Kohler K-1174-GCW whirlpool tub provides contradictory info re: 120V vs 220V

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by JCD, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. JCD

    JCD New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Hi,

    I am installing a new K-1174-GCW Underscore BubbleMassage Bath with Bask, and the electrical requirements are unclear and contradictory so I need some technical help please.

    The Kohler spec sheet says (Document 1201699-4-B, Page 2),
    "Dedicated circuit required, protected with Class A Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter (GFCI) or Residual Current Device (RCD): 220-240 V, 15 A, 50/60 Hz"

    The Kohler installation manual (Document 1204120-2-A, Page 8) provides a detailed schematic indicating a "Control Power Junction Box" with multiple wires coming in from the Heated Surface and the tub Control, and mapping these to L1 and L2 of a two-pole 240V GFCI in the breaker panel, with NO connection to Neutral.
    Kohler.PNG

    All fine and good - except that my tub shipped with a single 120V 3-prong plug coming out of the wiring box beneath the tub - obviously designed to plug into a 120V outlet - and opening the wiring box of the tub reveals only Hot (black), Neutral (white) and Ground (green) wires. In other words, only 120V wiring, not the 240V as described in the installation manual and spec sheet.

    So does it require 240V, or only 120V? Anyone have any idea or input (I wrote Kohler but no response)? THANKS!
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,285
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Usually a pump only would be 120v, but a system with a heater would be 240v. Which do you have?
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,817
    Location:
    New England
    The air turbine on my air tub runs on 120vac. Those with a pump and heater, as HJ said, are more likely to need greater power and would likely require 240vac. Typical Kohler, though...best to call them.
  4. JCD

    JCD New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Thanks fellas...

    @HJ, I do have both a pump and a heater, though oddly once I trace the wiring throughout, it seems as though the pump (blower) is the 240V piece, and the heater and controller is the 120V piece. After tracing the circuits a bit more, it seems that I can tie them in together - I just can't fathom why they'd terminate one with a junction box for direct-wiring and the other give you a plug - why not just make both direct-wire, or tie them into together in the junction box below the tub to begin with?

    @Jim, yeah, I did get a hold of them today... sorta: I'm five levels into escalation and as of this writing my third-level tech support guy says it makes no sense to him at all and he is checking with Engineering! I should know more tomorrow. For what it's worth, once I finally waded five layers into Kohler (past all the gatekeepers), they are actually pretty helpful - friendly, at least... now we'll see if they can figure this out. My third-level tech says that the manual is either incomplete or wrong, so he at least clearly understands the problem!

    Cheers,
    Jcd
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,285
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    One interesting thing about the wiring diagram is that they appear to show the equipment ground connecting to the neutral wire, which is not a "normal" connection.
  6. JCD

    JCD New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Just to close this up, I spoke with Kohler Engineering extensively on this and they conceded that their documentation was wrong and that there should not have been a 3-prong plug coming out either! The bottom line is that they said to cut off the 3-prong plug and wire the 120V circuit into one leg of the 240V circuit directly in the junction box - which I did, and everything is now good-to-go.
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