Electrical hook up of tub with jets and heater.

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by HandyMac Improvements, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. HandyMac Improvements

    HandyMac Improvements Home Improvement and Repair

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Pineville, NC
    I am installing a walk in tub with a heater and pump. These come with a corded plug for each. My question is do I have to run a new line from my new GFCI to a new breaker in the main box (which will be difficult to get to) or can I connect to the line already coming to the bathroom? Note: existing circuit coming to bathroom is a 20A GFCI breaker and the tub requirements are for a 20A servfice as well.

    Thank you in advance

    HandyMac
  2. Jim Port

    Jim Port Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Maryland
    Your tub most likely requires a dedicated circuit back to the panel.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,647
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Adding the heater probably put you over the capacity for your current line, although the tub by itself would usually need a dedicated line. As a practical matter, there would probably NOT be any high capacity usage in the bathroom at the same time the tub was being used, as long as you were not preheating curling irons or such. One thing to consider is accessibility to the GFCI. I usually install it outside the tub with the tub's outlet wired to the "load" side. Then you do not have to go crawling through a hole to reach it.
  4. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Mac, not to sound like a jerk, but do you really have to ask this?

    If the tub and heater require a 20A circuit why would even consider adding it to the bath receptacle circuit?

    Bottom line is that BOTH the heater and pump likely require their OWN circuits. Meaning you will need TWO new 20A circuits to this tub.
    WHat specifically do the instructions say?
  5. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    Yeah....that^
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,647
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Many, if not all, inline heaters plug into the pump circuit so they only work when the pump is running, and are usually a small enough load that 20 amps takes care of both of them.
  7. Furd

    Furd Engineer

    Messages:
    446
    Location:
    Wet side of Washington State
    The instructions for my whirlpool tub were very specific that the pump and the heater each required a dedicated 20 ampere circuit. The pump is rated at 10.5 amperes and the heater is rated at 12 amperes.
  8. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Dude, you are the master plumber, so I don't doubt you at all, but my experience has been as Furd describes. And I have wired a lot of tubs like this.
  9. Jim Port

    Jim Port Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Maryland
    X2. two new circuits. Either one would put you over the 50% limit of sharing the 20 amp bathroom circuit, assuming that it already wasn't shared with other bathrooms.
  10. HandyMac Improvements

    HandyMac Improvements Home Improvement and Repair

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Pineville, NC
    Thanks for the great feedback. To clarify the tub requires one circuit. The bathroom has its own (not shared) GFI breaker in the main box. I am still unclear if I can tie into this existing line or if I must run a new line back to the box. It sounds like a new line is perfered but it would be ok to tie into the line with the only drawback that the GFI could trip if the curlers were plugged in when the tub was running - not a safety issue. Thanks again.
  11. Jim Port

    Jim Port Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Maryland
    At least 3 people told you it needs a dedicated circuit and you are still unclear?

    GFI's don't trip due to too much load either. They trip due to an imbalance of current flowing on the hot and neutral conductors.
  12. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    HOW can this be???
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