Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Wannago

Wiring A Jacuzzi J-480 (240 Volt / 60 Amp)

28 posts in this topic

I have done all the wiring in preparation for the delivery of our new J-480.

As I am using a 60 amp service, I have upgraded my existing hot tub wiring (which was a 40 amp, 8-3 wire service), to the 60 amp service by swapping out the 40 amp main panel breaker for a 60 amp breaker, and replacing the old 8-3 wire with 6-3 wire.

As well, I have thrown out my old sub panel, and replaced it with a new Schneider Electric - Square D 60 amp Hot Tub/Pool/Spa sub-panel from Home Depot. The sub panel breaker is a Square D, 2 Wire 240Vac, 60 amp 2 Pole QO GFCI

The wiring from the main panel to the sub panel is pretty basic: 2 hots (red & black), a neutral (white), and a bare copper ground. The red and black go to the standard "ins" on the GFCI, the white connects to the neutral bus (also connected to the white pigtail from the GFCI), and the bare copper connects to a separate ground bus. I am not an electrician, but am confident this is done properly.

My question is regarding the feed from the sub panel (GFCI) to the hot tub service panel.

Looking at the online Jacuzzi User Manual, it shows that there are only 3 wires running from the GFCI to the hot tub service panel: the red, the black, and the bare copper ground (AKA "green" wire - however it is my understanding that this is just the ground, which is sometimes insulated in a green jacket, but it is the same thing as the bare copper ground wire I have). According to the Jacuzzi manual, there is no white wire running from the GFCI to the hot tub service panel. Looking at the "out" side of the GFCI, there isn't even a hole where the white output wire could connect to.

Does this sound right to you experts? No white wire from the GFCI to the Jacuzzi 480 panel - only black, red, and a ground?

Naturally I will confirm with my local dealer, but I wanted to ask here to see if this is correct as well.

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have done all the wiring in preparation for the delivery of our new J-480.

As I am using a 60 amp service, I have upgraded my existing hot tub wiring (which was a 40 amp, 8-3 wire service), to the 60 amp service by swapping out the 40 amp main panel breaker for a 60 amp breaker, and replacing the old 8-3 wire with 6-3 wire.

As well, I have thrown out my old sub panel, and replaced it with a new Schneider Electric - Square D 60 amp Hot Tub/Pool/Spa sub-panel from Home Depot. The sub panel breaker is a Square D, 2 Wire 240Vac, 60 amp 2 Pole QO GFCI

The wiring from the main panel to the sub panel is pretty basic: 2 hots (red & black), a neutral (white), and a bare copper ground. The red and black go to the standard "ins" on the GFCI, the white connects to the neutral bus (also connected to the white pigtail from the GFCI), and the bare copper connects to a separate ground bus. I am not an electrician, but am confident this is done properly.

My question is regarding the feed from the sub panel (GFCI) to the hot tub service panel.

Looking at the online Jacuzzi User Manual, it shows that there are only 3 wires running from the GFCI to the hot tub service panel: the red, the black, and the bare copper ground (AKA "green" wire - however it is my understanding that this is just the ground, which is sometimes insulated in a green jacket, but it is the same thing as the bare copper ground wire I have). According to the Jacuzzi manual, there is no white wire running from the GFCI to the hot tub service panel. Looking at the "out" side of the GFCI, there isn't even a hole where the white output wire could connect to.

Does this sound right to you experts? No white wire from the GFCI to the Jacuzzi 480 panel - only black, red, and a ground?

Naturally I will confirm with my local dealer, but I wanted to ask here to see if this is correct as well.

Thanks

If you are in the USA, I see a couple of potential problems with your installation. First, #6 AWG may or may not be suitable for a 60 amp hot tub circuit. For example, if you used Romex, this would not be sufficiently sized as #6 Romex has a maximum table ampacity of 55 amps BEFORE the application of de-rating factors. Second, Article 680 of the NEC plainly requires that the grounding conductor MUST be an insulated wire. You have stated that you used a bare copper ground, but the NEC precludes the use of a bare ground.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all.

John, actually I am in Canada. The wire (cable) I used is NMWU (Non-Metallic Waterproof Underground - I think?). The local Home Depot doesn't even have a #6 awg with an insulated (green) ground, so I am assuming up here in the great white north, bare copper grounds are acceptable. Will confirm though...

Total wire run from main panel to sub panel is about 60', and about 20' from the sub panel to the hot tub.

For what it's worth, here are a few pics....go easy now, remember - I'm not an electrician :D

Main%20Panel%202.jpg

Sub%20Panel%20-%20Inputs%20Only.jpg

Sub%20Panel%20-%20Inputs%20Outputs.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John is correct; NMWU is rated only to 60 degrees Celsius. It has an allowable ampacity of 55 amps.

