Hot Tub Electrical Question

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Is it better to run a GFI pony panel off a 40 amp breaker or can I hook the Hot tub electrical wiring directly into the main panel GFI breaker.
Thanks
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first: good group - i'm a lurker but learn a lot by reading!
i am purchasing a great hot tub from a co-worker for excellent price (he's upgrading). i'm moving it saturday to the back patio of my townhome, i'm sure everyone envys that job.
i have an electrician coming saturday evening, and am going to request he use the 220 power in the laundry room to hardwire the hot tub to. (my dryer is gas, so i don't use it), and the fuse box has two switches strictly for the dryer.
the basement outlet is right next to the patio, so pretty close,
but a hot tub dealer mention the outlet might be 30amp, and the hot tub is 50amp
should i be concerned about this? and is it a correctable problem, and at approx. what price?
thanks in advance, i appreciate it!
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You will need to run a 4 wire cable directly to the breaker box, connected to a proper GFCI breaker, through a cutoff switch. Anything else will be an unsafe rig.
http://www.spasupport.com/electrical/main/installguide.html
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Ditto JohnH, with the possible exception: Some units have an integral GFCI device. The dryer circuit is definitely not useable

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"You will need to run a 4 wire cable directly to the breaker box, connected to a proper GFCI breaker, through a cutoff switch. Anything else will be an unsafe rig. "
Why does it have to be a direct run? I don't know of any code or safety requirement that calls for this. As long as the wire is the appropriate size and he gets a GFCI and disconnect installed, I don't see anything wrong with eliminating the dryer outlet and starting the run from there. Of course, it's very likely the existing wire gauge isn't adequate anyway, but that's a different issue.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

You are correct; that will work IF the dryer outlet is removed and the wires have the proper ampacity and separate neutral and grounds.
It seems to me it'd just be simpler and cleaner to run a whole new line, unless he can save substantial money by starting the run from there. Perhaps it will be cheaper as 4 conductor #6 isn't cheap! ;)
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my dryer outlet doesn't work anyway. it came up bad in my home inspection last year. (not sure if wiring is ok or not)
i'm mainly concerned about the 30/50 amp difference -- but if new wiring needs to originate from breaker box it's no problem. it's on the main floor of my townhome, and can drop the wires behind the wall into the ceiling of laundry room, then out to patio. (see below side view)
i guess i'm more concerned if the two breakers can accept the load of a hot tub - but it's 220, like a dryer, i'm guessing i'm ok?
thanks again for the responses! and don't worry i'm having an electrician do it, just want to get some knowledge first.
HOT TUB________________ BREAKER BOX ------- - MAIN FLOOR
__________DRYER OUTLET__________ ------------------- BASEMENT
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james wrote:

What breakers are there won't matter. It sounds like what you will need is a 240V 50 amp GFCI. This will either go in as
1 - A new location in the service panel
2 - Replacing the existing breaker for the dryer, which is very likely not 50 Amp. The question for this method is whether it can even be done, as the wire run for the dryer may not be of sufficient gauge. Also, given that you have to take out the dryer outlet, put in some kind of appropriate junction box, etc, it might be easier and about the same cost to just make a new run.

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No, not if the dryer circuit is 30A at 220V and the hot tub draws 50A at 220V.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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The difference between a 30A and 50A is (usually) this: 1. wire gague 2. shape of plug on receptacle 3. rating of the circuit breaker in the panel. 4. the dryer wire may lack an integral ground conductor(4th wire)
You may need to upgrade one or all of these things

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And national code requires that the disconnect be _within sight_ of the pool/spa. If you wanna go by the NEC... Tom
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JohnH wrote:

Many hot tubs do not require a neutral in the circuit so the idea that he must have a four wire circuit may be erroneous.
--
Tom Horne

Well we aren't no thin blue heroes and yet we aren't no blackguards to.
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True enough!
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We can tell him what he needs (roughly ;-) if he can give us the plate amperage rating off the spa, the ampacity of the dryer breakers, whether the dryer circuit is 3 or 4 wire, and whether the spa needs 3 or 4 wire.
Even if the dryer circuit is of adequate ampacity/wire count for the spa, he'll probably need to install a GFCI breaker (unless there's already one built into the spa).
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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thanks for the responses. i'll know tomorrow evening when the electrician comes, but this helps me get an idea!
he's a good electrician - friend and knowledgeable
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follow up - complete!
well we brought the enormous hot tub into my back patio, (through city fence which i repaired. was 7.5 x 7.5 by about 4' high - a nice size 5-7 person spa. also had to rotate it 90, not only that but raining steadily here in Denver all morning, but I didn't mind that, as the park my place backs up to was empty and no cars around - made backing in the trailer easier.
the electrical company, who i've used before, came saturday afternoon, same day - and rain a new four wire connect straight from my breaker box (see my above diagram), out to the patio. i have a disconnect box next to the AC disconnect box. it's fully up to code, the disconnect box is five feet from the tub, and the guy they sent has done spas before, so he hardwired the line directly into the spa.
he did use my dryer breaker, so if i get an electric dryer i'll have to get my breaker box expanded.
it was a few hundred bucks, but i don't mind as the used spa was a great price and in great condition (seller getting a new one), and i feel safe and the electrical is secure and won't damage the spa or house wiring in the future
thanks for the above responses! it was heated up by Sunday, so made the miserable task of moving it well worth it.
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We love ours. You will love yours, too.
Steve
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dryer breaker?? Not a GFCI? or does the spa provide that protection?
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If the tub is located far from the service panel, I prefer to install a gfci closer to the panel

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In my area, and probably yours, code requires that the box must be within sight of the hot tub, but no closer than five feet. Tom
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