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Do hot tubs need an outside shut off?

967 Views 19 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  eddy current
So I’m an Industrial sparky but do a lot of residential side work and I’ve got a friend who needs a hot tub hooked up. When we were discussing the job I told him I would need to install a spa pack outside but he said he would strongly prefer not having any “bulky” electrical equipment outside. I told him I’d look into it but was pretty sure it was a code requirement. When I got home and looked through section 68 it actually says “except for dwelling units”. Would I be ok just installing a 2 pole gfci breaker in the panel and forfeit installing an exterior means of shut off? Thanks in advance.
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Water and electricity together are things that I believe need a disconnecting means locally. Not a switch but a push button. I know the gfci and shunt are made, probably cost more than the whole job, if it is even available for the panel.
I will not even get into a pool, spa or tub with line voltage lights when they are on.
 

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Disconnect is required. I don't have my book handy.

I put the gfci breaker in a main panel, and a "dumb" disconnect closer to the hot tub. Also a convenient point to change cable type.
 

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Disconnect is required. I don't have my book handy.

I put the gfci breaker in a main panel, and a "dumb" disconnect closer to the hot tub. Also a convenient point to change cable type.

That’s what I always thought but after reading 68-404(4) it says an emergency shut off is required for a hot tub install EXCEPT at a dwelling unit. Appendix b goes into a bit more detail and confirms one at a dwelling unit is not required.

Im going to tell my friend I highly suggest installing a disconnecting means outside but if he doesn’t want one I just want to make sure Im being code compliant which after reading section 68 I believe I would be.
 

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That’s what I always thought but after reading 68-404(4) it says an emergency shut off is required for a hot tub install EXCEPT at a dwelling unit. Appendix b goes into a bit more detail and confirms one at a dwelling unit is not required.

Im going to tell my friend I highly suggest installing a disconnecting means outside but if he doesn’t want one I just want to make sure Im being code compliant which after reading section 68 I believe I would be.
A shut down switch is not the same as a disconnecting means. You find this kind of setup at a hotel/resort hot tub.

A motor needs a lockable disconnect within 9m... per section 28.
 

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So I’m an Industrial sparky but do a lot of residential side work and I’ve got a friend who needs a hot tub hooked up. When we were discussing the job I told him I would need to install a spa pack outside but he said he would strongly prefer not having any “bulky” electrical equipment outside. I told him I’d look into it but was pretty sure it was a code requirement. When I got home and looked through section 68 it actually says “except for dwelling units”. Would I be ok just installing a 2 pole gfci breaker in the panel and forfeit installing an exterior means of shut off? Thanks in advance.
While it is a good idea, and a code requirement in the province of Ontario, the rest of Canada does not require a disconnect within sight of a hot tub by code for a dwelling unit.
 

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Maybe it doesnt... but it has a motor. So does an AC condenser unit; and that gets a disco.

Isn't the whole idea that a non-electrician serviceman may work on these things and require a local disco for lockout?
AC gets a disco because it has its own specific code requirement. 28-604(5)

I know the reasoning behind why it’s a good idea to have a disco for a tub, but it’s not a code requirement.

It’s not a motor, it’s a piece of equipment that has motors, pumps, lights, heater and even a stereo sometimes. It is a certified piece of equipment and it has its own codes.

My dishwasher has a couple of motors, should it fall under section 28 as well? 🤔
 

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So I’m an Industrial sparky but do a lot of residential side work and I’ve got a friend who needs a hot tub hooked up. When we were discussing the job I told him I would need to install a spa pack outside but he said he would strongly prefer not having any “bulky” electrical equipment outside. I told him I’d look into it but was pretty sure it was a code requirement. When I got home and looked through section 68 it actually says “except for dwelling units”. Would I be ok just installing a 2 pole gfci breaker in the panel and forfeit installing an exterior means of shut off? Thanks in advance.
I believe the manufacturers instructions will require a disconnect within sight of the hot tub so even if code doesn't require it the manufacturers instructions will.

I usually run aluminum to the spa pack then copper from the spa pack to the tub. It can be quite the cost savings resulting in having the spa pack in sight being an easier pill to swallow.
 

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That’s what I always thought but after reading 68-404(4) it says an emergency shut off is required for a hot tub install EXCEPT at a dwelling unit. Appendix b goes into a bit more detail and confirms one at a dwelling unit is not required.

Im going to tell my friend I highly suggest installing a disconnecting means outside but if he doesn’t want one I just want to make sure Im being code compliant which after reading section 68 I believe I would be.
I could never understand that rule. What’s the difference between a house and a hotel?
 

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I believe the manufacturers instructions will require a disconnect within sight of the hot tub so even if code doesn't require it the manufacturers instructions will.

I usually run aluminum to the spa pack then copper from the spa pack to the tub. It can be quite the cost savings resulting in having the spa pack in sight being an easier pill to swallow.
I have installed many, many hot tubs and I have never seen a manufacturer spec saying that a disconnect must be within sight.

Do you have any examples of this from manufacturers?
 

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Visibility, accessibility, and ease of use? More idiot proofing lol? Public and customer spaces are held to a higher standard typically. Panels and disconnects are often secured away from general access.
I figure that is why they require the Lockout at a Hotel or any commercial area.
 
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