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220v Hot Tub..what Type Of Wire?


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#1 sscott0203

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 08:01 PM

220v
50 amp breaker(house panel)
50 amp gfci disconnect(outside)

Have an older Vita Spa but replaced all the equipment with:

Balboa VS510SZ spa pack with top side controls(Heater will be 220v)
Waterway 120 v 1.5 2 speed pump
Air blower from Hottubworks.com 220v 2hp
Ozone will be 110v have not purchased yet
1 12v light


So i know i need 3wire + ground, 6 gauge, so 6/3. Do i need a certain type, do i need the ground to be insulated?
I have searched everywhere and just find different answers. I was at Lowe's tonight and the guy told me to just get 6/3 and not to worry about the insulated ground, he said everyone that he has sold wire to for a hot tub has bought this. It was half off since it was returned once so i got 20ft for $20.00 but is this the right wire??

Please can someone give me the correct wire i need 100%

Here's what i got


#2 TideJoe

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 04:39 AM

QUOTE (sscott0203 @ Nov 20 2009, 10:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
220v
50 amp breaker(house panel)
50 amp gfci disconnect(outside)

Have an older Vita Spa but replaced all the equipment with:

Balboa VS510SZ spa pack with top side controls(Heater will be 220v)
Waterway 120 v 1.5 2 speed pump
Air blower from Hottubworks.com 220v 2hp
Ozone will be 110v have not purchased yet
1 12v light


So i know i need 3wire + ground, 6 gauge, so 6/3. Do i need a certain type, do i need the ground to be insulated?
I have searched everywhere and just find different answers. I was at Lowe's tonight and the guy told me to just get 6/3 and not to worry about the insulated ground, he said everyone that he has sold wire to for a hot tub has bought this. It was half off since it was returned once so i got 20ft for $20.00 but is this the right wire??

Please can someone give me the correct wire i need 100%

Here's what i got


6/3 is fine and yes you want the ground insulated.... it's just safer. You can easily get by with 8 awg with a short run like that. 8 THHN is rated at 55 amps (NEC book).

#3 steve_a

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 07:35 AM

QUOTE (sscott0203 @ Nov 20 2009, 10:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
220v
so i got 20ft for $20.00


NICE !!

According to the NEC book and some die-hard electricians they say to use, nay DEMAND, that you use an insulated ground (that would be the green wire). When I installed my hot tub this summer I spoke with my certified electrician (also my father) and the local code guy (whom I found is dumber than a bag of rocks), and also a couple local electrical supply houses who all agreed that 6/3 UF/G was perfectly acceptable for a spa installation. The main thought being that the ground is exactly that - a direct connection to ground - so if you have a bare wire it simply is more likely to ground rather the insulated. There are all kinds of other regulations about wiring that may affect you depending on your installation. Such as the wire you pictured "can not be" run through conduit because of the outer jacket, but you can't just strip the black jacket off and run it through conduit because the wires are not individually printed with their gauge and size and specifications - even though it is the exact same wire as the stuff that has the printing. I ran my wire through a short piece of conduit from my breaker box up to my GFCI disconnect and back down into the house. It then runs 20 feet though the basement joists and then through a 10 foot underground conduit and up through the outside pad under the spa. I didn't "need" the 10 foot conduit since it is underground rated wire, but if I even need to change or add anything, the conduit will make it much easier. Keep in mind the NEC is over-protective as a general rule.

Enjoy your hot tub !!

#4 sscott0203

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 08:44 AM

Well they guy at Lowe's said i can return it no problem if it's not the right stuff. Well the ground is not insulated in this type of wire. It is a very short run. My panel box is in the basement on the same wall where i need to exit outside for the hot tub. I honestly think i wont even use more than 15 feet of it. I keep seeing everywhere that 6 gauge copper THHN/THWN wire is the right wire to get. Correct me if i am wrong but that is just single strands of wire, so i would just get a red,black,green, and white wire. Since they are single strands of wire, i will then have to run conduit inside my basement?

Thanks for the help so far

#5 sscott0203

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 06:25 PM

Well i returned that wire to Lowe's and picked up this....



