Do you have a question about a hot tub electrical installation? You can consult with our in-office electrician in Mesa AZ free of charge to get all of your hot tub, jacuzzi or spa wiring questions answered. Dolce Electric Co provides electricians Mesa AZ homeowners can consult with about hot tub wiring installations today, Tuesday, April 25th, 2017, between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM.
The very first thing that needs to be determined, even before buying your jacuzzi or spa, is that you have enough space and electrical power in your main panel to support the additional electrical demand that your spa or jacuzzi will create. It is typically not an issue but verifying that you have enough power and space for your hot tub circuit breaker will eliminate any surprises to your electrical installation cost.
To make sure that you have enough space in your main electrical panel for your new hot tub circuit breaker, simply open the outer door of your main service panel and verify that you have two full sized open spaces available for additional circuit breakers. You will most likely need two slots because most jacuzzis and spas require a 240 volt circuit breaker to accommodate the wires. This is referred to as a 2-pole circuit breaker. Dolce Electric Co schedules an electrician Mesa AZ homeowners can consult with free of charge if options like adding a sub-panel or making space with piggyback circuit breakers are needed because space is not available.
Having enough available power to install your hot tub is vital. Homes with a 150 amp or 200 amp service panel should be fine. Most homes built in the last 30 years will have enough power but older homes with a 100 amp service panel or less can have issues with power availability. If your service panel has less than 150 amps you can consult with our in-office electricians in Mesa AZ free of charge to do precise load calculations.
About Wiring Your Hot Tub
When wiring a hot tub it is important to know that each make and model is different and wiring for a hot tub can change from manufacture to manufacture. Always refer to the owner’s manual and read the section about electrical specifications for precise instructions and your hot tub’s electrical requirements.
Most hot tubs will require 4 wires being two hot wires, one neutral wire and one ground wire. The most common voltage requirement is 240 volts and most will need a 50 amp circuit. Some hot tubs have load requirements of up to 60 amps and others require only 30 amps or 40 amps.
When wiring a hot tub, it is extremely important to correctly size the circuit breaker for the required amperage. The electrical wires should also be sized in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations and local electrical codes. All circuits (no matter what the size is) require wiring your hot tub to a GFCI circuit breaker. This is the law and it is there for your protection. Any wiring for a hot tub that is connected to a circuit breaker without GFCI protection exposes you to the possibility of electrocution and should never be done. Wiring hot tub circuit breakers is a little different than regular breakers. See the attached hot tub GFCI circuit breaker diagram for more details.
Jacuzzi and Spa Electrical Wiring Costs
The electrical cost associated with your spa or jacuzzi installation will be greatly impacted by the distance that your spa or jacuzzi is located from your main electrical panel. An electrical installation that is reasonable close to the main panel would require less wire, conduit and labor than an installation going to a panel that is on the other side of your home and thus cost less.
There are three primary methods used for wiring up a hot tub and many installations will incorporate a mixture of two or all three to save you money.
Exposed conduit on foundations, walls and block fences
Installing an electrical conduit out of your main fuse box and running it on an exterior wall or block fence is a common method of electrical wiring for hot tub power feeds. Often times this conduit can be tucked in below the stucco on the cement foundation just above the ground for a neater appearance.
Underground electrical conduit installations
This requires digging a small trench to put the hot tub power conduit into. This is the cleanest method because very little conduit is seen but it is typically the most expensive because of additional labor required to dig and fill the trench. The use of threaded rigid steel conduit is more expensive than EMT conduit too. All rigid conduits should be wrapped with 20mm corrosion resistant tape to protect them from rusting away in the ground. PVC can be used below the ground but it must be 18 inches deep compared to 6 inches deep for steel conduit. Using PVC will also require a transition to rigid steel conduit when coming above the surface and additional grounding will also be needed because PVC has no conductive value. Other considerations include buried mechanical systems like sprinkler systems, pool plumbing and landscape lighting. Damage can occur if these systems are not recognized while digging.
Through the attic
If your hot tub’s electrical hook up requires a connection to your main service panel and it is clear on the other side of your home, utilizing your attic as a method of wiring can save you significant amounts of money in conduit, wire and labor costs. This method of wiring will require an exposed conduit going up from your main panel to get into your attic and again an exposed conduit going down to get out of your attic. You will still need to run either an exposed conduit or an underground conduit to complete the run to your jacuzzi or spa, but it can shorten the linear distance which saves you money.
Direct burial cable
This should never be used as a method for wiring spas or hot tubs. It is not code compliant and poses safety risks. Remember that we are putting water and electricity in close proximity and the greatest safety measures are required.
Each hot tub’s installation has its own unique characteristics; one method of wiring may work better than another for your home. When laying out your hot tub hook up keep in mind that a shorter distance from your main panel equals less expense. Never take any short cuts that compromise safety and always follow the manufactures recommendations regarding their hot tub power requirements.
What’s My Next Step
If you would like more information about our hot tub installation services you can consult with our Mesa AZ electricians free of charge. They are there to answer any questions you may have and schedule an appointment to review your hot tub job and provide you with a written bid that has an exact electrical wiring cost. Our Mesa electricians provide Jacuzzi and spa installation services too!