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Wire gauge for 32 amp spa pack

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My handyman thinks I'm crazy for running 8 gauge THHN from my breaker to my spa pack, which pulls about 30-32 amps (1.5 hp motor and 5.5 kW heater).  The spa pack and subpanel is 28 feet from my main panel, and I'm planning to use a 40 amp GFCI on that circuit.  Nothing else but the spa pack on the circuit.  

Am I in fact crazy?  All the ampacity charts I'm seeing indicate that 8 gauge THHN (Cu) is good for 40-55 amps.    He wants to use 6 gauge NM-B, and his argument is that the 8 gauge will run too hot, and potentially cook something if when/if the motor or the heating element go berzerk.  But wouldn't the breaker trip in that case?  

His concern doesn't make sense to me, but he's been doing this a lot longer than me, so I'm looking for a tie breaker.  Thanks in advance for any thoughts or suggestions.  

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You are right, he is wrong, the Ampacity charts tell it all. 

I've run 10 gauge copper wire to temporarily run a 50 amp 240v motor, the wire didn't feel warm to the touch.

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All spa packs come with instructions telling you what gauge wire to use for the installation.  I would follow the hot tub manufacturer's instructions, as long as it doesn't contradict local codes. 

As far as a chart I found on the internet versus what a licensed electrician tells me, I'd probably go with the electrician's recommendation since his license is the one at risk if he does the job wrong.  But no harm in showing him what you found and asking him to explain it.

Now, you used the word "handyman," not electrician.  In NJ at least, that's a big no-no.  You need to be a licensed electrician to run wiring from someone's panel.

Dave

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11 hours ago, Jersey Hot Tub Repair said:

In NJ at least, that's a big no-no.  You need to be a licensed electrician to run wiring from someone's panel.

I don't know about Arizona; just know that in 2000 I added a breaker to my panel and wiring through plastic conduit to my backyard above-ground pool, including GFCI.  I think most run a plain extension cord for those even though that's wrong !!

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In NJ, a homeowner can do his own wiring, but he/she still needs to get permits and inspections.  But only a licensed electrician, not a handyman, general contractor, or a hot tub repairman, can do any wiring work. 

Funny thing about the electrical code.  Many people act like it was created to make their life difficult.

You probably wouldn't clean out the barrel of a gun with a round in the chamber, yet some people think nothing about running 20 or 50 AMPS to a pool of water containing their spouse, children and self without taking the proper care.   Most hot tub horror stories include the phrase "improperly wired."

I'm not criticizing you;  you said you have wiring in conduit including a GFCI, which is what an licensed electrician should do. 

In answer to your original post, here's installation directions for a Balboa pac:  http://www.hottubworks.com/SpaParts/VS_Control_Pack_Installation.pdf

They call for 8 gauge solid wire (see page 4).  The document covers spa packs up to 50 AMPS.

Dave

 

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