I need to see what kind and size conduit i have to run to be up to code. Since it's THHN i will have to run conduit inside the home. Does anyone know the kind of conduit i can use? I think i am going to have to go with 1 inch, but not sure what type

#6 stryker709

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 07:28 PM

The original cable you had appeared to be a NMWU cable. Not positive without actually seeing it but that is what it looks like. In Canada you would have been able to run that inside the house, outside in conduit where exposed to mechanical damage, or underground either in conduit at a depth of 450 mm or direct buried at a depth of 600 mm. The uninsulated ground would be perfectly acceptable in this case, the only case it would not be acceptable is when pulled in conduit over a certain length, sorry I can't remember that length off the top of my head. I'm not sure how different that is in the states.
Now that you are using individual conductors and not a cable, you will need to protect them for the entire length from the panel to the hot tub control box. EMT conduit is my preference as it looks better and stays straighter than PVC conduit, but outside the house you will likely have to use rain tight fittings. PVC will be required if you run it under ground. If you need to make bends in the pipe, you are probably better off to use cable (nmd 90, teck 90, ac 90) inside the house as you likely don't have an EMT bender on hand. You could run this cable through the wall into the back of a box mounted on the side of the house. From there you could use either a teck 90 cable, pipe with wire in it, or liquid tight flex with wire in it if you aren't too far from the hot tub.

As a note: If you are not completely sure about local electrical codes, you should always consult the AHJ (authority having jurisdiction, AKA electrical inspector) and find out what they require as this will change not only from country to country, but state to state and city to city.

#7 hot_water

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 08:09 PM

QUOTE (sscott0203 @ Nov 21 2009, 06:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well i returned that wire to Lowe's and picked up this....



I need to see what kind and size conduit i have to run to be up to code. Since it's THHN i will have to run conduit inside the home. Does anyone know the kind of conduit i can use? I think i am going to have to go with 1 inch, but not sure what type


You could have used the direct burial wire, it's not WRONG (if allowed by local code)... and many installations do just that. There is no problem with the bare ground in direct burial cable, it's perfectly fine. But but running THHN in conduit is a much better and more durable installation IMO. You HAVE to put your THHN inside conduit, it has nothing to do with running through the house. THHN always goes in conduit. You can use either pvc or ridgid (galvanized with threaded ends). I like PVC, it's cheap,easy and works, and you never have to thread, just cut and glue. But in most locales you have to dig a much deeper trench for plastic than for metal. What the heck, it's a good workout. Alternately, you CAN run the conduit above ground, say, along a fence, if it's not too ugly.

Technically, you really need THWN, not THHN. But most (not all) THHN is dual rated THHN/THWN. THe THWN is for outdoor, wet locations (yes, it's a wet location in a conduit). But you should check. It's important.

You shouldn't run direct burial wire in a conduit. The wires inside may look the same, but they're not... any more than THHN is the same as THWN. The insulation is not rated for the same heat, and relies on the outer jacket being in contact with the dirt for heat reasons. Trying to outsmart the code or the manufacturers is not a good plan where electrical is involved. And, if something lights on fire (it happens), you're likely to have an issue with your insurance company for doing a non-permitted installation that is not to code.

Your conduit size depends on how many of what size wires you run. There are conduit calculators available. NEC stipulates a 40% fill max for three or more conductors. If all you have is three #6 conductors plus the equipment ground (green), 1" is ok.

Sscott, with all due respect... if you don't now what type of wire or conduit to use why the heck are you trying to save a couple of bucks on the electrical?? You could kill yourself and your family. It's an outdoor, electric bathtub, man! There is no room for learning on the job with something like this! Do you really trust a bunch of people on the internet that may barely know how to actually spell "wire" with your family's safety?? Or the $10 dollar guy at Lowes?? Get a permit, and hire a licensed electrician, get it inspected. You can probably save most of the money by digging your own trench. Most electricians don't like doing that and hire it out anyway.

#8 hot_water

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 11:29 PM

QUOTE (stryker709 @ Nov 21 2009, 07:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The original cable you had appeared to be a NMWU cable. Not positive without actually seeing it but that is what it looks like. In Canada you would have been able to run that inside the house, outside in conduit where exposed to mechanical damage, or underground either in conduit at a depth of 450 mm or direct buried at a depth of 600 mm.


Stryker you might be right. My comment on not running the direct burial in conduit was aimed at UF type cable. The picture isn't UF. I've read conflicting opinions on running NMWU in conduit in Canada, but... since I'm not there I haven't looked at your codes and thus will defer to you on the NMWU in conduit.


#9 n1oty

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 11:22 AM

QUOTE (sscott0203 @ Nov 21 2009, 12:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
220v
50 amp breaker(house panel)
50 amp gfci disconnect(outside)

Have an older Vita Spa but replaced all the equipment with:

Balboa VS510SZ spa pack with top side controls(Heater will be 220v)
Waterway 120 v 1.5 2 speed pump
Air blower from Hottubworks.com 220v 2hp
Ozone will be 110v have not purchased yet
1 12v light


So i know i need 3wire + ground, 6 gauge, so 6/3. Do i need a certain type, do i need the ground to be insulated?
I have searched everywhere and just find different answers. I was at Lowe's tonight and the guy told me to just get 6/3 and not to worry about the insulated ground, he said everyone that he has sold wire to for a hot tub has bought this. It was half off since it was returned once so i got 20ft for $20.00 but is this the right wire??

