New whirlpool tub: Part 2: Electrical connections

Hi folks-
Here's my second question:
Much to my surprise, the instructions show an actual plug that needs to be plugged into a 15 Amp GFCI outlet.
My original intention was to have the connections be hard-wired, and use a 15 A GFCI breaker at the fuse box.
I'd rather not have the wire / plug visible.
Since this comes with a plug and wire, is it acceptable to
1. Disconnect the existing plug and make hard connections to the NMB wire I'm running (connections enclosed in a wiringbox nailed to one of the studs, and accessible through the tub front access panel), or
2. As specified, use a GFCI outlet (instead of GFCI breaker) and use the plug provided, but enclose all this under the back of the tub (away from the drain connections.
I'm guessing that enclosing the box under the tub, even if it accessible via the access panel) doesn't meet code, so I'm prepared to run the circuit to a different location and use the provided cord/plug, but that's just so cheezy in my opinion.
Thanks in advance.
Sincerely,
Marc
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#1. Yes, you can have an outlet box at the end of the tub away from the water and the drain. Mount it under/behind the tub where it won't be visible ( like the pump)and as high on the wall as the cord and the tub will allow.
#2. No need for access. Don't mount the GFCI outlet under the tub...use a regular outlet that is downstream from a GFCI. For example, if the tub shares a wall with a bedroom, run your new circuit from the fuse box to that shared wall in the bedroom; cut an opening in the wall and mount GFCI outlet THERE. Now run a short line from there to the regular outlet box you've mounted under/behind the tub. TaaaDaaa!! Now, if the GFCI trips, you have access to the reset button from the bedroom wall...and you don't have to go diving under the tub, rremoving access panels etc. etc.
PS. You shouldn/t have been this surprised. Can't believe you never looked at the instructions until after you'd demolished the original tub. Ditto the mortar requirement.

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Corded equipment must be accessible per the NEC. If you do not put in an access panel how are you going to get to the pump? Most use a removable panel on the side of the tub. Access panels are used all of the time and are allowed by the NEC.
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Sorry, I must have mangled my meaning a bit. Yes, anything I do will be accessible via the front access panel of the tub, including the pump. No worries there. But I wasn't sure if it was allowable to put an outlet under there where it was sort of enclosed (but accessible).
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Marc,
If you're running a dedicated wire, the GFCI breaker is acceptable (and preferable, IMO). Terminate your wiring in a weather approved box (like a Bell box) with approved cord connectors.
Enjoy the tub.
Jake

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