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  1. #1
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Disconnect box for hot tubs

    Is a disconnect box required for a hot tub or will a simple GFCI breaker in the panel do.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Disconnect box for hot tubs

    A disconnect is required as well as GFCI
    The disconnect could be a breaker or cord and plug

    From the 2006 IRC

    E4103.3 Disconnecting means.
    One or more means to disconnect
    all ungrounded conductors for all utilization equipment,
    other than lighting, shall be provided. Each of such means shall
    be readily accessible and within sight from the equipment it
    serves.

    E4103.1.4 GFCI protection.


    All 15- and 20-ampere, single
    phase, 125-volt receptacles located within 20 feet (6096
    mm) of the inside walls of pools and outdoor spas and hot
    tubs shall be protected by a ground-fault circuit-interrupter.
    Receptacles that supply pool pump motors and that are rated
    15 or 20 amperes, 125 volts through 250 volts, single phase,
    shall be provided with GFCI protection.



    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
    John Steinke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disconnect box for hot tubs

    You have to ask the right questions to get the right answers ...

    The 'disconnect' might very well be a switch in the equipment compartment. That would be enough. There is no requirement for any manner of 'emergency off' switch for residential tubs. (I'd also look in that grey box - chances are it's a disconnect).

    The grey box looks to be far enough away from the tub.

    Cord and plug? In this instance, I'm not sure there are tubs set up to use a cord as their power supply. That's an issue of its' own. Plus, if that cord is "romex" or "SER," the ground probably isn't full size: even the 'power' wires might be too small. How the cable is attached to the various enclosures can be an issue.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Disconnect box for hot tubs

    I think that looks like a WP splice in that box with sealtight out to the tub. If it is either LFMC or LFNMC there is a limit of 6'. Some might also consider it to be subject to damage.

    If that is a flexible cord that come on the tub it is limited to 15'.

    NEC 680 would require the tub to be GFI protected.


  5. #5
    LEO304E CARR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disconnect box for hot tubs

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    Is a disconnect box required for a hot tub or will a simple GFCI breaker in the panel do.
    NEC 680.41 AND 680.42.. The switch must be within sight and not less than 5 nfeet from the hot tub.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Disconnect box for hot tubs

    First, both pictured (fore- and back-ground) are PORTABLE electric units, which may or may NOT have been listed for outdoor use, and it is unknown the vintage of the portable units.

    It would depend on the product's LISTING and RATING, as to if the product met standard WHEN USED OUTDOORS on a CONDUCTIVE surface, as a cord-connected product, a permanently-connected product, a convertible product, and the supply conductor ampacity and rating of overcurrent protection; and the leakage current tests. And if original listed cordset or classified power supply. Further, the wiring method utilized to the outlet, and if the breaker indoors were a lock-out type.
    .
    If listed to UL 1563, not necessarily, depends on their listing and if using an OEM or classified power supply and cord set.

    Cannot tell if distance is met - no scale; cannot tell if that is a listed or classified cord set with integral GFCI and if that is a waterproof, weather-proof, wet location, in-use cover in picture (doubt it). Cannot tell if that portable unit is listed for outdoor use, OR if the electrical connection meets that listing, and which Standard edition AND/OR revision the product was listed to - or if subsequent modifications or upgrades have been made (classified, listed, or otherwise).

    More concerning is no evidence of or mention of the existance of properly bonded equipotential grid IN that conductive surface (outdoor concrete) no evidence of bonding the metal stiles or bracket (proximity), for either the fore or background portable electric spa/hot tubs which is required for outdoor use; nor do I see an insulating rubber "pad" continuous beneath and for sufficient distance surrounding, nor wood deck surface for the OUTDOOR, WET LOCATION of portable unit (covered area or not - it is wet location and outdoors on concrete or pavers - and is required).

    Both locations neither of which are sufficiently guarded, therefore the manual covers requiring ASTM standard-meeting & LOCKING/LOCKABLE covers are required.

    Without knowing the date of manufacture or (if) listing Standard edition/revisions, or if retrofit subsequently with classified or OEM upgrades, unknown date of therefore unknown if meets the Virginia Graeme Baker (VGB) Pool and Spa Safety Act, and can therefore be sold (with or without the real estate) or used by new occupant (Certification to ANSI/APSP-6; ANSI/NSPI-6) or bears a subsequent certification letter meeting ANSI/APSP-7 meeting VGB Act.

    Here's the more recent revision and edition history of the UL Standard:

    UL 1563 4th edition Jan 1, 1996
    UL 1563, 4th edition, Ammendment 1...Sept 15, 1997
    UL 1563, 5th Edition, March 8, 2004
    UL 1563, 5th Edition, Revision 1, Dec 20, 2004
    UL 1563, 5th Edition, Revision 2, Nov. 30, 2005
    UL 1563, 5th Edition, Revision 3, Feb. 10, 2006
    UL 1563 6th Edition - July 16, 2009
    UL 1563 6th Edition, Revision 1, October 22, 2009
    UL 1563, 6th Edition Revision 2, Nov 16, 2009
    Ul 1563, 6th Edition, Revision 3, March 31, 2010
    "Electric Spas, Equipment Assemblies, and Associated Equipment"
    UL 1563 is further referenced by NSF P181-04 "Residential Portable Electrical Spas"

    VGB compliance was addressed by ANSI/APSP-7, Oct. 5, 2007 "Suction Entrapment Avoidance Standard".