Please can someone give me the correct wire i need 100%

Here's what i got



You need to give your location and whether the tub will be installed inside or outside before anyone can give accurate answers.

John


#10 sscott0203

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 01:45 PM

Thanks for all the reply's and helpful info everyone. First i want to say that i am going to have an electrician come out and hook up all the connections, but i want to do everything that i can to cut the cost some. This is a learning experience for me and i enjoy doing it, I am 27 and have always wanted to drop my job now and get into an electrician apprenticeship program and am still putting a lot of thought into it.

The new wire i got does say THHN or THWN or THWN-2 so it is the outdoor type.

I took some pictures so everyone can see where the hot tub is going, inside panel, and the very short run i have.

This is where the hot tub will be sitting



This is the back of the condo where my gfci box will be and also where i will be drilling a hole for the wire to come out from panel box.




The panel box is mounted on the same wall as the picture above, so its a very short run.









#11 sscott0203

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 01:48 PM

I live in Ohio, tub will be used outside all year around

#12 hot_water

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 03:58 PM

QUOTE (sscott0203 @ Nov 22 2009, 01:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I live in Ohio, tub will be used outside all year around


Sscott,

I mentioned local codes as did John.... it probably goes by city or county rather than state. Your state will have codes that might differ from NEC but then again the locality has the final say on code issues. Where I live the state is not using the curent NEC, and the local codes are different still.

Glad to hear you're going to use an electrician. I suggest that you hire him and then the two of you work out the details of what to install, how deep to trench, type of wire, etc. He should know your local codes and that way he's on the hook -- if he has problems he can't point at your work. And, you need to make sure your disconnect is in a good spot... NEC specs the min distance but some localities have differing max distances. Plus, you should work out the conduit run with the electrician to make sure that it'll pull easy... probably not an issue with your short run but too many bends can make the pull hard. You can still do the grunt work and save the money but now you will have a partner (with a license) for when the inspector comes.

Don't forget that some localities have code requirements about spa placement as wwell... how close it can be to fences, property lines and such. I didn't know this when I installed my first spa and ended up moving it - fortunately it was only 6 inches... but I did have to drain it most of the way.

I have debated with John before about grounding and equipotential grids under spas, because in my area and some others they don't enfore those rules for spas. But in your area they might. So in your case, it's a new electrical installation so you must be code compliant.... I think you really need to get a pro's advice up front.

Good luck - be safe.


#13 stryker709

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 08:49 PM

QUOTE (hot_water @ Nov 22 2009, 12:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (stryker709 @ Nov 21 2009, 07:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The original cable you had appeared to be a NMWU cable. Not positive without actually seeing it but that is what it looks like. In Canada you would have been able to run that inside the house, outside in conduit where exposed to mechanical damage, or underground either in conduit at a depth of 450 mm or direct buried at a depth of 600 mm.


Stryker you might be right. My comment on not running the direct burial in conduit was aimed at UF type cable. The picture isn't UF. I've read conflicting opinions on running NMWU in conduit in Canada, but... since I'm not there I haven't looked at your codes and thus will defer to you on the NMWU in conduit.


Basically, up here you would use NMWU in conduit only when you are running under ground and don't have a box at both ends of the pipe. If you have a box at both ends you would just pull single conductor. The problem with the NMWU, whether or not it is in conduit, is that it's 60 degree rated and therefore has a lower ampacity as you get into bigger wire eg. #6 is no longer rated for 65amps but 55amps instead. The good thing about it is that the conduit only has to act as a sleeve and as long as the cable is mechanically protected it can run to where it has to go without adding a splice in a box. This works well if you have to run a long distance in the house as obviously if you run cable through studs or joists it will be way faster than conduit and wire.

Sscot, sounds like you are on the right track if you get an electrician to do the hook ups and do the grunt work for him. If you are looking at getting into the trade, it is one of the better ones. After about 16 years it still fairly interesting with the many different aspects.


#14 hot_water

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 12:06 AM

QUOTE (stryker709 @ Nov 23 2009, 08:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Basically, up here you would use NMWU in conduit only when you are running under ground and don't have a box at both ends of the pipe. If you have a box at both ends you would just pull single conductor. The problem with the NMWU, whether or not it is in conduit, is that it's 60 degree rated and therefore has a lower ampacity as you get into bigger wire eg. #6 is no longer rated for 65amps but 55amps instead. The good thing about it is that the conduit only has to act as a sleeve and as long as the cable is mechanically protected it can run to where it has to go without adding a splice in a box. This works well if you have to run a long distance in the house as obviously if you run cable through studs or joists it will be way faster than conduit and wire.