(Allowable ampacities are for general use as specified by the Canadian Electrical Code, 2008, Table 2.)

A wire rated to 75 C would have an allowable ampacity of 65 amps at 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

I think that the wire should be sized based on at least 125% of the continuous load. 60 x 1.25 = 75 amps.

I would think that you should go with a #4 wire rated at either 75C or 90C. You should probably have an electrician at least advise you on what to use, if not do it for you, due to the high current load involved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To add one additional point to the mix, Jacuzzi RECOMMENDS THHN in conduit. THHN is 90 C rated. Although you could argue that they are not mandating it, I think it is prudent to use something that meets or exceeds this recommendation. Your choice falls far short of this factory recommendation. All of the factory wire size recommendations are rated on calculations based on 90 C wire, not 60 C wire.

For Quantum, hot tubs are subject by code to a 125 percent rule. In this case though, a 60 amp circuit meets this 125 percent requirement. The continuous load of these particular Jacuzzi tubs is in the mid-40's. The value of moving to #4 wire for the main electrical run is a reduction in voltage drop, which is an important consideration in any high current appliance with motors (such as a hot tub). I've never understood why people want to skimp on the electrical and save a few bucks, when a robust installation can have an effect on the longevity of the equipment, especially the motors.

One final note about Jacuzzi's recommended wire sizes. I have no problem with their choice of #8 THHN for the final, short run from the disconnect to the tub for any of their tubs set for 40 or 50 amps. I have a huge problem with using #8 THHN in this case if the tub is jumpered for 60 amps. I feel that, and the ampacity tables support, the minimum should be #6.

I'll be curious to learn if Canada also requires an insulated ground for hot tubs.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the other posts. I do think #6 is fine for that short run. I don't think you will be able to fit #4 wire into the Jacuzzi terminals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do have a buddy that is an electrician.

I called and spoke with him, and he assured me I am fine. He says THHN is not a good product when exposed to cold temps, as the thinner insulation can tend to crack.

He did a bunch of calculations, cited table 2, table 19, etc. etc.some of which I understood - others he lost me on, but basically he told me that for my run of 30 metres (actually less than that), with a max current draw of 45 amps (from the Jacuzzi manual), with the #6 wire, I am incurring a 2% voltage drop, which he said is very good.

He does not see the benefit to using a #4, considering the larger size and the difficulties attaching to the lugs.

He is not aware of anything that precludes the use of the bare copper ground, but does admit that he is not the most experienced with hot tub installs. I have also come across a pdf document produced by a Canadian electrician, describing how to wire a hot tub, and in his illustrations / photos, he uses a bare copper ground, so it appears as though the bare copper ground is fine. Once again, I will double check with my dealer on this though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with the other posts. I do think #6 is fine for that short run. I don't think you will be able to fit #4 wire into the Jacuzzi terminals.

You are correct. #4 will not fit the lugs in the spa controller, but nobody has advocated using #4 all the way to the tub.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I do have a buddy that is an electrician, currently working industrial up in the oil sands, way up in Northern Alberta.

I called and spoke with him, and he assured me I am fine. He says THHN is not a good product when exposed to cold temps, as the thinner insulation can tend to crack.

He did a bunch of calculations, cited table 2, table 19, etc. etc.some of which I understood - others he lost me on, but basically he told me that for my run of 30 metres (actually less than that), with a max current draw of 45 amps (from the Jacuzzi manual), with the #6 wire, I am incurring a 2% voltage drop, which he said is very good.

He does not see the benefit to using a #4, considering the larger size and the difficulties attaching to the lugs. If this was his tub, he would use the exact same cable. He doesn't feel I am skimping by using #6.

He is not aware of anything that precludes the use of the bare copper ground, but does admit that he is not the most experienced with hot tub installs. I have also come across a pdf document produced by a Canadian electrician, describing how to wire a hot tub, and in his illustrations / photos, he uses a bare copper ground, so it appears as though the bare copper ground is fine. Once again, I will double check with my dealer on this though.

Here's the major problem though. Your buddy is calculating based on 45 amps. That is where he is wrong. Hot tubs are subject to the 125 percent rule. 125 percent of 45 amps is 56.25 amps, hence the requirement to wire and protect for 60 amps. If you are quoting him accurately, it is plainly obvious that he has no knowledge or experience with the electrical requirements of hot tubs and his advice should be ignored for safety sake.

If you do not want to select THHN for your conductors, fine. Select any of the myriad of 90 C or even 105 C conductors on the market. There are a bunch of different ones available. However, I feel it is imprudent at best (not to mention potentially dangerous in a 60 amp circuit) for your buddy to tell you that it is fine with him for you to protect a wire that has a maximum 55 amp rating with a 60 amp circuit breaker. This defies all logic. Anyone with even the most basic understanding of electricity knows that the protection devices (fuses or circuit breakers) must have the lowest ampacity rating in your appliance. All other components (terminal blocks, conductors, etc.) must be rated to equal or exceed the fuse or breaker rating.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks John, I really do appreciate your input...I will definitely follow-up on this...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pardon me John. Please see the bottom of post #6.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just confirmed with a CANADIAN eledtrician who specializes in hot tubs.

