I am installing a whirlpool bathtub.The instructions say I have to
plug the pump into a 15a 110v seperate circuit protected with GFCI,
and the heater into a 15a 110v seperate circuit protected with gfci.I
take it I have to run wires to my main service box.I notice that gfci
circuit breakers are very expensive.Can I just install regular circuit
breakers and hook them up to gfci sockets by my bathtub.
Won't pass inspection, although you may not have it inspected if you DIY.
But it is an item that a house inspector would spot in a second if you go to
sell the house. And if there's ever a short without a GFI, the house may be
up for sale by the heirs.
I think that what Mr. Trexxxmeis wanted to know is if he could use a
GFCI socket instead of a GFCI breaker because a GFCI breakers are
I am not an expert in NEC code but I think that a GFCI breaker is
better in the respect that the GFCI's protection is outside the
bathroom away from water. Consider the following scenario. If water
from the bathtub were to get behing the GFCI socket which is in the
bathroom, this effectively eliminates the GFCI protection. The GFCI
breaker being in a different area of the house is of course not
exposed to this risk.
I suppose that GFCI socket could be used so long as that socket is
outside the bathroom and no water could get behind the GFCI. However
this now allows other appliances to be pluged into the same circuit as
the Whirlpool tub. This then breaks the "dedicated circuit rule." I
suppose you do not want to overload that 15 amp circuit for the
Just my 2 cents.
Yes you can. Run the two circuits to the location under the tub where the
support equipment is located and install a large deep two gang box with two
GFCI outlets in it , one for the pump and one for the heater
These units come with cords and plugs attached to them and are U.L.
approved. The outlets you install for them are located under the tub,
totally inaccessible without removing the access panel. Another approach is
what John Grabowski recommends, faceless GFCI's, but you still have to
install outlets under the tub, as that's how they're designed to be
Isn;t there something in the code that says permanently mounted
equipment can't be on a plug/cord/outlet arrangement? And doesn't
that apply here?
Usually a whirlpool bathtub requires a 20 amp circuit for each. You could
use the receptacles as ground fault protection but they would need to be
located away from the tub so that they could not be accessible by someone
standing in the tub. I don't know if this would pass inspection though as
the inspector might consider this a bathroom receptacle.
I usually use GFI switches for hydromassage bathtubs. They look like GFI
receptacles but do not have the openings to plug something in. The cost is
just a little more than a GFI receptacle. I prefer to locate them in a
linen closet in a bathroom or behind a door; a place where they are not
visually obvious, but readily accessible.
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