How To Wire A Hot Tub

Learning how to wire a hot tub can save you money when it comes time to install a hot tub in your backyard. Although the electrical connections themselves aren't complicated, if you have any doubt about your electrical abilities, you should consult a licensed electrician.

How To Wire A Hot Tub Correctly

Although there are some variations, most hot tubs require a 240-volt, 50 amp connection. This heavy-duty electrical connection is required to service the high-powered needs of your hot tub's heater and blower motors. Here's what you'll need to know to get started:

  • Check first. Check with your local building inspector about what is required to have your hot tub wired to code. Some municipalities may require the involvement of a licensed electrician, but almost all will require a permit or at the very least an inspection of the final project.
  • A hot tub connection layout. There are three parts to a hot tub electrical connection: the service panel, the disconnect box and the hot tub itself. The service panel is the breaker box located in your home. The service panel should have sufficient capacity (both in amperage and open slots) to accommodate your hot tub. The disconnect box is a GFCI manual disconnect switch located in sight of (but at least 5' away from) your hot tub. The hot tub has an electrical connection panel that is typically located behind a cover bolted to the outside of the unit.
  • Running cable. You'll need to run wiring from your service panel to the hot tub. This wiring should be run through metal or PVC conduit for the entire length of its run. In the house, this wiring can be run in the basement or crawl space. Outside, the wiring should be buried if the hot tub is located more than a few feet away from the house. The number of wires (typically three or four) and gauge of the wire needed will be specified in the installation manual that came with your hot tub.
  • At the service panel. Your hot tub will require two adjacent slots in the service panel and the installation of a double-pole breaker. The hot wires-generally red and black-will connect to the breaker and the ground and neutral wires will connect to the ground bar.
  • At the disconnect box. The line from the service panel will connect to the "line in" connections on the disconnect box. A separate line will connect the "line out" connections to the hot tub. Follow the manufacturer's wiring diagram to wire the disconnect box.
  • At the hot tub. At the hot tub control panel, the hot and neutral wires will connect to the appropriate posts and the ground (green) wire will connect to a grounding connection. The installation guide for your hot tub will have a wiring diagram to help you identify the correct connections.
  • Before you power up. After you've made and double-checked all electrical connections, arrange for your work to be inspected by an electrician or building inspector as required. Don't run power through the circuit until you're sure all connections are correct and the hot tub has been filled with water.
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