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Installing a Spa Panel

Installing a Spa Panel
 

While a backyard spa is a great way to relax and have fun, the installation involves specific electrical requirements. For most full-sized spas, the National Electrical Code (NEC) requires:


         • Hard wiring the spa into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)-protected 220-240V - 50- or 60-amp 
           dedicated circuit and
         • A manual disconnect device, often called a spa panel, between your home’s electrical breaker panel 
           and the spa.The disconnect solves the problem of false tripping that occurs if the spa is wired directly
           to a two-pole GFCI breaker.


This step-by-step project guide will show you how to install a spa panel. Before beginning this project refer to your spa and spa panel installation instructions for essential information about wiring specifications.

As with all electrical projects, follow local codes and consult an electrician before beginning. In addition, you must have the wiring inspected before using your spa.  Depending upon your locality, you may also need to obtain a building permit.

 

Preparation

 

• Plan and diagram the electrical path between the breaker panel, spa panel and spa using as direct a 
   route as possible. The NEC requires the spa panel be more than 5-feet-from and within the line of sight 
  of the spa. The manufacturer’s installation instructions will detail the distance required for safe operation.  

• Use your diagram to determine the amount of wire and conduit, and type of conduit fittings you need.

 

Safety

 

• Turn off the electricity at the main breaker of the breaker panel before beginning this project.

 

Savings

 

• You can save money by doing all or part of this project yourself.


WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS JOB:

TOOLS:

MATERIALS:


Step 1: Disconnect power at the main breaker panels

Turn off the power to your home at the main breaker Turn off the power to your home at the main breaker of your breaker panel.
  

Step 2: Mount the spa panel

Mount the Spa Panel Following the instructions included with your spa panel, mount it on the wall of your house within sight of the spa but no closer than 5-feet from the spa location.
  

Step 3: Dig the conduit trench

Dig the Conduit Trench

1. Consult your local building codes to determine the depth for laying the conduit.  
    Contact your local utility companies by calling ‘811” or visiting 
    http://www.call811.com/ to ensure you do not cut into a buried utility cable or pipe.


2. Carefully remove the sod (if any) by cutting it into manageable squares and 
    setting it beside the trench.


3. Dig the trench for your conduit to run from the electrical breaker panel to the spa 
    panel and from the spa panel to the spa.

  

Step 4: Run the conduit

Run the Conduit

1. Use the hole saw to drill a hole through the outside wall near the breaker panel for
    the conduit to exit the house.


2. Using your diagram, measure, cut and cement the necessary conduit and fittings to
    run from the breaker panel, down the wall, across the trench to the spa panel, and
    from the spa panel, down to the trench and across to the spa.


3. Insert an LB fitting in the hole in the wall to connect the indoor and outdoor
    conduit.


4. Use “sweep” fittings, which make gentle curves rather than sharp 90-degree
    curves, whenever possible to make pulling the wires easier.


5. Do not bury the conduit until after you have the wiring inspected.

  

Step 5: Pull the wires

Pull the Wires

1. Beginning at the LB fitting, use fish tape to pull the wires from the fitting to the spa 
    panel.


2. Leave at least 6-inches of extra wire hanging from the spa panel.


3. Push the wires through the LB fitting into the house and to the breaker panel, 
    leaving at least 6-inches of extra wire hanging.


4. Use fish tape to pull the wire through the conduit from the spa panel to the control 
    panel on the spa itself. Leave at least 6-inches of extra wire on either end.

  

Step 6: Wire the spa panel

Wire the Spa Panel

1. Be sure to follow your spa panel and spa instructions when wiring the panel.

 

2. First, attach the wires that lead to the spa.


     • Attach the red, white and black wires to the bottom of the GFCI breaker.
     • Attach the green grounding wire to the ground bar.

 

3. Attach the wires from the breaker panel.


     • Attach the black and red wires to the breaker feed lugs, on top of the breaker.
     • Attach the white wire to the line neutral bar.
     • Attach the green grounding wire to the ground bar.

 

  

Step 7: Wire the control panel on your spa

Wire the Control Panel on Your Spa Wire your spa’s control panel per manufacturer’s instructions.
  

Step 8: Wire the spa panel to the breaker panel

Wire the Spa Panel to the Breaker Panel

1. Confirm the main breaker is off.

 

2. Be aware that even with the main breaker off, the wires coming from the power 
    company are still energized. Be careful when working in the breaker panel.

 

3. Attach the green and white wires to the ground/neutral bar.

 

4. Attach the red and black wires to a dedicated double-pole 240V GFCI circuit 
    breaker.

 

5. Label the new spa circuit breaker.

  

Step 9: Have it inspected

Have it Inspected

1. Before energizing or filling your spa, call the electrical inspector to schedule your 
    wiring inspection.

 

2. Once your wiring has passed inspection, bury the conduit.

 

3. Turn on the breaker.

 

4. Fill and enjoy your hot tub.