    The routing of the foreground unit cordset or cable to the outside of the guard mounting post, leads me to be more than doubtful about the likelyhood of a fully compliant or safe installation, especially as to equipotential grid.

    Many changes to NEC Chapters 1-4 and Chapter 6 which would further affect a listed use up to and including 2008 applicable in your jurisdiction.

    If this is a hotel/motel/temporary rental type occupancy there would be additional concerns regarding additional requirements not complied with.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Disconnect box for hot tubs

    Quote Originally Posted by John Steinke View Post
    You have to ask the right questions to get the right answers ...

    The 'disconnect' might very well be a switch in the equipment compartment. That would be enough. There is no requirement for any manner of 'emergency off' switch for residential tubs. (I'd also look in that grey box - chances are it's a disconnect).

    The grey box looks to be far enough away from the tub.

    Cord and plug? In this instance, I'm not sure there are tubs set up to use a cord as their power supply. That's an issue of its' own. Plus, if that cord is "romex" or "SER," the ground probably isn't full size: even the 'power' wires might be too small. How the cable is attached to the various enclosures can be an issue.
    So what's your excuse for providing wrong (and/or misleading or false) answers?

    The exemption to which you refer regarding emergency off switch is not a RESIDENTIAL one, it is limited to solely what the NEC DEFINES in its Article 100 definitions as those installed or used in the NEC's definition of "Dwelling, One-Family".defined by the NEC as a Dwelling, One-Family, which is: "A building that consists solely of one dwelling unit." or within the confines of a single-family dwelling.

    The provison exempting the requirement for an emergency shut off does not pertain to the NEC's definition of Dwelling, Two-family ("A building that consists solely of two dwelling units), Dwelling, Multifamily, (A building that contains three or more dwelling units) or ANY OTHER OCCUPANCY or installation location OUTSIDE of the confines of a single-family dwelling. That is to say it does not pertain to motels, hotels, time-shares, within the unit, nor does it pertain to installations in common use or exterior to the dwelling unit areas of two-family dwellings, or multi-family dwellings. Installations upon "limited common elements" are NOT within the confines of a single-family dwelling (the usual category for porches, balconies of "condo" units are "limited common elements" not within the condo or dwelling unit itself).


    The answer you seek will be found in the Standard(s), and yes, there are may so LISTED for PORTABLE and NON-FIXED equipment, which this is. You can also review Parts I, II and the applicable sections from Part IV for this OUTDOOR installation of NEC 680. 10 ft from inside wall.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 02-21-2011 at 05:20 PM.

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    Default Re: Disconnect box for hot tubs

    Can't tell distance - no scale. I would have hoped someone could have judged a rough distance just by looking at the pickets. Last I remember there was something about not being able to pass a 4" ball between.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Disconnect box for hot tubs

    Balcony/guard of unknown vintage construction. Might very well be of a vintage required to be maintained at 6", or even wider.What we don't know about this picture speaks volumes. Since it was posted around the same time as an image from a "condo/hotel" room with kitchen cabinet lighting, with similar ambiguousness, assuming nothing, including a local location to the OP.Point being there are TWO such units pictured, one at grade and one at an elevated location - both outdoors, exposed, and apparently similar vintage/manufacturer/style and size. In reasonably close proximity, with similar building finish yet opposite exterior walls. Thus reasonable to presume other than SINGLE FAMILY, One-family Dwelliing, and obviously not interior to same.


  10. #10
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disconnect box for hot tubs

    There was not a breaker in the box on the wall, it was a junction box and it was just under six feet away. The conduit was attached to the floor. There was a GFCI breaker in the dist panel located in the laundry room.


  11. #11
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disconnect box for hot tubs

    IV. Spas and Hot Tubs


    680.40 General.
    Electrical installations at spas and hot
    tubs shall comply with the provisions of Part I and Part IV
    of this article.
    680.41 Emergency Switch for Spas and Hot Tubs.


    A clearly labeled emergency shutoff or control switch for the
    purpose of stopping the motor(s) that provide power to the

    recirculation system and jet system shall be installed at a
    point readily accessible to the users and not less than 1.5 m
    (5 ft) away, adjacent to, and within sight of the spa or hot
    tub. This requirement shall not apply to single-family

    dwellings.

    The emergency shut-off requirement does not apply to single-family dwellings.