The bare copper ground is acceptable to use from the GFCI to the spa - and does not need to be insulated (green).

The 6-3 NMWU cable in my scenario is also acceptable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pardon me John. Please see the bottom of post #6.

I interpreted post #6 as referring to the main electrical run from the house to the nearby disconnect. It was my understanding that this gentleman has not wired up a tub yet, so the final few feet are not in place yet. Therefore, I assumed this discussion was concerning the main run only.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pardon me John. Please see the bottom of post #6.

I interpreted post #6 as referring to the main electrical run from the house to the nearby disconnect. It was my understanding that this gentleman has not wired up a tub yet, so the final few feet are not in place yet. Therefore, I assumed this discussion was concerning the main run only.

John

Now we all know what happens when we assume things!!! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just confirmed with a CANADIAN eledtrician who specializes in hot tubs.

The bare copper ground is acceptable to use from the GFCI to the spa - and does not need to be insulated (green).

The 6-3 NMWU cable in my scenario is also acceptable.

As I said, I don't know Canadian code, so the use of bare copper ground conductors may be perfectly permissible. Here in the USA, the requirement for insulated ground conductors goes back to at least the 2005 NEC. I checked a couple of Canadian electrician's forums and there seems to be quite a bit of confusion surrounding this issue and the requirements of the CEC.

I was able to confirm that, per the CEC, #6 NMWU is a 60 C rated conductor with a maximum ampacity of 55 amps prior to derating. This confirms the 55 amp max ampacity that Quantum posted in response #6 above. I am flabbergasted that any electrician would advocate protecting a conductor with a breaker rated at a higher ampacity than the conductor itself. This flies in the face of common sense, not to mention the purpose of the code.

On another note, I was able to find out that NMWU is similar to what we refer to as UF here in the USA, though the conductors are not protected quite as well as UF. Here is an interesting link that I found. Read the complete thread. It suggests that using NMWU for an OUTDOOR hot tub in Canada may be illegal. This particular discussion occurred 5 months ago, so the info should still be valid. If true, you've been getting bad advice from your electrician's. I'd go so far as to suggest that you talk to your local AHJ to clear this up.

http://forum.doityourself.com/electrical-c...0-6-3-wire.html

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pardon me John. Please see the bottom of post #6.

I interpreted post #6 as referring to the main electrical run from the house to the nearby disconnect. It was my understanding that this gentleman has not wired up a tub yet, so the final few feet are not in place yet. Therefore, I assumed this discussion was concerning the main run only.

John

Now we all know what happens when we assume things!!! :lol:

So true.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No Problem - I just didn't think is was a worthy mention.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just found this on a (Canadian) Home Depot Q&A page. This was the question posed:

Given BC Cental Okanagan Temps from -40C to + 40C ... roughly 80 ft from panel

1) What is the minimum AWG is required for a 60A 240V Hot Tub? Specs vauge 40-50-60A

2) Is Tek90 rated to be run in ground without a conduit?

3) With a GFI Breaker can the Hot tub also have a Ground Rod?

One of the answers:

"I've done lots of tubs and I don't think 80 feet is a problem. After 100 ft I would upgrade one size. There is the problem of voltage drop and you can get nuisance tripping due to the impedence of the wire fooling the GFCI control circuit.

The manufacturer will tell you what size breaker you need. They calculate this by the size of the heater usually 6KW. and the total motor loads. If your tub calls for a 60 amp breaker it likely has two or three motors. If your motor load is more than 50% of your total load , under section 28 you can argue that your breaker can be larger than the rating of your wire. There is a calculation for this. In any case I would run 3C #6awg ACWU ( good for direct burial and 1/3 the cost of copper) from the GFCI into the spa pak and use a 4+11/16 J box and switch to NMD 90 #6 copper. You need copper conductors to terminate. ACWU #6 is good for 60 amp sevices and sub services. Most inspectors will allow it for the tub appllication since it can carry 55 amps and you will never load it to capacity.

Forget the ground bar."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just found this on a (Canadian) Home Depot Q&A page. This was the question posed:

Given BC Cental Okanagan Temps from -40C to + 40C ... roughly 80 ft from panel

1) What is the minimum AWG is required for a 60A 240V Hot Tub? Specs vauge 40-50-60A

2) Is Tek90 rated to be run in ground without a conduit?

3) With a GFI Breaker can the Hot tub also have a Ground Rod?

