A long soak in the hot tub is one of the best ways to have fun and relax. If you would like to enjoy hot tubbing on the regular, installing a portable hot tub in your backyard could be an ideal solution. As we all know, electricity and water do not mix – therefore, during the installation, hot tub wiring has to be done correctly to eliminate the possibility of danger.
In this guide, we will show you how to wire a hot tub correctly. Keep in mind that different hot tubs may have varying specifications. Hence, before you begin following our steps, be sure to check your hot tub installation instructions for the wiring specifications.
Electrical Requirements for Hot Tub Wiring
When wiring a hot tub, you need to conform to some specific electrical requirements. For full-sized hot tubs or spas being installed in the United States, NEC (National Electrical Code) requires:
- Hard-wiring the hot tub into a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)-protected 220 volts to 240 Volts, 50-ampere or 60-ampere dedicated circuit.
- Installing the manual disconnect device, usually called the spa panel or the hot tub electrical panel, between the spa and the home’s electrical breaker panel.
The above requirements guarantee proper hot tub power supply while eliminating the possibility of accidents.
Tools and Materials You Will Need When Wiring Your Hot Tub
- Electrical pliers
- Hole saws
- Screwdriver set
- Tape measure
- Power drill
- Wire stripper
- Electrical tape
- Pipe cement
- Electrical grease
- Outdoor electrical wire
- Weatherproof hot tub electrical box
Step by Step Guide on How to Wire A Hot Tub
If you have already gathered the tools and materials outlined above, you should be ready to wire your hot tub. The steps outlined below should make the wiring much easier for you.
Step 1: Turn the Power Off at the Breaker Box
Start by turning off the power to your home at your main breaker box.
Safety: Avoid filling the hot tub with water until it is completely wired and inspected. If you need to perform some wiring maintenance, for example, making some changes to the hot tub electrical box, be sure to drain the hot tub before commencing the maintenance. If you are installing a hot tub in your home for the first time, keep in mind that most electrical codes require homeowners to put the hot tub at least 10 feet away from the overhead power lines.
Step 2: Mount Your Spa Panel
You will need to follow the instructions included with the spa panel to mount it on your house wall. Ensure that the spa panel is no closer than five feet from the location of the spa but keep it in line of sight of your spa or hot tub.
As a manual disconnect device, your spa panel will solve the issue of false tripping that often occurs when the hot tub is wired directly to the 2-pole GFCI breaker.
Step 3: Dig a Conduit Trench
Most conduit trenches have an average depth of 18 inches. However, the depth may vary in different localities – you will need to contact the local building code to determine the ideal depth for laying the conduit. Also, to avoid destroying underground utilities, including utility pipes and cables, when digging the trench, contact the local utility companies.
If you have the sod, remove it carefully and cut it into manageable squares. Set it beside the trench. Using the shovel, you will need to dig a trench for the conduit to run from your electrical breaker panel to the spa panel and then from the spa panel to your 2-person hot tub or spa.
Safety: Avoid running the conduit or wire under your hot tub.
Step 4: Run the Conduit
Using your hole saw, drill a hole through the outside wall near your breaker panel for the conduit to exit the house. Measure, cut and then cement the necessary fittings and conduit to run from the breaker panel, down your wall, across the trench you dug in step 5 to the spa panel, and from your hot tub electrical panel, down the trench again and across to your spa or Lifesmart hot tub.
If the run is less than six feet, use a non-metallic or liquid-tight flexible metal in lengths that do not exceed 6 feet. For longer runs, you will need to use intermediate metal conduit, rigid metal conduit or a non-metallic system – any system you decide to use should be listed for direct burial. PVC is one of the most popular non-metallic conduit materials.
To connect the indoor and outdoor circuit, insert an LB fitting in the wall hole. Use “sweep” fittings to make the pulling of the wires much easier – the best “sweep” fittings should make gentle curves rather than sharp ninety-degree curves.
