Wiring a Spa. Do I use #8 awg or 6/3 romex slimpull ?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by nail bender, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. nail bender

    nail bender New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Hey guys any help you could offer this fearless D.I.Yer would greatly be appreciated.
    I'm getting ready to wire a Spa (hand me down)that will be installed in my back yard. The challenge is how to do it in the most cost efficient way and still be up to code. My service panel is located in the garage in front of the house and the Spa will be located in the backyard opposite corner appx. 95' thru the attic or appx. 120' around the exterior perimeter.
    GE service panel not sure of the amp rating (if it helps, it is 6yrs old)
    Circuit calls for a 50 amp 230 vac 2-pole brkr and a sub with a 20 and 30 amp gfci brkr.
    What are my options as far as wiring?
    And my panel only has 1 space for a 120v brkr but, there is a 30amp 240v breaker for the clothes dryer not being used since I am using gas. I prefer to keep it in the case I later sell.
    Any suggestions?
  2. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    991
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    You can use standard wiring methods INSIDE the house, meaning NM cable is fine. Once you leave the structure you MUST be in conduit with individual conductors, and insulated ground is a must.

    Using NM in the house you MUST use #6 minimum.

    Mount the panel on the house if possible and run a 1" conduit to the tub.
    You can use a maximum of 6' of liquidtite flexible conduit at the tub.

    You DO NOT need a ground rod, no matter what anyone tells you.
  3. nail bender

    nail bender New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Thanks for replying Speedy Petty.
    This next question will reveal my electrical skill level but never fret I follow good instructions. ..So what does "nm" exactly mean? lol. I thought that was your typical white insulation type romex.
  4. Chris75

    Chris75 Electrician

    Messages:
    608
    Location:
    Litchfield, CT
    NM stands for Non-Metallic, the reason some guys use the term NM instead of Romex is because Romex is a trademark of a type of NM, just a very popular type...:D


    Just like "Simpull" is a trademark of Southwire, a company that makes NM wire...
  5. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,531
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Petey

    Let’s look at this again,
    Now he said that he was going to install,
    Huston we have a problem,
    Once the tub is installed outside then the feeders between the two panels must be in a raceway and have an equipment grounding conductor that is insulated.

    As far as the ground rod,
    and this includes Speedy.
  6. Chris75

    Chris75 Electrician

    Messages:
    608
    Location:
    Litchfield, CT
    A5. If the hot tub is located indoors, then NM cable can be use as the wiring method [680.43]. However, if the hot tub is located outdoors of a one-family dwelling, then NM cable can be for the indoor portion [680.42(C)]. Outdoors, the most practical wiring method will be rigid nonmetallic conduit and liquid-tight flexible conduit [680.42 and 680.42(A)].
  7. nail bender

    nail bender New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    OK what about installing a breaker for this when my service panel has only one slot left and a 240v brkr not being used?
  8. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    991
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    IMO this is a grey area. That little "panel" is supplied by the spa people. Is it is "sub-panel" fed by a feeder, or is it fed by the spa circuit and split at this "disconnect" panel?

    I have done EVERY one of these as a spa circuit. I have NEVER had to run conduit to one of these panels. Maybe this is just my AHJ's interpretation?

    Sorry Mike, I personally feel 680.25 is a JOKE.
  9. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,531
    Location:
    North Carolina
    This goes to prove that even I can learn something new (after three years that this code has been out one would think that I had already seen this)

    Thanks Chris
  10. Chris75

    Chris75 Electrician

    Messages:
    608
    Location:
    Litchfield, CT
    Don't worry about it, I usually learn alot from you, glad I could give a little back...
  11. nail bender

    nail bender New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Thanks guys for the info.
    Petey, here is an image of the diagram. I'll try and post maybe this will answer this question. View attachment Spa diagram image2.bmp
    So do I use 6/2 nm x2,run them together and use one of the insulated conductors as ground, ignoring the bare ground in the nm wire?
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2007
  12. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    6/3 (white=neutral)
  13. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    991
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    NO!
    As Alectrician stated. You need 6/3. As it specifically shows in that schematic. You need two hots, neutral and ground from the main to the sub.
  14. nail bender

    nail bender New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Thanks Aelectric and Petey.
    I got confused there for a minute but, that (6/3) is what I was planning to use I just wanted to consult with you all first.
    Just went out this morning and bought 6/3 wg romex.
    Now about the limited amount of slots in my main panel.
    I am planning to replace the two inch 30amp 2 pole dryer breaker with a 1" and use a 1" 50 amp 2 pole brkr in the empty slot to feed the 6/3 conductors.
    Any objections with that?
  15. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    I would twin up a couple of 15 amp lighting circuits and use full size breakers for the 240 volt loads. If any of the 15 amp circuits are RED, avoid using twins on them or get more detailed instruction here.

    Pics are helpful.

    Be careful dammit!!
  16. nail bender

    nail bender New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I'm not exactly sure what you mean when you say "twin up" but, here is a link to a couple of pics of my service panel. Tell me what you think.


    http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd232/hilbutterfly/Servicepanelopen.jpg
    http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd232/hilbutterfly/Servicepanel.jpg
  17. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    Crap. all the single pole breakers are already twins (or thins). A full size single pole breaker would be half the size of your 2/30 and 2/40.

    I'd unhook the dryer and put a 2 pole 50 for the spa and deal with the dryer issue when you sell the house.
  18. nail bender

    nail bender New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    The dryer breaker is 2" wide and I discovered that HD has a 30 amp 2 pole breaker but half the width or @ 1".and a 50 amp 2 pole cbrkr 1" wide as well. I was thinking of taking out the double wide dryer cb and replacing it with the two mentioned above.

    Will this work for what I am trying to do?

    If I try and sell the house it would be ideal to have both features operating if at all possible.
  19. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    991
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    This would not work in your GE panel, but you can make it work.

    GE panels are weird in that when using skinny breakers the "phasing" is a bit off.
    You CANNOT put a two pole 1" breaker in the top spot. The top spot is the same "phase" for the top two 1/2" spaces.
    Let me see if I can draw it out..

    1a---------2a
    3a---------4a
    5b---------6b
    7b---------8b
    9a---------10a
    11a--------12a

    The uppermost two pole breaker would have to go in space "3a/5b" or "4a/6b"
    1a or 2a would have to begin with a 1/2" single pole breaker.

    All it would take is some shifting around of some breakers, but you can do it.
  20. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689

    GE MIGHT make a quad breaker (2/30...2/50) which would allow two, 2 pole breakers in the space taken up now by your dryer. That's the easiest way.

    If not, you will need the narrow 50 PLUS a narrow 30.

    Turn OFF the main breaker and use a meter to insure the power is off. Then you can pull out the existing dryer and four of the single pole breakers under it.

    Install the new 2 pole breakers, one in the center of the existing dryer space (leaving a space above and below it) and one in the center of the four breakers below it (leaving a space above and below it), then put the existing single poles back in the empty spaces.

    Crap....I coulda done it TWICE by now :)
Similar Threads: Wiring romex
Forum Title Date
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog GFCI wiring Jun 2, 2014
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Hot Tub Wiring May 28, 2014
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Questions on old wiring stapled to bottom of joists Apr 16, 2014
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Wiring and layout for barn Mar 5, 2014
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Wiring in a 220 circuit for Tankless water heater - Cunduit from behind the wall? Nov 21, 2013

Share This Page