One of the answers:

"I've done lots of tubs and I don't think 80 feet is a problem. After 100 ft I would upgrade one size. There is the problem of voltage drop and you can get nuisance tripping due to the impedence of the wire fooling the GFCI control circuit.

The manufacturer will tell you what size breaker you need. They calculate this by the size of the heater usually 6KW. and the total motor loads. If your tub calls for a 60 amp breaker it likely has two or three motors. If your motor load is more than 50% of your total load , under section 28 you can argue that your breaker can be larger than the rating of your wire. There is a calculation for this. In any case I would run 3C #6awg ACWU ( good for direct burial and 1/3 the cost of copper) from the GFCI into the spa pak and use a 4+11/16 J box and switch to NMD 90 #6 copper. You need copper conductors to terminate. ACWU #6 is good for 60 amp sevices and sub services. Most inspectors will allow it for the tub appllication since it can carry 55 amps and you will never load it to capacity.

Forget the ground bar."

So do the calculation from this rule in section 28 and see if you qualify. I am somewhat suspect on the advice offered here because the OP states that "Most inspectors will allow it". Maybe the OP was just being somewhat loose with his words. On the other hand, maybe he's just used to doing as cheap a job as possible, but sneaks it past "most" inspectors. I stand by my last suggestion, which is to talk directly to your AHJ

Frankly, you seem bent on doing a marginal installation. It's your tub. Good luck. For the record though, I triple checked the rating of this wire you are using under the Canadian electric code. It plainly has a maximum ampacity of 55 amps at ambient temps below 86 degrees F (30 C). Now ask yourself, are there times where this wire will be subject to higher temps? Say, due to summer time heat waves? How about within the equipment cabinet itself? If so, the NMWU will be severely derated (60 C wire takes a larger derating hit than 75 C or 90 C conductors) and will not even support 55 amps. Frankly, I don't understand the obsession to use marginal conductors when any of the myriad of available 90 C conductors will give you a wide margin of safety. Remember, the electric code represents a set of MINIMUM standards. My position is that it is not prudent to just barely get by on a marginal installation when you have a product like this that mixes people, water and electricity. If anything, this is the time to add an additional margin of safety.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So do the calculation from this rule in section 28 and see if you qualify. I am somewhat suspect on the advice offered here because the OP states that "Most inspectors will allow it". Maybe the OP was just being somewhat loose with his words. On the other hand, maybe he's just used to doing as cheap a job as possible, but sneaks it past "most" inspectors. I stand by my last suggestion, which is to talk directly to your AHJ

Frankly, you seem bent on doing a marginal installation. It's your tub. Good luck. For the record though, I triple checked the rating of this wire you are using under the Canadian electric code. It plainly has a maximum ampacity of 55 amps at ambient temps below 86 degrees F (30 C). Now ask yourself, are there times where this wire will be subject to higher temps? Say, due to summer time heat waves? How about within the equipment cabinet itself? If so, the NMWU will be severely derated (60 C wire takes a larger derating hit than 75 C or 90 C conductors) and will not even support 55 amps. Frankly, I don't understand the obsession to use marginal conductors when any of the myriad of available 90 C conductors will give you a wide margin of safety. Remember, the electric code represents a set of MINIMUM standards. My position is that it is not prudent to just barely get by on a marginal installation when you have a product like this that mixes people, water and electricity. If anything, this is the time to add an additional margin of safety.

John

Whilst I barely give a damn what anyone else does with their own stuff, I have to say John has a good point. Installation is expensive...plain and simple it's gonna cost you some coin to get it done. The most expensive part of this type of job is going to be the labor. The additional cost of better than minimum wiring will be negligible at best compared to the labor charges. I always look at a job from the point of if labor is more than materials, I should consider using the best materials available so I never have to pay for the "expensive" labor again.

Overbuild your wiring, you may need it in the future if you change tubs....or if you simply don't want to worry about it.

I am a brick %&*^house kind of guy anyways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my post talking about using #4 wire, I was only talking about the main run that the O.P talked about. After checking the ampacity of the wire that was already run, I determined that the existing wire was insufficient.

I also misunderstood the continuous load. I had calculated the #4 wire based on a continuous load of 60 amps. I should have realized that the 60-amp specification already included a safety factor and that there was no need to multiply the 60 amps by 125%.

If you want to use the tub in a 60 amp configuration and your breaker is a 60 amp breaker, your wires have to be rated equal to or higher than 60 amps. The wires that you have used are rated less than 60 amps. It is my opinion that the wires need to be changed. You should use #6 THHN or XHHW for the main run and the run from the sub-panel to the tub.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the record, I do not believe that any electrical code will allow wiring to have a lower ampacity rating than the circuit breaker. You will need to quote the exact code section if you want to make that argument.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For the record, I do not believe that any electrical code will allow wiring to have a lower ampacity rating than the circuit breaker. You will need to quote the exact code section if you want to make that argument.

Table13.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0