Hot tub electrical question

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First off, don't worry, I plan to hire an electrician since I'm not comfort able messing with the main breaker box. I just want to know about feasibili ty and difficulty (or ease) of this proposition before making a choice on a new hot tub.
We recently removed our old dead hot tub from our deck. When we got it, we had an electrician install a dedicated 220V, 50 amp circuit. It has a bre aker in the breaker box, and another breaker and cut-off switch outside on the side of the house in a separate box - about 10' from the tub. This was done about 5 years ago, so the wiring is pretty new. The tub itself was o lder and used when we got it, but the price was right (free - plus the cost for moving and wiring). It served us well, but gave up the ghost last yea r. Now we're looking for a replacement and have been looking at smaller ho t tubs. Most of them seem to be of the 110V "Plug-n-play" variety, though they say they do require a 15amp dedicated circuit.
Since the wiring for the old tub is all already there (I think it's 6 gauge , 4 wire) - even though it would be total over-kill, would it be an easy th ing to convert this circuit to be a 110V, 15 amp circuit? Basically as sim ple as putting in new breakers of the appropriate amperage, and adding a re ceptacle to the end of the wire (previously it was wired directly into the tub)?
Thanks.
-J
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Depending on the electrical code, it may be as siimple as replacing the breaker on the outside box to a 15 amp breaker if it is actually a 4 wire circuit. The 2 hots, neutral and ground.
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On 2015-10-05 12:29 PM, J wrote:

It is trivial, hardest part will be getting the 6 gauge onto a standard receptacle.
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For which a split-bolt pigtail is the best solution.
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What those guys were trying to say without a lot of success is that it should be an easy, relatively inexpensive job, and take an experienced electrician less than 30 minutes to do.
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Look into it a little deeper. Most of these tubs can be converted to 240v with the advantage that they heat up 4x faster and you can run the pump and the heat at the same time.
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On 10/5/2015 9:29 AM, J wrote:

It would have to be a pretty small "load" to get by with just ~1800W (for pump, blower and heater).

Make the adaptation at the "cut off box" and no one will bat an eyelash. You can install a smaller breaker, there, and treat it as a subpanel (one that only feeds a 15A circuit).
Do you have any other things nearby that you'd also want to power? I.e., that could justify another circuit hanging off that "subpanel"?
Be sure you look into GFCI requirements if they aren't satisfied by the branch circuit itself.
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wrote:

To add to Don's point, my drip coffee maker needs 900 watts or 7.5 amps. I don't know what a water bed would need for power. That would probably be a better comparison. The hitch in that comparison would be an enclosed, blanket insulated bag of water vs. and open tank.
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On 10/5/2015 6:58 PM, Dean Hoffman wrote:

And, do you want to leave that tub *heated* 24/7 just so it is "up to temperature" when you decided to use it? You can arrange for the heat to be switched on before you are *likely* to want to use it -- but, if it takes a long time to get up to temperature, you risk heating water for a long time -- only to NOT use it.
[By contrast, a higher capacity heater will let you postpone that decision until you're reasonably sure you want to use it]
In places with high cooling loads, you can purchase a heat exchanger to harvest "waste heat" from your ACbrrr and redirect this to heat your pool, hot tub, etc. Thermostatic controlled so you don't end up feeling like a boiled lobster (if your cooling load is considerably larger than your hot tub "heating load").
No idea as to installed cost but sure looks like a clever idea!
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On Mon, 05 Oct 2015 19:33:29 -0700, Don Y

The problem is you tend to use a hot tub when it is cool enough outside where the A/C is not on.
I found solar collectors work well tho. If you are really up there in the frozen north you may need glazed collectors instead of the regular open pool collector like I can use. I can get my tub about 15-20 degrees warmer than ambient air for free tho during the day and that is a nice head start before I turn the heat on.
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On 10/5/2015 9:42 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That depends on where you live! :> Here, it's rarely cool enough to NOT have (or want) the ACbrrr to be on!

A "bubble wrap" cover (i.e., just small pockets of trapped air) on a swimming pool, here will typically bring the water temperature up to 105+F essentially "for free" (trap any captured heat so it isn't lost overnight when ambient temps drop to 90's)
Many folks have hundreds of feet of black tubing coiled on their roofs as "poor man's pool heaters". I don't think I know anyone who actually burns energy to heat their pool (though a friend in Chicago used natural gas to heat his indoor pool -- no other practical options in that climate)
OTOH, I think folks *do* actively heat their hot tubs/spas -- perhaps because many of those are in covered structures and can't benefit from direct solar.
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On Mon, 05 Oct 2015 22:02:24 -0700, Don Y

Sounds like Arizona. ;-)
Here in Florida we relish the days when you can open the windows (Nov-Mar) and the hot tub feels good about the same time. In the summer it is just swapping water with the pool and not really used at all.
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On 10/5/2015 10:47 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I don't think I know anyone with the "combination" hot-tub/pool configuration. People tend to either have pools or hot tubs but not usually both.
There is also a downside of using them in the hottest portions of the year because those also tend to be the driest. It is not uncommon to get out of a pool and find yourself enveloped in a cloud of "steam" -- as all of the water on your body evaporates quickly (which usually leaves you *freezing* cold -- even in 110F temperatures stepping out of 105F water!). So, the humid parts of summer (i.e., Monsoon) tend to be more comfortable *in* the water.
We've considered purchasing an "infinite pool" to get the advantages of a pool (exercise) and hot tub (soaks) -- without losing all that land (and water!) to the alternative.
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On Mon, 05 Oct 2015 23:09:43 -0700, Don Y

Different strokes I guess.
When the humidity is in the 80s, evaporation is not an issue but I have been out there and I know what you are talking about.
My pool and spa are not a combo unit, they are about 50 feet apart. There is just a common pipe that connects the spa overflow to the pool suction via the vent and another valve that bleeds off a little pool return water into the spa.
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On 10/6/2015 5:55 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Moving here was the first time I ever encountered that sort of evaporative cooling! Getting out of a pool typically just left you *wet*. No big deal to get out and walk around to some other point and reenter. Or, sip a beverage, etc.
Here, getting out was like stepping directly into a FREEZER! A completely unexpected experience. Drove home the principle of evaporative cooling (perspiration, etc.) in a way that a text book could NEVER explain!

Ah! I've only ever seen the spa as a sort of "wading pool" attached to the "real pool" (different pump/filtration/heater). So, you "soak" (heat soak) in the spa, then slide over a little dividing wall into the pool (which is typically much cooler)
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On Tue, 06 Oct 2015 06:59:37 -0700, Don Y

I always thought it was ironic that they call those evaporative cooling units "swamp coolers" and they don't work at all here in the swamp ;) They should be called desert coolers.

That is the normal design (called a spill over spa). My spa was already built, up next to the bedroom when we built the pool out in the yard. The code required a "vent" to prevent entrapment (basically a pipe from the main drain to the atmosphere) I "teed" off of that, ran a pipe to the overflow pipe from the spa and had a way of swapping water. It did involve a 25 foot directional bore under the garage but that worked out OK using the garden hose method
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On Tue, 06 Oct 2015 13:17:21 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote: Snipp

They call them swamp coolers because they turn anything short of a desert into a swamp

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Up here there use is pretty well restricted to "cooling stations" at summer public events.
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When I was there in 1980 the big gripe was that the developer at Havasu had an air conditioned beach and it was screwing up the humidity in the whole town.
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300W to 500W depending on the heater. As the water in the water bed isn't being constantly replaced by ground temperature water or being lost to evaporation and given reasonably insulating bedding, the waterbed heater doesn't need to be high power.
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