convience outlet by spa

scalawagyDecember 25, 2012

I am installing a hot tub and need to add a 120V outlet. There will be a 50 amp breaker in the main panel, supplying a 50 amp gfci panel near the tub. 4 #6 conductors thru a 1" conduit. I am wondering if I can run a single #12 conductor, protected by a 15 or 20 amp breaker in the main panel, thru the same conduit, passing thru the spa box, to a gfci outlet in a box next to the spa box. Then use short lengths of #12 back to the neutral and ground bars in the spa box? Thus using the #6 neutral and ground to complete the 120V circuit.
I know it will "work", but is there some reason it should not be done in this manner?

Thanks for your time

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Ron Natalie

Note that this must not be closer than six feet.

You can NOT bootleg the neutral or ground from the 50A spa branch circuit for a convenience outlet circuit. Either run a full separate branch circuit or make your "spa box" a subpanel and put the branch circuit breaker there.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 3:18AM
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Is this an indoor or outdoor spa?

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 7:30AM
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Ron Natalie

Makes little difference if we're talking about a residence. While the rules waggle around a bit, both require the convenience outlet.
Outdoor 680.2(A)(3)
Indoor 680.43(A)

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 8:32AM
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Thanks ronnatalie, I will run the additional #12 conductors back to the main panel.

petey racer, it will be outdoor.

still curious as to why my original thought of "bootlegging" the neutral and ground is unsafe or wrong. not arguing, just asking.

Thanks again

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 12:23PM
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Ron Natalie

It's wrong because the code says it is.

It's technically possible to overload the neutral, and your ground may not be sufficiently safe.

One thing you should check, is whether there's any requirement to run a neutral to the spa at all. Most of the ones I've seen (including all three I've installed), just use 240 (two hots) and a ground.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 8:46AM
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The information I've got says it's a 120/240V hot tub and that it needs all four wires. It has a 1/15 hp circulation pump and an ozonator that I assume are both 120V and the heater and jet pump are 240V, I haven't seen a wiring diagram of the unit beyond the connection box yet. There is also an air blower and light.
As I type this I realize there are probably enough 120V components, that they would pull 120 from both phases to help balance the neutral load. I originally assumed it would draw 120 from only one phase and I was going to connect my convenience outlet to the other.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 9:37AM
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Ron Natalie

What model spa? Mine has a 240V circulator pump (it's still very low number of watts). The lighting is almost always 12V stuff anyhow.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 9:39AM
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Wind River, their Virtue model.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 9:52AM
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Ron Natalie

Yep, you're right. That spa does use the neutral.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 11:39AM
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