Do you want to know how to wire a hot tub for a relaxing bath?
It might be fun to get your hands on a new and stylish hot tub but what about the complicated installation you have to go through? It becomes tougher if you plan to do it yourself but have no knowledge about this work.
Wiring work is not a matter of seconds as you must deal with many complexities. Feel free from all your worries and curiosities as we will discuss how to perform this work in the simplest way possible in this guide.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article explain the process for educational purposes. We strongly suggest contacting an expert and getting it done by professionals to avoid any casualties.
How to Wire a Hot Tub?
- Examine what type of bathtub you will buy for a relaxing spa.
- Understand the functionalities of different supplies needed in this regard.
- Turn off the main supply and install a new separate circuit breaker.
- Now install the panel according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It should be only 5 or 6 feet away from the hot tub.
- Now run the Conduit Pipe after making a hole that should be near the breaker panel.
- Attach all the wires properly and do not forget to examine whether they are correct or not. You can ask for clarification from an expert.
- Turn on the main supply because you are all done.
Types of Hot Tubs
Before jumping into the process let me introduce you to the two main types of hot tubs that people usually purchase for a comfy and relaxing spa. The two types of tubs are:
1. Plug and Play Hot Tub
This spa functions on 120v power which is the standard one. You can easily plug this tub into the outlet and start enjoying your bath session.
They are perfect for 2 or 4 people and amazingly, you can move them to any required location as per your desire. Just fill the tub with water, plug it into the outlet, and here you go with an amazing spa time.
Talking about the time it takes to heat up, if you have placed this tub inside at a temperature of 76 degrees, hardly it will take 4 hours to get warm. If you want to reduce the heating time, leave the cover on.
You can also use this tub in winter but it will take more time to heat up. They are small and don’t have enough capacity to heat up quickly in extreme weather conditions.
2. Wired Hot Tub
In this type of hot tube, you take a direct connection through your home’s circuit breaker. Hence, like plug-and-play, you can not place this wired hot tub anywhere.
It is important to place this tub not far than 6 feet from the circuit breaker otherwise, it won’t be able to get enough voltage and the water will never get warm.
Moreover, you can not freely move this tub like plug and play because moving wired hot tubs require a detailed process of disconnection. If you plan to get your hands on this type of hot tub, you can also enjoy different advantages.
The most significant advantage is the highest heat output than the plug-and-play hot tub. It fastly makes the water warm even more than you expected whether you are using it in summer or winter.
You can save a lot of your precious time while warming the water. People who reside in areas where there is always a chill temperature usually prefer this type of hot tub due to this feature that they can not enjoy in a plug-and-play tub.
Hence, these are the two main types of hot tubs that you can consider if you have been looking for buying one in the future. Now let’s move ahead and talk about the wiring process.
The Process of Wiring a Hot Tub
Wiring work is not easy as it has different complications and the risk of life as well so better leave this work to electricians who are pros at it.
Moreover, you should be familiar with different building requirements and codes that you can ask from the local enforcement agency. Moreover, before diving into the details, you should know the different supplies needed for this purpose.
Below is the list of those supplies that you must have if you have to do this wiring at home. Along with the supplies, their functionalities are also mentioned for your proper guidance. Here we go.
1. Circuit Breaker
As already mentioned above, you need to take a direct connection through the circuit breaker of your home if you need to wire your hot tub.
It is important to get your hands on an individual circuit breaker whose main motive is to supply power only to that hot tub. The larger the hot tub, the bigger the circuit breaker should be.
For your safety, you can ask the electrician which circuit breaker would be appropriate for your newly purchased hot tub.
2. Service Panel
As you are going to purchase a separate circuit breaker so your main service panel should have enough space for it. In case, the current power supply is not appropriate for the hot tub, better ask the electrician instead of doing it yourself.
3. GFCI Shut-Off Box
GFCI stands for Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupt is an important and compulsory requirement that should be taken for hot tub installation from the National Electrician code.
It is basically a shut-off point that immediately detaches the tub from the power source if any emergency occurs. For installation, keep this box at a distance of 6 inches from the hot tub.
4. Appropriate Wire Size
You should be cautious about the wire size because a smaller size brings a lot of complexities and danger. If the size is smaller, it will not only enhance the risk of an electrical fire outbreak but all other heating elements might also be damaged.
Hence, buy it safely while keeping all the points in mind.
5. Conduit Pipe
When you are going to do the outdoor installation, the undergone wiring must be done through these pipes and it is the requirement of numerous localities. You can also use metal and plastic conduit pipes for this purpose.
Talking about the depth, the requirement varies according to the local code enforcement agency. You can ask the agency who will better guide you in this regard. Do not begin this installation before you get all the clarification.
