Hot Tub, Jacuzzi, Spa Installation Guide
There is nothing more pleasurable than soaking in a hot tub after a long day. A Jacuzzi or spa can easily enhance your outdoor experience – year round! Because of our climate, Jacuzzis and spas have been steadily increasing in popularity in recent years. Before you go out and buy your own Jacuzzi or spa, however, there are several factors you may want to consider.
For instance, you need to consider the placement of the Jacuzzi or spa because there are both safety and cost considerations involved in the location of your tub. Another important factor to consider is how you are going to power you spa or Jacuzzi. Hot tubs run off of electricity, and mixing water and electricity can be dangerous.
Because of the potential dangers involved with wiring a hot tub, most homeowners are uncomfortable attempting such a project on their own. Even electricians and contractors need proper training, familiarity with code, and an understanding of the basics such as motors, GFCI and wiring before installing Jacuzzis or spas. That’s where Liberty Electric comes in! Our expert residential electricians have been providing hot tub installations for decades throughout the Missoula area. We have the knowledge and experience to safely and quickly wire your hot tub so that they work properly and provide you with lasting enjoyment of your hot tub.
If you are considering installing your own spa or Jacuzzi, on the other hand, you will want to carefully consider the following factors before you start the project.
The electrical cost associated with your spa or jacuzzi installation will be greatly impacted by the distance that your spa or jacuzzi is located from your main electrical panel. An electrical installation that is reasonably close to the main panel would require less wire, conduit and labor than an installation going to a panel that is on the other side of your home and thus cost less.
You also need to consider the distance your hot tub sits from any electrical lines or communication cables. According to the National Electric Code (NEC), the minimum distance between any conductive cables and your tub is 22.5 feet. You should measure this distance from the top basin edge to the nearest surface of electrical or communications cabling. Be sure to avoid placing your spa or Jacuzzi under power lines! Correct placement of your hot tub is essential to avoiding accidents and enjoying your tub for years to come.
Hot Tub Wiring Installation
The first thing you should check after you have decided to wire your own installation is that you have enough space and electrical power in your main panel to support the additional electrical demand that your spa or Jacuzzi will create. It is typically not an issue, but verifying that you have enough space and power for your hot tub circuit breaker will eliminate any surprises to your electrical installation cost.
To make sure that you have enough space in your main electrical panel for your new hot tub circuit breaker, simply open the outer door of your main service panel and verify that you have at least two full sized adjacent open slots of sufficient amperage capacity to accommodate the additional circuit breakers required to power your new hot tub. You will most likely need two adjacent slots because most jacuzzis and spas require a 240 volt GFCI circuit breaker to accommodate the wires. This is typically referred to as a 2-pole circuit breaker. Liberty Electric has electricians that can help you with options like adding a sub-panel or making space with piggyback circuit breakers if needed because space is not available.
Having enough available power to run your hot tub is also vital. Homes with a 150 amp or 200 amp service panel should be fine. Most homes built in the last 30 years will have enough power, but older homes with a 100 amp service panel or less can have issues with power availability. If your service panel has less than 150 amps, Liberty Electric can do precise load calculations to determine if it is sufficient. If necessary, we can perform what’s known as a “heavy up” to get your home’s electrical service where it needs to be before we install your hot tub.
When wiring a hot tub it is important to know that each make and model is different and wiring for a hot tub can change from manufacture to manufacture. Always refer to the owner’s manual and read the section about electrical specifications for precise instructions and your hot tub’s electrical requirements. Electrical wires should also be sized in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations and local electrical codes. All circuits (no matter what the size is) require wiring your hot tub to a GFCI circuit breaker. Any wiring for a hot tub that is connected to a circuit breaker without GFCI protection exposes you to the possibility of electrocution and should be avoided.
After following all of the procedures in your owners manual, be sure to double-check all connections and have your work inspected by licensed electrician before turning on the power. If you run into any trouble or have questions about installation, give us a call. Good Luck and Happy Hot Tubbing!
Boost Your Enjoyment of Your Hot Tub with Landscape Lighting
For many, the goal of a spa or Jacuzzi purchase is just one step in creating your own personal retreat in your own back yard! To this end, you may want to consider, or have already set up, a dedicated area for your tub outside your home. For instance, you may be planning or have already begun to create a soothing, attractive deck, patio, or pergola surrounded by beautiful landscaping.
Since many people use their tub at night, this space should also be set up for nighttime enjoyment. If it’s not, let Liberty Electric provide you with our expert landscape lighting services. We’ll safely install just the right amount of outdoor lights in a design that adds to the mood you want to set for your very own backyard retreat! Give us a call today to get started, and take your hot tub experience to the next level!
We proudly serve the areas around Missoula, Bozeman, Great Falls, Fort Benton, and Hamilton.