Sscot, sounds like you are on the right track if you get an electrician to do the hook ups and do the grunt work for him. If you are looking at getting into the trade, it is one of the better ones. After about 16 years it still fairly interesting with the many different aspects.


I see that Southwire lists NMWU as "Canadian building wire"...

Here I would run THHN/THWN in conduit outside or under the house (or UF-B, ugh, I don't like direct burial), and splice in a box to 6-3 NM-B for inside the house through studs etc. #6 UF-B is also 55A rated... yet another reason to avoid it.



#15 stryker709

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 09:11 PM

QUOTE (hot_water @ Nov 25 2009, 01:06 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (stryker709 @ Nov 23 2009, 08:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Basically, up here you would use NMWU in conduit only when you are running under ground and don't have a box at both ends of the pipe. If you have a box at both ends you would just pull single conductor. The problem with the NMWU, whether or not it is in conduit, is that it's 60 degree rated and therefore has a lower ampacity as you get into bigger wire eg. #6 is no longer rated for 65amps but 55amps instead. The good thing about it is that the conduit only has to act as a sleeve and as long as the cable is mechanically protected it can run to where it has to go without adding a splice in a box. This works well if you have to run a long distance in the house as obviously if you run cable through studs or joists it will be way faster than conduit and wire.

Sscot, sounds like you are on the right track if you get an electrician to do the hook ups and do the grunt work for him. If you are looking at getting into the trade, it is one of the better ones. After about 16 years it still fairly interesting with the many different aspects.


I see that Southwire lists NMWU as "Canadian building wire"...

Here I would run THHN/THWN in conduit outside or under the house (or UF-B, ugh, I don't like direct burial), and splice in a box to 6-3 NM-B for inside the house through studs etc. #6 UF-B is also 55A rated... yet another reason to avoid it.


I'm guessing your NM-B is simular to our NMD-90?

#16 n1oty

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 06:54 AM



It is my understanding that Ohio is currently using the 2008 NEC as the basis for its electric code. I do not know what, if any, local modifications may be involved. However, unless you live in a major city, it is more likely that the state code will be controlling.

John





QUOTE (hot_water @ Nov 23 2009, 06:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (sscott0203 @ Nov 22 2009, 01:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I live in Ohio, tub will be used outside all year around


Sscott,

I mentioned local codes as did John.... it probably goes by city or county rather than state. Your state will have codes that might differ from NEC but then again the locality has the final say on code issues. Where I live the state is not using the curent NEC, and the local codes are different still.

Glad to hear you're going to use an electrician. I suggest that you hire him and then the two of you work out the details of what to install, how deep to trench, type of wire, etc. He should know your local codes and that way he's on the hook -- if he has problems he can't point at your work. And, you need to make sure your disconnect is in a good spot... NEC specs the min distance but some localities have differing max distances. Plus, you should work out the conduit run with the electrician to make sure that it'll pull easy... probably not an issue with your short run but too many bends can make the pull hard. You can still do the grunt work and save the money but now you will have a partner (with a license) for when the inspector comes.

Don't forget that some localities have code requirements about spa placement as wwell... how close it can be to fences, property lines and such. I didn't know this when I installed my first spa and ended up moving it - fortunately it was only 6 inches... but I did have to drain it most of the way.

I have debated with John before about grounding and equipotential grids under spas, because in my area and some others they don't enfore those rules for spas. But in your area they might. So in your case, it's a new electrical installation so you must be code compliant.... I think you really need to get a pro's advice up front.

Good luck - be safe.



#17 sscott0203

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 05:52 PM

Thanks everyone for all the help. I had an electrician come out Friday and give me a price. He came out today and Hooked everything up except for the connection to the tub, since i do not have the tub ready yet. I bought all the supply's he did everything else, charged me $200 which i thought was a great price.

Thanks again!!

#18 hot_water

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 08:10 PM

QUOTE (sscott0203 @ Nov 29 2009, 05:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks everyone for all the help. I had an electrician come out Friday and give me a price. He came out today and Hooked everything up except for the connection to the tub, since i do not have the tub ready yet. I bought all the supply's he did everything else, charged me $200 which i thought was a great price.

Thanks again!!


Great!

Have fun when you get your tub up and running.

#19 hot_water

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 08:24 PM

QUOTE (stryker709 @ Nov 26 2009, 09:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm guessing your NM-B is simular to our NMD-90?


Looks very similar, but I haven't studied the specs. NM-B is 600V, I think NMD90 is 300V.




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