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Electrical Requirements for Hot Tubs
February 24, 2022
Hot Tub Electrical Requirements
A hot tub is a tub of water that is heated by electricity. Its purpose is to provide relaxation and hydrotherapy in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Hot tubs can be added to most homes providing that the home’s electrical system is able to supply the additional electrical load this power hungry unit demands. A solid base under the hot tub is imperative for both stability and safety, as a large sized tub can weigh up to 3,345kg or 7,375lb when filled with water. There are two options when considering a hot tub purchase. Each option has very different electrical requirements making the addition of a hot tub available to almost every homeowner.
Standard Hot Tubs
Standard hot tubs are the most common and popular type of hot tub. Basic models often only come equipped with water jets and a heater. Deluxe models may include specialized lighting, audio and video entertainment equipment, and Bluetooth technology, with seating up to 10 people.
Certified Electrician: This type of installation requires a certified electrician to run a dedicated, specifically sized circuit from the hot tub to the breaker panel. Depending on the tub’s 220-Volt electrical requirements, you will require either the installation of a 30, 40, 50, or even 60-Amp breaker, with correctly sized wiring. In some cases the incoming service may require upgrading to provide for the increase in load demand.
Permit: Wiring a hot tub to your breaker panel would fall under regulated work. Therefore, you will need an electrical permit.
Trenching: If a standard hot tub is located a distance from the breaker panel trenching may be required to safely bring electricity to the hot tub. The Canadian Electrical Code requires that buried electrical wiring must follow very strict depth and installation guidelines.
Electrical System: The incoming service of an average home may be between 100 to 200-Amps. Before purchasing a hot tub, it is wise to have an electrical load calculation completed to determine the distribution of the existing amperage. This will determine if a service upgrade is necessary.
Portable Hot Tubs
A portable hot tub is a budget friendly option that provides easy installation and minimal electrical demands. A three-pronged plug, plugged into a standard 15-Amp GFCI protected outlet provides power to the portable tub. Depending on the power requirements, this outlet may require a dedicated circuit, meaning there is no more room for additional load on the circuit.
Easy Installation: Portable hot tubs may not need a certified electrician to install them, provided a GFCI protected circuit already in place. The homeowner can simply plug the portable hot tub into a GFCI outlet. Never use an extension cord to gain extra distance in order to place the hot tub in a specific location. Always follow the manufacture’s electrical specifications for operating and positioning the hot tub.
Uses Less Power: Portable hot tubs operate on an average 110/120 Volt 15-Amp circuit. The more jets and heaters a hot tub has, the higher amperage required to run them.
Longer Heat Time: Once connected into an outlet you can fill the hot tub with water and heat it to the desired temperature. These tubs take longer to heat up, but many homeowners find them adequate for their needs. Portable hot tubs take approximately 18-22 hours for cold water to reach 37°C (100°F). To conserve energy and heat, we recommended you cover the hot tub when you are not using it.
At Blue Crest Electric we are more than willing to help you with any of your electrical hot tub needs. Feel free to give us a call.
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