Do I Require A Sub-Panel Near My Hot Tub?
A hot tub sub panel is much the same as any other electrical panel.
However, besides being oversized to accommodate a hot tub’s power needs, it also has an insulation system that adds a level of protection for homeowners.
This insulation prevents condensation and heat loss, creating potential hazards for homeowners. It also helps cut down on noise when running the hot tub equipment.
Do I Need A Sub-Panel Near My Hot Tub?
It depends on your hot tub voltage. If your hot tub voltage is less than 120 volts, you don’t need a sub-panel. You will only need to check with an electrician to ensure the power cord powering your hot tub is properly grounded and that all wiring meets National Electrical Code (NEC) electrical installation guidelines.
If your hot tub voltage is 120 volts or more, you need a sub-panel near your hot tub, but it doesn’t have to be near the spot where you keep the cover for the water.
A sub-panel is an auxiliary panel (panelboard) that has a main circuit breaker to switch power on and off and typically has a few outlets on it.
You will want to use ground-fault circuit interrupter outlets (GFCI’s) for hot tub wiring;
And you will want to tie the hot tub wiring into the feed for the sub-panel so you can switch it off if there’s a problem.
How Far Should The Sub-Panel Be From The Hot Tub?
The distance between the panel and the hot tub should be at least 5 – 10 feet, so in case of a fire, no water or electrical sparks can affect it.
You also want to get at least 6 inches away from any potential combustible materials near it for cover.
You should cover the entire surrounding area with mulch to protect it from any drips or potential combustibles for safety reasons.
So if you have a hose that is 5 feet long and the hot tub is 5 feet away from it, the distance would be 10 feet.
You can go up to 15 feet on a longer hose, but you would have to use caps on the end so that no drips and potential sparks could come out of them.
If there are any combustibles within 3 – 6 ft from it, such as a trash can or furniture, ensure you cover it with a tarp or other barrier.
If you have two hoses more than 5 feet apart, they should never be close to each other as that would pose a risk of fire if something were to happen.
If the pool is a gas pool, you shouldn’t place any electrical near the hot tub, and in fact, such things could pose a risk for the hot tub.
How Do I Install A Subpanel In A Hot Tub?
Below are a few steps on how you can install a subpanel in a hot tub:
- First, disconnect the power from the hot tub. You can do this by using a series of service disconnects (Not the main breaker) or unplugging the wires.
The main electrical cord for the hot tub will have prongs that go into a slot in the outlet box. To unplug it, you must pull on them gently until they are all disconnected at once.
You may find them locked in place with a plastic tab, or you could pull them out with pliers.
- Next, remove the cover from over the hot tub. You will find this held on with a screw. The cover will not come off by pulling it straight up.
Instead, you should start at one side and push towards the middle. After removing the cover, look at how many wires are in your hot tub.
Most of the time, two wires run from front to back: a red and black wire (often called a ground cord).
Also, two wires run from the back of the hot tub to the pump and then to the subpanel.
These three wires come out of your sub panel box, and you will find them joined in a certain way by your technician.
- Once your subpanel is in place, you will connect the wires to their proper spots and plug your spa back in.
- Now you are ready to install the subpanel: soak for 2-3 hours and look at your installation. If it looks okay, you can plug in your spa.
Installing sub-panel, plus hot tub to the new sub
Installing a sub-panel, plus a hot tub to a new sub, is effortless.
All you have to do is figure out the right place to put your sub-panel measure for a height of between 15 and 20 feet like you would like it to be.
You can’t just install a sub-panel near something that has live wires. If you’re installing a new sub, there needs to be not more than four feet of space between the two.
It’s best to put the sub-panel near an exterior wall. You can also take out a wall breaker, which you will find in the same area.
That way, you won’t have to climb up a ladder every time you need to use some power tools.
After it’s all done, call an electrician to wire it all up so your house receives electricity during the sub-panel installation. Also, get power for your hot tub, and you will be ready.
Does A Hot Tub Need A Neutral?
Yes. The neutral is a small rubber ring-shaped piece of material typically used to adjust the water level inside a hot tub.
If a hot tub does not have a neutral, the water level can be very uneven and sloshy in areas such as when you are in the deep end.
There is often too much flow from one side of the tub to another.
If left untreated, it can damage your pump and make it difficult to maintain consistent temperatures throughout your spa. This can cause your tub to heat up unpredictably.
A neutral allows you to keep the water level inside of your hot tub at a safe and proper level with an easy-to-use remote control.
There are two types of neutral mechanisms: spring neutral and pressure balanced.
The spring neutral allows the plug which sits outside the spa to be out pulled by hand so you can insert a new plug into place.
Do You Need To Bury Hot Tub Wiring?
Yes. You need to bury hot tub wires 18 inches deep. There are several reasons burying wires should take place.