The Process of Wiring GFCI
1. Shut Off Main Supply
Before jumping into the wiring process, the foremost part is to shut off the main power supply for your and your family’s safety. Once you are done with this disconnection, buy a separate circuit breaker and start installing it in the service panel.
2. Panel Installation
Before this installation, ensure that your room’s electrical setup has enough space to easily bear a heavy load. This panel will assist you in getting rid of false tripping.
Examine this panel and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for a successful installation. Moreover, keep it at a distance of at least 5 feet from the hot tub. If you are blank about this work, better hire a professional because your little mistake will go a long way.
3. Run the Conduit Pipe
Once the panel has been installed, let’s move towards the conduit pipe that you have to run through the walls after grounding a hole. Ensure the hole should be near the breaker panel.
Also, the conduit should cover all the areas including the spa panel, breaker panel, and trench. If you want to dig a hole below 6 feet you can take help from a non-metallic conduit or you can also use liquid-tight flexible metal for this purpose.
However, if the distance is more than 6, better use intermediate and metal rigid conduit. Now get your hands on LB fitting and attach outdoor and indoor conduit. Once you are done, pull the wire with the help of thermoplastic nylon and copper wire.
4. Attach the Wires
The attachment of wires is not that straightforward so you have to perform it with special care and attention in order to avoid any unpleasant accident. The step for this purpose are:
- Attach the black and red wire to the circuit breaker.
- Now you have to make the connection of ground wires to the neutral bar for which attach green wire to the white neutral one. Do not attach any other appliance.
- Now you have to pass the wires through the holes that you did for conduit pipes. They should be passed through the GFCI breaker box.
- The black load wire should be attached to GFCI Line-in 1 while the red load wires should be connected to Line-in 2.
- The white neutral cable should be affixed to the neutral bar while the green ground wire is here to be connected to the GFCI grounding bar.
- You have to attach one more wire to the GFCI neutral bar i.e white pigtail. If the hot tub has 240v, you have to pass the red cable wire from GFCI Load-out 2 while the black bar should be passed through Load-out 2.
- On the other hand, if the hot tub has a 120v control system, you have to get your hands on white neutral wire as well that should be attached to the load neutral.
It is how you can do a successful connection of wiring. If you get confused on any step, better ask for professional help.
5. Examine the Wires
Once you are done, do not proceed to the next step until you are sure you have attached the correct wires in the right way. You can also ask for confirmation from the professionals for your safety.
6. Switch on The Main Power
After confirmation, you can switch on the main power supply of the circuit breaker. You are all done.
Installation Cost of Wiring
You might be wondering how much cost you might have to spend on this installation process. Well, we can’t predict the exact number because it varies due to numerous factors involved in it.
A few notable factors involved in this manner are the bathtub size, the difficulty it takes to run the circuit, and many more. It is also said that the expected price would be $85-$800 but in the end, it is not the exact range.
Approximately, you might have to spend $1300-$2500 on this hot tub installation but the good news is, you can save the maximum amount if you keep the below-mentioned factors in mind.
1. Pre-Planning is Good
It is important to pre-plan all the things if you are about to landscape your backyard.
2. Choose the Location Carefully
Remember that the actual cost you have to spend is on all the materials and supplies used in this regard. The panel should be located near the hot tub to avoid excessive costs. The more the distance, the more money you will have to invest.
3. Place Spa Before the Electrician
It is one of the greatest ways to save money because by doing so, you can save additional trips for the electrician that might cost you much.
4. Install the Trench from the Third Person
You might also require the trench in this installation process so better let this work be done by someone else because your electrician will charge a heavy amount. It is one of the most common hot tub wiring mistakes that people do.
FAQs Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s talk about some hot tub electrical requirements or how to turn on a hot tub.
What Wire Do I Use for a Hot Tub?
Size 6 AWG copper wire will be great for hot tubs avoid using aluminum wires as they are not suitable for this purpose.
Can I Wire My Own Hot Tub?
Yes, you can wire your hot tub but a huge level of risk is involved in this process. You must be aware of all the supplies and their functionalities before jumping into this work.
What Wire Do I Use for a 240v Hot Tub?
You need a 50 amp 4-wire if you are using 240v hot tub. It is important to examine the size of the wire before starting the wiring process.
What Size Breaker Do I Need for a 240 v Hot Tub?
The size of the beaker should at least range between 40 amps to 60 amps if you have 240v hot tub. It is also important to consider the type of breaker you are using.
I hope this guide has helped you enough to understand How to Wire a Hot Tub. Wiring is not straightforward work so you can not simply jump into it without having any knowledge.
Your one little mistake can also provide great harm to you and your family so be concerned about each material and supply and brace yourself properly with the functionalities. We have tried to cover each point in detail for your acknowledgment.
You can also ask a professional for this work who will charge enough money. I hope this guide will help you to perform the wiring work at your home easily if you are planning to buy a new hot tub any time soon.