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Question about GFCI for HotSpring Jetsetter LX


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After around 8 months of waiting for delivery it looks like my Jetsetter LX should arrive within around a month.  I currently have a GFCI box I had installed for my previous spa which is a 240/60 box. I can provide picts or more details if requested.

I noticed on the Hot Spring specs for my new spa that it requires a G.F.C.I. Protected sub-panel at 230v/50amp, 60Hz. Luckily the new tub includes a new  GFCI sub-panel but I wanted to ask if my current one is compatible. Sorry if this is a stupid question but I have no idea.

2nd question: If it needs to be replaced with the new one, how much should I expect to pay for an electrician to do that? I realize that varies greatly from region to region, but I would love a ballpark figure so I can at least know what to expect and also try to avoid getting screwed.  

Also, if it needs to be replaced is it a better idea to have an electrician swap out the new GFCI box at the same time he comes out to wire my new tub? Or to go ahead and swap it now? The reason I ask is the dealer said he could provide me with a new box now if I wanted to go ahead and install it before the tub arrives. But that would mean 2 trips for an electrician instead of one which would probably be more expensive. I am just not sure how long something like this takes so I thought I would ask the experts here. 

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Don't go by what I write here, but this is the way I understand things.

The existing GFCI will protect you with the new spa.

The existing GCFI will trip at 60 amps, Hot Springs lists a breaker that trips at 50amps.  I would think that it's most likely that if one had a short that would trip at 50 amps, that will also cause a 60 amp breaker to flip.

Let's let an electrician comment.

For the record, my 1988 spa did NOT have a GFCI breaker at all when installed new by an electrician, just a typical 40-amp breaker in the circuit box on the house.  A decade later I shut off that breaker and installed a 40-amp GFCI breaker inside the spa cabinet myself.  So swapping to a different-amp breaker is not that difficult, just know how to shut off the power completely, and to check and re-check that with your multimeter in VAC mode.

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Unless your previous hot tub was a Hot Spring or Caldera, your existing box will not be compatible.  The new GFCI box will have two breakers, a 20A and a 30A and now instead of having 4 wires going into your hot tub you will have 6.  I would have the electrical done at time of delivery otherwise your electrician probably will need to make two trips, one to install and another to connect.

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There are a few things to address on your situation.  As noted by Castletonia it's very likely a different box setup with 2 breakers.  In theory everything from the main or sub panel should be good. Now the old  spa breaker box may be able to run 2 breakers. Just depends on which box you have.  

Personally I would have the new box installed since there could potentially be a reason for not covering a warranty issue. No matter what there will have to be another set of wires run from the box to the tub.

As for cost that's a moving target. Some electricians won't use wire runs done by someone else and will want to rewire from the main all the way to the tub. Pretty significant $$$. Some will just replace the box and run the new set of wires from the breaker to the tub.  Your bet bet is to talk to friends and neighbors that have had electrical work done and ask about the electrician that did their work.  Get a minimum of 3 quotes

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14 hours ago, StevenD said:

a minimum of 3 quotes

Use whoever the spa dealer recommends. He will be familiar with those tubs and know how to wire them. I can't begin to tell you how common it is to have issues with your new spa as a result of the electrician. The dealer will charge you to come fix it, and the electrician will not pay for it short of a lawsuit. 

On 3/6/2021 at 1:53 PM, castletonia said:

  I would have the electrical done at time of delivery otherwise your electrician probably will need to make two trips,

Depending on the circumstances, it may be necessary to run the wiring up to the disconnect beforehand, or the spa could be in the electricians way. Electrical jobs are done on a bid, and will likely include a return trip if needed. 

Some places I have worked would have a pigtail of sealtite (flexible conduit) with wires left waiting for us, and we do the final hookup. This was only an option if you used the guy we recommended, as he knew us and trusted our ability to finish his work. A random electrician may not be willing to do that for liability reasons. We would terminate the wiring and fill the spa while instructing the new owner on everything they need to know about it. Some would charge extra if we had to send a tech out after delivery and wiring to give you your "spa school".

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