Electrical Considerations For Installing A New Hot Tub

Something you have to consider when installing a new hot tub is the electrical supply and safety. Electrical safety could even affect where you position the tub in your yard. You'll want to work with a licensed electrician to ensure your tub is set up properly. Here are a few things to consider.

Position Of The Hot Tub

A hot tub shouldn't be placed directly underneath overhead electrical lines. In addition, the tub shouldn't sit on top of buried electrical cables. While most jurisdictions follow the National Electrical Code, cities may interpret the code differently, or add additional regulations to it. Therefore, the first step is to contact your local city codes office. Find out the distance your hot tub must be from electrical lines and any other requirements that may affect the positioning of your tub. You may need to apply for a permit to install your spa, which means the work will need to pass an inspection once it's finished. For that reason, and for safety's sake, you want the job done right the first time, so you don't have to move the tub later.

Power Requirements

Another thing you'll need to consider is the amount of power a hot tub will consume. If your home is old and has an old electrical panel, it might not handle the extra load. If that's the case, an electrician will need to upgrade your electrical panel. In addition, your hot tub may also need to have a separate manual kill switch installed to meet local codes. This is separate from the electrical panel and it must be within a few feet of the hot tub so it can be reached quickly if power needs to be shut off in an emergency. So even if your panel can handle the extra load, the electrician will still need to wire the manual kill switch and outlet for the hot tub.

GFCI Outlets

Any new outlets installed near your pool for operating the pump, heater, or other electrical components must be GFCI outlets. These ground fault circuit interrupters protect you against electrical shock from stray electricity. One of these outlets is able to detect a change in electrical current that indicates the electricity has strayed to water or anything else besides the electrical circuit. When the outlet detects the abnormality, it shuts down the circuit. A GFCI outlet could save your life if there is a malfunction with the electrical components in your hot tub.

When you think about installing a hot tub in your backyard, you probably imagine relaxing nights lounging under the stars. Electrical safety is likely the farthest thing from your mind. However, your tub needs a pump to keep the water clean, a heater to warm up the water, and lights to add ambiance. Your hot tub depends on electricity to function properly, so you'll need to keep electrical safety in mind starting with the planning phase all the way through to routine use of your tub.

To learn more, contact a company like Dunedin Electric Co., Inc.