This guide outlines the overview behind wiring a hot tub, the risks and dangers and why you might need an electrician.
A mistake in wiring a hot tub can cause electrocution, which can be fatal. Electrical power is something that must not be tampered with. If you’re thinking about installing a hot tub in your home, you’ll need to be careful with the electricals.
Installing a hot tub or swim spa might be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. Therefore, here are a few hot tub wiring mistakes that one must be aware of:
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter or GFCI protection is required for any electrical outlet located outside or near water. If there is an electrical short circuit, your hot tub’s GFCI circuit will quickly cut the power.
Fatal electrocution might occur if a GFCI is not installed or is installed incorrectly. (Note: Another typical mistake with residential electrical systems is failing to test the GFCI regularly).
Mistakes made during the bonding process
An unsafe combination of water, electrical current, and metal components can be hazardous. That’s why an electrician must properly electrically bind the current-carrying metal elements together and back to the electrical panel. Users of hot tubs are at risk of electrocution or shock due to careless mistakes in wiring.
Mistakes during grounding
Similarly, the hot tub wiring must be grounded so that electricity can be securely channeled into the ground in an emergency. This is a critical step, and if you skip it, you risk exposing your guests to an electrical shock.
The breaker is tripped
When the breaker quickly trips when you turn on your hot tub, there is a serious problem. Simple moisture in the system or typical wear and tear could be blamed. It’s also possible that an overconfident novice thought he could wire the hot tub and did so with loose wires or faulty connections.
An electrical fire is not just a nuisance; this risk could lead to hazardous circumstances. Take notice of what your circuit breaker is indicating-there is a severe problem!
Essential tips to prevent errors in wiring a hot tub
People who want to install a hot tub should know the following electrical requirements for an outdoor hot tub installation if the wire runs shorter than 50 feet or 15 meters.
- Using copper wires as conductors are recommended.
- The hot tub must be connected to a separate circuit. A two-pole class “A” GFCI should also be installed to safeguard the tub.
- Two lug marks are necessary for both the external and internal supply boxes to be bonded to the terminal box. The hot tub’s local common bonding grid must be linked to these terminals using insulation or copper conductor to reduce the risk of electric shock. According to US regulations, the copper wire should have a diameter of No.8 AWG.
- When a hot tub is within 1.5 meters or 5 feet of an outlet, plug, lights, or equipment, etc., should all have GFCI outlets fitted.
- The grounding bus should be bonded to any metal components within 3 meters of your hot tub. No smaller than No.6 AWG copper conductors can be used to assist the main conductor.
- Additionally, all ground connections should be connected with a copper wire of at least the minimum needed size.
Why is an electrician recommended for wiring a hot tub?
The Electrical Code
Because of their extensive education and training, licensed electricians are well-versed in the ever-changing requirements like the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) and local STANDATA. Thus, they may obtain the required authorization from the Electrical Inspection Authority and wire your hot tub in a way that both ensures your safety and meets the requirements for a successful electrical inspection.
Your insurance company will ask to see the certificate verifying that your hot tub installation passed inspection if the unthinkable happens and an electrical problem occurs. If you don’t go through this crucial step, your chances of getting a fair settlement are slim to none.
Even if you’re not in the midst of a disaster, your insurance company may nonetheless request an electrical assessment of your property. This is when you need to ensure that all of your home’s wiring, including your hot tub, is up to code and properly installed.
The installation steps before wiring a hot tub
Evaluate the space
Before starting the installation evaluate the space available for the hot tub. Measure the width, height and length of the tub. In possession of these measures, scope out the site to ensure that there is enough space for installation. If the installation is indoors, there must be ventilation space.
Prepare the space
For the installation of the hot tub it is necessary that both the floor and the wall do not present ripples or bumps. The floor should be totally smooth and straight. If there are bumps or if the installation is on floors that have tiles or porcelain tiles, a uniform and smooth counter floor must be made according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Also read How to level a floor correctly
Consider the hot tub weight
Another factor to be taken into account is the weight of the bathtub and the weight of the full tub should be observed. And this weight varies according to the capacity of the tub purchased, since there are hot tubs on the market that hold up to 8 people. Therefore, a specialist should be consulted to find out if the space and floor contain the amount of weight to be exercised on site.
Electrical supply for wiring a hot tub
It is important to have an available power grid nearby for wiring a hot tub. And for this it may be necessary to consult an electrician to check the existence of this network and also if it has the capacity to receive a hot tub. Usually the load required for a hot tub is 240 Volts. But it can be 120 Volts depending on the make and model purchased.
Most modern buildings and houses already have systems available for hot tub installations. If there is none, the electrician can make the necessary adjustments for the installation of the tub.
Wiring a hot tub is a dangerous and challenging task. Therefore, GFCI protection, grounding, or GFCI grounding should be left to the experts. Wiring the tubs is a specialty for them, and unlike self-learners, they have a wealth of practical expertise.
Electricians are also well-versed in building codes, whereas non-electricians require special permits to install hot tubs. Finally, if you do it yourself and fail because you didn’t follow the book, your insurance won’t pay for any damage. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to look for fully licensed and certified electricians. Remember that working with licensed professionals will always guarantee your safety.