When installing a hot tub, you have to plan where you will place it and how it will be protected from the weather. You also need to consider how you are going to wire the tub. Electrical requirements will always vary. Consult your local code or electrical contractor for exact details. Generally, hot tubs will have their own GFCI-protected breaker box installed near the hot tub.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Screwdriver bits
- 1-inch hole punch
- Channel lock pliers
- Drywall screws
- Cordless drill
- 1-inch watertight flex tubing
- 1-inch Watertight Romex connectors
- Electrical tester
- 1-inch watertight Romex elbows
- 1-inch plastic wall clamps
- Electrical fish-tape (wire puller)
- No. 6 or No. 8 gauge wire
Check you main panel to see if you can add on a breaker box for your hot tub. Most hot tub breaker boxes will be rated 40 to 50 amps. Remove the cover from your breaker box using your screwdriver. Create a 1-inch knockout using your hole punch. Insert a 1-inch watertight connector and tighten with channel lock pliers.
Attach the breaker box to the wall using your drill and drywall screws. Check with your local utility and dig your trench. Your trench will run from the hot tub breaker box to your main panel, which is usually in your garage or on the side or back of your house.
Rent a ditch digger and make your trench about 12 inches to 18 inches wide by 18 inches to 24 inches deep. Check with your contractor about exact details. Pay attention to the frost line depth in your area too. Run your 1-inch watertight flex tubing in the ditch. Leave about 3 feet extra at the other end. You will hook this up to your main panel box.
Turn off your main power. Remove the panel's cover with your screwdriver or drill. Double check the power is off by using your electrical tester. Punch out a 1-inch hole using your hole punch. Connect another 1-inch watertight connector or elbow to your panel. You may have a rear exit for your 1-inch watertight Romex or you may run it straight down from the bottom of the panel first, and then go through the wall.
Connect your 1-inch watertight Romex that you left in the ditch to your connector coming out from the main panel. Fittings simply twist-fit on. Secure the 1-inch watertight connections on the panel wall and near the hot tub's breaker box too, using 1-inch plastic wall clamps.
Feed your fish-tape, which is a wire puller, through your run of 1-inch watertight flex tubing. It's easier to do this from the hot tub box end because it has no wiring at all. Once your fish-tape is fed from your hot tub breaker box to the main panel, attach your 6- or 8-gauge Romex and secure it to the fish-tape with electrical tape. This is a four-wire Romex, inside one jacket or sheath covering. Pull your wires back the other way, through your 1-inch watertight flex tubing, to the hot tub breaker box panel.
Hook up hot wires, red and black, to the breakers in each box. The white wires get hooked up to the silver neutral bar, and the green wires connect to the ground bar. Connections are the same in both the panel box and the hot tub breaker box.
Turn on the power and check all connections to make sure they are working. Use your electrical tester to do this. Replace all covers and fill in your trench.
Tips and warnings
- Codes vary. Consult your local electrical contractor to meet code requirements.
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