Important: Avoid burying the conduit before the hot tub wiring is inspected.
Step 5: Pull the Wires
If you are learning how to wire a hot tub so that you can install your first hot tub, you may not be familiar with the types of wires you should use. For hot tubs, copper wires with thin thermoplastic nylon insulation are recommended. Avoid using aluminum wire. The ideal wire size is the 6 AWG copper.
Beginning at your LB fitting, use the fish tape to pull wires from the fitting to your spa panel. Leave at least six inches of extra wire hanging from your spa panel. Push the wires through your LB fitting, into your house, and to the breaker panel, leaving at least six inches of extra wire hanging.
Using the fish tape, pull the wire through your conduit from the spa panel to the spa’s control panel. Leave at least 6 inches of extra wire hanging on both ends. You can opt to cut a hole in the toe kick of the spa for your conduit.
Step 6: Wire Your Spa Panel
First, attach wires leading to the hot tub electrical outlet. Attach the red, white & black wires to the GFCI breaker bottom and then attach the green ground wire to your ground bar.
Next, attach the wires from your breaker panel. Attach the red and black wires to the breaker feed lugs available on top of the breaker. Attach the white wire to your line neutral bar and attach the green grounding wire to the spa’s ground bar.
Note: Be sure to check the instruction manual for your hot tub electrical panel.
Step 7: Wire the Control Panel
When you buy a hot tub, it should come with the manufacturer’s instructions for the control panel. Use these instructions to understand how to wire a hot tub control panel.
Step 8: Wire Your Spa Panel to the Breaker Panel
First, confirm that your main breaker is turned off and no power is present. Keep in mind that even when the main breaker is off, the wires coming from the power company are energized. Be extremely cautious when working in the breaker box.
Attach the black and red wires to the dedicated double-pole 240 volts GFCI circuit breaker. Label your new spa circuit breaker.
Step 9: Ask a Professional to Inspect the Hot Tub
Once you are through with hot tub wiring, you might want to fill it with water, test the hot tub water, and then simply jump in. This is, however, not a good idea.
For you to be safe in the hot tub, call an electrical inspector before filling or energizing the hot tub. The inspector should check whether the hot tub electrical outlet, the hot tub electrical box, and other components are wired correctly. Once the wiring passes inspection, bury the conduit, replace the sod over the buried trench, fill the hot tub & add the necessary hot tub chemicals, energize it and then enjoy the health benefits offered by hot tubs.
Q: What Wire Do I Use for A Hot Tub?
Copper wires featuring thermoplastic nylon insulation are recommended for hot tubs. The best hot tub wire size is the 6 AWG copper. Avoid using aluminum wire.
Q: How Far Does the Disconnect Need to Be from the Hot Tub?
The disconnect device is supposed to be at least 5 feet away from the custom or inflatable hot tub. However, ensure that the disconnect is within line of sight.
Q: Does Hot Tub Wiring Need to Be Buried?
Burying the wires that run from the electrical breaker panel to your spa panel and from the spa panel to your spa is important. However, for your safety, you should avoid running the wires under your hot tub.
Q: Can You Plug A Hot Tub into A Regular Outlet?
The answer to this question depends on the type of hot tub you have. If you have a 110 volts hot tub, the regular outlet should provide enough hot tub power supply. However, if you have 220 volts to 240 volts hot tub, the regular outlet may lack enough hot tub power supply – for this reason, you may need to connect the hot tub directly to the central circuit box.
Globo Surf Overview
If you have just invested in a hot tub, the steps outlined in this article should help you understand how to wire a hot tub. However, do not forget that playing it safe when wiring a hot tub is extremely important. Hence, if you are not very familiar with electrical wiring, consider letting a professional electrician handle the wiring for you.
A professional will ensure that the hot tub power supply is connected correctly to your hot tub electrical outlet. This should guarantee your safety every time you get in your hot tub.