wiring a hot tub

Wiring a hot tub: Your guide to electrical requirements

Are you considering a new hot tub? Then it’s important to consider the electrical requirements involved. Hooking up your hot tub electrical involves two things that don’t typically go together — water and power. But when it comes to your backyard spa, they have to be near each other.

Properly wiring your hot tub is a pretty easy job for a licensed electrician. Most backyard hot tubs will require 50-amp service and a 240-volt connection. 

You want to make sure that the spa is wired properly to protect your investment, though. When a hot tub is not wired correctly, it can lead to trouble — whether it’s a breaker tripping or worse.

Master Spas recommends that you work with a licensed electrician to hook-up the electrical to your hot tub. Why do you need a licensed hot tub electrician? He will not only understand the electrical requirements for your area but National Electric Code guidelines

When your hot tub is wired correctly, you can relax and enjoy the benefits of hydrotherapy safely.

wiring a hot tub
The electrical requirements of your hot tub will depend on the type of spa. However, most Master Spas hot tubs require a 50-amp/240-volt connection.

Hot tub electrical requirements

There are two types of hot tubs, and each has its own set of electrical requirements. 

Plug-and-play hot tubs are just that — you can plug them in and go. However, you will need to run a plug-and-play hot tub on its own circuit. Otherwise, the hot tub will draw too much power and trip the breaker.

Traditional backyard hot tubs require a dedicated GFCI breaker with a 240-volt/50-amp connection.

This 240-volt/50-amp connection to your hot tub is permanently connected to your home’s electrical system. There will be a connection to your breaker box, with wiring being run from your panel to the GFCI box to the hot tub. The wiring to your hot tub will go through a conduit pipe. 

Electricians will use No. 6 wire, and there will be one neutral, two hot, and one ground wire.

The cost to run the electrical to your hot tub will depend on a few factors. The cost of copper, the location of your panel box, and where you install your hot tub can affect the cost. For example, if the concrete pad for your hot tub is farther away from your house, the electrician will need to use more wiring for the hook-up. As such, the price to install the electrical might be more than your neighbor, whose hot tub is on the back deck.

In addition, electrician rates will vary based on where you live.

Be sure to plan ahead. You will want to get on your electrician’s schedule, as well as make sure that you have enough space for all of your wiring connections.

wiring a hot tub
The National Electrical Code requires that outdoor spas use GFCI protected circuits for ground fault protection rather than relying solely on fuses or circuit breakers.

Powering your backyard hot tub

Hot tubs use more power than a standard household appliance. They require 50 amps of service and a 240-volt connection. Why? Each pump draws power, as do the hot tub features such as LED lighting.

While traditional hot tubs require a dedicated 50-amp/240-volt connection, this wiring is actually more efficient and cost effective. It provides more power than 120 volts and can more effectively heat your hot tub.

In addition, the 240v hot tub wiring can be safer. The National Electrical Code requires that outdoor spas use GFCI protected circuits for ground fault protection rather than relying solely on fuses or circuit breakers. By using GFCIs instead of fuses or circuit breakers, this ensures that there is no voltage present at all times which prevents users from being shocked if they come into contact with water during operation.

Questions about wiring a hot tub

You’ll need to determine the correct electrical connection for your hot tub. The electrical requirements for a hot tub are different from those of other spas and hot tubs, and they’re also different from other electrical appliances in your home.

Where can I find the electrical requirements for my hot tub?

Electrical diagrams for Master Spas hot tubs are available on the resources page of the website.

Do I have to use a licensed electrician?

You want to relax in your hot tub — not worry about whether it’s wired correctly. Electrical connections made improperly, or the use of wire gauge sizes that are too small for incurring power, may continually blow fuses in the electrical equipment box, may damage the internal electrical controls and components, is unsafe and will void your warranty. 

A licensed electrician will understand the requirements. Ask your Master Spas retailer if they have a list of preferred electricians, as they will be most familiar with hot tubs and how they are wired.

Can I run a hot tub on a generator?

Have you ever wondered whether you can hook-up your hot tub to a whole house generator? The answer is yes. Your generator, though, will have to have enough amperage to run 50 amps.

However, most people consider running their hot tub on a generator because of a power outage. Unless the power outage is for an extended period of time or in extreme weather conditions, you don’t need to stress about running your hot tub on a generator. The hot tub has full foam insulation, which will help maintain the water temperature.

Does the GFCI breaker need to be 5 feet away from my hot tub?

Every municipality will have its own regulations about how close the breaker box can be to the hot tub. While you might want it closer, the box should never be so close that you can turn off the electrical while still in the hot tub. Your licensed electrician will be the most knowledgeable person to ask about how close the breaker can be to your spa.

Why is the breaker to my hot tub tripping?

If you recently installed a hot tub and find that it is tripping the breaker, the mostly likely reason is that it was not wired correctly. It could be as simple as the neutral wire didn’t go to the neutral connection. Or, the wiring connections are loose. If you have questions about your hot tub wiring, you can snap a picture of the GFCI box and send it to the service rep at your hot tub dealer.

buying a hot tub

How to buy a hot tub

Look forward to spending more time in your own backyard oasis. A Master Spas hot tub can be enjoyed safely by the entire family. You can click here to learn more about the benefits of hydrotherapy. Or, contact your local Master Spas retailer to learn more about spa ownership. Wondering how much a Master Spas hot tub costs? You can request a quote here.