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Thread: Hot Tub Wiring

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member aopainter's Avatar
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    Default Hot Tub Wiring

    I am running the wire for my hot-tub, and I had a few questions.

    1.) My electrician told me I needed Type SO 6/3 wire, and I don't understand what the Type SO means, and is it really needed? I am running it through my attic, and its going about 70ft.

    2.) He gave me two options of either the Type SO cable, or get 4 THHW wires, and run them through the conduit. Is PVC conduit acceptable to run this through? and instead of getting 100ft of each color (rd,bk,wht, grn/ylw), can i just get 400ft of one, and mark the color myself? it seems to be cheaper to do that.

    Anyways, I'm getting very tight financially, and just trying to figure out which way would be the most economical, but still safe way to install the wiring.

    Thanks for your help

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You only need three colors, and if the hot tub doesn't need 120vac, you can use two black for the hots and a green for the ground. So, you may only need two hots and a ground. If the tub needs 120vac as well as the 240vac, then you'll need a white for the neutral.

    Don't know if the inspector will buy off on them all being the same color (I doubt it)...too many chances for error or confusion down the road. They sell pvc tubing rated for electrical wiring (stuff I've seen is grey, but they probably make it in others). You'd have to research what size you need for the 6g wires. It has a bell on one end to mate up with the straight end of the next piece. Trying to get 6g wires through conduit can be a pain, especially if it has elbows.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    It would help to know if the hot tub was being installed indoors or out.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member aopainter's Avatar
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    It being installed outdoors. Its running from my box, through the attic, to the disconnect panel on the outside wall in back of my house.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member aopainter's Avatar
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    also, do I need the type SO for my attic?

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    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    The best advice I can give you is to get a new electrician. The one you have now has no clue.

    Type SO is a flexible cord. It cannot be used in place of proper methods like conduit and THWN conductors.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member aopainter's Avatar
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    well, he is a friend. (edit: who owns an electrical business) He suggested the Type SO cord because it might be cheaper then doing the THHW wires. He said he preferred 4 strands of THHW through conduit
    Last edited by aopainter; 05-31-2011 at 04:20 PM.

  8. #8
    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    Friend or not, he should not be giving you options that the electric code prohibits. If anything I would think he would be doing more considering the friendship. It would be hard enough to find out something that you did created a fire or death for a customer. How much worse would this be if it happened to a friend?

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Actually SO cord is more durable than other types of wire.

    It is normally used for portable hookups, where the wire takes a lot of abuse.

    I would not think that it would be cheaper, but maybe he has contacts.

    Normally that type of wire would be run in a cable tray.


    Have a Great Day, Your friend is OK, That is good wire.


    DonL
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  10. #10
    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    Gee Don, here is what the NEC says about using flexible cords,

    400.8 Uses Not Permitted. Unless specifically permitted
    in 400.7, flexible cords and cables shall not be used for the
    following:
    (1) As a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure
    (2) Where run through holes in walls, structural ceilings,
    suspended ceilings, dropped ceilings, or floors
    (3) Where run through doorways, windows, or similar
    openings
    (4) Where attached to building surfaces
    (5) Where concealed by walls, floors, or ceilings or located
    above suspended or dropped ceilings
    (6) Where installed in raceways, except as otherwise permitted
    in this Code
    (7) Where subject to physical damage

    Type SO is fine for some things. A hot tub is not one of them.

  11. #11
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    I agree Jim,

    The application for a Hot Tub and that wire is not the best, Something else should be used.

    But it is normally run in a cable tray and is not a problem when used correctly.


    DonL
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

  12. #12
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Depending on where you buy the wire, it is sold by the foot and the color is immaterial, but as stated, since you were told you need four wires, two of them will be black, one white, and one green. There is no need to buy 400' of one color and recolor it yourself. In the first place, if you MISCOLOR the two ends you WILL create a hazardous condition, and if the colors are not permanent, it could cause problems down the road. Four #6 wires would require a minimum 1" conduit, but a larger one would be easier to pull through. Your green ground may not need to be #6.

  13. #13
    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    Grounded conductors #6 and smaller need to be insulated in the proper color insulation. Re-identification is prohibited under Article 200.

  14. #14
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    DonL
    Actually SO cord is more durable than other types of wire.

    It is normally used for portable hookups, where the wire takes a lot of abuse.

    I would not think that it would be cheaper, but maybe he has contacts.

    Normally that type of wire would be run in a cable tray.


    Have a Great Day, Your friend is OK, That is good wire.


    DonL
    SO should never be run in an attic. It is meant to be used where flexibility is needed not durability. It is never a substitute for permanent wiring.

  15. #15
    DIY Junior Member aopainter's Avatar
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    ok, i wont go with the SO cord. I'll stick with the THHN/THHW. But PVC Conduit is acceptable, correct?

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