Hot Tub Wiring Done Right

Hot tubs are popular retreats for year-round relaxation and are high on the list of DIY projects. But they typically require high-voltage electrical connections for the heaters and pumps, so that part of the installation is best left to pros unless your wiring skills are well above average.

If you’re thinking about tackling the job yourself, here are some things to keep in mind.

Know Your Local Codes

Building codes specify how hot tubs may be installed. Be sure to check the requirements for your particular location. Typical items to consider are the location of the tub relative to structures and other electrical conductors, including telephone and cable lines. You may also be required to have frost expansion joints where wiring routes underground or through walls.

Verify Your Electrical Service

A typical hot tub installation requires a 240V, 50 amp 4-wire electrical hook-up. While most newer homes have 200-amp service, older ones may not and a hot tub may exceed the capacity of your service. The main breaker on your service panel should indicate how much power you have. If it’s under 150-200 amps, your tub may overload your system. Contact your power company or a licensed electrician if you have any doubts or need to add capacity.

Keep Things Safe

All wiring to a hot tub must be on a GFCI-protected circuit. Wiring can be overhead or underground, but it must be installed in a manner approved for outdoor use, including waterproof fixtures and joints. The wiring for the tub must match the feed circuit—never hook a 4-wire tub to a 3-wire circuit. The disconnect panel must have 4-wire service in order for GFCI protection to function properly. Proper grounding is essential for safety and proper operation.

Your tub’s owner’s manual should have instructions for a safe, conforming installation. Read them carefully and follow them to the letter. Before operating the tub, it’s a good idea to have the installation checked by a licensed electrician. Your local building codes may also require a permit and inspection.

Call the Pros

If this sort of work is out of your comfort zone, or if you just want to avoid the hassle and be confident your tub is installed correctly and safely for years of worry-free enjoyment, call the pros at Allstar Electrical Services. We have plenty of experience in installing hot tubs, spas, and other outdoor electrical services.

Allstar Electrical has served the Front Range since 2000. We are proud to have been recognized by the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Independent Electrical Contractors Association with numerous meritorious service awards, and we recently were honored with a 2013 Super Service Award by Angie’s List.

The pros at Allstar Electrical are ready to discuss your needs and help you determine the best solution for your home project. Just give us a call at 303.399.7420 or use our handy on-line forms to request an estimate or set up an appointment. Simply go to our Residential Services page or drop an email to us at estimating@allstarelectrical.com for complete details.