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Electrical Requirements For Hot Tub

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Can I Connect A Hot Tub To A Pme Earthing Arrangement

Hot Tub Electrical – Code Minimum

BS 7671:2018+A1:2020 does not preclude connecting a hot tub to a PME earthing arrangement. However, when the facts are examined it is easy to see why it may not be considered appropriate.

Lets take a look at the risks associated with PME earthing arrangements and wet locations such as swimming pools. Usually when we mention the dreaded abbreviation PME, we are considering loss of the PEN conductor. However, with swimming pools and similar wet locations where persons can access barefoot, problems can exist under normal operating conditions.

IET Guidance Note 5Protection against electric shock, provides guidance on perceived electric shock. Perceived electric shock may be experienced on PME earthing arrangements under normal operating conditions due to a potential difference which may exist between the PEN conductor and Earth.

This can occur if an installation is supplied from a long distribution and/or service cable. Depending on the load on the circuit and the ratio of the load on the network, a potential difference could exist between the PME earthing terminal and Earth. Whilst it may only be a few volts, in combination with reduced body resistance, due to wet skin, and the additional possibility of contact with Earth, it can be enough to cause a perceived electric shock.

Special Regulations For Self

Finally, there are special rules for spas and hot tubs that are stand-alone units rather than integrated with a swimming pool:

  • Outlet receptacles can be no closer than 6 feet from a hot tub or spa, and they must be GFCI-protected if they are less than 10 feet away.
  • Lights or ceiling fans must be at least 12 feet above the spa or hot tub if there is no GFCI protection, or at least 7.5 feet away if there is GFCI protection.
  • Any wall switches must be at least 5 feet from the water.
  • Any outlet or direct-wired circuit that powers the motor or heater in a self-contained spa or hot tub must be GFCI protected, no matter how far away from the spa or tub.

If You Intend To Sink Your Tub Into Decking:


If you have your tub surrounded by decking that needs to be removed before work can be carried out, this must be removed by yourself prior to our engineer arriving at your property as we cannot be held responsible for any damage that may occur to your decking or tub surround when it is removed for repair or maintenance purposes

Bear in mind also that decking will vibrate and can have the effect of amplifying the sound from the pumps with its vibration.

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& 40 Amp Electrical Requirements

For a 32AMP hot tub, 6mm² 3-core SWA cable is needed and a 10mm² 3-core SWA cable is perfectly suitable for a 40AMP Hot Tub.

An IP65 45AMP Rotary Isolator Switch is also recommended so that the hot tub can be isolated outdoors in an emergency or for service work. This is simply a rotary on/off switch but should be sited more than 2 metres away from the hot tub so that bathers cannot be in the hot tub whilst touching the switch.

The electrician should fit a suitable weather proof block connector to the end of the tail from the isolator, the hot tub supply can then be directly hard wired into the weatherproof block connector inside the hot tub. Waterproof gland packs should be used to prevent ingress of water on all electrical connections . Ensure that all earth cables are clearly colour coded with green/yellow insulating tape or earth sleeve.

What Is The Likelihood Of A Rise In Potential On The Met

Electrical hookup for a hot tub

Other scenarios which could raise the potential of the main earthing terminal include:

  • live to earth faults on HV network with combined HV/LV earthing
  • insulation faults on final circuits within the installation


  • lightning strokes.

Whilst the probability of each scenario may be considered relatively low, the probability of a rise in potential on the MET increases when they are combined.

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Paul Chaffers Napits Technical Events Manager Gives Advice On Hot Tub Installations And Whats Needed To Comply With The Regulations To Complete A Safe Practical Installation

BS 7671 RequirementsBS 7671 doesnt have any specific requirements for hot tub installations , therefore, electricians will need to use engineering judgement and apply the general requirements of the Wiring Regulations when designing the installation. In some cases, comparisons can be made with BS 7671 Part 7 special installations or locations.

Where hot tubs are located inside a room, Section 701, Locations containing a bath or shower, could be consulted as this is the nearest parallel. For commercial hot tubs or tubs of a permanent construction built into the ground, Section 702, Swimming pools and other basins, should be consulted.

Within the scope of Section 702, it states that some pools are designed within the scope of an equipment standard and are outside the scope of Section 702.

Where there is any doubt, Section 702 for swimming pools could be used as a basis for a safe design. Hot tubs will either be the plug-and-play type, fitted with a standard BS 1363 13 A plug , or will require a 32 A or 40 A supply.

Socket-outlet and/or isolator positioningBS 7671 Fig 702.2 provides zone dimensions for basins above ground level. A representation of this can be seen in Fig 2.

Section 702 permits socket-outlets or switches to be installed in zone 2, providing the supply circuit is protected by one of the following measures:

SELV Automatic disconnection of supply with 30 mA RCD

*Note: see Regulation 702.53 for full requirements

What Are The Risks To Persons Using A Hot Tub

The risk of electric shock is increased when a person is wet due to the decreased body resistance which allows an increase in current through the body in the event of contact with live parts. This risk is further increased when a person is using a hot tub outdoors due to the possibility of contact with Earth. Which is exactly the same risk as for a person using a swimming pool.

