A hot tub only gets hot and bubbles with the help of an electrical connection. As you begin to price out the cost of a hot tub, you should be cognizant of some of the hot tub electrical requirements. Depending on what you have in place already and what you need, there can be some installation costs to factor into it all.
While there are DIY guides and installation instructions in every hot tub owner’s manual, it’s imperative that you work with a professional electrician. This ensures that all of the steps are carefully followed and that your hot tub’s electrical components are meeting local and national codes.
Most hot tubs will run on a 220v system because they can heat the water faster. As such, we’ll focus on the electrical requirements for those units.
Hot Tub Must Be on a Dedicated GFCI Breaker
Within your feeder breaker, which is located in your house’s service panel, you’ll need to make sure that the spa is on its own breaker.
Additionally, there must be an outside disconnect GFCI box. This will be on a disconnect panel – and the GFCI component is added for protection. This should be installed between 5 and 15 feet of the hot tub.
All Circuits Must Be Dedicated
All of the circuits used for the spa have to be dedicated to the spa. This means that you cannot have any other things on the circuits at any time, regardless of whether the spa is running or not. This includes appliances, lights, or anything else.
Wires Must Be Correct Gauge
Most of the hot tubs sold today will require a 4-wire electrical system. These will also correspond to the size of your feed circuit breaker that is attached to the house service panel. Your disconnect GFCI panel can have an app rating that is equal to or larger than the feed breaker.
The 4-wire system includes 2 hot wires, a ground wire, and a neutral wire. A 3-wire system would be all but the neutral wire.
In addition to the wiring being of the correct gauge, all of the conduits should be buried. For this to happen, you will need to build a trench that leads from the outside disconnect box to the spa control system box on the outside of the hot tub. While you can have an electrician dig the trench, it can be more affordable to do it yourself or hire a landscaper.
Copper conductors should be used. As you get closer to the hot tub (within 5 feet), the metal components need to be bonded together.
Wires Entering Spa Must Be in Flexible Waterproof Conduit
The wires that enter the spa must be in what’s known as seal-tite – a flexible waterproof conduit. Those wires need to extend at least 6 inches past the conduct for the final connection to the spa. The diameter of this conduit should be between ¾” to 1” depending on the size of the wire.
The spa control system or equipment bay is where the flex conduit for the power wires is installed. Copper wire should be used as you never want to use aluminum wire.
Final Installation Tips
There are quite a few steps involved with handling the electrical requirements of a hot tub. It’s why it’s imperative to work with an electrician who will follow code, obtain an electrical permit, and read the owner’s manual to ensure everything is done properly.
So that you install your hot tub correctly, there are a few tips so that you don’t spend more on the electrical setup than necessary:
- Don’t install your hot tub under power lines
- Don’t run wires under the spa
- Don’t try to connect a 4-wire hot tub to a 3-wire circuit
- Don’t use your hot tub until the electrical installation has been approved.
Ensure Your Hot Tub Has Everything
At Ajax Pool and Spa, we have everything you need to keep your hot tub running. Whether you need custom installation or you need repairs to ensure your hot tub lasts for years to come, we are here to help.
Hot tub electrical components will be an important part of the overall functionality of your unit. Knowing the requirements even before you buy your hot tub will make it easier for you to plan. We’re also here every step of the way to help you with installation and maintenance, call our experts today.