meaning to sound rude but it seems to me that if someone can afford a hot tub and pool they can afford an electrician to install them.

    ....
    Not to mention the monthly power bill.

  12. #12
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    I don't know. I always get yelled at when I say such things.

  13. #13
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    I don't know. I always get yelled at when I say such things.
    You have given him the best advice that he would ever get so there wasn't much more to say.

  14. #14

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    Everyone's a critic... I have been out of work since June and have come across a used hot tub for a steal, $1000.

    Maybe I wasn’t clear about my intentions, in an effort to avoid spending another $1K , I want to buy and run the lines then have an electrician do the hook up. I merely needed to be sure of what type of wire to run and the type of outdoor hook up I need to look for so I can shop the materials and know what the electrician is telling me when I get one.

    I had been told a couple of things ranging from splitting the hot tub line to feed both the pool and hot tub. But I now know this is not feasible.

    Petey- thanks for all your help. I now have all of my questions answered.

  15. #15
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mat159 View Post
    Everyone's a critic... I have been out of work since June and have come across a used hot tub for a steal, $1000.
    If I had been out of work for 5 months I think I would be saving money instead of blowing $1000 on something that is going to cost even more but then again I have never drawn public money either.

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