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How To Wire A Hot Tub

Hot tub wiring should be performed by a professional licensed electrician. It is important to recognize the dangers of working with electricity and water, as one wrong move could lead to injury or death.

Plus, licensed electricians often understand the greater installation requirements, as well as building codes, which can change how you can install a hot tub. The average person probably won’t know the various requirements that stem from specific jurisdictions.

Prior to moving ahead with the hot tub installation process, we recommend getting in contact with the enforcement agency in your local area to retrieve the necessary codes.

Prior to diving into the hot tub installation steps, let’s talk a bit about the various supplies and components found within the spa system that you will need to focus on.

Circuit Breaker

Your breaker is going to be the first thing in your system that will differentiate a wired spa and a plug-n-play spa. A wired spa will require a separate breaker on your breaker panel that has dedicated power running to the spa.

It is important to match your service panel with the appropriate-sized breaker panel. You will most likely be able to find this information on your hot tub wiring diagram.

However, when determining the breaker necessary for your hot tub, it is best to speak with a professional electrician.

Service Panel

If you don’t have enough current to support your hot tub’s functionality, it is important to consult with an electrician.



Electrical Hookup Requirements For Hot Tubs

What Are The Electrical Code Requirements To Installing A Hot Tub?

Most spas will operate with either 50 or 60 amp dedicated service at 220-240 volts.

Hooking up a 230 volt hot tub involves an electrician integrating the main house panel with a 50 or 60 amp breaker, the external GFCI/disconnect box and the spa pak/hot tub controller box. Be sure that the GFCI should corresponds to the house breaker, so for instance a 60A GFCI should be paired with a 60A house breaker. Whether 50A or 60A is required depends on the number of pumps and size of heater in the spa.

For most exterior spas, the electrician will run a 4-wire number 6 or number 8 wire to the spa location. The size of the wire to be used is determined by the maximum current draw of the hot tub, the length of the wire run and the NEC or local codes. Use thermoplastic nylon insulated copper wire, never aluminum.

See our current collection of GFCI load centers, GFCI power cords and GFCIs.

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What Electricity Supply Do I Need For My Hot Tub

We’re often asked this question by potential new customers looking at our range of hot tubs. Whether you’re looking for a 13A Plug & Play model or one of our 32A hard-wired models, we’re here to let you know what you need to do before the wonderful day when your hot tub arrives, including if you’re wondering about hot tub running costs!

Gather Tools & Turn Off Power

The electrical tools you will need to wire a hot tub are:

  • If using PVC Conduit, a PVC cutter
  • Hacksaw for all rigid metal conduit

Before you begin, shut off the power to your home from the main breaker box. As with all electrical projects, follow local codes and consult an electrician before wiring a hot tub.

The National Electrical Code requires:

  • Hard-wiring the spa into a ground fault circuit interrupter -protected 220 to 240V, 50 or 60 amp dedicated circuit.
  • Installing a manual disconnect device, often called a spa panel, between your homes electrical breaker panel and the spa.
  • All receptacles must be a minimum of 6 feet away from the inside wall of the hot tub and GFCI protected.
  • Have the wiring professionally inspected before using your hot tub.

Safety Tip: Electricity and water are a dangerous combination. Most electrical codes require hot tubs to be at least 10 feet from overhead power lines.

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What Are The Requirements Of Section 702 In Bs : 2018+a: 2020

Section 702 imposes zoning requirements for the installation and surrounding areas as detailed in Figure 702.2, for basins of water above ground level. This could have implications for any exposed-conductive-parts or extraneous-conductive-parts installed in close proximity to the hot tub such as lighting or metallic structures.

Why The Mw Spa Gfci Load Center/disconnect Is The Better Choice:


Unfortunately, conventional load centers often perform unreliably with hot tubs due to the phenomenon called errant tripping. This false tripping is a great frustration to homeowners and electricians alike. It is often incorrectly attributed to a problem with the spa, when no problem exists.

Common GFCI breakers sometimes react to a normal spa condition as if it were a ground fault. Reactive loads that spa motors present plus the resistance load of heaters make normal GFCI breakers unreliable at best.

Our Spa Disconnect GFCI panel solves these problems. It’s the dependable ground fault detector designed just for hot tubs. The specially-shielded GFCI prevents false tripping due to RF interference. It is also engineered for low-voltage stability to prevent tripping due to brownouts, fluctuations and mixed loads. If there is a ground fault, the fast-acting GFCI instantly disconnects the lines.

Note: The NEC and many jurisdictions REQUIRE the installation of a 120V outdoor GFCI outlet. It is to be located 10-20 feet away from a spa or pool, for safe operation of corded appliances.

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What Are The Electrical Requirements For Hot Tub Installation

Hot tubs either require 110V or 220V of electricity. If you choose a 110V model often referred to as plug-and-playthen you may be able to simply plug the spa into an electrical outlet in the backyard. If you choose a 220V model, then you will need to work with a certified electrician to ensure you have enough electricity to power the spa, and then the electrician will be required to run the appropriate wires from your electrical panel to the hot tub. Your dealer can help you understand the pros and cons of the two electrical configurations and can explain the specific electrical requirements for the model you choose.