First, if you expose the wires, they can be easily damaged or cut. Second, water can leak into the wires and cause rust, leading to electric shock.
Last, if something breaks inside your hot tubs like a pump or heater, there is not much one can do to fix it without being an electrician.
There are many ways to bury the hot tub wires. The most popular is to use copper tubing that is 18 inches in diameter. Then you can bury the copper tubing in the ground.
Copper tubing seems complicated for some people, but you can do it easily and quickly.
Now I will explain how you might hide your hot tub wires from your guests, some other ways to hide them, and how you should decide where you want to bury your wires.
For guests, you can hide them with a garden hose. Then, no one will know if they need fixing because they are well hidden inside the hose.
A different way is to put the wires in PVC piping with water flowing through it. This is a lot easier and cheaper than using copper tubing.
Another way to hide your hot tub wires is by using thick-walled plastic pipes and then putting stones or plants on top of it.
What Kind Of Electrical Wire Do I Need For A Hot Tub?
You need a size 6 AWG copper wire with THHN insulation with a moisture rating of 0-40 degrees and an operating temperature of -45 to +125 degrees Celsius.
You also need a ground wire, rated for 30 amps, with a flame resistance rating of 1.5 Mates.
The wire size you need is likely to be one of the following.
These wires have a melting point rating and the operating temperature for water heaters (HT-Like devices), and you can use them in water heaters, spas, radiant heaters, hot tubs, and more.
How Do You Wire A Hot Tub Breaker Box?
You can wire a hot tub breaker box by first shutting off the power to the breaker box. Next, please remove all breakers and wire each one to connect in a paralleled circuit.
Finally, mount your new breaker box in an area where it is dry, and this way, you won’t be risking water seeping inside of it.
Wiring your own hot tub breaker box doesn’t take very long. The result will be a box that works perfectly for you and that you can use for years to come.
What Wire Do I Need For A 50 Amp Hot Tub?
You need a 50 Amp wire to run electricity to your hot tub. Electric companies have these wires in different colors, so the one you need is typically green.
The insulation inside a 50 Amp wire is usually green or blue.
You’ll also need a 30 Amp wire to run water and a 220 Volt/120 Volt power supply with at least 125 amps of power (this figure includes the fuse and breaker).
With a 50 Amp wire, you’ll need two wires with a capacity of 25 Amp each. You mustn’t use 100 Amp or 120-volt wires for your hot tub’s electrical system.
Using the wrong wire can cause severe damage to your hot tub’s heating system and electrical components.
Also, you must be sure that the wire you plan to use has a rating for electricity and pool chemicals and is not your hot tub’s grounding wire.
So, make sure that the wire you plan to use has a rating for pool chemicals and 125 amps of electricity.
And above all, make sure that you know where to locate your wires.
To properly hook up your wires, you must know precisely what poles and your home electrical system are in your lot.
How Do You Feed A Subpanel From The Main Panel?
There are various ways you can feed a subpanel from the main panel. The most common method is using a conduit with a transfer switch.
However, if no conduit is available, you can also use a loop with a transfer switch.
The main panel and subpanel are critical components of any transfer setup.
The main panel supplies the power to all the building’s wiring, and the subpanel is where you want to add a new circuit.
Perhaps your shop has a double feed situation, meaning that there are two primary energy sources available at different voltages: 480V 3-phase and 480V 2-phase.
Here, you must create a schematic that incorporates both sources into one common connection.
You would do this schematic on a three phase/2 phase schematic. If this isn’t the case, you can skip the extra step of creating a new connection diagram.
The first step is to tie all the neutral wires together on the main and sub-panels.
You should now wire the main panel, subpanel, and neutral wires together if you plan to use one main panel and one transfer switch with two subpanels.
The second step is to create a transfer switch for the 3-2 feed. Here, a 3-2 transfer switch would be adequately fed from the 480V DC main panel and the subpanel.
The switch will pass 120V AC power from the subpanel to the workstation, and it will also pass back any 120V AC power that may have been mistakenly fed into the main panel.
Next is to make a new connection diagram incorporating the 3.3V USB power.
You can achieve this by adding one line between the two feeds on the transfer switch and assigning that new wire as a ground return (the minus end of a network).
There is only one ground return between the 480V L1 feed and subpanel in this specific case. The USB cables would then get fed into the subpanel and connected to the switches.
The last step is to add the USB cables between the panels. You must wire the USB cables according to NEC 502.124(b).
This means that you must wire the white and green grounds together and connect them to one of the transfer switch’s ground returns.
You must connect the red wire to the negative terminal of the main panel. The USB cables will be fed from the main panel into the subpanel and routed as previously described.
With all that said, you should now use your hot tub with peace of mind.
All the safety concerns have been thoroughly addressed in this article, and you can feel good about using your hot tub knowing that it’s safe for you and everyone else around it.