Everyone knows water and electricity don’t mix, but when it comes to hot tubs, the two must exist in close proximity to one another. Unless all the wiring and connections are properly set up and insulated, what should be a relaxing home addition can quickly transform into a disaster.
If you’re planning to install a hot tub out back, for your own safety, it’s critical that you hire a licensed electrician to install it. Below, the electricians at Harrison Electric share a brief overview of the electrical requirements for hot tub installation and why you should never attempt a DIY install.
Hot Tub Installation: Important Electrical Requirements
In Minnesota, all hot tubs must operate on a ground fault interrupter circuit, also known as a GFCI, which is typically between 220-240 volts with a 40 amp circuit. GFCI circuits have a built-in breaker designed to immediately stop electrical current in the event that water makes contact with the attached device (in this case, your hot tub).
A licensed hot tub electrician will know the requirements for your municipal area, as well as any stipulations for installation contained within the National Electric Code. If you plan to have your hot tub installed with a wire run of fewer than 50 feet, some important electrical requirements for installation include:
● Only copper conductors may be used, and all metal components within five feet of the hot tub must be bonded together with the appropriate size copper wire.
● An equipotential bonding grid, which is designed to mitigate step and touch voltage, must be installed.
● The hot tub must connect to a dedicated circuit protected by a GFCI.
● Any lighting, outlets, plugs, or other electrical equipment within five feet of the hot tub must be connected to a GFCI.
● A maintenance disconnect must be installed for all ungrounded wires, save those for lighting. This disconnect must be at least five feet, but no more than 50 feet from the water’s edge. It must also be visible from the hot tub.
● There must be at least one convenience receptacle between six and 20 feet from the inside wall of the hot tub. This must be a GFCI receptacle.
● All outdoor receptacles that are exposed to weather must have a weatherproof covering.
The above-listed requirements are not comprehensive. For more information on code-compliant hot tub installation, you can check out the National Electric Code, Article 680. Not certain you know what any of the above requirements even mean? That’s where a licensed hot tub electrician comes in. Due to the high risk of improper do-it-yourself installation, you should never attempt to install a hot tub on your own.
Installing Packaged Hot Tubs
If you’re planning to install a packaged hot tub — an inflatable hot tub is a good example of this — you can probably install it yourself. If you have GFCI-protected outlets outdoors, you can use a cord and plug to connect a packaged hot tub, provided the cord does not exceed 15 feet in length. Never use an extension cord to plug in a hot tub!
If you own an older home that doesn’t have GFCI outlets outdoors, you’ll need to schedule outlet replacement before you can install a hot tub. And, if your electrical service panel isn’t designed to accommodate hot tub installation, you may also need a service panel upgrade before installation can commence.
Need a Hot Tub Electrician? Contact Harrison Electric
If you’re planning to install an indoor or outdoor hot tub, get in touch with Harrison Electric. Our licensed electricians can assess your existing electrical system for inadequacies and install new hot tub wiring, circuits, receptacles, and other necessary components to ensure safe hot tub operation. To get started, give us a call at 763-544-3300, request a quote, or send us a message for more information.