How To Wire A Spa

This guide shows how to wire most 240 volt hot tubs and portable home spas. We’ve included photos, a step-by-step hook-up movie& hot tub schematic wiring diagrams.

This information is provided to help you to be a more informed consumer. We advise hiring a licensed electrician to wire and install a spa.

If you’re not confident or qualified to do electric wiring, there’s still installation prep-work you can do to reduce expenses. We’ll walk you through a typical project to show what’s involved.

Jump to: 120V Hot Tubs

CAUTION: Electrical work and repairs can be dangerous, especially around water. There is a risk of shock or electrocution, which could result in serious injury or death. We strongly advise that hot tub electrical wiring be referred to a licensed electrician. Local code requirements for wiring vary and may differ from the educational examples on this web site. The local code regulations must be followed, with permits and inspections obtained. The installer should read and follow the hot tub owner’s manual and associated electrical component owner’s manuals and instructions.

Shut off electrical power to the hot tub or pool at the service panel prior to any inspections or work. Improper wiring may damage equipment and void the spa manufacturer’s warranty.

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What If A Pen Conductor Becomes Open Circuit

Another concern regarding PME earthing arrangements is the risk of an open-circuit neutral PEN conductor. In this situation, all metal parts connected to the main earthing terminal could rise up to 230 V with respect to Earth, this includes the hot tub heater element which in turn is connected by means of the water within the hot tub. The water is effectively an exposed-conductive-part with an extremely large surface area.

The current would be significantly higher under open-circuit PEN conductor conditions, in the region of amps as opposed to milliamps. It is important to remember that an RCD would not operate under open-circuit PEN conductor conditions, if a person makes contact with the water and Earth under open-circuit PEN conductor fault conditions and in bare foot contact with Earth, it is likely to have fatal consequences.

What Do I Need To Do

Electrical Hookup Requirements for Hot Tubs

You need to get your electrician to install an outdoor, waterproof plug socket with RCD protection

We highly recommend using an MK IP66-rated outdoor socket, available from all major electrical retailers, such as Screwfix.

The socket should ideally be around 2 metres from the hot tub, but definitely no closer than 1 metre. An electrician will charge around £50-100 for this.

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How Many Hot Tubs Are Sold Each Year In The Uk

There has been a surge in sales of hot tubs in the UK recently, it is understood that there are approximately 2,500 swimming pools, 25,000 hot tubs and 250,000 portable hot tubs sold each year in the UK. To put this into perspective, these numbers are similar to the numbers of electric vehicle sales from 2016.

How To Meet The Part P Requirements

The simplest way to make sure your hot tub installation meets Part P is to use a Part P-registered electrician. Any hot tub dealer worth their salt will know several sparkies that are registered as a competent person, so ask yours for a recommendation. These contractors will be able to self-certify their work as being compliant with Building Regulations, saving you a lot of hassle.

If you dont go with a Part-P-registered contractor, youll either need to get a registered competent person or building control body to come out and check that the work meets regulations. As you can imagine, its a lot easier to just go with a Part-P-registered electrician in the first place.

If the contractors your dealership recommends arent available you can find a Part P-qualified and registered electrician through NICEIC, NAPIT, or ELECSA.

Be sure to arrange for your hot tubs electrics to be installed before its delivered. Once theyre in, your electrician will flick the isolation switch to the OFF position, coil up the SWA cable tail, and tape off the exposed wires at the end of the cable to keep water out until delivery day arrives. This will make it a piece of cake for your dealerships installation team to wire up your spa.

Once your hot tub is installed, your electrician will issue you with a Part P certificate which youll need to keep on file, as all electrical works will need certification evidence if you decide to sell your home.

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Making Sense Of Hot Tub Electrical Requirements

120 Volt versus 240 Volt

Most full-size hot tubs are designed for 240 Volt electrical service. These hot tub wiring systems require a 40 to 60 Amp breaker and must be specially hardwired by a licensed electrician. Some smaller hot tubs, usually with only one pump and fewer jets, include a factory installed cord which incorporates a 120-volt ground fault circuit interrupter . This enables you to essentially plug them into a dedicated standard outlet. Referred to as plug and play, these models can also be converted to a 240V electrical service in the future, if desired.

About 120 Volt Connections

While plug and play hot tubs offer Day One convenience, they often lack in features. 120V spa units are usually only available with one pump. Additionally, heat up and recovery time may take longer with 120V hot tubs. Hot tubs operating on 120V service cannot have the pump operate on high speed while heating, so until high speed pump operation stops, the heater will not turn on. When connecting your hot tub via a standard outlet, dont share the circuit with another appliance, and be sure it has an appropriate amperage rating. Confirm your electric service can handle the load. 120 Volt spas are equipped with a 15-foot cord and a built-in GFCI. Warning: use of an extension cord will void the warranty and may damage your hot tub. Plan to place your tub within range of an outlet without the need of an extension.

120v Hot Tubs Plusses and Minuses

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