A popular option to relax at the end of the day, hot tubs are becoming increasingly popular in our region and Martella Electric has extensive experience in hot tub wiring and installation. Also known as a spa or a Jacuzzi, hot tubs are not only enjoyed for their restorative powers, but are frequently helpful to those suffering from the effects of arthritis and other conditions. Due to the many different configurations available, wiring a hot tub can require extensive planning and Martella has the knowledge to ensure that your hot tub delivers maximum enjoyment safely. From initial inspection and planning to hot tub installation, Martella Electric can walk you through the process every step of the way.
Since hot tub and spa wiring can be fairly complex, it’s helpful to understand some basics including the primary systems, functions and safety requirements of wiring a hot tub or spa. So we’ve prepared a primer covering the fundamental knowledge you’ll find helpful when researching an electrician to help you wire your hot tub.
Portable Hot Tubs & Spas
Understandably, portable hot tubs and spas are designed to be moved. Manufactured self-contained units, they include all equipment required for operational use and frequently require only an electrical connection. While there are some units that can be plugged in to a 110V GFCI outlet, 90% of hot tubs sold today require a 220 volt dedicated circuit. Moreover, planning should be performed before any hot tub installation to ensure that the spa wiring can be easily accessed for inspection and repair.
Built In Hot Tubs & Spas
As the name suggests, built-ins are not intended to be moved and can be located both inside and outside. Spa tubs are commonly found in today’s modern baths and although self-contained, require greater care during the installation process. Outdoor hot tubs have distributed systems which require much more planning. Hot tub wiring and installation can get complicated, so advanced planning regarding placement must be performed to simplify the process.
Hot tubs and spas come in a wide range of sizes and configurations, however every system possesses the same basic components, including:
Control System – The brain of the system, the control system often takes the form of a digital keypad that can be located near the hot tub. Often integrated into portable units or located away from the tub for in-ground units, the control is an important part of spa wiring by controlling temperature, jet action, filtration and more.
Filtration System – Clean water is critical for an enjoyable experience and the filtration system for hot tubs that aren’t drained after every use keep the water clean. Since filters and related equipment can often be located away from outdoor tubs, proper hot tub wiring plans should include the filtration system.
Pump & Heater – Warming and circulating the water is at the heart of any spa, so the water pump and heater must be considered. Frequently, wiring a spa can be facilitated when these components are located adjacent to related equipment.
Lighting – The spa lighting system sets the atmosphere for the entire experience. Whether subtle or vibrant, any hot tub installation should address how lighting will be used in and around the tub.
Because water and electricity are within close proximity to each other in a spa environment, hot tub wiring must be performed with utmost care and planning. At Martella Electric, we closely adhere to both National and local electrical codes to ensure that we meet all necessary requirements to ensure our clients can enjoy their spa or hot tub safely. While the electrical codes can vary widely, some issues to keep in mind include:
Electrical Requirements Vary – While smaller portable hot tubs can simply plug into a 15-amp, 120-volt ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet, larger units can require a much more complicated hot tub installation with a 50-amp, 240-volt feed. In addition, larger units require a more involved spa wiring plan.
Electrical Disconnect Switch – Hot tubs and spas generally have power fed through a disconnect switch, which must be located at least 5 feet from the tub. Proper planning and placement of this switch can make wiring a hot tub much simpler.
Portable Units Should be UL Listed – To ensure that your hot tub or spa has been tested to be safe and reliable, it should be labeled with the sticker from a recognized testing label, like Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Wiring a spa can be complex, however portable units themselves should be judged safe to ensure that all hazards are minimized.
Hot tubs and spas are an excellent amenity that when installed and wired correctly can be enjoyed for years to come. Contact Martella Electric for help in planning your hot tub installation today.