  12. #12
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    Default Re: Disconnect box for hot tubs

    Since as described and photographed, installation of this self-contained portable packaged spa or hot tub unit, upon outdoor balcony of other than the NEC definition of a one-family dwelling (building and associated installations) does not comply with provisions of 680.42(A) or (B), it must comply with part II of Section 680 for the installation.

    As pictured and minimally described, the installation is neither compliant to the standards, listing(s) nor code(s), and cannot be considered safe nor less-than-defective/deficient. The selection of materials/equipment applied to the installation is likewise defective.

    The installation must comply with parts I, II and IV of NEC 680 except as permitted in 680.42(A) and (B) as applicable (to which this does not), this is installed OUTDOORS.

    Mr. Duffin,

    One-family dwelling (find definition in article 100 under dwelling, one family) does not equate to single-family dwelling. The phrase "single-family dwelling" is a reference to a primary structure: it is not synonymous with "dwelling Unit" nor is the phrase so enhanced.

    One MUST read 680 in its entirety and apply appropriately to the circumstances of the installation.

    I submit neither of the two spas pictured in the photograph appear to be installed within a single-family dwelling, NOR associated with a (NEC defined) "one-family dwelling".

    As portable self-contained spa or hot tub units installed outdoors they would be structures in and of themselves, and in both cases neither appears to be "associated" with a (NEC defined) "one-family dwelling".

    Therefore I see no applicability of the exemption for "single-family dwellings" for either of these two spa/hot-tub units in the photograph.

    Mat, the distance is measured horizontally from the nearest inside wall of the unit containing water, and vertically from the high-water line. Measurements not made from the exterior of the unit - except regarding 6 ft. limit on the flex conduit and that is a length measurement of the wiring method material, not a distance/proximity measurement.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 02-22-2011 at 11:47 AM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Disconnect box for hot tubs

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    IV. Spas and Hot Tubs



    680.40 General.
    Electrical installations at spas and hot

    tubs shall comply with the provisions of Part I and Part IV

    of this article.

    680.41 Emergency Switch for Spas and Hot Tubs.






    A clearly labeled emergency shutoff or control switch for the
    purpose of stopping the motor(s) that provide power to the


    recirculation system and jet system shall be installed at a
    point readily accessible to the users and not less than 1.5 m
    (5 ft) away, adjacent to, and within sight of the spa or hot
    tub. This requirement shall not apply to single-family

    dwellings.





    Note the absence of the word or form of the word "unit" above!

    Therefore (no exemption for single-family dwelling units), the exemption is purely restricted to the primary structure referenced, i.e. one-family dwelling, as defined by the NEC. That is to say the requirement applies to all installations, other than those to a one-family dwelling (not "unit" or "units"), as defined by the NEC. In the instant case, the hot-tub/spas are accessory structures installed outdoors (and improperly installed).

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 02-22-2011 at 12:54 PM.

  14. #14
    John Steinke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disconnect box for hot tubs

    HG, would you cafre to elaborate on your assertion of my making false and misleading answers? You appear to have made this a personal matter, well outside the scope of this forum.

    My post made clear that there was much that was not known ... a detail that you repeated at great length in multiple posts. You're right, there's a lot that we don't know. So, for all the meaningless references and turbid prose, you're right back where I started: we just don't know.

    I know not whay put a burr under your saddle,but I'll not tolerate personal slurs upon my honor. Mistakes? Sure, we all make them. Differences in opinion? Thats' what makes the world go 'round. Don't like me? You won't be the first - but that's not the OP's question.

    Open up one of your references and look up "apology."


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Disconnect box for hot tubs

    John, it's just a whole lot easier to put Watson on your ignore list than it is to decipher all the crap and diatribe. The posts are much easier to read, the thread seems to follow information pertinant to the OP's question, and the possibilities of getting wound up over HG's babble disappear. Also, the possibility of getting banned over a response to HG is significantly reduced.

    You'd be amazed how well a thread runs without his input to distract you.

    I don't know or care what he did during his career, but it's pretty evident he didn't deal with people in the trades on a regular basis because he's still alive.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Disconnect box for hot tubs

    J.S.,

    Your claim that an emergency pump/shut off was not required for "residential" installations. The exemption does not so provide. It is limited to a particular circumstance/condition and is not all encompasing to all "residential'.

    How about your unknowing pontifications about cord and plug (many) supplied units, then your suggesting "romex" or SER would or could be considered a "cord", for you claimed both! Do we even want to "go there" regarding the obvious OUTDOOR location and "romex" in the first place?

    You have a habit of making all encompasing incorrect statements, but the distinctions with differences always seem to escape you.

    As far as personal, no more than your "you have to ask the right questions..." intro to your stupendously erroneous post.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 02-25-2011 at 06:45 PM.

  17. #17
    John Steinke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disconnect box for hot tubs

    Bill, it's amazing how many have shared the same advice with me. Indeed, I find you and A. Lincoln see eye-to-eye on this topic. Therefore, I shall give it a shot ...


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